Working Groups/Roundtables

Roundtables and Working Groups bring together PNTS members and partners to share resources, learn together, and discuss successes and challenges around priority topics within the trails community. They are opportunities for peer exchange and learning designed to increase collaboration and help trail organizations and federal agency partners strengthen their programs. All meetings take place online. 
 
Information about each roundtable or working group is below. Please reach out to cara@pnts.org if you would like to get involved with a PNTS roundtable or working group.

 

Trail Operations Forum

The Trail Operations Forum is intended for program managers/directors to share and discuss priority topics relating to trail operations. This group plans to explore topics such as viewshed management & agency systems; the NEPA process; cooperative agreements between agencies and trail organizations; syncing compliance, fundraising, and volunteer management cycles (project management); renewable energy projects and impacts to trails; powerlines and pipeline projects along trails; GAOA funding; trail protection partnerships with habitat/sportsmen groups; roles & responsibilities in the partnerships between federal agencies and non-profits (who does what & when); successful state partnerships; and more. This group meets every three months.

Meeting Schedule

February 2023 (Date TBD)

Trail User Conflict & Crowding

A presenter from the Interagency Visitor Use Management Council will discuss council VUM framework and related guidance

May 2023 (Date TBD)

Trail User Conflict & Crowding

After attending the February session with the IVUMC, trail organizations with discuss experiences and management strategies for increased use in trails

August 2023 (Date TBD)

USDA Saw Program Update

Experts from the U.S. Forest Service will provide an update about new policy that impacts the USDA Saw Program

November 2023 (Date TBD)

Emergency Response Resources

More details coming soon

Past Presentations

April 2022

Pacific Crest Trail Association’s Saw Program:Challenges and Successes

On April 13th, 2022 staff at Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) presented about the successes and challenges of the Pacific Crest Trail Saw Program. The National Chainsaw and Crosscut Saw Program Manager with the USDA Forest Service joined the discussion. Watch the recording here

February 2022

Appalachian Trail Facility Asset Management & Project Planning

On February 8th, 2022 Keith Stegall, the Facility Manager of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST) with the National Park Service presented about how the ANST has utilized the Facility Management Software System (FMSS). FMSS is a database where NPS contains its facility asset portfolio. Additionally, we learned about how ANST has utilized capital planning (the internal created partner project development system), PMIS (the NPS project request system), cooperative and task agreements (how NPS moves funding over to Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) to implement the projects), and about the how-to guide ATC has developed for collecting data for FMSS. Watch the recording here

 

Volunteer Program Working Group

The Volunteer Program Working Group is intended for program managers/directors to share and discuss priority topics relating to volunteer management. This forum meets quarterly on the third Wednesday of the month.

Meeting Schedule

January 18, 2023

3:00pm ET

Open Discussion

April 19, 2023

3:00pm ET

Topic TBD

July 19, 2023

3:00pm ET

Topic TBD

October 18, 2023

3:00pm ET

Topic TBD

January 17, 2024

3:00pm ET

Topic TBD

Past Discussion Topics
  • Volunteer experience/process when signing up
  • Volunteer experience/process after volunteering
  • What information about the volunteer and process is collected by each trail organization
  • DEI initiatives of different organizations
  • COVID vaccine mandates for volunteers
  • How has GAOA has been impacting organizations and volunteer programs
  • Corps Programs: Are certain volunteer opportunities being taken away? How can we keep volunteers engaged when others are being paid? – Interactions between volunteers and crew members – cross generational volunteer contact
  • Funding for projects through corps crews or Catch a Fire
  • Informal volunteerism (volunteer vs good citizen) – when is documentation required or needed? Youth volunteer policy – when is a background check required
  • Single identity work parties and inclusive volunteer events
  • Tracking of volunteer trainings and certifications
  • update about ATC’s reinvestment in trainings

 

Small Shop Roundtable 

The Small Shop Forum was created in May of 2022 out of a need for member organizations that are all volunteer run or who have very few staff to have a space to improve their capacity by coming together to collaborate on shared priorities, and to develop strategies, share resources, knowledge and experience with one another. This group meets quarterly.

This group will focus on 3 keys issues during 2023

  • Capacity building
  • Education
  • Voice elevation within Partnership & within trail agencies

Meeting Schedule

February 7, 2023

3:00pm ET

Open Discussion

June, 2023

3:00pm ET

Topic TBD

October, 2023

3:00pm ET

Topic TBD

February, 2024

3:00pm ET

Topic TBD

 

Next Generation Roundtable 

The Next Generation Roundtable was originally intended for both organizational professionals and next generation folks. Organizations with existing next generation programs and those that are interested in starting a next generation program are welcome to join this roundtable. This group planned to explore topics such as program structure, empowering youth through decision-making and advisory roles, recruitment, ongoing engagement, program evaluation, and more. It will feature discussions led by both next-generation program participants and organizational professionals while providing opportunities to learn, share, and network.

A relaunch of this roundtable is coming in 2023, where Next Generation professionals will be the leaders and main participants of this roundtable.