Health Impact Assessment, Physical Activity and Federal Lands Trail Policy

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OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this paper are to describe the application of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to inform trail decisions affecting a rural, under-resourced community and propose the routine integration of HIAs to enhance NEPA environmental assessments and environmental impact statements for trail decisions on federal lands.

METHODS: Screening, scoping, assessment, recommendations, reporting, monitoring and evaluation are being used to examine the health impact of trail location and design.

RESULTS: HIA recommendations are being integrated into the public lands National Environmental Protection Act process for planning access to a new segment of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Potential users from a nearby rural New Mexico community and a region of almost one million may benefit from this HIA-informed planning.

CONCLUSIONS: HIA can be integrated into the policy and decision-making process for trails on public lands.

Please take a look at the Studying Trail Enhancement Plans - Health Impact Assessment for the Final Report.