Tools and Fact Sheets: Outdoor Recreation

Getting out on the land and experiencing its beauty inspires people to care for wild places. It is important to ensure that recreation is sustainable and does not harm our wildlands.

The below tools and fact sheets provide more information about outdoor recreation policy:

Recreation: Promoting sustainable outdoor experiences for all Americans

Recreation is one of The Wilderness Society’s special initiatives. We envision a broad and diverse community of people and organizations working to promote
widespread and sustainable enjoyment of America’s public lands. Our Principles for Sustainable Recreation guide our work:

  • Connect to nature through public lands
  • Conserve and respect our natural, historic and cultural heritage
  • Promote enjoyable and safe recreation

  Download Recreation: Promoting sustainable outdoor experiences for all Americans

Trails Funding: Stop the Erosion

Trails serve the recreation needs of about 50 million1 hikers, cross-country skiers, horseback riders, off-road vehicles, bicyclists, and other recreationists on National Forests every year. Currently only 21% of Forest Service trails are maintained to standard.

  • The number of Recreation Visitor Days on National Forest trails has in-creased 376% since 1977, and the trail miles have increased by 56.9% to meet the growing visitor need.
  • The trail maintenance backlog has far surpassed annual trail budgets since the 1980’s and now stands around $296 million.
  • Trails maintenance and construction budgets have remained flat—increasing only 1.75% since 1980 (after adjusting for inflation).

Download Trails Funding: Stop the Erosion