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

  • Congressional and Land & Water Conservation Fund Updates
  • Fall National Trails Workshop Proposals Due May 15th
  • Help Spread the Word: PNTS Seeks New Executive Director
  • Upcoming May Webinars
  • COVID-19 Updates for National Trails
  • Nonprofit and Federal Agency Partner Input Opportunities
  • Funding, Scholarship, and Award Opportunities
  • We Are Putting Trails On the Map and Into Your Home!

It is still possible to secure cosponsors of S. 3422, The Great American Outdoors Act, to maintain momentum for when Congress meets again. Click below to tell your Senators to support the act.

Congressional and LWCF Update

Much has changed in the halls of Congress – and, indeed, all around the nation – since our last newsletter update from Washington, D.C. The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic havoc that has gripped many parts of the country have been the sole focus of recent Congressional action, with passage of four different bills to address some of the immediate financial needs of individuals and small businesses. It may be that additional economic stimulus legislation – possibly in the form of infrastructure investments – will be considered by Congress in the coming weeks, but at this writing what happens next in Congress is uncertain. 

When we last reported on Congressional actions, the focus was on S. 3422, The Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan legislative package to jointly address both full and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and a dedicated fund to address backlog maintenance needs in our national parks, forests, and other public lands.

The Partnership for the National Trails System has been working with other organizations to position outdoor recreation and public lands, including the National Trails System, as a critical part of a national economic recovery effort. PNTS sent a letter to Congressional leaders in late March requesting attention to trails and associated local communities in any COVID-19 response, and along with many other organizations has continued to urge Congress to include the outdoor recreation economy and public lands in its stimulus plans. The question now is when that might happen.


Call for Proposals: Due 5/15

The Overmountain Victory Trail Association (OVTA) is planning to host the PNTS Fall National Trails Workshop in Spartanburg, South Carolina on October 26-30, 2020. This workshop is intended to serve the interests of both national scenic and historic trails. At this time, the Fall Workshop planning committee is very excited to seek your proposals for presentations. Plan B would be to implement this workshop virtually, so please note that the linked form will ask whether your presentation/session could be done virtually if the need arises. Please complete the request for proposals FORM linked here by May 15, 2020.

Last month, PNTS leadership made the difficult decision to cancel the Spring Workshop scheduled for May amid growing concerns of COVID-19. The Fall Workshop planning committee is very much aware of the coronavirus pandemic and limitations placed on travel and gatherings to protect the health and welfare of individuals and communities. We will continue to monitor this crisis very closely over the coming weeks. 


Help us Spread the Word!

The Partnership for the National Trails System seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial and visionary Executive Director to build on the organization’s 27-year legacy of accomplishments and guide its work to the next level of success. This position is based in the Washington, D.C. area and requires some national travel. The anticipated start date for the position is Fall 2020. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Salary range: $60,000-$75,000 plus healthcare benefits allowance. Please share this job position with your networks. To inquire about this opportunity, please contact Mary Stelletello, Principal, Vista Global Coaching & Consulting at To apply or nominate an individual, please send a cover letter and resume by email only to All correspondence will be held in the strictest confidence. No phone inquiries, please. 


The Partnership for the National Trails System will share additional webinars hosted by other organizations on its webinar page. Registration information and costs may vary. Since March, this has included dozens of COVID-19 related webinars and virtual town hall meetings. Some recordings are also available.

Upcoming Webinars

Citizen Science — Innovative Approaches to Engagement, Data Collection, and Management Support
May 12th at 3PM EDT
Hosted by the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance

Walking and Walkability in the Time of COVID-19: New Policies and Practices
May 13th at 1PM EDT
Hosted by America Walks

Common Ground: Shared Goals for the Trails and Health Communities
May 14th at 1-2:30PM EDT
Hosted by American Trails

Connecting the Appalachian Trail, Conservation Landscapes, and Communities 
May 20th at 3PM EDT
Hosted by the Network for Landscape Conservation


COVID-19 Updates for Trails

As you know, the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is evolving quickly. The Partnership for the National Trails System, to the best of its ability, will be posting updates to this webpage regarding national scenic and historic trail organization responses, guidelines, policies, event cancellations, related news articles, and resources. Please make sure to check social media or individual websites for up-to-date information, and contact the trail organizations and corresponding federal agencies directly if you have questions. If you would like something shared to this page, please email Samantha Haas, PNTS Communications Coordinator, at


Nonprofit and Federal Agency Partner Input Opportunities 

Trails Community Research Survey on the Impacts of COVID-19

In an effort to quantify the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the trails and outdoor recreation industry, American Trails is seeking data from its partners on the effects so far, and the potential effects moving into the coming years. Please take a few minutes to fill out this research survey.

