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

  • Congressional and Land & Water Conservation Fund Updates
  • Upcoming Webinars: March 10th and April 4th
  • Gary Werner Retires as PNTS Executive Director 
  • Winter 'Trail Highlights' Issue of Pathways, Gold Sheet, State of the Trails Report
  • Spring and Fall National Trails Workshop Topics Announced 
  • Funding, Scholarship, and Award Opportunities
  • We Need Your Help to Bridge the Gaps in the National Trails System

Testifying on a panel with a focus on the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other trail issues are, from left, Kate Van Waes, AHS (starting at 48:45); Amanda Wheelock, CDTC (starting at 53:55); Kathy DeCoster, PNTS (starting at 58:30).

Congressional and LWCF Update

On Febuary 6, the Partnership for the National Trails System was invited to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, chaired by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), along with other trail advocates like the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and the American Hiking Society. Just a few days later, PNTS and AHS co-sponsored the annual "Hike the Hill" advocacy days from February 9-13, which brought more than 120 advocates to Capitol Hill making visits to hundreds of congressional offices and several federal agencies important to trails. On February 10, the Fiscal Year 2021 President's budget was released, providing a counterpoint to our Hike the Hill messages by once again virtually eliminating LWCF and otherwise reducing funding for trails and recreation. PNTS and other trail advocates are countering these proposals by working with members of Congress on marshaling support for increases in trails funding and LWCF through "Dear Colleague" letters to Chair McCollum and the House appropriations subcommittee.


From left: Barney Mann and RG Absher present a quilt of the 30 national scenic and historic trails to Gary Werner during his retirement celebration.

Happy Trails, Gary Werner!

The Partnership for the National Trails System's founding executive director, Gary Werner, retired February 9, 2020 at the start of Hike the Hill in Washington, D.C. Thank you to the dozens of trail nonprofit partners, Federal partners, and friends who attended the celebration in his honor, as well as the Pacific Crest Trail Association and American Hiking Society for collaborating to organize the event. In Gary's words, "I really do think this is a celebration of us as a community. And the kind of kindness that you're displaying toward me tonight is simply a recognition of the kind of kindness and dedication and generosity you all give every single day to what you're doing. And I honor you and applaud you for doing that. We're all part of this together and we're going to continue together, it's just that I'll be in a different role. And we have very good people working to come along after me to make that progress."

Feel inspired? If you would like to make a donation to support the work of the PNTS in honor of Gary Werner, please use this link.

What's next for PNTS? The Transition Task Force will continue to update the trails community here.


PNTS End of Year Publications

Our Pathways Across America Winter 2019-2020 "Trail Highlights" issue is now available online (expanded content coming soon). This electronic publication highlights the accomplishments of our National Trails System partners in 2019. You can also access digital versions of our Gold Sheet of NTS partners' volunteer and private contributions here and our 2019 State of the Trails report here


Workshop Topics Announced

Join fellow staff, volunteers, and agency partners for the 2020 National Trails Workshops (previously scenic and historic trail workshops). Proposed workshop topics can be viewed on this webpage, and additional information will be posted as available. In the meantime, please send your questions to the contacts below for each workshop.

Spring Workshop – Ghost Ranch (Abiquiu), NM

Dates: May 18-21, 2020
Contact: Jackie Horne, Continental Divide Trail Coalition,, 303.996.2759

Fall Workshop – Spartanburg, SC

Dates: October 26-30, 2020 (travel days Oct. 26* and 30, with *Monday evening welcome reception)
Contact: RG Absher, Overmountain Victory Trail Association,, 336.902.1760


Funding, Scholarship, and Award Opportunities 

Catalyst Fund

The purpose of the Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund is to accelerate the pace of conservation at scale across the United States through targeted support of collaborative Landscape Conservation. The Catalyst Fund will distribute approximately $335,000 in funding this year through competitive grants to Landscape Conservation Partnerships that are poised for catalytic growth as they move from collective vision to collective action. A portion of the Catalyst Fund is reserved specifically for Indigenous-led Partnerships working to advance Indigenous landscape conservation priorities.  

Pre-proposal Deadline: 9PM ET Friday, March 13th

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 American Hiking Society, American Trails, Back Country Horsemen of America, International Mountain Bicycling Association, National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, 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, March 30th


We Need Your Help!

Maybe you have experienced an abrupt trail ending at a road with no way forward or wished that the story of the trail you were on could be brought to life in real time. That’s why we need your help. There are real gaps in the national scenic and historic trails on the ground and in the management resources that impact your trail experience. Please consider a generous gift to help bridge the gaps in our work.

Donations to the Partnership for the National Trails System will help us complete and sustain the National Trails System. Your tax-deductible 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:

Public Lands Alliance Convention and Trade Show • March 1-5, 2020
Professional Trail Builders Association Sustainable Trails Conference • March 15-21, 2020
PAEE/PRPS Joint Conference and Expo • March 17-20, 2020
Ice Age Trail Alliance Annual Conference • April 23-26, 2020
American Planning Association National Planning Conference • April 25-28, 2020
SORP National Outdoor Recreation Conference • April 27-30, 2020
River Management Symposium • May 12-15, 2020
National Trails Workshop - New Mexico • May 18-21, 2020
National Pony Express Association's Annual Re-Ride • June 3-13, 2020
Professional Trail Builders Association Sustainable Trails Conference • March 15-21, 2020

National Trails Day • June 6, 2020
North Country Trail Association Celebration • August 5-8, 2020
National Wilderness Workshop • October 13-16, 2020

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


In The News:

First known Mexican national finishes the Triple Crown
Video: Twenty & Odd (NPS video for Black History Month)
U.S. Forest Service 10-Year Trail Shared Stewardship Challenge
Trail Intern Grant Recipient Lands Full-Time Position


Job Postings:


ACE Bicentennial Fellow, Santa Fe NHT • American Conservation Experience
Land Stewardship Technician - New England • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Team Leader • Boulder Youth Corps
Trail Stewardship Leader • Colorado Mountain Club
Trail Crew Leader • Connecticut Forest and Park Association

Executive Director • Florida Trail Association
Gateway Communities Coordinator • Florida Trail Association

Trail Crew Member and Leader • Friends of Nevada Wilderness
AmeriCorps VISTA • Ice Age Trail Alliance
Field Team Member - Trails • Maine Conservation Corps   
Trail Builder • New York - New Jersey Trail Conference
Trail Crew Technical Advisor - California • Pacific Crest Trail Association
Wilderness Specialists • Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards

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 |