Chair's Best Practices

A chair's job is to build relationships and tap into resources

  • Keep your program coordinator informed; build a relationship with your park partners; communicate frequently to build a partnership
  • Build a strong trail committee such that they know you will work on problems they have trouble solving
  • Take advantage of Trail U workshops and encourage your committee to do so as well.

Safety First

  • Say "NO" and walk away from any situation you determine to be an unacceptable risk; then notify your program coordinator and park partner if it is safety hazard to the general public.
  • Read the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)


  • Thank your supervisors during National Volunteer Week and at the end of the year
  • Nominate volunteers for awards for which they are eligible
  • Ensure that your supervisors and their maintainers get all of the longevity awards to which they are entitled

Your Supervisors

  • Work with supervisors to establish best practices
  • Walk trails with a new supervisor in his/her park, relay your expectations, discuss any problems with them, and teach them how to report
  • If supervisors are having problems with maintainers, unable to provide support, or fail to report, find out why and work to resolve the issue.
  • Set a good example to your supervisors, take on an optional responsibility and encourage them to do so as well.

Plan and Budget

  • Assess trails using your observations and supervisor and maintainer reports
  • Compile a list of projects based on what needs doing based on what your supervisors report; determine priorities; include estimated manpower, hours, and cost of materials

On the Ground

  • Participate in updating the Trail Maintenance Guide
  • Be familar with your area, by visiting all reported problem areas and other trails as time permits
  • Consult with your program coordinator on a regualar basis
  • Handle reported  trail problems and illegal usage, assign to others to solve, and track their completion. 
  • Maintain a list of projects suitable for youth or groups; include estimated manpower, hours, and cost of materials

Off Trail

  • Be familiar with the Trail Management Guide.
  • Take Supervisor 101 so you know what is being taught
  • Receive, review, and act upon semi annual supervisor reports
  • File Trail Chair Report with the Volunteer Coordinator and Program Coodinator in the required time frame
  • Send a report to your program coodinator and partners which includes major projects completed, hours worked, the associated value, and projected projects
  • Maintain records
  • File trail vacancy and appointment forms in consultation with your supervisors
  • Submit a trail change and update when completed 
  • Supervise approved trail relocations
  • Attend Trails Council and chair local committee meetings
  • Update information for Trail Conference publications and maps
  • Be familiar with the Volunteer Handbook and Youth Policy

 Assume responsibility for one or more of the following

  • Become a certified chain sawyer or swamper
  • Present Trail U courses
  • Help keep Trail Mangement Guide current
  • Work at outreach and tabling events
  • Develop a trail crew with your supervisors
  • Advocate on issues important to your region
  • Review map changes before printing