2021 Virtual National Trails Workshop — November 1–4, 2021

PNTS’ 2021 Virtual National Trail Workshop ran from Monday, November 1, 2021 – Thursday, November 4, 2021.

Session recordings are now available for registered attendees in the EventsAIR virtual event portal. Please see your emails from Partnership for the National Trails System mail@eventsairmail.comTo watch a recording, select a session on the timeline and then click “play” in the upper right corner.

The virtual event portal will remain open for registered attendees through February 1, 2022.

Please find session resources such as presenter PowerPoints, handouts and important links under each session abstract. Use the tabs below to navigate between workshop days.


Thank you for taking part in the Virtual National Trails Workshop Silent Auction. The auction ended Sunday, November 7 at 10 PM ET.

2021 Workshop Sessions and Speakers

Monday, Nov 1stTuesday, Nov 2ndWednesday, Nov 3rdThursday, Nov 4thTHANK YOUS

Day 1 — Monday, November 1st
Keynote Session: Rethink Outside™: Let’s Tell a New Story!

2:00–3:00 PM EDT

Keynote Speaker: Anupama Joshi (she/her), Executive Director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum Click here for bio

Anupama Joshi, the Executive Director of Blue Sky Funders Fourm and the PNTS 2021 Workshop Keynote Speaker

Session Abstract:

Anupama Joshi (she/her), Executive Director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum will deliver a keynote presentation on the critical role narratives and stories play in enabling partnerships, funding and policy change. She will introduce the Rethink Outside™ shared narrative (co-generated and coordinated by Blue Sky Funders Forum) and share ideas for how you can apply it to your organization’s interpretive and educational efforts. An interactive aspect of the session will provide you an opportunity to explore the Rethink Outside™ messaging framework in small groups to brainstorm ideas for telling your story in different ways that may help open the doors for new allies and funders.

Keynote speakerAnupama Joshi (she/her), Executive Director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum

Anupama Joshi (she/her) is a social change leader and innovator with more than twenty years of management experience in nonprofits and philanthropy – successfully developing and scaling national & international programs, building coalitions, shaping policy, advancing racial equity, and leading through change. She is currently the executive director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum, where she leads initiatives to engage and convene funders to support the many benefits of a stronger connection to nature, activates funder collaboration to advance shared goals such as Rethink Outside™, and showcases successful programs, strategies, and innovative partnerships to enrich and inform members’ grantmaking. She is co-author of Food Justice (MIT Press, 2010), and serves on the board of directors for the Triangle Land Conservancy and the Farmers Market Coalition. Anupama is a mom, loves to travel, and cook, and currently lives in Cary, North Carolina.

Session Resources:

Other important links:

Logo for Rethink OutsideBlue Sky Funders Forum logo



Working with Corps to Build Capacity and Mobilize the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders

3:30–4:30 PM EDT

Session Presenter:

Lauren Edwards-Johnson, Program Coordinator, Corps Network Click here for bio

Session Moderator:

Christopher Douwes, Community Planner, Transportation Alternatives / Recreational Trails Program, Federal Highway Administration Click here for bio

Christopher Douwes photo

Session Abstract: During this session the Corps Network will present about the versatility of Corps programs, how programs can help increase JEDI, how to work with Corps and overcome barriers. The session will end with an interactive activity that will help attendees understand how partners can work together to reach a funded agreement.

Session Resources:


Workshop Social

5:00–6:00 PM EDT

Join PNTS and connect with other attendees during a fun and interactive social hour!


Day 2 — Tuesday, November 2nd
Emerging Land Conservation Policy: America the Beautiful, Ten-Year Trail Challenge, and Environmental Justice 

2:00–3:00 PM EDT

Session Presenters:

Matthew J. Strickler, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Click here for bio

Shantha Alonso, Director for Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Fish and Wildlife and Parks Click here for bio

Brenda Yankoviak, National Trail Program Manager, U.S. Forest Service Click here for bio

Gabriel Otero, Colorado Plateau Representative, The Wilderness Society Click here for bio

Session Moderator:

John A. Cannella, National Program Manager, National Wild and Scenic Rivers System & National Trails System, National Park Service Click here for bio

3-Trails Transit Center Dedication in Kansas City, MO 5/31/2018







Session Abstract: During this first workshop session on November 2, Deputy Assistant Secretary Strickler will provide an overview of the America the Beautiful report, including a discussion about the opportunities it presents for trails, where the administration is now and where it is moving forward, as well as how trails can advance conservation and equity in the context of America the Beautiful. Deputy Assistant Secretary Strickler’s remarks will be followed by a discussion of the Ten-Year Trails Challenge by Brenda Yankoviak of the U.S. Forest Service. Gabriel Otero from the Wilderness Society will then discuss how nonprofit initiatives related to environmental justice and equity will be influenced by America the Beautiful. This session will close with a short Q&A with attendees. 

