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In this edition:

  • Advocacy and LWCF Updates
  • Hike the Hill
  • Upcoming Webinars
  • Trails Community Resources
  • Scholarships, Grants, Awards, and Other Opportunities
  • Recreate Responsibly: Winter Guidelines
  • PNTS Matching Gift Still Available!
  • Upcoming Events
  • In the News
  • Job Postings

Advocacy Update

COVID Relief Package and Omnibus Appropriations Bill: On a 359-53 vote in the House and a 92-6 vote in the Senate, Congress passed a  $1.4 trillion government funding package and a $900 billion COVID-relief package that secures federal agency operations through September 2021 and provides pandemic aid to Americans. The President signed the measure into law on December 27th.

A primary highlight is the first-ever full funding of $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as required by the Great American Outdoors Act. Of this, $405 million is for federal land acquisitions and $495 million for financial assistance to states grants programs and other non-federal programs.

More information about the spending package, including bill text and detailed explanations are available on the websites for both the House and the Senate Committees on Appropriations.


Please direct your questions or comments to: Tyler Ray - and, or Liz Wessel

Hike the Hill 2021 - Save the Dates

We hope you will join us March 8-26, 2021 for Virtual Hike the Hill 2021®! Registration and tentative schedule will be available in the second week of January.

Now in its 24th year, Hike the Hill® is a joint effort between the American Hiking Society and the Partnership for the National Trails System to bring together the trails community to advance shared trail priorities with congressional and federal agency leaders including: trails funding, public lands management, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), and other top priority issues that sustain trails and improve access to public lands.

We are designing a tentative schedule to maximize planning and participation virtually that will occur on select afternoons (2pm-5pm EST) over a three week period. Plan to join us for briefings on the top trail issues before Congress and federal agencies, learn more about how to advocate for trails, hear from federal partners and agency leaders, meet with your Member of Congress (scheduled on your own), meet with the staff of select Congressional Committees, and network with other trail organizations and enthusiasts.


In addition to webinars hosted by the Partnership for the National Trails System, we share additional webinars hosted by other organizations. 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

Making Meaningful Spaces: A Brief Survey of Integrative Active Transportation
Thursday January 21st, 10-11 AM PT, virtual
Hosted by American Trails

Brownfields to Trails: Steps to Success
Thursday January 28th, 10-11:30 AM PT, virtual
Hosted by American Trails


Scholarships, Grants, Awards, and Other Opportunities

  • U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Advisory Group: Inquire to Kelly Pearson by January 6, 2021
    • The Advisory Group is exploring ideas for managing first time wilderness users during the pandemic. Members of the Welcome to Wilderness Team are soliciting your new ideas or existing current content for priority messaging to help inform visitors as they plan their visit to designated wilderness for the first time. Priority messaging includes: Ethics, Behavior and Impacts on the Wilderness Resource; Wilderness Awareness, Wilderness Values; Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. The intent is to integrate and share out positive messaging with partners and groups using social media.
  • National Forest Foundation 2021 Matching Awards Program: Round 1 Due January 13, 2021

NEW: How Outdoor Companies Can Back Up Their DEI Pledges (September 2020) by Kai Lightner, who shares his experiences as a Black professional climber and maps out how the outdoor community can build successful diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

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. 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. If you would like something shared to these pages, please email


Recreate Responsibly

Are you in the know for snow? Winter is a beautiful time, but with the new season comes new challenges and safety considerations to take into account. The Recreate Responsibly Coalition wants everyone to be able to enjoy this incredible time of year and to stay safe while doing it. Check out these tips to gauge your winter safety awareness, and do your research to #RecreateResponsibly.


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!

Matching Gift Still Available!

Help us match the challenge made by several generous donors. Make a gift before the end of the year and your gift will be doubled (2X) up to a total of $5,000.

Today, you can make a difference with a gift to the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS). PNTS will help its members prepare for post pandemic opportunities to provide youth programming. And the Partnership will continue to serve as a collective voice for the National Trails System and as a hub of information.

Now, more than ever, we need that voice and those connections. And we need you! Help the Partnership with an end of year gift that will help launch our 2021 work. Together we will champion the National Trails System.
Thank you for your generosity!


Upcoming Events:

Outdoor Retailer Winter Online (various dates) •  January 6 - March 19, 2021
Public Lands Alliance Virtual Convention and Trade Show • February 9-12, 2021
Outdoor Classroom series, Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance  •  February 2 & April 6, 2021
Professional Trail Builders Association Sustainable Trails Conference • March 7-13, 2021
Hike the Hill ® Virtual  • March 8-26, 2021
Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators Virtual Conference • March 22-23, 2021
River Management Symposium • May 18-21, 2021
38th Annual Oregon-California Trails Association Convention • September 12-16, 2021
Trails & Outdoor Recreation Summit (ITS) • September 13-17, 2021
Santa Fe Trail Association Symposium (200th Anniversary) • September 23-26, 2021


In The News:

Every Day that the National Parks Are Free in 2021
2021 First Day Hikes
New Protections for McAfee Knob, Appalachian Trail Access
Nez Perce Tribe reclaims 148 acres of ancestral land in Eastern Oregon


Job Postings:

VARIOUS POSITIONS • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
San Luis Valley Volunteer and Partnership Coordinator •  Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Seasonal Field Projects Coordinator •  Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Ancestral Lands Associate Director  • Conservation Legacy
VARIOUS POSITIONS & TRAINING  • Maine Conservation Corps
Stewards VISTA - PNTS Program Coordinator • Partnership for the National Trails System


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
1615 M St NW, Second Floor,  | Washington, District of Columbia  20036
202-963-2910 |