Advocates ask for more public responsibility on trails
By Ben Nielsen | March 25, 2017
Trail advocates in Northern Utah are trying to remind members of the public to treat the region’s trails with respect.
Just five people are responsible for maintenance of trails crisscrossing more than 2,800 square miles in three Northern Utah counties.
“So when you see people ask, ‘ugh, why aren’t they maintaining the trails?’ well, there just isn’t funding for that,” said trails planner Dayton Crites, who is hoping two upcoming meetings will help gauge opinion on trail preservation.
Because there simply aren’t enough resources available to fix the damages that can be done by inconsiderate people, Crites would like fellow hikers to stick to established trails and to avoid creating new ones.
“If you make trails everywhere, you can damage watersheds; you can damage environments and animals coming through,” Crites said. “If everyone does that, it’s 4,000 people and all of a sudden this nice trail becomes an erosion patch.”
Crites said he appreciates the work of volunteers, like those from a local Boy Scout troop.
“We’ll come out and swing some shovels and learn how to better maintain this part of the trail so we don’t get water runoff — we’ll pull weeds and trim branches,” said Brad Melville, who has volunteered with local scouts.
Melville is also concerned about hikers who cut corners.
“Shortcuts don’t do anybody any favors,” he said.
The meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 29 at the Hyde Park city offices and from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 12 at Greenville Elementary School in North Logan.