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    Public comment sought on Accessible Trails - FYI

    Trail Accessibility Guidelines Open to Public Comment

    The Access Board, Washington, DC has just announced an important step in the process to establish rules for building accessible trails. A "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" (NPRM) has just been published in the Federal Register, which triggers a 90-day public comment period. The deadline for comment is October 18, 2007. The NPRM includes proposed rules for Federal agencies that are based on the guidelines developed by a regulatory negotiation committee for the Access Board in 1999.

    For more on this process, discussion, and the full text of the NPRM, visit the Accessible Trails section of the American Trails website at

    What will happen during the 90-day comment period?

    During the comment period, two public hearings are planned: July 24, 2007 in Denver, CO and on September 6, 2007 in Washington, DC. The hearings provide an opportunity for verbal comments. Electronic comments will also be accepted. All comments will also be available for public review.

    What is the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Outdoor Developed Areas?

    The NPRM is the next step for the Access Board in establishing minimum accessibility guidelines. It provides guidance on the design and construction of newly constructed and altered trails, outdoor recreation access routes, picnic and camping facilities, and beach access routes. The format of the proposed rule includes a preamble (background information about the committee and the various provisions), the text of the provisions, and the regulatory assessment report on the proposed rule.

    The NPRM is based on a final report from the Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Outdoor Developed Areas, presented to the Board in September 1999. This 27 member Regulatory Negotiation Committee, including all the Federal land management agencies, represents a consensus approach to making outdoor developed areas accessible to persons with disabilities.

    What does this mean for non-Federal trail projects?

    The NPRM is directed to Federal agencies. However, State, local and private recreation providers can look to these guidelines as the most current available information for making outdoor facilities accessible.

    The deadline for comment is October 18, 2007.

    For more on this process, discussion, and the full text of the NPRM, visit the Accessible Trails section of the American Trails website at

    Check the American Trails website at for continuing updates.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Senior Member singin_intherain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Pic is backpacking Alaska '93. How about 2012?
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadEye
    "You can't fall off the floor!"
    Ah, DeadEye, you underestimate me. Aren’t we all ruefully talented at discovering elevation change where nobody ever imagined it (least of all the designers of purportedly accessible structures)?

    Do you have a sense what would define an accessible trail? What would one expect from it? Navigable by manual chair? Electric? No external brawn required? Near enough accessible bathrooms? It’s hard for me to visualize, transitioning from backpacking days of several thousand feet elevation change. What do people more talented than I in a chair manage to do? Any idea to what I might aspire?

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