Session Resources:

United States Forest Service logo
Land Conservation on Trails: An Introduction To Proven Tools And Strategies (Beginner/Intermediate Track)

3:15–5:15 PM EDT

Session Presenters:

Jesse Prentice-Dunn, Policy Director, Center for Western Priorities Click here for bio

Amy Lindholm, LWCF Coalition Manager, Appalachian Mountain Club Click here for bio

Megan Wargo, Director of Land Protection, Pacific Crest Trail Association Click here for bio

Simon Rucker, Executive Director, Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust Click here for bio

Joe Sobinovsky, Realty Specialist, National Park Service Click here for bio

Alex Faught, Realty Specialist, National Park Service Click here for bio

Session Abstract: This session will present examples and discuss how agencies and their nonprofit partners can expand trail land conservation. Participants will hear about a variety of strategies and real examples for land conservation including planning, mapping, tapping different funding sources and creative partnerships and easements. Presentations will be followed by a group discussion with Federal Land Preservation Office staff and other experts who will speak with session participants about how to start or advance land conservation on trails.

Session Resources:

The National Park Service logo
Moving the Needle: Presentations and Discussion about LWCF, Conservation Tools, and Creative Partnerships (Advanced Track)

3:15–5:15 PM EDT

Session Presenters:

Nadine Leisz; Chief National Program CenterPark Planning, Facilities, and Lands Directorate; National Park Service Click here for bio

Karen Montgomery, LWCF Program Lead, Bureau of Land Management Click here for bio

Barbara A. Johnson, National Land Adjustment Program Manager, United States Forest Service Click here for bio

Lori Faeth, Senior Government Relations Director, Land Trust Alliance Click here for bio

J.T. Horn, Director National Trails Initiative, Trust for Public Land Click here for bio

RG Absher, Vice President of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association and Executive Director of the Yadkin River Greenway Click here for bio

Scott Stewart, Forest Legacy / Community Forest Program Leader, United States Forest Service Click here for bio

Carrie Lindig, NRCS Easement Program Division Director, USDA Click here for bio

Session Moderator:

Jennifer Tripp, Director of Trail Operations, Pacific Crest Trail Association Click here for bio

Session Abstract: This session will include a deep dive discussion about how agencies and their nonprofit partners can expand trail land conservation within the framework of America the Beautiful and other priority initiatives. Participants will learn about different conservation tools and receive updates on federal agency LWCF processes. Through the discussion, speakers and participants will seek to identify action items and opportunities to capture the momentum for land to benefit National Trails. 

Session Resources:


United States Forest Service logoBureau of Land Management logoThe National Park Service logo


Day 3 — Wednesday, November 3rd

Opening ʻOli Chant by Kaliko Kalāhiki Click here for bio


Opening the Door for Crucial Conversations

2:00–3:00 PM EDT

Session Presenters:

Christine (McRae) Luckasavitch, Executive Director, Native Land Digital Click here for bio

Carin Farley, National Scenic and Historic Trails (Lead), Bureau of Land Management Click here for bio

Session Abstract:

Christine McRae, Executive Director of Native Land Digital, will give a presentation about the background of Native Lands and how came about, and how to make a meaningful land acknowledgement. Christine will also discuss the importance of crucial conversations and partnerships and the importance of creating space for indigenous voices.

This session will open with a brief discussion by Carin Farley, the National Scenic and Historic Trails (Lead) at the Bureau of Land Management, about how the recent partnership between Native Land Digital, BLM, USFS, PNTS, and Ancestral Lands was formed and how the new administration’s priorities have opened the doors for these new and diverse partnerships.

Session Resources:

Bureau of Land Management logo
The Native Act and Sustainable Tourism

3:15–4:15 PM EDT

Session Presenter:

Sherry L. Rupert, Chief Executive Officer, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) Click here for bio

Session Moderator:

Naomi L. Torres, Superintendent of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, National Park Service Click here for bio

Session AbstractDuring the second session of the day, Sherry Rupert of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) will discuss the Native Act and what it means for trails as well as the importance of sustainable tourism that honors tradition.

