Fall Virtual Workshop Updates and PNTS New Address!  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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

  • Advocacy Update: President Signs Great American Outdoors Act
  • PNTS Announces New Washington, D.C. Office Number and Mailing Address
  • Share Your Input for the Virtual Fall National Trails Workshop: October 21-29, 2020
  • Trail Apprentice Program Application Deadline: September 11th
  • Upcoming September Webinars
  • PNTS Publishes Summer Pathways Across America 
  • Trails Community Resources: COVID-19, Diversity and Inclusion, Forum
  • Carin Farley is New BLM National Trails Program Lead
  • Funding and Award Opportunities: NPF Capacity Building Grant and NWSA Wilderness Awards
  • Trails Enrich Your Community

Advocacy Update

The President signed the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) into law on August 4, 2020, thus fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund starting in Fiscal Year 2021 (which begins October 1, 2020) and establishing an annual expenditure of dedicated funds to address deferred maintenance needs on Federal lands over a five-year timeframe, also starting in FY21. The implementation clock started ticking immediately after enactment, beginning with a 90-day period during which the Federal agencies are expected to prepare and send to Congress specific project lists identifying how the first year of funding for both LWCF and deferred maintenance would be spent. The Partnership is engaged with our Federal agency partners on the GAOA implementation effort and will remain attentive to any developments as it moves forward in the coming months.  Working with our member organizations and NGO partners, we want to make sure we identify opportunities through GAOA to further trail protection and improvements.

Congress has been on “recess” over the past several weeks and is slated to return on September 14. Congress needs to finalize the FY21 appropriations bills that include funding for agency budgets including trail administration, construction, and maintenance, but given that it is a major election year it is unlikely final action will occur until after November 3. So, we wait.


Update the Partnership's New Mailing Address and Office Number

PNTS Executive Director Valerie Rupp (valerie@pnts.org), who officially started her new position on August 17th, will establish the Partnership’s new office in Washington, D.C. in September. This outstanding location is close to several peer organization offices, such as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Outdoor Afro, and The Wilderness Society, as well as Capitol Hill, Federal agency partners, legislators, and our traditional Hike the Hill meeting location at the Washington Plaza Hotel. Please promptly update our office phone number to 202-963-2910 and our mailing address:

Partnership for the National Trails System
1615 M St. NW, Second Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036


Workshop themes:

  • Expanding Partnerships Within and Beyond Trail Corridors
  • Advancing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Increasing Capacity Through Organizational Development

We Need Your Input for the Virtual Fall Trails Workshop

The Fall 2020 Workshop Committee has provided the following update regarding the Fall National Trails Training Workshop, being held virtually between October 21-29, 2020.

  • Homepage: The Virtual Workshop homepage is now available. We are still working to refine the program, including presentations, as well as other learning and networking opportunities. In the coming weeks, we will be adding additional details for the sessions. Sign up for email alerts here.
  • Registration: There will be two options for registration fee. A standard rate of $75 and a reduced rate of $25 for students and those who are economically challenged. Registrants will receive the access information to a website where they can sign up for individual sessions and receive the links. The registration fee covers all sessions except for sessions that have limited access.
  • Trail Organization Video: Has your trail organization created a trail video for a specific communication purpose? We are looking for 3 organizations to be part of this session who are willing to share and critique their video project. Please contact Liz Wessel at liz@pnts.org if you would like to be a part of this session.
  • Trail Trivia: Please submit your favorite trail trivia question(s) with answers to liz@pnts.org with “trail trivia” in the header by Monday, September 14th.
  • JEDI Workshop Survey: The PNTS Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) working group is in the process of planning a workshop series on JEDI Principles, Best Practices & Development for the PNTS 2020 Virtual Fall Workshop. In order to assess the landscape of JEDI influence and movement among our National Trails System, we are asking you to participate in completing a survey so that we can gather lessons learned and determine key discussion topics for the JEDI workshop series. Please complete this short Google form by Tuesday, September 15th. Thank you in advance for your participation and insight. 

Apply to be a Trail Apprentice

The Partnership for the National Trails System is looking for young leaders for its 2020 Trail Apprentice program. The program will include orientation and attendance at the Partnership's 2020 Virtual Fall Workshop October 21-29, 2020. In addition, we are currently looking at ways to extend the program virtually with mentoring and other opportunities.
The goal is to recruit 20 Trail Apprentices. Recruitment will include a variety of outreach, including federal partners, members, universities and colleges, and diversity and equity contacts and organizations -- and all of you! Please share the Trail Apprentice website and registration link with anyone you think might be interested. The deadline to apply for the Trail Apprentice program is September 11th, 2020


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 spring, this has included dozens of COVID-19 and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion related webinars and virtual town hall meetings. Some recordings are also available.

Upcoming Webinars

Tribal Tourism and Park Conservation
September 2nd at 3PM EDT
Hosted by the National Park Service as part of the Connected Conservation webinar series.

Successful Partnerships of the Last Decade
September 3rd at 2-3:30PM EDT
Hosted by the National Forest Foundation.

Qualifying the Healthcare Cost Savings of Outdoor Recreation
September 8th at 12PM EDT
Hosted by SHIFT as part of the Health and Nature Webinar Series.

Effective Wayfinding Signage: Trail System Planning, Design, and Implementation
September 10th at 1-2:30PM EDT
Hosted by American Trails.

Public Land Stewardship and Climate Change
September 15th at 3PM EDT
Hosted by National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.


We are very aware that many of you are not in your offices where the magazine normally is mailed. Please sign up for an email notice for Pathways HEREWe will make sure that you get an email letting you know when upcoming magazines are available online. This will help us lower costs on undeliverable magazines and ensure that you still get the information from the trails. Thank you for letting us know!

