0
Blue Trails:Blue Trails:
Improving RecreationImproving Recreation
and Protecting Riversand Protecting Rivers
Families and Rivers!Families and Rivers!
Blue Trails Versus Water Trails:Blue Trails Versus Water Trails:
What’s the Difference?What’s the Difference?
Water
Trails...
How Can American Rivers HelpHow Can American Rivers Help
Communities?Communities?
Madison River, MTMadison River, MT
Congaree River Blue TrailCongaree River Blue Trail
Congaree River, SCCongaree River, SC
Blue TrailBlue Trail
CriteriaCriteria
• RecreationalRecreational
AppealAppeal
• Ecological ValuesEcological Values
• Suppo...
ConservationConservation
ObjectivesObjectives
• Work directly with
community to
determine goals
• Protection
– Conservatio...
Blue Trails: Bringing ItBlue Trails: Bringing It
All TogetherAll Together
• Identify Land & Access needs
• Uniform Informa...
Green River, UTGreen River, UT
Intermountain WestIntermountain West
Blue TrailsBlue Trails
Verde River, AZVerde River, AZ
Verde RiverVerde River
Blue TrailBlue Trail
Eagle and UpperEagle and Upper
Colorado RiverColorado River
Blue TrailBlue Trail
Colorado River, COColorado River, CO
• Strategic Network of
Blue Trails
• Connecting
Communities to
Rivers through
Recreation
• Strong Community
Input
Outcomes...
Questions?Questions?
Fay AugustynFay Augustyn
Intermountain West Blue Trails ManagerIntermountain West Blue Trails Manager...
Eagle and UpperEagle and Upper
Colorado River Blue TrailColorado River Blue Trail
Eagle River, COEagle River, CO
Eagle andEagle and
Upper Colorado RiverUpper Colorado River
Blue Trail GoalsBlue Trail Goals
Eagle River, COEagle River, CO
Protecting Riverside LandsProtecting Riverside Lands
and Open Space inand Open Space in
Eagle CountyEagle County
Horn Ranc...
Parks and Trails – Vail
Dowd Junction to Vail Pass
Whitewater Park
Eagle River Open Space and Recreation AccessEagle River...
Questions?Questions?
Ken NeubeckerKen Neubecker
Eagle River Blue Trail CoordinatorEagle River Blue Trail Coordinator
kneub...
Blue Trails - Improving Recreation and Protecting Rivers - Fay Augustyn, American Rivers
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Blue Trails - Improving Recreation and Protecting Rivers - Fay Augustyn, American Rivers

100

Published on

Blue Trails are a river centered recreational “path” that connects and re-connects people with their rivers. Blue Trails help the river become a focal point in a community. They inspire people to take “ownership”, creating a sense of stewardship for their rivers. Blue Trails also help recognize and preserve cultural, historic and natural places, enhancing a community’s sense of identity and pride.

But a Blue Trail is more than just access to lands along river. It also creates a uniform system of information that educates the local community about the river. Signage, maps, guides, events and media also connect a Blue Trail.

In 2013 American Rivers began working on a Blue Trail project with the Eagle and upper Colorado River in Eagle County, Colorado. This prototype project will help develop a Blue Trail projects on other rivers throughout the Inter-Mountain West.

Published in: Environment, Sports, Technology
0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
100
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Introduction
    American Rivers is one of the leading national organization dedicated to protecting and restoring our rivers. Our headquarters is based in Washington, DC and we have field and regional offices across the country including 2 offices here in CO – Denver and Carbondale
    We got our start 40 years ago protecting our nation’s last wild rivers. Today, we focus our work around: protecting our healthiest rivers; restoring rivers; safeguarding clean water; and ensuring enough water for healthy rivers.
    Today, we will briefly talk about:
    What BTs are and why they are important
    How we are connecting communities and families to their rivers through BTs.
    Highlight our Eagle River BT program
    Working with key partners
  • What do we mean when we talk about BTs?
     
    BTs are rivers adopted by local communities that are dedicated to improving recreation and advancing conservation goals.
     
    They are destinations for boating, fishing, wildlife watching, and other types of recreation.
     
