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Trails for People and Wildlife

Hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, horseback riding, snowmobiling are just some of the ways we get outside to enjoy nature and unwind from our day-to-day activities. However, even these seeming innocuous activities can have impacts on wildlife including reduced abundance, reproduction, and survival. Thoughtful trail location allows us to get outside to enjoy nature and also minimize disturbance to wildlife.


Funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department developed a statewide tool that can be used to assess existing trails and site new trails in the most wildlife-friendly way. This mapping tool highlights areas particularly important for wildlife and areas that would be more suitable for trail development. The guidebook explains in more detail how recreation can impact wildlife, how to use the tool to minimize those impacts, and provides some real-world examples of how conservation organizations are using it to make their trail planning efforts most effective.





Where Can We Find The Trail Location Tool?


The University of New Hampshire's online mapping service GRANITView by clicking this link, you will leave the Fish and Game website provides free access to GIS tools through the internet. The Trails for People and Wildlife location tool is available as a clickable layer within this easy-to-use web application. The data display structure is hierarchical so the trail location tool is found by selecting the "Environment and Conservation" menu, then "Wildlife" menu, then "Planning Trails for People and Wildlife" layer.





GIS Users


For GIS users, the Trails for People and Wildlife coverage is available for download in raster format from NH GRANIT, the state's GIS clearinghouse. Use the data discovery tool to search for the word "trails" to locate it. GIS technical data notes and a compilation of literature used to create this project are included as part of the download.



We welcome your feedback. For more information about applying this tool contact Jim Oehler or Rachel Stevens. For details on how this model was developed contact Katie Callahan.