Working Groups/Roundtables

Roundtables and Working Groups bring together PNTS members and partners to share resources, learn together, and discuss successes and challenges of 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 if you would like to get involved with a PNTS roundtable or working group.


Trail Operations Forum

Overview: 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.

Meeting Schedule: This group meets every other month. Meeting schedule: August 23, 2022; October 25, 2022; December 20, 2022; February 21, 2023

Upcoming Events: Upcoming presentations and topics will include Emergency Response Resources in the summer, and Management Strategies for Increased Use in Trails: User Conflict & Overuse in the fall of 2022.

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.

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.


Next Generation Roundtable: A discussion forum for program managers and the next generation

Overview: The Next Generation Roundtable is 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 plans 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.

Meeting Schedule:  This group meets quarterly. 2021-2022 Meeting Schedule: August 25, 2022; November 22, 2022; February 23, 2023


Volunteer Program Working Group

Overview: The Volunteer Program Working Group meetings consist of featured presentations of projects and/or programs by members about their work with volunteers followed by discussion and Q&A. This group has explored topics such as the impact of COVID on volunteerism and procedures; volunteer onboarding and training; driving and personal vehicles; volunteer injury; retaining volunteers; working with youth; volunteer experience from sign up to end of project; volunteer reporting processes; databases and volunteer management platforms; and more. This group will continue to discuss successes and challenges associated with priority volunteerism topics.

Meeting Schedule:  This group meets quarterly.

2022 Meeting Schedule: January 19, 2022; April 20, 2022; July 20, 2022; October 19, 2022

2023 Meeting Schedule: January 18, 2023; April 19, 2023; July 19, 2023; October 18, 2023