Partnership for the National Trails System: 2018 Highlights

  • Organized and led a collaboration with Federal agency partners and leaders of American Trails, American Hiking Society, and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System by disseminating information to the general public, organizing and supporting special events, and engaging the outdoor retailers at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show.
  • Collaborated with the American Hiking Society to help organize and guide the Hike the Hill advocacy week in February for Federal trails funding and policy support. More than 120 trails leaders participated in the advocacy work.
  • Organized and ran the 16th Training Conference on National Scenic and Historic Trails co-located with the Wild & Scenic Rivers Symposium in Vancouver, WA in October. The training conference was attended by more than 220 trail organization leaders, Federal agency trail managers, and 33 young Trail Apprentices.
  • Published and distributed four issues of Pathways Across America, prepared and distributed a monthly PNTS e-News, and prepared and gave monthly webinars on a variety of topics pertinent to trail and organization management and best practices.
  • 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.
  • 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 $43 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire 45 tracts of land along 11 national trails.
  • Participated in a series of meetings and activities with trail staff of the U.S. Forest Service to help them develop a National Trails Strategy and 10-Year Sustainable Trails Stewardship Challenge to address how to better maintain the 158,000 miles of trails in the national forests.
  • Organized and managed a competitive Trail Intern Grant Program that dispensed $190,000 from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service to 20 of the national scenic and historic trails partnerships to fund work by young trail interns on behalf of their trails.
  • Secured a $200,000 two-year cooperative agreement from the Federal Highway Administration to help fund increases in the information exchange services (magazine, webinars, e-newsletter) provided by the PNTS and to fund a National Trail System Corridor Protection project with the Trust for Public Land, including doing a gap analysis of the national trails.
  • Expanded the Affiliate Membership opportunities in the PNTS and began to establish a Supporter Program to greatly expand the base of financial support for the organization.

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in Pathways Across America is public domain. All views expressed herein are perspectives of individuals working on behalf of the National Trails System and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the Federal agencies.

New Year’s Day 2019 in the Cross Plains National Scientific Reserve, Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Photo Credit: Gary Werner.