Trails Council Meeting - October 3, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Trails Council

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Trails Council 
October 3, 2013

5:30 PM – Networking

6:30 PM – Meeting begins

(Severe Weather Date – Thursday, October 10, 2013)




The Trails Council is a forum for discussing trail-related projects and concerns as well as sharing information and strategies. It makes decisions concerning adoption of new trails, blazing procedures, and matters that directly affect the building and maintenance of hiking trails. Voting members are the council chair, trails chairs, supervisors, trail crew chiefs, and crew leaders. Club trail representatives and visitors are welcome at these meetings, routinely held on the first Thursday of even numbered months, except when inclement or hazardous weather causes cancellation.  In which case, the "severe weather" meeting will be rescheduled for the Thursday of the following week.

Please submit items at least one week before the meeting. We will try to accommodate late submissions if there is time.


Note: All items requiring a vote must be submitted in advance in writing so that we have an accurate record in the minutes.



  • Introductions
  • Announcements
  • Approval of minutes 
  • Additions to agenda





  • Special Report: New Federal Accessibility Standards for Trails – Ama Koenigshof
  • Sterling Forest Trails Project – Soňa Mason
  • Staff Updates - Jeff Senterman


Trail Approvals and Updates – 5 minute time limit per presentation. Trail update form must be submitted prior to the meeting:


  1.  West Mountain relocation of the A.T. Mary-Anne Massey.
  2.  East Hudson region split. Jane Daniels.
  3.  New trails at Turkey Mountain, Westchester. Jane Daniels
  4.  Report on trails completed in Sylvan Glen and Granite Knolls. Jane Daniels
  5.  Doris Duke relocation, northwest section. John Mack.
  6. Trail Adoption at Stony Kill Farm, Duchess cty. Tom Amisson
  7.  Fahnestock adoption of 4 new trails. John Magerlein
  8.  Fahnestock: Catfish Loop relocation. John Magerlein

 For Discussion:

  1. Long Pond Ironworks Status (Karen Schoof)
  2. Results of the Trail Leadership Opinion Survey - Jane Daniels
  3. The budget process - Walt + PCs


Old Business



Sandwiches and beverages will be servedDonations to cover costs are greatly appreciated

Directions: NY NJ Trail Conference: 156 Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202), Mahwah, NJ

It is located on Route 202, near its intersection with Route 17. Coming from the south, take Route 17 to the Route 202 exit in Mahwah, and turn right at the bottom of the ramp.  The Trail Conference office is the first building on the left.  Coming from the north, take the New York Thruway to Exit 15A and continue south on Route 17.  Take the exit for Route 202 (the second exit on Route 17), turn right at the bottom of the ramp, and cross under on Route 17. The Trail Conference is the first building on the left.

Status of Minutes: 

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Trails Council
August 1, 2013


Minutes of the August 1, 2013 Trails Council Meeting




Introductions were made by all those present.  Please refer to attached sign-in sheet for attendance.




Jane Daniels notified the Trails Council that a Supervisor Training workshop was being held on September 15th and invited everyone to register and attend to better understand what a Supervisor should be doing.


Approval of minutes:


Minutes were unanimously approved as presented.


Additions to agenda:


No items were added to the agenda.




  • Invasives, Linda Rohleder


Linda wanted to let the Trails Council know that a permit was recently issued by New York State Parks to the Trail Conference that allows our Invasive Strike Force crews  to remove specific invasive plants and apply herbicides to those species along the trail in a number of different state parks in our region:  Hudson Highlands State Park, Fahnestock State Park, Wonder Lake State Park,  and FDR State Park in the Taconic region; and Bear Mountain State Park, Goose Pond Mountain State Park, Harriman State Park, Schunnemunk Mountain State Park, Sterling Forest State Park, Blauvelt State Park, High Tor State Park, Hook Mountain State Park, Nyack Beach State Park, Rockland Lake State Park, Tallman Mountain State Park, and Storm King State Park in the Palisades region.   Park managers must be notified prior to work being done and all herbicide use must be done under Linda’s supervision.  In addition, certain areas in many of the parks have been identified where work should be avoided due to possible disturbance or impact to sensitive species that may be in the area. 


