Maintainer's Best Practices
- Take care of a trail so that others can enjoy their visit
- Have taken Introduction to Trail Maintenace (aka TM101)
- Have walked their trail with their supervisor and know how to ask for help
Pratice Safety First
- Say "NO" and walk away from any situation you determine to be an unacceptable risk and promptly notify your supervisor if it is a safety hazard to the general public.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return
- Read the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)
- Take personal protection equipment
- Eye protection - required for all maintenance activities
- Ear protection - if you are running power equipment (power trimmers are allowed but not chain saws unless you are currently certified).
- Hard hat - especially if you are cutting or moving downed trees or branches
- First Aid kit
- Sharp tools: sharp tools are safer
- Begin every trip with a brief safety reminder; do it for yourself if you are going out alone.
- Know the location of the nearest emergency care facility relative to where you are working.
- Stop when you are tired.
Plan your trip
- Plan what you expect to do on a trip so you have the right tools with you.
- Make at least one trip after major storms and in the spring after leaf-out
- Plan separate trips for different chores, e.g. blazing, vegetation control, erosion control.
- Take along a small notebook to record what you did, what needs doing on your next trip, or what you need help with.
- Take a camera to record problems that need expert help, e.g. blowdowns.
- Make a copy of the map of your section so you can mark where problems are.
- Know who the adjacent trail maintainers are and for AT maintainrs, know who is the monitor of your section
- If you have a co-aligned trail, know who the maintainer is and what arrangements have been made.
- If you are maintaining in NYS Parks, and if others are helping you on this trip, bring Volunteer Service Agreements (VSA) for them to sign. For NYS DEC you need a different VSA
Working on Your Trail
- Visit your trail at least once in each reporting period, more often it there are sunny areas with lots of understory
- Reverse direction of travel to inspect both ways
- Clip and toss to the side any encroaching vegetation
- Clear waterbars and their outflow
- Clear steps of leaf debris
- Blaze with another person
- Write down in a notebook and take pictures of what you did. Then fill outyour maintainer report form when you return home while you still remember exactly what you did.
- Let your supervisor know immediately if you have items requiring immediate attention such removing a large blowdown.
- If injured, report it immediately to your supervisor
- Turn in any VSAs of your helpers at the park office.
- Send in the report before the due date