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

  • Congressional and Land & Water Conservation Fund Updates
  • Upcoming Webinars: February 11th
  • PNTS Welcomes Karen Crossley and Kathy DeCoster
  • PNTS Awards 13 Intern Grants to National Scenic and Historic Trails
  • Hike the Hill: Last Chance to Register
  • Register for Gary Werner's Retirement Reception by February 3rd
  • National Trails Workshops Announced: May and October 2020 (note location change)
  • Funding, Scholarship, and Award Opportunities
  • We Need Your Help to Bridge the Gaps in the National Trails System

Congressional and LWCF Update

Work continues to convince Congress to vote on the LWCF Permanent Funding Act S.1081 and the companion House bill H.R.3195. These bills require annual appropriation of the full $900 million authorized for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). S.1081 is cosponsored by 50 Senators and H.R.3195 has 233 cosponsors. Over 170 democrat representatives supporting H.R.3195 have sent a letter urging Speaker Pelosi and House leaders to promptly bring the bill to a vote. Congress has only appropriated the full authorized $900 million for the LWCF several times over the 55 year history of this most important conservation program. If these bills become law, the authorized $900 million must be appropriated annually with 40% of the money allocated for land acquisition by Federal agencies, another 40% allocated to all the States by formula, and the remaining 20% to be allocated by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. A percentage of the Federal allocation would be directed toward increasing recreational access to public lands, such as acquiring land to close trail gaps.


Upcoming Webinars

Title: The Role of Volunteers in Today's Forest Service: What Should Volunteers Do/Not Do
Presenter: Kevin Cannon
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 11th at 3PM EST
Overview: Kevin Cannon, recently retired from the Forest Service, will talk about his experience working with volunteers in northern Colorado over the last 20 years. He plans to discuss things volunteers do very well, things that volunteers should not do, and tips to make volunteer experiences exceptional.
 Hosted by the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.


PNTS Leadership Update

Partnership supporters attending Hike the Hill activities in Washington, D.C. will see at least one new face and one very familiar face in a new role. Interim Executive Director Karen Crossley and Advocacy and Policy Director Kathy DeCoster started their new positions with the Partnership for the National Trails System, effective January 21, 2020, and will be active participants during Hike the Hill, February 8-13. “We are fortunate to have these two professionals joining the PNTS team during the crucial months ahead,” said Barney Mann, PNTS President. “Our members, agency partners, and affiliates can be confident that we are in capable hands.”


PNTS Awards 13 Intern Grants

The Partnership for the National Trails System, in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service, is pleased to announce grant recipients for their 2020 National Trails System Intern Grants. Thirteen grants totaling $129,899 were awarded in 2020. Each grant awarded was approximately $10,000. These grants will be matched with over $87,431 in partner non-Federal cash funds, $999,103 of in-kind contributions, and $145,987 in other Federal funds. These grant opportunities will help to strengthen the capacity of the organizations and agencies to help administer and manage the national scenic and historic trails. Click below to see the list of recipients.


Register for Hike the Hill

There is still time to register for Hike the Hill®, a joint effort between the Partnership for the National Trails System and the American Hiking Society, which will take place in Washington, D.C. from February 8-13, 2020. A preliminary schedule for Hike the Hill is now available on our website, and a more detailed schedule will be made available to registrants. The Washington Plaza Hotel in northwest D.C. will once again serve as the Hike the Hill headquarters hotel. 


Retirement Reception Feb. 9 

What: PNTS Executive Director Gary Werner's Retirement Reception
When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 9, 2020 (During Hike the Hill weekend)
Where: Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Cir NW, Washington, DC 20005
Cost: $45 (includes hors d'oeuvres and contribution to a group gift for Gary)
Registration deadline: February 3rd


2020 National Trails Workshops

Join fellow staff, volunteers, and agency partners for the 2020 National Trails Workshops (previously scenic and historic trail workshops) to be held at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, May 18-21, hosted by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, and in Spartanburg, South CarolinaOctober 26-30, hosted by the Overmountain Victory Trail Association. Topics may include trail and corridor protection and management, field program administration, organization development, JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) practices, and community outreach. Additional information will be coming soon to this webpage.

Please note: Although they may be hosted by a scenic or historic trail, both workshops are open to anyone within our trails community who finds the content relevant.   


Funding, Scholarship, and Award Opportunities 

Women in Parks Grant

The National Park Service (NPS) and the National Park Foundation (NPF) are excited to announce a request for proposals for the Women In Parks Innovation and Impact Grant program funded by the NPF, as a way to increase awareness about the 19th Amendment’s centennial and highlight stories of women who continue to shape our world. 

Application Deadline: Friday, February 7th

Matching Awards Program

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) Matching Awards Program (MAP) provides funding for results-oriented on-the-ground projects that enhance forest health and outdoor experiences on National Forests and Grasslands. The current NFF strategic plan focuses on the Program Areas of Outdoor Experiences and Forest Health. 

Round 2 MAP Deadline: Tuesday, June 9th


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:

Hike the Hill 2020 • February 8-13, 2020
35th Annual Corps Network National Conference • February 9-12, 2020
Oregon-California Trails Association Symposium • February 21-23, 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 Trails Workshop - South Carolina • October 26-30, 2020

view all 


In The News:

The Florida Trail is the perfect winter hike 
Snowshoeing High in the Midwest on the Ice Age and North Country NSTs
Video: Michela Williams, 2018 Trail Apprentice, pathway into the outdoors

Podcast: Greening Youth - A conversation with DEI subject matter experts 
Enhancing the visitor experience through art 
Bringing a vision to life: North Country NST extends partnerships and trail route
History brought to life: Christmas cards delivered via Pony Express
Outdoor groups aim to improve diversity on the Appalachian Trail


Job Postings:

Programs Director and Trail Crew Leader • Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation
Backcountry Trails Corpsmember • Backcountry Trails Program

Trail Crew Members and Leader • Friends of Nevada Wilderness
AmeriCorps VISTA • Ice Age Trail Alliance
Field Team Member (Trails) • Maine Conservation Corps
Trail Stewardship Internships • Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Trail Crew Leaders • Pacific Northwest Trail Association
Trail Crew Leader • Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards
Community Engagement Coordinator • Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Citizen Science Field Monitoring Positions • Wilderness Institute, University of Montana
Education and Stewardship AmeriCorps Service Member • Wyoming Wilderness 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 |