Mapping Trail Suitability Corridors and Connectivity in Doña Ana County, New Mexico

Authors: Daniel Carter*, New Mexico State University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Recreational and Sport Geography, Applied Geography
Keywords: trail planning, connectivity analysis, suitability mapping
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download

Local planners, land managers, and trail users recognize that many connectivity gaps and barriers exist in the trails and open space system in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. These are due to both jurisdictional and physical boundaries with parties ranging from non-profit organizations to the Federal Government, jurisdictions from city parks to National Monuments, and terrain from urban to wilderness. Efforts from several agencies, governments, and organizations are addressing trail planning but the complexity of the situation has created a problem of overall connectivity and coordination. The Southern New Mexico Trail Alliance (a local trail organization), with help from a National Parks Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program award, is leading an effort to create a county-wide master trail plan, advocating for an interjurisdictional level of connectivity and planning. Using baseline, landscape scale planning metrics and comprehensive plans, this project measures the connectivity of the existing trails network and identifies trail suitability corridors where development of future trails is most feasible. Connectivity and suitability corridors were determined using a weighted cost raster and modeling software. The results of this project are a connectivity analysis and suitability map of the trail suitability corridors and recommendations for future trail development to improve trail connectivity in Doña Ana County. The results can aid planners by identifying areas to focus resources for trail development which can lead to overall quality of life improvements for the community.

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