Session Resources:

The National Park Service logo

Indigenous Voices: Collaboration and Engagement

4:30–6:00 PM EDT

Session Presenters: 

Stacia L. Morfin, Chief Executive Officer, Nez Perce Tourism, LLC Click here for bio

Kaleo Paik, Officer, Ala Kahakai Trail Association Click here for bio

Dr. Lydia Jennings, Post Doctoral Fellow in Community, Environment and Policy, University of Arizona Click here for bio

Shandiin Nez, Associate Director, Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps Click here for bio

Session Moderator:

Jay Levy, Indigenous Research & Partnerships Coordinator, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Click here for bio

Session Abstract: The last session of the day will contain a panel of indigenous speakers who will discuss their collaborative experiences with trails and other public lands and discuss how to manage differences in conversations and create meaningful partnerships. Themes for this panel discussion will include land care ethics, safety and accessibility, and collaborations with trail systems and public lands.

Session Resources:

Stacia’s PowerPoint—Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) Homeland and Trails


Day 4 — Thursday, November 4th
Ethical Storytelling

2:00–4:00 PM EDT

Session Facilitator:

Caliopy Glaros, Founder and Principal Consultant at Philanthropy Without Borders Click here for bio

Session Abstract: Nonprofits, volunteer organizations, and federal agencies all use storytelling to promote the trails, yet many organizations struggle to tell stories in a way that cultivates more belonging, represents all stakeholders, and highlights shared narratives. How can we use our storytelling platforms as vehicles for social change? How do we share power in storytelling and remain accountable to local communities? This session invites attendees to move beyond shifts in lexicon and imagery, in favor of embracing methods that challenge assumptions and inspire empathy. 

Participants with leave this session with an applicable strategy and concrete process they can take back to their organizations and begin utilizing immediately. At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Define what ethical storytelling means for their own organizations
  2. Identify practices, principles, and guidelines that could be applied in their organizations
  3. Begin making changes, large and small, to better employ ethical storytelling principles in their organizations

Session Resources:

Virtual National Trails Workshop Finale

4:00 PM EDT

Thank you to our sponsors, partners and hosts

The following organizations, businesses and agencies have made the 2021 Virtual National Trails Workshop possible:

Platinum Sponsor

National Park Foundation

Bronze Sponsors

Atlas Guides



Other Sponsors

North x North

Bedrock Sandals


Toaks Outdoor


2021 Virtual National Trails Workshop Host Committee

Host Committee Members

The Partnership for the National Trails System logo with the text "2021 Virtual National Trails Workshop November 1–4, 2021"

Federal Agency Partners

The National Park Service logoBureau of Land Management logoUnited States Forest Service logoFederal Highway Administration logo

Previous Workshops


National Trails Virtual Workshop—October 21–29, 2020

Themes: Advancing Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion; Expanding Partnerships Within and Beyond Trail Corridors; and, Increasing Capacity Through Organizational Development

More than 200 people attended, presented, sponsored, and/or supported the Partnership for the National Trails System’s first Virtual Workshop. Thank you so much for making this Workshop a success we can build on! During the workshop we heard about practical examples and best practices; we were encouraged to recognize that a big vision for a trail requires us to think outside of traditional boundaries and values; we heard about partners raising one another up and highlighting the long underprioritized stories of peoples and nationals throughout our National Trails System; we heard stories that were both heart-wrenching and heartwarming; and we started many important dialogues that we must continue. 

The video recordings are available to the public on the Workshop Final Program page and directly on YouTube .

Biennial National Historic Trails Workshop

At this biennial gathering of National Historic Trails advocates, volunteers and professionals, the workshop hones in on the issues that face the Historic Trails as they move towards completion. Interpretation, preservation of key historic sites, protection indigenous landscapes and acquiring and maintaining a contiguous trail corridor are addressed. Attend this workshop to learn more about how you can play a role in developing, protecting and preserving your favorite historic trails and how you can strengthen your trail organization.

  • National Historic Trails Workshop 2016 – Kansas City, MO (June 6th-10th)
  • National Historic Trails Workshop 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT
  • National Historic Trails Workshop 2012 – Socorro, NM
  • National Historic Trails Workshop 2010 – San Antonio, TX

Biennial National Scenic Trails Workshop

Scenic Trails highlight some of the country’s most spectacular natural landmarks and features. As stewards of these trails, building and maintaining these trails in some very remote locations with volunteer power presents many challenges to trail organizations. The National Scenic Trails workshop provides the opportunity to learn best practices in both physical trail building and maintenance and organizational development. Effective steward organizations have strong programs in communication, volunteer management, fundraising and leadership development. This is an opportunity to go in depth into the issues faced by trail organizations as they strive to complete and maintain the trails in these outstanding scenic corridors.

  • Scenic Trails Workshop 2016 – Pensacola, FL (November 14th-18th)
  • Scenic Trails Workshop 2014 – Tahoe City, CA
  • Scenic Trails Workshop 2012 – Shepherdstown, WV
  • Scenic Trails Workshop 2010 – Reisterstown, MD