The future of trails is different from the past. Traditional parks and recreation lands struggle to keep up with citizen needs and desires for trails. As citizen attention turns to lands dedicated to other purposes, land managers and trail user groups each have something to gain by working together and understanding each other’s needs/limitations regarding trails. Done right, this can lead to trails in unique settings, but with unique limitations and ideally greater protection for lands protected for other purposes. This movie and panel discussion examine how some are trying to bring the different views together.
Kent Browning, PE, has been working on natural surface trails and trail access for decades. Most recently he has helped maintain appropriate public access to city, county, state and other land managers.
Kevin Thuesen, Ph.D., has worked professionally with numerous aspects of the natural world including ecological restoration, caves and karst, as well as water quality issues. He has served as the Environmental Conservation Program Manager in charge of the Water Quality Protection Lands for over 17 years.
George Cofer is the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Hill Country Conservancy. He has been working in land conservation and public access for over 30 years. George’s community contributions have been recognized with many awards, including Conservation Leadership (Nature Conservancy) and Volunteer Leader(Austin Parks and Recreation Department). He is the Chair of the Violet Crown Trail Stewardship Council. He has a BA from the University of Texas.
Hill Abell has been active in trail advocacy for over 30 years. A founding member of the Austin Ridge Riders mountain bike club, he recognized the social impact of mountain bike use on Austin trails and began working with the Ridge Riders on education outreach and local trail advocacy. He joined the Board of Directors of the International Mountain Bicycling Association in 1994 and served the organization for 19 years, helping expand its impact to several countries overseas and establishing over one hundred IMBA chapters across the US.