Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Salt Lake City Foothills Trail System Plan Update

The City is proposing a thorough and inclusive process to ensure that the Foothills Trail System is completed in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, enjoyable, accessible, safe, low-maintenance, and responsive and transparent to the community at large. 

  1. The City will pause trail construction until at least June 1, 2022 while we undertake steps 2-5 .This lengthy pause will allow the City to continue work with valued stakeholders, including the indigenous communities whose ancestors lived in these lands. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the condition of all our new trails and resume our volunteer stewardship events for regular seasonal trail cleanups. Our staff team will make necessary slope and trail repairs from water erosion using hand tools. Lastly, the natural lands team will target some specific areas for repair and re-seeding of slopes adjacent to trails. 
  1. The City will continue to work with SWCA Environmental Consultants to analyze areas of the Foothills Natural Area where trail construction has been proposed. SWCA is currently refining their proposal, but this analysis will include: 
    1. An analysis of the potential impact of trails on vegetation and wildlife 
    2. An analysis of known cultural resources and strategies for conservation 
    3. Close engagement with environmental and cultural stakeholder organizations to incorporate relevant data and information. 
  1. The City will continue the work of building relationships with Tribal leaders and indigenous residents with the goal of developing appropriate and respectful land acknowledgements and practices in the foothills to honor the indigenous people with ties to this land. This could include options for naming, signage, etc.
  1. The City will work with an independent consultant to compile stakeholder and public feedback into guidance documents that supplement the Foothills Trail System Plan and improve and refine plan implementation moving forward. 
  1. Pending approval of funds by the City Council, the City will be releasing a Request for Qualifications for a new consultant to specifically address design, construction, maintenance, decommissioning, and management of sustainable trails. This work is anticipated to include: 
    1. Review the work completed in 2020-2021, trail design construction methods and best practices. 
    2. Assess any areas of concern in the existing trail network and new trails.  
    3. Review pre-existing user created trails on an individual basis on how to best integrate or discourage their use.
    4. Develop trail maintenance protocols for the Foothills Trail System for the unique environment of the Foothills Natural Area. 
    5. Develop guidelines for how SLC will adapt to evolving user patterns, trail conditions, increasing trail use, and emerging recreation trends. 
  1. The City will continue to work toward improving communications to the public regarding the plan and status of trail development.
    1. The Public Lands Trails Coordinator and the Trail Projects Specialist will serve as the main liaisons for our valued stakeholder groups and general public to facilitate communication and ensure they are consistently in the loop with all stages of the project. 
    2. The City will provide, at a minimum, monthly communications specific to foothills trails updates. This could include: 
      1. Newsletter updates via the Public Lands newsletter, which can also be incorporated into other City newsletters (Council Members, Mayor, Community Outreach, etc.); 
      2. Website updates with timeline to show previous and anticipated work through the process; and
      3. Junctures in the 1 year process to convene press and update progress. 

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