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May 20 -- The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) invites comments to OMB by June 21, 2022 on its new information collection -- National Digital Trails Project: Trail Data Portal.

A major component of the Department of Interior's vision is to “Increase access to outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans so that our people can be healthier, more fully enjoy the wonderful features of their federal lands, and take advantage of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation pursuits that are the roots of the conservation movement.” At the direction of DOI, the USGS is advancing that vision with the launch of the National Digital Trails (NDT) project. The two-year project consists of three major goals:

1. Develop a web-based geospatial analysis tool, called Trail Routing Analysis and Information Linkage System (TRAILS), to assist Federal land managers in identifying and prioritizing candidate trails to be connected to existing trails and trail networks.

2. Aid in the creation of a robust nationwide digital trails dataset including, at a minimum, trails on lands managed by key Federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

3. Develop a mobile responsive application that will assist trail stewards, land management agencies, and members of the public in the maintenance of trails information.

This information collection request focuses on Goal 2, the digital trails dataset. The Trail Data Portal will support development and maintenance of the robust USGS nationwide digital trails dataset (Goal 2). In turn, the dataset is a primary component of the TRAILS geospatial analysis tool (Goal 1) which provides DOI bureaus and trail managers a tool to improve trail connectivity throughout the Nation's public lands.

The Trail Data Portal will facilitate an efficient digital trails data submission process and communication between the USGS and data providers. Authoritative trail managers will be able to log in to submit their trails data, along with relevant information, for USGS review and integration into the USGS digital trails dataset. USGS staff will be able to log in to download the submitted data, perform preliminary assessment, and provide status updates for every trail data submission. No data edits or integration will take place within the Trail Data Portal.

The following information will be collected for every authoritative data provider that submits trails data for USGS integration: Name, email, and organization. This information will allow the USGS to identify an appropriate point of contact for every data source in the USGS digital trails dataset. It may be necessary for the USGS to reach this contact to provide status updates, clarify data discrepancies, or obtain the latest trails data to perform updates to the USGS digital trails dataset.
National Digital Trails webpage): https://www.usgs.gov/national-digital-trails
USGS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202104-1028-004 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-10799

For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, the AEA Committee on Economic Statistics offers "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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