National Park Service
Program Logo for Rivers & Trails Program. Link to Rivers & Trails  home.
Who We Are
What We Do
Contact Us
Apply for Assistance
News & Events
Helpful Tools
- publications
- reading list
- project tips
- funding sources
Search NPS
Rivers & Trails Home



  Helpful Tools


In addition to the Rivers & Trails 'recommended reading list' (see left), you might also want to investigate the following publications which we've either written ourselves or helped other conservation groups write or produce. (File size is listed for PDF links, larger files will take longer to download.)

Highlighted Publications
You can read the following documents online or download to your hard drive. To open these files, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download for free.

Community Tool Box
by National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, 2002.
A collection of techniques for public participation that communities can use to get organized, to turn their vision into reality, to work together to improve their special places....

Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails and Greenway Corridors
by National Park Service, 4th edition, 1995.
Shows how parks benefit the local economy by creating jobs, enhancing property values, attracting businesses and increasing local tax revenues.

Case Studies of Water Trail Impacts on Rural Communities
by Lindsy Johnson, MCRP, for National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, 2002. (4 MB)
A comparative analysis of rural communities with calm water trails. Case studies illustrate impacts of calm water trails and trends are drawn from community economic development associated with water trails.

Impacts of Rail-Trails
by National Park Service and Penn State University, 1992. (23 MB)
Studies three trails' effects on the communities through which they pass.

Logical Lasting Launches
by National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, 2004 (available for download by chapter or as a complete document).
This guide provides design guidance for developing canoe and kayak launches; case examples, designs, and photos are included.

Recreational Use Statutes and the Private Landowner
by National Park Service, American Association for Horsemanship Safety, American Whitewater, Equestrian Land Conservation Resource and International Mountain Bicycling Association, 2002.
This .pdf contains printable files for the fifty states that have a Recreational Limited Liability Law.

Trails for All Americans
Submitted by American Trails to the National Park Service, 1990.
A national trails agenda formed by a private-public task force. Some recommendations are now dated, but the basic vision of integrated trails systems available to all, health benefits, interagency collaboration, protected resource corridors, and trails as infrastructure is still valid today.

Trails for the Twenty-First Century, 2nd ed.
by Charles A. Flink, Kristine Olka and Robert M. Searns, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Planning, design, and management manual for multi-use trails

Watertrails: Ribbons of Discovery
by National Park Service and North American Watertrails, Inc., 1999.
Brochure introduces concepts and benefits of watertrails.

Creek Care Guide
by National Park Service, Friends of Alhambra Creek, and the City of Martinez (CA), 1994.
Offers practical information on proper creek care and how to solve existing problems in degraded creeks

Daylighting and Restoring Streams in Rural Community City Centers
by National Park Service, June 2002, rev. 2005.
This report provides case studies of five river restoration/daylighting projects used to revitalize small communities across America. It is a companion to the 'Giving New Life to Streams' Brochure (see below) and provides a substantial reference and contact section.

Dam Removal and Historic Preservation: Reconciling Dual Objectives
by American Rivers in partnership with National Park Service, August 2008.
This report provides guidance to help dam removal and historic preservation advocates collaborate effectively.

Economic Benefits of Conserved Rivers: An Annotated Bibliography
by National Park Service, June 2001. (1 MB)
An effort to document, enhance, and share knowledge of the economic benefits of conserved rivers. It offers an extensive list of studies, papers, and articles on this subject, with summaries of their content.

Floods, Floodplains and Folks (19 MB)
by National Park Service, 1996.
A casebook in managing rivers for multiple uses. Case studies of multiple-objective approaches to river planning and flood loss reduction.

Flows and Recreation: A Guide to Studies for River Professionals
by Doug Whittaker, Bo Shelby, and John Gangemi, for the Hydropower Reform Coalition and National Park Service - Hydropower Recreation Assistance, 2005.
This guide is intended to facilitate decision-making to define flows for recreation on regulated rivers. It provides an updated framework and methodologies for assessing flows for recreational use.

Giving New Life to Streams in Rural City Centers
by National Park Service.
An educational brochure developed in partnership with the city of Caldwell, Idaho. The publication profiles several small communities that opened and restored streams that had been buried for decades under their downtown streets

Nationwide Rivers Inventory
by National Park Service.
A register of over 3,000 rivers that potentially qualify as national wild, scenic or recreational rivers.

Restoring Streams to Reduce Flood Loss
by National Park Service and Trout Unlimited, 1998.
Describes how flood control work causes more problems than it solves and how natural streams and floodplains work to reduce flood damage.

River and Watershed Conservation Directory, 2003
by National Park Service and River Network, 2003.
A directory with addresses and brief descriptions of over 3,600 river-related organizations

Riverwork Book
by National Park Service, 1988.
Local river conservation planning efforts in a step-by-step format. It outlines a process for community based river conservation efforts and presents tools for building organizational and technical skills.

Conservation Assistance Tools (CAT)
by National Park Service et al., 2000 now maintained by Red Lodge Clearinghouse.
A searchable database of grants, cost sharing, and technical assistance available for natural resources projects in the western United States.

Groundswell - Stories of Saving Places, Finding Community
by Alix W. Hopkins; Published by the Trust for Public Land; Co-sponsors: The Conservation Fund, The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, and The Nature Conservancy, 2005.
With more than 150 color photos, maps, FAQs and other resources, GROUNDSWELL serves as a Call to Action and a useful guide for people with the passion and energy to make a difference in their community. It highlights several RTCA project examples.

How Greenways Work: A Handbook on Ecology
by National Park Service and QLF/Atlantic Center for the Environment, 1992.
Jonathan Labaree. Full text and illustrations of QLF's 1992 handbook, published with the National Park Service, that describes how to design and manage greenways to fulfill ecological functions in the landscape.

Key Components of Creating A Volunteer Program developed for the American Hiking Society by Mayes Wilson & Associates, LLC, 2006.
An informative manual that provides step-by-step instructions on how to plan and implement a successful volunteer program.

Protecting Open Space: Tools and Techniques
by National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assitance Program, 2004.
Describes eleven techniques that are commonly employed for conserving open space in Texas and how and where they might be effectively applied, including case studies.

O, Say, Can you See: A Visual Awareness Tool Kit for Communities.
by M. Maguire, C. Truppi, R. Hawks, J. Palmer, C. Doble, S. Shannon, S. Stokes, and S. Morris, 1999.
A collection of visual assessment exercises to help members of your community to open their eyes, assess local visual assets and think about how to preserve and enhance them.

Challenge Cost Share Program | Federal Lands to Parks | Hydropower Relicensing Program
Land and Water Conservation Fund | Conservation and Outdoor Recreation | National Trails System
Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers | Rivers and Trails Program | Urban Park and Recreation Recovery
Webmaster Last Modified 09-02-08 U.S. Department of the Interior FOIA Privacy Disclaimer

U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service National Park Service