Federal Agency Partner Highlights

National Park Service (NPS)

  • Trail Administration & Management — NPS administered 23 National Scenic and Historic Trails (NSHT), including two co-administered trails. NPS managed national scenic, historic, and recreational trails, including trail components across almost 40% of the National Park System.
  • Funding — Operational funding of $17.1 million was provided in support of the National Trails System (NTS) and NPS-administered National Trails. NPS provided $925,000 in Connect Trails to Parks competitive funding.
  • National Recreation Trails – NPS provided support to the Secretary of the Interior, who recognized nine new National Recreation Trails in seven States for inclusion as elements of the NTS.
  • Planning & Research – NPS underwent analysis to inventory, assess, and provide guidance to improve planning efforts across the NPS-administered NSHT. NPS initiated a research effort to better understand and quantify visitation along long linear corridors, including national trails.

US Forest Service (USFS)

  • Technology — USFS continues to work on a full redesign of their trails infrastructure database to provide a more user-friendly and intuitive database design, modern mobile applications, and more accurate trail data.
  • Training — USFS worked with American Trails and others to identify core competencies for trail professionals from entry level to expert which will lead to more consistent trail trainings and skill level for the trails workforce, and a recognition of trails work being an area of expertise and a profession.
  • Trail Management — USFS updated the structure of the Ten Year Trail Shared Stewardship Challenge to be more clear and action-oriented.
  • Funding — USFS supported the Trail Stewardship Grant Program, run by National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, with $290k of funding which they leverage at least 6 to 1. USFS worked with American Trails to set up a new $1.5M grant program to support trail projects.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

  • Funding — The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, enacted November 15, 2021, is the largest long-term investment in the infrastructure and economy in our Nation’s history. It provides $550 billion from 2022 through 2026 in new Federal investment in infrastructure, including roads, bridges, mass transit, water infrastructure, resilience, and broadband. In FY 2022, the FHWA issued new guidance for the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside, including the Recreational Trails Program. These programs have provided funds for National Scenic and Historic Trails.
  • Training — Under contract to FHWA, The Corps Network published Building the Future (Vol II): A Guide for Using Federal Transportation and Trail Programs to Partner with Service and Conservation Corps. The guide notes national nonprofit trail organizations with a history of working with Conservation Corps and Federal land managers on recreational trail projects, including PNTS. FHWA also has a contract with American Trails to support the development of trail training materials, and a cooperative agreement with the US Forest Service to support trail training and update Forest Service trail documents.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

  • Operations — BLM has begun implementation of their Inventory, Assessment, and Monitoring (IAM) methodology along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Old Spanish, and Iditarod National Historic Trails through the HQ contract with Logan Simpson.
  • Training — A National Scenic Historic Trail (NSHT) Training Strategy was completed that incorporates IAM and the development of an inter-agency NSHT Cornerstones Leadership Course. BLM is currently updating its free self-paced NSHT Management Course hosted by Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. It is free to the public.
  • Partnerships — The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is completing its first year of work through an assistance agreement to support the NATIVE Act along the California National Historic Trail in Nevada. As part of this project, AIANTA will host a Tribal Tourism Conference in March 2023 at the Stewart Indian School in Carson City, NV.
  • Funding — The FY 2021 budget for the NSHT Program was $8,358,000 across multiple subactivities. Thanks to our partners’ support, the program is closer than it has ever been to receiving its own subactivity.
2024 National Trails Workshop Call for Proposals Open