Local naturalist experts and residents want to put together a Natural Heritage Study for the Rail Trail and councilors are worried it could just add another piece to a complicated puzzle.

The purpose of the study would be to create a database of all of the species and habitats found on the Rail Trail to encourage naturalists and hikers to use the trail. Councilors agreed that with the long history of user complaints, it would need to be made clear that people will be sharing the trail with motorized vehicles so it doesn’t create more conflict. It also won’t pinpoint exactly where unique or rare species are so people don’t try to harvest them.

The information is being passed to staff so more discussion can happen at the May tourism committee meeting.