BLM Seeks Public Comments

PNT Advisory Council Members

The U.S. Forest Service is soliciting nominations for volunteers interested in serving on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council.

  • Submit nominations by May 31st.
  • Tribes and Tribal organizations may submit nominations by June 30th.

Funding, Scholarship, and Award Opportunities 

Forest System Trail Funding

The National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding program is a collaboration of National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the U.S. Forest Service, with AHS, American Trails, BCHA, IMBA, NOHVCC, and the American Motorcyclist Association all participating in the rating and selection of projects. These program funds are provided to trail and stewardship organizations to improve trail maintenance on the National Forest System Trail System. 

Application Deadline: Monday, May 4th

NPS Challenge Cost Share

National Park Trust is partnering with the National Park Service on the FY20 NPS Challenge Cost Share Program, a funding opportunity intended to build collaborations between community project partners and the NPS. Applications MUST come from a NPS-administered area representative and nonprofit partner. The program will provide a total of $361,000 in funding to likely support 20 projects, which are required to have a 1-to-1 match from non-federal funds and in-kind support. 

Application Deadline: Friday, May 22nd

SHIFT Emerging Leaders

Early career leaders between the ages of 21 to 33 are encouraged to apply to the 2020 Emerging Leaders Program through SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow), which advances and promotes the importance of nature as a social determinant of health. This in turn gets at the heart of SHIFT's mission: to build a stronger argument for our natural world at a time of unprecedented threat.

Application Deadline: Sunday, May 24th

Matching Awards Program

The National Forest Foundation is pleased to announce that it is currently soliciting proposals for its Matching Awards Program (MAP). MAP is a national, competitive grant program that provides U.S. Forest Service federal funds for on-the-ground projects benefiting America's National Forests and Grasslands. A 1:1 non-federal match is required. 

Informational Webinar: Thursday, May 14th
Round 2 Deadline: Tuesday, June 9th


Help Bring More Trails to You!

Now more than ever we need our parks, natural areas, and trails. Together we can build and improve accessibility and put the national scenic and historic trails on the map and into your home! The founders of the National Trails System anticipated scenic drives and day trips as one of the main ways to access, enjoy, and appreciate the scenic landscapes and history of the country. But what they might not have anticipated was the need for virtual access too! Help bring more trails to you by making a gift of $50 to the Partnership for the National Trails System. Or if you prefer, spread your gift out with monthly payments of $5.

Donations to the Partnership for the National Trails System will help bring more trails, scenic and historic, to you. Your tax-deductible contribution will help us to create opportunities to explore your natural and historic heritage throughout America and support the work of citizen stewards who build and maintain these trails in your backyard. We thank you!


Upcoming Events:

National Pony Express Association's Annual Re-Ride • June 3-13, 2020
National Trails Day • June 6, 2020
North Country Trail Association Virtual Celebration • August 2020
SORP National Outdoor Recreation Conference • September 14-17, 2020
38th Annual OCTA Convention • September 19-23, 2020
Santa Fe Trail Center Rendezvous • September 24-26, 2020

National Wilderness Workshop • October 13-17, 2020
National Trails Workshop - South Carolina • October 26-30, 2020
view all 


In The News:

Five Reasons Trail Research Matters
Five Ways Forests Benefit Human Health
Event: Virtual Continental Divide Trail Days

Video: Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
We Need to Keep Wisconsin's Outdoor Spaces Clean

Video: Fridays With A Ranger
Adventure Book Club with Jennifer Pharr Davis
Digital Junior Ranger Sessions 
Southern California Section of the PCT Permanently Protected


Job Postings:

Communications and Graphic Design Contractor • Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Grant Contractor • Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Trail Crew Leader and Assistant • Pacific Crest Trail Association
Executive Director • Partnership for the National Trails System
Executive Director • Superior Hiking 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
306 E Wilson, Suite 2E,  | Madison, Wisconsin  53703
608-249-7870 |