    They come in all shapes and sizes are they connect urban and rural communities to treasured landscapes. They provide a fun way to get families and kids outdoors. And they are economic drivers that benefit local businesses and quality of life.
     
    Blue Trails also offer a new, popular way to conserving land and water resources. They are often associated with conservation easements and land acquisition, and high water quality standards. While specific protections vary from community to community, Blue Trails are an organizing tool that galvanizes citizen support for clean water and healthy riverside lands.
     
    Our ultimate goal with Blue Trails is twofold: (1) to protect river corridors, which includes critical riverside lands; and (2) to build a lasting constituency for healthy rivers.
     
    Through Blue Trails we are forging partnerships with land trusts; local, state, and federal government; chambers of commerce; and others as an innovative way to protect clean water and riverside lands and to promote sustainable economic development, and community pride.
     
  • How can American Rivers and a Blue Trail strengthen your community?
    AR provides significant expertise in working with a diverse stakeholder group as well as providing critical help and assistance in the following areas:
    Help in planning a successful Blue Trail to include new access points, map, strong business coalition s and a unified message and signage approach
    Help in finding new potential sources of funding for the Blue Trail
    Work with the community on outreach and media to bring new tourists to the river for economic development and community livability improvement.
    Work with the community to develop new conservation easements and other riverside land protection to help keep the Blue Trail clean and safe for generations to come
  • A History of Blue Trails
    The Blue trails program began about 7 years ago, focusing on the Southeastern region of the US.
    The first of our BTs, seen here on this map is the Congaree River Blue Trail, which starts near Columbia, SC. This 50 mile BT connects urban Columbia to the largest protected wilderness in SC, Congaree National Park
    Most of our projects have been based in some of the most conservative counties in South Carolina. We have been very successful in promoting Blue Trails as a tool for conservation and economic development in very conservative areas, which is very promising as we expand our work to other conservative regions of the country.
    BTs provide an opportunity to go into communities that may not support conservation efforts at face value but through BTs we are successfully able to demonstrate the value of conservation and economic development in these places.
    Work has continued in the Southeast with a total of 5 Blue Trails in this region, and recently began moving the Blue Trails work west
  • In order to best assess rivers and communities for our Blue Trails work, we have developed a broad set of criteria that will help us to determine the best communities.  
    Recreational appeal:
    Rivers with potential for outstanding recreation
    Rivers that offer a variety of recreational experiences, including paddling, fishing, hiking and wildlife-watching
    Opportunities to connect underserved populations to their rivers and to each other
    Opportunities to connect communities to important protected areas such as parks, refuges and forests
    Ecological values:
    Rivers that serve as intact wildlife migration corridors
    Rivers with high biodiversity and/or endangered species
    Opportunities to protect irreplaceable landscapes through conservation easements, land acquisition, increased community engagement, and improved public land management
    Support and involvement:
    Strong community, political and business support, or the opportunity to develop strong support
    Effectiveness of community groups that are working on river-based conservation or recreation
    Fundraising potential
  • Protection
    Acquisition - work on eagle with our partners here helped to acquire new riverfront openspace land that will be for community use – Horn Ranch
    Conservation easements
    Working with priv land owners
    Potential to expand protected places – worked to get LWCF money for expansion of Waccamaw Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina, expand Congaree National Park
    Restoration
    Talk about invasive work here – how we would like to see it as a part of our conservation work in the west but as of now we haven’t specifically focused on it
    Cottonwood restoration
  • Making a coherent system from numerous different parts
    Eagle County has already taken steps to improve river recreation opportunities by acquiring priority tracts of land along the river In addition, the Eagle River Watershed Council recently completed an assessment that identified more than 80 activities needed to improve river health and access.
     
