News of the past month and what's ahead
In this edition:

  • PNTS Board Announcement: Executive Director Transition
  • Congressional and Land & Water Conservation Fund Updates
  • Upcoming PNTS Webinar: March 12, 2019*
  • Hike the Hill 2019 Recap*
  • Winter 2018-19 'Trail Highlights' Issue of Pathways  
  • Government Relations Webinar: March 7, 2019
  • AHS Volunteer Vacations Applications Open
  • Funding, Scholarship, and Award Opportunities

* Links and times have been updated


PNTS Executive Director Gary Werner announced his forthcoming retirement at the Board and TLC meetings during Hike the Hill. Photo Credit: Deloris Gray Wood

PNTS Executive Director Transition

Gary Werner has announced that he will be stepping down as Executive Director of the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) and retiring from full-time work early in 2020. Werner, who has served as PNTS Executive Director since 1991, made the announcement on February 9th at the PNTS Board and Trail Leaders Council meetings. Werner recited a promise he'd made to his wife, that as she retired, he would too. This transition has been anticipated for some time. Werner reminded the Board he'd mentioned it five years beforehand. This transition was an "Action Step" for 2019 in the Partnership's 2017-to-2019 Strategic Plan. An Executive Transition Taskforce has been established and is chaired by immediate-past-president Liz Bergeron.


Congress Completes Funding for Agencies Through Fiscal 2019; Senate and House Reauthorize LWCF and Pass National Trails Route Adjustments

On February 12th (Charles Darwin's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays) the United States Senate passed  S. 47 – Natural Resources Management Act – by the hugely bipartisan vote of 92-8. This Omnibus Public Lands Bill includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and authorization of the North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment Act and the Eastern Legacy Extension of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, among many provisions. On February 26th, the United States House of Representatives also passed S. 47 by an equally huge bipartisan vote of 363-62. The House also added the title John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act to the act in honor of the Michigan Congressman, longest serving member of the House, who recently more


PNTS/NWSA Webinar: March 12

Title: Long Distance Trails in Wilderness
Presenters: Andrew Downs, Appalachian Trail Conservancy; Teresa Martinez, Continental Divide Trail Coalition; Jennifer Tripp, Pacific Crest Trail Association; Ian Nelson, Pacific Crest Association; Chelsea Bodamer, Partnership for the National Trails System
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 12th at 3PM EST
Overview: Work with National Scenic and Historic Trail System Partners to expand volunteer opportunities with long distance trail partners. This webinar is being held in partnership with the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.


PNTS Board President Barney Scout Mann (standing at left) shows U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen (seated at center) the compass of Benton MacKaye, the "Father of the Appalachian Trail," during a Hike the Hill meeting. Photo Credit: Chelsea Bodamer.

Hike the Hill 2019 Recap

More than 100 people representing nearly 40 trail organizations from throughout the country traveled to Washington, D.C. for the 22nd Hike the Hill® from February 10-14, 2019. During this joint effort between the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) and the American Hiking Society (AHS), we met with leaders of the Federal land management agencies, congressional staff, and members of Congress to discuss the opportunities for and the threats facing our National Trails System. Learn about the main issues and pieces of legislation discussed, as well as the passage of S.47, in our full blog post in the link below.


Trail Highlights Issue of Pathways

Our Pathways Across America Winter 2018-2019 "Trail Highlights" issue is now available online. This electronic publication highlights the accomplishments of our National Trails System partners in 2018. You can also access digital versions of our Gold Sheet of NTS partners' volunteer and private contributions here and our first State of the Trails report here


Government Relations Webinar: March 7

Title: Government Relations: Best Practices for Park Partners
Presenters: Rebecca Bear, REI; Julie Judkins and Lynn Davis, Appalachian Trail Conservancy; Stephanie Clement, Friends of Acadia; Jason Rano, National Park Foundation
Date and Time: Thursday, March 7th at 2:30 PM EST
Overview: The National Park Foundation will host a free webinar for park partners on best practices for building relationships with members of Congress and their staff, how to communicate the importance and value of parks with leaders, and other topics related to government relations.

Register by 6 PM ET March 4th


Register for AHS Volunteer Vacations

Join American Hiking Society for a week of building and maintaining trails in exciting and diverse locations across the country. Volunteer Vacations foster public land stewardship and provide volunteers the opportunity to give back to the trails they love, meet new people, and have a great time doing it. The 2019 schedule is now live, and trips fill up fast!


Funding, Scholarship, and Award Opportunities

Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund

The Network for Landscape Conservation (NLC) is pleased to announce the launch of a major five-year national grant program to accelerate the pace and practice of collaborative conservation at the landscape scale, with a specific focus on building capacity for partnerships. The RFP announcement will be made March 1st.

Emerging Leaders Program

The Center for Jackson Hole announced that applications for the 2019 Emerging Leaders Program are now open. The program prepares a diverse group of outdoor recreationists, ages 21-30, to help engage in discussions critical to the protection of public lands at the SHIFT Festival and beyond. Participants will be announced by May 31st.


Make a Difference

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us complete and sustain the National Trails System. Your contribution will help us to protect land and resources along the national scenic and historic trail routes, enable us to educate the next generation of trail stewards and users, and support the work of citizen stewards who build and maintain these trails.


Upcoming Events:

OCTA Spring Symposium • March 15-16, 2019
Professional Trail Builders Sustainable Trails Conference • March 17-23, 2019
Ice Age Trail Alliance Conference • April 11-14, 2019
2019 International Trails Symposium • April 28-May 1, 2019
North Country Trail Association Celebration • May 2-5, 2019

Georgia Trail Summit • May 5-6, 2019
Santa Fe Trail Association Symposium • September 25-28, 2019
view all 


In The News:

Congress Sends Trump Lands Bill That Would Protect More Than 2 Million Acres
Congress Voted to Protect Millions of Acres of Public Land
Five Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive
What's in the Natural Resources Management Act
Sen. Hirono Secures Important Hawai'i Priorities
County Path from Moosalamoo to Champlain Could Link Two Major National Trails   
Lasting Impact of Shutdown on Continental Divide Trail

Exploring the History of the Pacific Crest Trail


Job Postings:

Natural Resource and Land Stewardship Manager • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Executive Director • Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

Field Crew Leader • Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Trail Crew • Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail
News from the Plains Editor • Oregon-California Trail Association
Trail Crew Leaders • Pacific Northwest Trail Association
view all


Do you have an upcoming event, news story, or job posting that is not listed above?
Send us an e-mail at


Partnership for the National Trails System
304 E Wilson St, Lower Level,  | Madison, Wisconsin  53703
608-249-7870 |

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