Join us for our webinar series aimed at providing relevant information and best practices as they pertain to the work of non-profit and Federal agency partners in sustaining the National Trails System (NTS). These webinars are free to staff, board members, and volunteer leaders of Partnership for the National Trails System member organizations and Federal trail managing partners. Others may participate at the cost of $35 per webinar. 

  • MAY

    Title: North Country Trail Association’s Hike 100 Challenge: Learnings and Best Practices
    Presenters:  Andrea Ketchmark and Amelia Rhodes (North Country Trail Association)
    Date and Time:  Wednesday, May 24th at 3PM EST

    Webinar Overview: The Hike 100 Challenge engaged thousands of people on the North Country Trail, encouraging them to hike 100 miles in 2016 to celebrate the NPS Centennial. With limited staff resources and budget, the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) built a program that was simple to manage and easy to promote. The Hike 100 Challenge proved to be a smashing success, beyond what they could have imagined – including over 4,000 new leads and eventually 400 new members to the organization. In this webinar we’ll uncover the secrets of the Hike 100 Challenge and how to motivate a new group of users to not only enjoy your Trail, but connect with your organization. 

    Speaker Bios:
    Amelia Rhodes is the Marketing/Communications Coordinator for the North Country Trail Association. Her role is to share the story of the NCNST and the NCTA through traditional and new media. She holds a degree in Business Administration and Communications, and has a background in marketing project management.

    Andrea Ketchmark is the Director of Trail Development for the North Country Trail Association.  Her job is to train and empower a diverse group of remote volunteers with the skills, knowledge and attitude needed to build relationships with diverse partners like local governments, land managers and private landowners to build, maintain, and protect the North Country National Scenic Trail.

    MArk your calendar

    Title: Planning a National Scenic Trail Protection Program
    Presenters:  Don Owen
    Date and Time:  July 13th at 3PM EST

    Title: Real Estate 101 for National Scenic and Historic Trail Organizations
    Presenters:  Don Owen
    Date and Time:  October 19th at 3PM EST

    Title: Working with Local and Regional Land Trusts
    Presenters:  Don Owen
    Date and Time:  January 24th at 3PM EST


    Are you interested in being a Partnership for the National Trails System presenter or do you have a topic to suggest? Send us an e-mail at admin@pnts.org.

  • Title: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act
    Presenters:  Gary Werner (PNTS), Pete Olsen (American Hiking Society), and Chelsea Bodamer (PNTS)
    Date and Time:  Wednesday, April 19th at 3PM EST

    Webinar Overview: In his 1965 “Natural Beauty Message” to Congress, President Lyndon B. Johnson inspired a national “system of trails” for the American people. Congress passed the National Trails System Act, signed into law by President Johnson on October 2, 1968. Join us for our upcoming webinar and learn how you can take part in the commemoration of this historic act while encouraging a new generation of trail users and stewards. This webinar is FREE to attend. Capacity is limited to 100 attendees. Register early to ensure your spot.

    Topics include:

    • The importance of the 50th Anniversary
    • Partners and opportunties
    • How you can take part
    • Available resources and toolkit items


    Title: The Federal Lands Transfer: What It Means and What You Should Know 
    Presenters: Randy Rasmussen Back Country Horsemen of America
    Date and Time: Wednesday, March 8th at 2PM EST

    Webinar Overview
    Some members of Congress remain intent on wrestling control of public lands from the federal government. The idea is not new. Yet transfer proponents continue to perpetuate many myths and half-truths in making their case. One factor driving their push is the claim that the states or local governments are better suited to determine the uses and fate of our public lands. Join us as we discuss the range of values of our federal public lands that are being ignored by land transfer proponents, explore why western public lands differ in many aspects from their eastern counterparts, and speculate how a large-scale federal land transfer might affect public access including management of National Scenic and Historic Trails. We will conclude the discussion with a summary of methods by which your organization might join with others to help “keep public lands in public hands.”

    About the Speaker
    Randy has been Backcountry Horsemen of America’s (BCHA’s) Director for Public Lands & Recreation since 2012. He assists BCHA’s 30 state organizations to advance initiatives and strengthen partnerships that promote the sustained use and enjoyment of the backcountry and Wilderness “by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage.” This includes recognition of the unique national “birthright” enjoyed by all Americans—where every citizen enjoys partial ownership of an unparalleled system of national public lands.

    Randy’s work includes strengthening BCHA’s partnerships with federal land management agencies. He was a key player in BCHA’s effort with The Wilderness Society, regional and national partners—including AHS and PNTS—that demonstrated a groundswell of public support and cultivated bipartisan congressional sponsors for the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (H.R. 845 / S. 1110). The bill was signed into law by President Obama in November 2016.


