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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
March 8, 2023
Trail User Conflict & Crowding
A presenter from the Interagency Visitor Use Management Council will discuss council VUM framework and related guidance. *The recording is now available below under past presentations.
April 4, 2023
USDA Saw Program Update
Experts from the U.S. Forest Service will provide an update about new policy that impacts the USDA Saw Program. *The recording is now available below under past presentations.
May 23, 2023
Trail User Conflict & Crowding
After attending the March session with the IVUMC, trail organizations with discuss experiences and management strategies for increased use in trails
July 11, 2023
Communication Tools for Remote Trail Crews
Discussion about the communication tools that remote trail crews use and what is provide to them by federal agency partners
Emergency Response Resources
More details coming soon
USDA Forest Service Saw Program Updates
On April 4th, 2023, Pete Duncan, the National Saw Program Manager with the Forest Service, shared about the most recent Forest Service Saw Program updates. Watch the recording here
Interagency Visitor Use Management Council Overview & Guidance
On March 8th, 2023, Maureen Finnerty, the Visitor Use Management Project Manager with the National Park Service, presented about the Interagency Visitor Use Management (VUM) Council framework and related guidance. Watch the recording here
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
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.
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 2023/2024
- Capacity building
- Voice elevation within Partnership & within trail agencies
Hike the Hill 2023 reflection & workshop schedule input
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.