It is the peak season for hitting the trails in Arizona's national forests. Those headed out for biking, hiking, horseback riding or motorized recreation may notice some trail repair work that needs to be done. In fact, the cost to get trails across the country up to basic standards is more than $500-million, according to a new GAO report.
Paul Spitler with The Wilderness Society says it may be difficult in these tight budget times to seek more funding, so creative solutions are needed to maintain public access.
Spitler says collaborations and volunteer programs can help leverage repair funding. Trail maintenance projects include clearing trees and brush, improving stream crossings, and preventing erosion. He adds that about $80-million is dedicated to trail maintenance each year, and it is estimated that that those trails contribute more than $80-billion a year to the recreation industry.