    Furthermore, Eagle County, the Town of Eagle, Eagle Valley Land Trust, and the Eagle River Watershed Council, outfitters, and others have all endorsed the Blue Trail concept. With these partners and the support of the local community we will help the county to make a coherent system from numerous different parts like BLM, county and city land
    Work with partners to develop a community-based strategy and plan to protect the river through the formation of a Blue Trail, building on existing efforts and the city and county level
    Build support for the BT through outreach to opinion leaders, city and county officials and others
    Facilitate community meetings on the Blue Trails with focused discussion on enhancing recreation and land protection
    Identify existing and new, needed recreational access points to foster boating, fishing and hiking as well as special points of interest along the river
    Assist in creation of maps and guides and state of the art mobile site
    Promote the river through events to reconnect local communities to the Eagle and educate them about the importance of riverside land protection
    Advocate for state and federal funding for recreational improvements and riverside land protection
  • In the last 2 years we’ve ramped up our work with communities in the intermountain west.
    Started on the Verde River Blue Trail about a year ago in Arizona
    The Verde River is an important tributary to the Colorado River and a unique resource in Arizona. One of the few perennially flowing rivers in the Southwest, the Verde sustains lush riverside forest, a large and diverse wildlife population, and provides critical drinking water to many Central Arizona communities.
    Started Eagle River Blue Trail last year – focusing on critical riverside land acquisition as well as working to bring a connected front to stewardship on the Eagle
    We’ve spent the last year talking with communities who are interested in learning more about Blue Trails, increasing river stewardship through recreation and protecting and restoring critical riverside lands. We hope to see ribbons of vibrant BTs that will stretch from Montana to New Mexico in a system of interconnected, protected, economically vibrant, and recreationally significant rivers and communities. We will achieve this vision through engaging communities, catalyzing recreation and associated economic development, and ensuring the protection of riverside lands.
  • Work in the West
    Started on the Verde River Blue Trail about a year ago in Arizona
    The Verde River is an important tributary to the Colorado River and a unique resource in Arizona. One of the few perennially flowing rivers in the Southwest, the Verde sustains lush riverside forest, a large and diverse wildlife population, and provides critical drinking water to many Central Arizona communities.
    We are currently working with our partners and the local community stakeholder group to ensure the Verde is a safe, wet river for people and the community to enjoy. Through education and outreach we will raise awareness about the river and its benefits to help improve local recreation, boost local economy and Project partners are working on removal of invasives and a flow study-goal is to keep water in the river-policy
    The City of Clarksdale is excited about the potential economic benefits the BT will bring to the community.
    This summer developed two new access points, ADA viewing platform so all folks can view and enjoy the river
    Our work here includes a map system, uniform signage across the river and increased education about the importance of the Verde to the communities and the region.
  • In addition to the Verde, we’ve begun to work with Eagle County and a the different communities, local businesses and recreation enthusiasts within the valley to develop a blue trail. My colleague Ken Neubecker a former Eagle County resident is the coordinator and leader of this work on the ground working with all of our great partners.  He will explain here in a bit, along with our partner from Eagle County, Toby Sprunk, more about this exciting partnership project we are working on along the Eagle and Upper CO rivers.
  • Outcomes
    The Eagle and Verde River are the first of many new blue trails we will be working with local communities to develop
    It is our goal that this strategic network of BTs in the IMW will improve both the livability of rural communities and each community’s connection to rivers
    Communities who have connected to their river through recreation and created a strong community stewardship around their river
    As a part of our Blue Trails program and helping to connect communities, this summer we will start our small grants program which will provide grants to communities across the intermountain west (5-25k) to help with outreach/education, access and infrastructure and conservation goals
  • Give background on Eagle and Upper CO River BT – talk about our partners, who we are working with, when we started, why the Eagle and Upper CO, etc.
  • Goals of the Eagle BT include:
    Work with partners to develop a community-based strategy and plan to protect the river through the formation of a Blue Trail, building on existing land and water conservation efforts.*
    Build support for the Blue Trail through outreach to opinion leaders, city and county councils, and others.*
    Facilitate community meetings on the Blue Trail, with focused discussion on enhancing recreation and land protection.
    Identify existing and needed recreational access points to foster boating, fishing, and hiking as well as special points of interest along the river.*
    Assist in the creation of maps and guides, include a state-of-the-art mobile site (similar to a mobile app but better).*
    Promote the river through events to reconnect rural communities to the Eagle and educate them about the importance of riverside land protection.*
    Develop and disseminate fact sheets and web-based educational materials, targeted at local government officials and business leaders, that highlight conservation and economic benefits.*
    Highlight the Blue Trail at state and national conferences as a model that can be replicated elsewhere.*
    Advocate for state and federal funding for recreational improvements and riverside land protection.
    Colorado River and Tributaries.
  • Discuss the coordinating effort we are doing on protecting riverside lands with the county and land trust
  • Transcript of "Blue Trails - Improving Recreation and Protecting Rivers - Fay Augustyn, American Rivers"

