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

  • Great American Outdoors Act Approved by Senate; House Vote Pending in July
  • Fall National Trails Workshop Moves to Virtual Format in October 2020
  • Upcoming July Webinars
  • Trails Community Resources: COVID-19, Diversity and Inclusion, Forum
  • #RecreateResponsibly Updated Guidelines
  • Funding and Survey Opportunities
  • Trails Enrich Your Community

The Senate just passed the Great American Outdoors Act and now the House must take action! Tell your Representative to urge leadership to hold a vote on the Senate passed bill and to cosponsor the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act!

Congressional and LWCF Update

There is exciting news to report! The U.S. Senate voted to pass the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) on June 17, following several days of debate and multiple procedural votes. This bipartisan legislation includes both full and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and a dedicated fund to address backlog maintenance needs in our national parks, forests, and other public lands over the next five years.  

The Partnership for the National Trails System, its members groups, and hundreds of other organizations, businesses, and individuals endorsed this bill and signed a letter to Congress in early May urging prompt action on the bill. A statement from the Partnership’s Board President Barney Mann upon Senate passage was included in a press release issued by the bill’s lead Republican sponsor, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. For technical reasons, the GAOA as passed by the Senate is now HR 1957 and has been sent to the U.S. House of Representatives for further consideration.

In the House, leadership announced that the Senate-passed bill would be scheduled for a vote in late July, likely the week of July 20th. The strong hope and expectation are that the bill will pass without any amendments – any one of which would send the bill back to the Senate and possibly doom the bill’s enactment into law. Before the House vote, there is a lot of work to do, especially to gather more commitments from members to vote "yes" on the bill, without any amendments. One way to do that is to secure additional cosponsors of the House version of GAOA - HR 7092. Click here to contact your Member of Congress and urge them to cosponsor and vote yes!

In other news, during the week of June 29, the House planned to debate HR 2, the Moving Forward Act, which is a broad infrastructure package including reauthorization of the Transportation Bill – with substantial funding for recreational trails – as well as other infrastructure investments. 


Virtual Fall Trails Workshop

With much careful thought and deliberation, a consensus decision was reached at the June Trail Leaders Council meeting to cancel the Partnership for the National Trails System’s in-person Fall Workshop (scheduled for October 26-30, 2020 in Spartanburg, S.C.). This decision was made on the recommendation of the PNTS Conference and Workshop Committee and with the knowledge and agreement of the Board. We know you value face-to-face interactions, but with concerns and so many uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the future, organization budgets, and travel restrictions, we believe it is the right decision.

Anticipating this decision, the Fall Workshop team already has begun planning for a virtual workshop to be held at a similar time in late October (3rd/4th weeks). We are excited about seizing this opportunity to innovate, learn, deliver meaningful content, and provide new ways for us to engage with one another. We anticipate that a full schedule and details for participation will be available in mid-July. Read the full message HERE.


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

Planning for Successful Communities and Landscape Conservation
July 1st at 3PM EDT
Hosted by the National Park Service

Hasan Davis Guides A Conversation about York, Equity, Race, and the Lewis and Clark Story
July 2nd at 1PM EDT
Hosted by Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Engage, Protect, Connect: Conservation, COVID-19 and the New Civil Rights Movement
July 7th at 12PM EDT
Hosted by SHIFT

Promoting a Cultural Shift Toward Shared Stewardship
July 8th at 2-3:30PM EDT
Hosted by National Forest Foundation

Fireside Chat 2 with NPF, NPS, and Friends Alliance
July 9th at 1:30PM EDT
Hosted by National Park Foundation


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 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.

The National Trails System Forum, launched in 2017, encourages dialogue and the sharing of best practices amongst trail partners. Create an account and join the conversation!

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.



As some trails, parks, and public lands open up for us to get back outdoors, join us in committing to get out there responsibly and join the #RecreateResponsibly Coalition. The guidelines are meant to provide a starting point for getting outside during COVID-19, and as things have evolved in the last six weeks, a seventh guideline has been added to the toolkit. “Build an Inclusive Outdoors” recognizes that safety in the outdoors is not just about packing the right gear or bringing a face covering but ensuring everyone feels safe and welcome. The new toolkit, in English, Spanish and Traditional Chinese, features updated guidelines, infographics and draft social messaging.


Funding and Survey Opportunities 

Infrastructure Grants

Mosaic launched an open RFP to make $1 million of rapid response grants to individual nonprofit grassroots organizations, and networks of them, focused primarily on environmental protection and/or environmental justice to fund tools and technology, training, and related resources needed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations could get up to $10,000, while networks could get up to $50,000. 

Application Deadline: Thursday, July 2nd

Diversity Practices Survey

For a second consecutive year, Nonprofit HR is seeking input from social sector leaders, human resources practitioners, and talent management experts about their organization's diversity practices. Questions will also be specific to the renewed fight for social justice and racial equality, along with the unprecedented impacts organizations are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.

Survey Deadline: Tuesday, July 21st


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:

Outdoor Retailer Online (Virtual) • July 21-23, 2020
North Country Trail Association Celebration (Virtual) • August 2020
52nd Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Meeting (Virtual) • August 2-5, 2020
SORP National Outdoor Recreation Conference (Virtual) • Fall 2020

National Wilderness Workshop (Virtual) • Fall 2020
National Trails Workshop (Virtual) • October 2020
view all 


In The News:

Video: We Hike to Heal - The Outdoor Journal Tour
Why the PCT's Most Iconic Trail Angels Are Retiring
Coree Woltering Sets New Ice Age Trail Record
Federal Judge Revokes Permit for Nebraska Public Power District's R-Project
Outdoors Act Could Come to the Rescue in Uphill Battle To Save Fones Cliffs
Video: Armchair Adventure Book Club with Jennifer Pharr Davis and Jay Leutze


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.
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 |