Date of Award

Winter 2011

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources: Environmental Conservation

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Russell G Congalton


The evaluation of 7200 acres of land in Berlin, NH was conducted using the New Hampshire State Statues regarding fine-grained evaluation criteria for ATV trails (RSA 215-A: 43) to determine its viability as a multi-use trail park. A geographical information system (GIS) was used to facilitate the location of land, which is suited for trail construction. A comprehensive exploration of data led to the development of a geospatial database in which each criteria was given spatial value. Next, each of the 29 statutes regarding trail placement was analyzed and mapped to determine co-occurrence. Approximately, 1800 acres, or 25% of the total area of the proposed site is coincident with at least 1 statute prohibiting trail construction and of that, 20% is coincident with 2 or more statutes. The GIS proved to be a useful tool when interpreting laws involving spatial information in order to make responsible land use decisions.