    1. 1. Blue Trails:Blue Trails: Improving RecreationImproving Recreation and Protecting Riversand Protecting Rivers
    2. 2. Families and Rivers!Families and Rivers!
    3. 3. Blue Trails Versus Water Trails:Blue Trails Versus Water Trails: What’s the Difference?What’s the Difference? Water Trails Blue Trails Community focused river recreation Education oriented Concept around for approx. 30 years Network of access points for non- motorized users Some states have designation programs Unique community based approach with diverse partners Enhance local economies through recreation Promote river and riverside land protection Builds a constituency for the river through recreation Promote health living Eagle River, COEagle River, CO
    4. 4. How Can American Rivers HelpHow Can American Rivers Help Communities?Communities? Madison River, MTMadison River, MT
    5. 5. Congaree River Blue TrailCongaree River Blue Trail Congaree River, SCCongaree River, SC
    6. 6. Blue TrailBlue Trail CriteriaCriteria • RecreationalRecreational AppealAppeal • Ecological ValuesEcological Values • Support andSupport and InvolvementInvolvement Flathead River, MTFlathead River, MT
    7. 7. ConservationConservation ObjectivesObjectives • Work directly with community to determine goals • Protection – Conservation Easements – Acquisitions • Restoration – Cottonwood Regrowth – Invasive removal Horn Ranch Open SpaceHorn Ranch Open Space Eagle River, COEagle River, CO
    8. 8. Blue Trails: Bringing ItBlue Trails: Bringing It All TogetherAll Together • Identify Land & Access needs • Uniform Information Source • Mobile Web Site, Social Media • Maps & Guides • Increased economic impact • Greater Youth engagement • Increased Funding potential • Greater Connection of locals & visitors to their rivers
    9. 9. Green River, UTGreen River, UT Intermountain WestIntermountain West Blue TrailsBlue Trails
    10. 10. Verde River, AZVerde River, AZ Verde RiverVerde River Blue TrailBlue Trail
    11. 11. Eagle and UpperEagle and Upper Colorado RiverColorado River Blue TrailBlue Trail Colorado River, COColorado River, CO
    12. 12. • Strategic Network of Blue Trails • Connecting Communities to Rivers through Recreation • Strong Community Input OutcomesOutcomes Gunnison River, COGunnison River, CO
    13. 13. Questions?Questions? Fay AugustynFay Augustyn Intermountain West Blue Trails ManagerIntermountain West Blue Trails Manager American RiversAmerican Rivers 616-990-0049616-990-0049 faugustyn@americanrivers.orgfaugustyn@americanrivers.org
    14. 14. Eagle and UpperEagle and Upper Colorado River Blue TrailColorado River Blue Trail Eagle River, COEagle River, CO
    15. 15. Eagle andEagle and Upper Colorado RiverUpper Colorado River Blue Trail GoalsBlue Trail Goals Eagle River, COEagle River, CO
    16. 16. Protecting Riverside LandsProtecting Riverside Lands and Open Space inand Open Space in Eagle CountyEagle County Horn Ranch Open SpaceHorn Ranch Open Space Eagle River, COEagle River, CO
    17. 17. Parks and Trails – Vail Dowd Junction to Vail Pass Whitewater Park Eagle River Open Space and Recreation AccessEagle River Open Space and Recreation Access Squaw CreekSquaw Creek Sylvan LakeSylvan Lake State ParkState Park
    18. 18. Questions?Questions? Ken NeubeckerKen Neubecker Eagle River Blue Trail CoordinatorEagle River Blue Trail Coordinator kneubecker@americanrivers.orgkneubecker@americanrivers.org (970) 376-1918(970) 376-1918
    1. A particular slide catching your eye?

      Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

    ×