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 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

December 12, 2023

3:00-4:00pm ET

Communication Tools for Remote Crews & Emergency Response

Join us on Tuesday, December 12th at 3:00 PM ET for a virtual discussion with both trail nonprofit and agency professionals about communication tools for remote trail crews and emergency response.

The purpose is for attendees to learn about what is being done in other places, discuss challenges, and explore solutions together.  

Register here

Past Presentations

April 2023

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 

March 2023

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

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.

2024 Schedule

January 17, 2024

3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern

Volunteer Recruitment 

  • Strategies/actions for diversifying the volunteer community generally
  • Working with intact groups
  • Promoting volunteer opportunities: success Share – places and messages

Info Shares Expected from American Hiking Society, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, among others

April 17, 2024

3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern

Volunteer Retention

  • Advancing volunteers from “regular” volunteers into leadership roles.
  • Setting expectations for leaders around Equity, diversity and inclusion

Info shared expected from Florida Trail Association, American Hiking Society, Appalachian mountain club

July 18, 2024

3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern

Volunteer Training

  • Maintainer training: How is this handled at different organizations
  • Training Field leaders

Info shares expected from Buckeye Trail Assn and North Country Trail Association, Ice Age Trail Alliance



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
  • Education
  • Voice elevation within Partnership & within trail agencies

Meeting Schedule

May 2, 2023

2:00pm ET

Hike the Hill 2023 reflection & workshop schedule input

September 5, 2023

2:00pm ET

Topic TBD

January 2, 2024

2:00pm ET

Topic TBD

May 7, 2024

2:00pm 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.

2024 National Trails Workshop Call for Proposals Open