Summer Pathways is Online

The cover story of our Summer issue of Pathways Across America is "Preserving the legacy of voting rights: Interpretive center opens 55 years after Selma to Montgomery March," which you can read hereThis issue of Pathways was already in print before we learned of the passing of civil rights icons Rep. John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian on July 17th. The Partnership joins the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in sharing these sentiments and articles in remembrance of their lives: "Today, we learned of the unfortunate passing of Reverend C.T. Vivian. He was a pioneer and icon of the Civil Rights Movement. May his legacy continue to live on forever. It brings us immense sadness to say our goodbyes to Congressman John Lewis. He was a civil-rights icon and a great friend to the National Park Service. Thank you for your service to this world."

Other articles feature the Virtual CDT Trail DaysLewis and Clark Trail research grant, retired National Trails System partners, and Ice Age Trail land protection case studies.


Trails Community Resources

The Partnership for the National Trails System provides free tools to the trails community, including COVID-19 updates, diversity and inclusion resources, and a forum where partners can discuss a wide range of topics -- such as trail planning, programming, policies, volunteerism, and outreach. If you would like something shared to these pages, please email Samantha Haas, PNTS Communications Coordinator, at communication@pnts.org. Learn more.

PNTS has been compiling national scenic and historic trail organization responses to COVID-19, guidelines, policies, event cancellations, related news articles, and resources.

Pictured above: The Outdoor Industry Association published an article about data that shows an "Increase in Outdoor Activities Due to COVID-19." This monthly data will be rolled into a full-year participation study to be published in 2021. The annual study starts with a nationally representative panel of over 1 million Americans and features responses from over 18,000 people ages 6 and older. 

Since June, PNTS has been compiling diversity and inclusion tools for allies, recent statements, and points of view to help us all become more aware, informed, and better equipped to take action. Please join us.

Pictured above: Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World,” produced by The Centre for Global Inclusion in 2017, explores benchmarks for organizations to use to gauge their efforts/performance and work in the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion space. The Centre has also produced these User Tools available for free download.


Carin Farley is BLM Trail Lead

Carin Farley (cfarley@blm.gov) began her new position as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Scenic and Historic Trail Program Lead on August 30th. The position was formerly held by Kevin Keeler in an acting role after Deb Salt retired in February 2020. Carin has served in a two-year detail as the Chief Ranger for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. From her time on the AT and working with the Continental Divide Trail as Monument Manager, she understands the complexities of the National Trails System, as well as the extraordinary opportunity to connect all people to our public lands through trails. She is a single mom to a 5-year-old daughter, and they are looking forward to this next adventure. Welcome Carin!


Funding and Award Opportunities 

Capacity Building Grant

The National Park Foundation (NPF) is excited to launch a Request for Proposals to help build the organizational capacity of national park partner organizations through the Strong Parks, Strong Communities initiative (SPSC). SPSC is a public-private partnership between NPF, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Friends Alliance. As the state of park philanthropy is continually challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an opportunity for you to design your own plan for building organizational capacity. Grant requests may not exceed $25,000; only one request per organization will be accepted

Application Deadline: Wednesday, September 9th

Wilderness Awards

The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance in partnership with the Society of Wilderness Stewardship is pleased to announce the creation of the National Wilderness Stewardship Awards. This awards program will allow organizations and partners to nominate a steward, organization, or Federal land agency whom they feel has demonstrated outstanding ability in the following categories: Wilderness Rising Leader AwardWilderness Stewardship Champion of the Year Award,Wilderness Stewardship Organization of the Year AwardWilderness Agency Partner of the Year Award. Awards will be presented at the National Wilderness Workshop this October.

Nominations Due: Wednesday, September 30th


Trails Enrich Your Community

Are you curious about the area where you live or when you visit a new place? You can learn about the geography, history and culture of the people that settled an area by exploring local trails — and some of these trails may be part of the National Trails System! Trails enrich your community. Help the Partnership for the National Trails System continue its collaborative work with a gift of $50, $100, $250 or more.

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 scenic and historic trail stewards work together with communities to put the trails on local maps and find creative ways to tell the trails’ stories. We thank you!


Upcoming Events:

SORP National Outdoor Recreation Conference (Virtual) • September 14 - October 23, 2020
NPS Interprecon 2020 (Virtual) • September 15-16, 2020 
National Public Lands Day • September 26, 2020

National Wilderness Workshop (Virtual) • October 9-16, 2020
SHIFT Summit (Virtual) • October 14-16, 2020

National Trails Workshop (Virtual) • October 21-29, 2020
National Recreation and Park Association Conference (Virtual) • October 27-29, 2020

view all 


In The News:
Webinar: Anti-Racism in our National Parks
Video: Bridging the Cultural Divide (NPS)
Opinion: Fleeing the Trolls for the Grizzly Bears (PNT)
Butterfield Overland Trail Heads Toward Historic Status

Couple Retracing the Oregon Trail
Voluntary Stewardship Agreement to Advance A.T. Conservation
Why America's National Scenic Trails Matter More Than Ever
David Vela Out as NPS Acting Director, Margaret Everson to Take Over
Book Review: Barney Scout Mann's PCT Memoir Among the Best of the Genre
Arizona Trail Association Promotes "Keep It Grand"
BLM Cancels Plans to Auction 85,000 Acres Around Moab
Colorado tree selected for Christmas at US Capitol


Job Postings:

Coronavirus is affecting seasonal hiring across the country. Contact the organization you wish to work for directly in order to determine their hiring process.
Data Entry Specialist • North Country 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 communication@pnts.org.


Partnership for the National Trails System
1615 M St NW, Second Floor,  | Washington, District of Columbia  20036
202-963-2910 | admin@pnts.org