2019 Partnership for the National Trails System Highlights


Organized and led a collaboration with leaders of American Trails, American Hiking Society, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and several of its member organizations to increase the presence and awareness of trails among the outdoor retailers at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show.

Began planning for two National Trails Training Workshops to be held in 2020—one in the spring in the west and another in the fall in the east.

Published and distributed four issues of Pathways Across America and a monthly e-newsletter.

Provided monthly webinars on a variety of topics pertinent to trail and organization management and “best practices;” two webinars in collaboration with several sister organizations focused on ways to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion within trail organizations.

Continued to make the PNTS website a more dynamic and easily used venue for storing and disseminating information useful to national trail stewards and managers.


Continued to actively participate, as a member of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition, in the advocacy work to get Congress to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which it did early in the year.

Collaborated, once again, with the American Hiking Society to help organize and guide the 22nd “Hike the Hill” advocacy week for Federal trails funding and policy support; more than 100 trails leaders participated in the advocacy work.

Prepared and submitted testimony to Congress detailing the funding needed by the three Federal administering agencies to operate the 30 national scenic and historic trails and requesting $33 million from the LWCF to acquire 41 tracts of land along 12 national trails; for Fiscal Year 2020, Congress increased funding for the national scenic and historic trails by $550,000 for the National Park Service and $1 million for the Bureau of Land Management and provided $9 million of LWCF money for three trail land acquisitions.


Organized and managed a competitive Trail Intern Grant Program that dispensed $157,000 of money from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service to 17 of the national scenic and historic trails partnerships to fund a second round of work by young Trail Interns on behalf of their trails.

Completed the first year of the $200,000 two year cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration that funded increases in the information exchange services (Pathways, webinars, e-newsletter) provided by the PNTS as well as a National Trail System Corridor Protection project with the Trust for Public Land, including doing the first phase of a gap analysis of the 30 national scenic and historic trails and publishing the case study, “Saving Land on the Trinity Divide: A Pacific Crest Trail Success Story.”

Instituted a supporter program in the PNTS to greatly expand the base of financial support for the organization, with 70 initial supporters to the Partnership.

Successfully completed the Partnership’s sixth financial audit.

Continued implementing the new strategic plan to guide the work of the Partnership for the next three to five years.