    TitleInnovative Approaches to Recruiting and Tracking Volunteers
    Presenters: Becky Reid Juan Bauista de Anza National Historic Trail Trails and Rails Program, Karl Borton Florida Trail Association, Wendy Lotze Arizona Trail Association
    Date and Time: Tuesday, January 24th at 2PM EST

    Webinar Overview
    This webinar will highlight the various ways that national trail partners are using technology to enhance their volunteer programs. Topics will include Google Apps and MeetUp Groups. Furthermore, tips for overcoming the “fear of technology” barrier will be addressed.

    About the Speakers
    Karl serves as FTA’s Volunteer Program Coordinator, and is responsible for engaging partners and volunteers on the Florida Trail.

    Wendy has been the Volunteer Coordinator for the Arizona Trail Association since 2015, a dream job by any standard.  She believes that she owes her good luck to the karma developed over years of volunteering at trail maintenance events and as a Segment Steward for the Arizona Trail. Wendy also teaches introductory backpacking seminars and founded the Arizona Backpacking Club to encourage responsible backcountry adventures and volunteerism among the hiking community.   She has organized countless trail events and still manages to maintain a contagious enthusiasm for living outdoors.

    Becky coordinates, trains and supervises Trails and Rails volunteers for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. She has been a Trails and Rails guide for 6 years, interpreting the Anza trail between Santa Barbara and San Jose on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight. A long-time educator with a specialty in online teaching and learning, she is always looking for ways to make technology accessible to all.

    TitleTelling Our Stories
    Presenters: Javier Folgar and Jordan Bowman Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Steve Gonzales El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association
    Date and Time: Wednesday, December 14th at 2PM EST

    Webinar Overview
    With the number of organizations competing for the attention and support of the public, engaging your audience through effective storytelling has become an essential tool for organizations of every size. Join us as we discuss ways to craft your organization’s own stories, how to reach and engage new audiences, and methods for influencing individuals to contribute their own experiences to your cause.

    About the Speakers
    Javier is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Javier oversees and coordinates the messaging of the organization, helping to provide clarity and direction for all ATC departments, its volunteer organizations, and the public.

    Jordan is the Public Relations and Social Media Specialist for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Jordan oversees the messages transmitted to the public via traditional and new media interfaces, ensuring that both the organization and its membership have a voice in the protection and celebration of the Appalachian Trail.

    In addition to serving as executive director of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association, Steven is on the board of directors for the Partnership for the National Trails System; serves on the steering committee for the Texas Alliance for Geographic Education at Texas State University; is a member of the advisory committee for the Connecting Trails to Parks project between the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, National Trails System Intermountain Region office, and the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program; and is an advisory committee member for the Texas Historical Commission’s Hispanic Heritage Guide for Texas.

    TitleEffective Strategies for Advocacy
    Presenters: Mike Wollmer Ice Age Trail Alliance and Pete Olsen American Hiking Society
    Date and Time: Wednesday, November 30th at 3PM EST

    Webinar Overview
    This webinar will focus on effective advocacy when meeting with elected officials – particularly at the federal level. After a brief overview on presenting your strongest case, we will use a case study to highlight some effective techniques that anyone can use. In addition, we’ll discuss overcoming the challenges of creating presentation materials that engage elected officials, or even more challenging, their staff.

    About the Speakers
    Mike Wollmer is the Executive Director and CEO of the Ice Age Trail Alliance.  Mike spent 35 years in his family’s business with specialty outdoor retail stores in the Milwaukee market.  Beginning in the early 1990’s, his history as an Alliance member includes on-the-ground trail work, crew leadership, and a few years as a member of the board of directors.  In recent years he has served as a director of the Partnership for the National Trails System.

    Peter Olsen is the Vice President for Programs & Government Relations at American Hiking Society (AHS). Leading AHS’s advocacy efforts, Mr. Olsen works with Congress and federal agencies to shape public policy and legislation affecting trails, public lands, and the hiking experience.

    TitleBest Practices for Motivating and Training Volunteers
    Presenters:  Eric Sherman, Ice Age Trail Alliance, and Karl Borton, Florida Trail Association
    Date and Time: October 27th, 2016 at 3PM EST

    Webinar Overview
    Learn best practices to invigorate your volunteer program, whether it supports a national historic or national scenic trail. Eric Sherman will give a general overview of the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s (IATA) Volunteer Trailbuilding program. He will also delve into the ways they are building and maintaining the Ice Age National Scenic Trail while also rewarding volunteers through skills-building. Karl Borton will speak about the Florida Trail Association’s Volunteer Recognition Program. This includes both traditional and non-traditional recognitions and awards. Join us to learn more about motivating and rewarding volunteers!

    About the Speakers
    Eric serves as the Alliances Membership and Grants Coordinator, and is responsible for administering the Alliance’s awards program and volunteer-hours tracking program.

    Karl serves as FTA’s Volunteer Program Coordinator, and is responsible for engaging partners and volunteers on the Florida Trail.

    Are you interested in being a Partnership for the National Trails System presenter or do you have a topic to suggest? Send us an e-mail at admin@pnts.org