Staff have launched an Adaptive Management Pilot Program that will run through the fall. While the Pilot Program maintains much of the trail system as multi-use trails currently offered, it designates eight different trails for specific usage, including trails for hikers only, equestrians/hikers only, no bikes and one-way travel. Please note that Phase 1 of the Pilot Program does not address e-bikes on TD trails.

The goal of this initiative is to evaluate and explore concepts of changing trail use on select trails through an adaptive management approach.

WHAT IS ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT?
Adaptive management is the process of implementing land management activities in incremental steps and evaluating whether desired outcomes are being achieved at each step. If conditions deviate substantially from predictions, management activities are adjusted to achieve the desired outcomes.

WHY IS ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT SO IMPORTANT?
Adaptive management provides flexibility to adapt to evolving conditions, trends, technology and environmental changes while reducing uncertainty. With an efficient approach, management can adopt a best practice of ongoing learning and improvement.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE PILOT PROGRAM?
The Pilot Program will create a sensible approach to engage the community and measure acceptance of any proposed changes while allowing members to participate in changes through experience and outreach input tools like field surveys and in-person observations. The Pilot Program will introduce adaptive management as a systematic process to address issues inclusive of all trail users.

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE PILOT PROGRAM FOR THE MEMBERSHIP?
The Pilot Program will improve understanding of member perspectives and ideas for solutions, test ways to enhance user experience, improve safety, boost trail flow and create recreational options for more members.


PILOT PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS + IMPACTED TRAILS

This program designates eight different trails for specific usage, including trails for hikers only, equestrians/hikers only, no bikes and one-way travel. Phase 1 of the Pilot Program does not address e-bikes on TD trails. Enhanced user experience, improved safety, boosted trail flow and additional recreational options are all part of the goal.

Impacted trails include the following:

  • Designated Equestrian/Hiker Only: Rawhide, Wild West, Everest and Drifter Wall
  • Designated Hiker Only: South side of Nature Loop
  • Designated Hiker/Biker Only: Lower True Grit and Cinnamon Twist
  • Designated Directional: Upper + Lower Mother Lode (downhill only)

Timing: July through October 2021
View the trail map.

WHY WERE THESE TRAILS SELECTED FOR THE PILOT PROGRAM?

  • Enhances user experience
  • The trail flow and connection to other trails provides a variety of route options and are ideal for recreational opportunities
  • Sets design and construction standards for equestrian, hiker/biker and multi-use trails
  • Protects environmentally sensitive zone including wetlands and waterways
  • Trails were planned, designed and constructed for multiple user-types including biking, hiking and equestrian use

WHAT CAN MEMBERS AND GUESTS EXPECT TO HEAR AND SEE?
Expect on-the-ground implementation and messaging including Pilot Program signboards, pop-up tent events with trail ambassadors, wayfinding and kiosk signs, webpages and a trail map to clearly show which trails are selected for designated uses.

HOW WILL THE PROGRAM BE MONITORED?

  • Condition evaluations conducted by the Trails Department
  • Signage on the trail with a QR code for a short survey
  • On-site volunteer stewards/ambassadors for observation and assistance with trail-user surveys
  • Bikeworks, Alder Creek Cafe, Day Camps and Equestrian Center observation reports to be made by staff

LEARN MORE AND GIVE FEEDBACK

We are working to make it easy for members to learn about the Adaptive Management Pilot Program and provide their feedback. Below are some of the ways members can participate and stay informed:

  • Visit stewards, ambassadors and kiosks on the trails
  • Read Tahoe Donner News articles and emails, as updates will continue to be published
  • Participate in trails community events (to be announced) and field survey(s)
  • Explore and continue to check back on this webpage

WE NEED YOUR HELP
In order for the Pilot Program to be successful, we need to hear from you. While recreating on Tahoe Donner’s beautiful trails, take a few moments to complete our Trails Satisfaction Survey. You will find signs and QR codes that will allow you to quickly and easily access the survey via your smartphone. You can also access the survey by clicking the button below.

BECOME A TRAILS AMBASSADOR
The Ambassador Program includes volunteer efforts from all major trail-user groups that will assist the Trails Department with its education and communication campaign throughout the Pilot Program. Learn more and sign up to be an ambassador.


WHAT ABOUT E-BIKES ON TAHOE DONNER TRAILS?

The Pilot Program and Ambassador Program are rooted in creating a better trail experience for all users. The potential e-bike rule change is separate from these programs at this point; however, the board did vote to move into the 45-Day Notice and Comment Period for a potential rule changes including authorization to allow some Class 1 e-bike usage on the trail system through open space and trails policies. Members can expect to receive a direct mailer in July with more information about the potential rule change, its purpose and ways in which they can provide feedback.