Keeping hikers and habitat happy

  -Most hikers think of their hobby as low-impact, a way to enjoy nature without harming it, but a new publication from Colorado State Parks suggests they're only partly right. Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind: A Handbook for Trail Planners shows how trails can interfere with wild areas. The guide suggests routing trails along ecological edges, such as the boundary between a well-used meadow and a more remote forest. An edge trail retains the forest as a sanctuary for wildlife, but it might just disappoint people looking for a walk in the woods. The same holds true for streamside paths: The guide suggests leaving space for wildlife between a trail and water, though hikers and fisherman would probably prefer to walk along the bank. The handbook provides a brief primer on reducing the impacts of trails on a wild area, and includes checklists and case studies to guide planners.

The illustrated, 51-page book is available from or by sending a large, self-addressed envelope with $1.92 postage on it to Stuart Macdonald, Colorado State Parks-Trails Program, 1313 Sherman St., Rm. 618, Denver, CO 80203.

*Gabriel Ross

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