Executive Director’s Message

Each year, PNTS compiles highlights from member organizations and partners to provide a snapshot of what has happened on National Historic & Scenic Trails (NHST) over the previous year. As you’ll see in this issue, it has been an incredible year for National Trails. There is far too much to capture in a single issue, so we will be sharing more highlights with you in the coming months as we reduce our print publications in favor of more frequent online and email communications. 2022 has also been a great year for PNTS. You can expect to see our annual report in the coming month, but here is a snapshot of what we’ve accomplished in 2022.

Throughout the year, PNTS convenes a network of trail organizations and advocates for collective action to advance top legislative and policy priorities for NSHT. In 2022, we accomplished a long-time priority when Congress directed the Bureau of Land Management to add a budget line for NHST to provide transparency in spending. Also, Hike the Hill® 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of coalitional advocacy across the National Trails System and it gathered one of the largest crowds to date.

We launched the Native Lands, National Trails (NLNT) project to advance awareness of Indigenous ancestral lands along NHST and provide resources that promote meaningful engagement between National Trails managers and stewards and Indigenous communities. NLNT includes an interactive GIS map, trainings, and a resource kit.

We continued to expand training and informational resources by hosting 14 webinars that attracted nearly 260% more participants than the previous year. Attendees learned about Tribal consultation, mapping tools, equity in the outdoors, and more. Also, for the first time in three years, the National Trails Workshop was held in person. Over 200 people attended sessions on Indigenous engagement, campaign planning, and other timely topics at a three-day workshop in Albuquerque, NM.

We also continued to engage next generation leaders on National Trails. Seven emerging leaders participated in our Trail Apprentice Program (TAP), joining us at the workshop to make meaningful connections with trail professionals. The TAP debuted several new career skill-building elements including an Apprentice-led webinar, a social media takeover, and career goal-setting. PNTS also awarded 13 Trail Intern Grants totaling $100,000 for trail organizations to hire interns to take on projects to increase their capacity and diversity on trails.

As you read this issue of Pathways Across America, I hope you will recognize not only the remarkable achievements made in 2022, but the potential for 2023 and beyond. And I hope you will support PNTS to help us amplify, convene and strengthen a broad network of NHST champions.

All the Best,

Valerie Rupp

2024 National Trails Workshop Call for Proposals Open