By: Partnership for the National Trails System, Adapted from partner emails
Nathan Caldwell, Transportation Program Analyst with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), retired from Federal service on December 31, 2018. He also served as the FWS representative on the Federal Interagency Council on Trails and its successor, the Federal Interagency Council on the National Trails System (Council), from 2005 to 2018. He began his career with the Federal government in May 1987 on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park as a seasonal law enforcement ranger. He started with the FWS at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Oklahoma in May 1990. He spent 14 1/2 years at the FWS Headquarters office as part of the Transportation Program, which includes trails of all types. His career took him from coast to coast, even to Hawaii’s island of Kauai. He also volunteered as a trail patroller and overseer for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.
“Nathan has an amazing capacity to understand and explain programs, policies, locations, and lots more. Whenever I was supposed to go to a conference to explain Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) trail programs, but couldn’t go, I knew that I could trust Nathan to speak on my behalf,” said Christopher Douwes, Community Planner for the FHWA Transportation Alternatives/Recreational Trails Program.
In March 2019, Nathan started working as a half-time reemployed annuitant from his new home in Kennewick, WA, which is just about the point where the Corps of Discovery made their furthest north exploration up the Columbia River. He will be helping transition his duties as the National Trails System contact to new staff coming on board with the FWS. He is deeply grateful for all the understanding, kindness, and support of all the Council members, PNTS staff, national trail administrators, and the National Trails System support organization staff and volunteers over the years. “I hope I was able to make a small difference in how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service views and understands the importance of trails overall and the national trails in particular,” he said.
“On behalf of the Partnership for the National Trails System, I want to acknowledge and thank Nathan for his ever enthusiastic work to make the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a regular partner in supporting the national scenic and historic trails,” said Gary Werner, PNTS Executive Director. “Although the FWS does not administer any of the scenic or historic trails, at least 70 National Wildlife Refuges, such as St. Marks in Florida, Bosque del Apache in New Mexico, and Cherry Valley in Pennsylvania, host important sections of many of these trails. Nathan worked persistently to increase the awareness of and support for the national trails within these refuges and throughout the Service. He was also a consistent contributor to the National Trails System trainings over the years.”
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in Pathways Across America is public domain. All views expressed herein are perspectives of individuals working on behalf of the National Trails System and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the Federal agencies.