  • Conservation Committee


Seth McKee stepped down.  Jakob Franke is the acting chair.  The next meeting of the committee will be announced soon.


  • Publications Committee


New Harriman & Sterling Forest maps are finished and are being sold.


  • Volunteer Committee


Award nominations from volunteers and staff have been reviewed and the recipients have been picked.  Awards will be presented during the Trail Conference’s Fall Meeting in October.


  • Web Team Report


No report


  • Long Path Catskill Work Crew Video, Chris Reyling


Chris Reyling gave some background on the work that the Long Distance Trail Crew has been doing in conjunction with the Catskills and the Long Path Trail Crews on the new section of Long Path over Romer, Pleasant and Cross Mountains.  The video showed a time-lapse of some of the work done on the new trail near Cross Mountain.


  • Report from Chainsaw Committee


There was a discussion of the proposed policy which would require that all sawyers operate with a swamper present and that both the sawyer and swamper are certified in chainsaw use and that they are both certified in first aid.


After discussion, a motion was made to accept the new policy.  The motion was seconded and there was only a single no vote.


Trail Approvals and Updates


  • Lakeville Connector Trail, John Mack


John Mack presented information on the Lakeville Connector Trail (see attached Trail Approval Form) In Stearling Forest.  After discussion, adoption of the Lakeville Connector Trail was approved unanimously by the Trails Council.  It is a 0.24 mile trail from the trailhead at east edge of Iron Forge Road to the trailhead on the east post of the gate at Old Lakeville Road.


  • Rocks Trail Relocation, Fred Stern


Fred Stern presented the proposed relocation of the Rocks Trail (see attached Trail Approval Form) in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.  After discussion, the proposed relocation of the Rocks Trails was approved unanimously.  It is a 0.30 mile connector trail from one section of the Rocks trail to another section of the Rocks trail.


 For Discussion


  • Trail Volunteers’ Relationship with Program Coordinators


This discussion was started due to concerns expressed by some volunteers with how a personnel issue was handled by staff.  As a result of that action, the Trails Council Chair wished to discuss the overall nature of the trail volunteer’s relationship with Program Coordinators and with staff in general.


The discussion involved several questions regarding the personnel issue.  Staff present explained that due to the nature of the personnel issue, the details of that situation could not be discussed.  After more discussion that included members of the Trails Council, Board members in attendance and staff, the Trails Council Chair indicated that while the personnel issue opened the discussion to new issues, the decision that had been made was final and the more generalized discussion should take place.


A more general discussion of personnel issues and the relationship of staff to volunteers ensued.  A major point of discussion was how to better define what Trail leaders expect from staff to better support the Trail volunteers and how to influence the priorities of what a Program Coordinator is working on in a given region.  Questions were asked regarding how certain tasks and priorities are currently set.  Staff provided a general overview of his tasks and responsibilities, which focused on the support of his regional Trail Committees.  Members of the Trails Council discussed items that current or former Program Coordinators have done for them or where they have had problems with them.  Staff explained the general overview of the job posting for a Program Coordinator and how the priorities of each Program Coordinator are developed from the Plan and Budget approved by the Board of Directors with input from each Trail Committee.


Some items that were brought up for discussion and broken down between expectations of the Trails Council and expectations from staff included:


Trails Council Expectations:

  • Roles and Responsibilities are realistic and flexible
  • Communicate trail priorities to PC and get feedback
  • Plan and Budget – how determined
  • Staff meeting with all trail committees
  • Input from chairs to set goals
  • Role of grants in setting priorities and allocating funds
  • Plans for more than 1 year out
  • Tools Fund
  • Timely response from staff
  • Communicating events, workshops and activities in a region to volunteers


Staff Expectations:

  • Support volunteers
  • Projects mostly from committees – if staff driven get buy in from volunteers
  • Communicate with chairs all additional information
  • Meet with regions regularly
  • How to support and grow volunteer work in a region
  • Find funding opportunities to support volunteer work in a region and support Program Coordinator position


After further discussion, it was moved that a subcommittee be formed to further discuss and work on this issue, using the above list of Trails Council and Staff expectations as a starting point.


The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:45pm.