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News of the past month and what's ahead

In this edition:

  • Register for Hike the Hill by March 1st
  • The Trek 2021 Badger Sponsorship Benefits PNTS
  • Pathways Across America: Winter 2020/2021
  • Give Your Input
  • PNTS Trail Intern Grant Award Announcement
  • PNTS Volunteer Coordinators Working Group
  • Comings and Going
  • Kudos
  • Advocacy and Policy Updates
  • Upcoming Webinars
  • Upcoming Events
  • Scholarships, Grants, Awards, and Other Opportunities
  • Trails Community Resources
  • In the News
  • Job Postings

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

Register for Hike the Hill by March 1st!

Virtual Hike the Hill® 2021
March 8-26, 2021

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.

Registration is now open. Registration is $75 (no cost for Federal agency partners). A link to the detailed schedule will be provided upon registering.

For more information on the schedule for each week, please visit the PNTS Hike the Hill landing page.


The Trek 2021 Badger Sponsorship Benefits PNTS

The Trek's 2021 Badger Sponsorship, a massive hiking gear sweepstakes totaling more than $20,000 worth of prizes, will benefit the Partnership for the National Trails System. Thirteen prize packages valued at approximately $1,600 each include different combinations of Sawyer filtration systems; Darn Tough socks; North x North headwear; Buff and Backcountry gift cards; Guthook guides; Tarma pendants; Thrupack fanny packs; Enlightened Equipment, Feathered Friends, and Katabatic bags; Montbell gear; Bedrock Sandals camp shoes; Arc'teryx packs and jackets; Granite Gear and Gregory packs; Gossamer Gear poles; Jetboil and Vargo stoves; Six Moon Designs and Zpack tents; and more.

Get the full scoop here and enter to win!


Pathways Across America: Winter 2020/2021

The Winter 2020/2021 issue of Pathways Across America should be reaching member mailboxes soon. The online edition, however, is available right now!

Read 2020 trail highlights from our Trail Organization members and Federal partners in this issue’s downloadable pdf. Then discover even more highlights and an extended Covid-19 section in this issue's online archive.


Give Your Input

Public Review Announcement: Give Your Input on the Federal Trail GIS Schema

For the past two years there has been a multi-agency effort to develop a nation-wide Federal Trail GIS Schema database template. 

The Federal Trail GIS Schema template can be utilized by all trails, including long distance National Trail System trails, anywhere in the U.S. no matter who manages them, federal or non-federal entities. 

It contains a minimum core set of attribute fields that allows any trail to rollup their GIS data into an aggregated trails database housing this same template. Additional attribute fields can be added by the local GIS managers that stay with the local data.

The template will be available for review and feedback on beginning on March 1st.

Review period: March 1 - March 30, 2021.


Get Outside, New Mexico

The State of New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, State Parks Division has initiated the 2021-2026 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), in accordance with the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program Federal Financial Assistance Manual Volume 69 and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965.

Click here to learn what components the SCORP includes and to provide your input.


PNTS Trail Intern Grant Award Announcement

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 2021 National Trails System Intern Grants. The Intern Grants create opportunities for young adults to become involved, or further their involvement, with our national trails while strengthening the capacity of the organizations and agencies that administer and manage the national scenic and historic trails.

Fourteen grants totaling $129,990 were awarded in 2021. These grants will be matched with over $190,494 of in-kind contributions and over $283,276 in both partner non-Federal cash funds and other Federal funds. 

Click here to see the list of 2021 grantees.

Questions about the Intern Grants program may be directed toward Cara Yendrzeski at


PNTS Volunteer Coordinators Working Group

Ever wonder about the volunteer experience with other National Trails?

Join the PNTS Volunteer Coordinators Working Group on April 21 at 3 p.m. Eastern to see demos from PCTA, AZTA, ATC, and NYNJTC on what volunteers experience in signing-up, after an event, and what kind of reporting these organizations collect about volunteer projects.

You can email Cara at to receive participation information.


Comings and Goings

Cara Yendrzeski joined PNTS as a Program Coordinator in February 2021, where she is excited to coordinate training and educational opportunities for the national trails community.

Cara is a passionate environmental advocate who has worked with Citizens Climate Lobby and Chesapeake Climate Action Network to advance climate policy. For the past year she has volunteered with Capital Nature as a Program Research Volunteer, finding new and exciting nature events to promote in the Washington D.C. metro area and researching health and environmental benefits of urban green spaces.

Cara holds a BS in Environmental Studies from Le Moyne College and a Master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School.


National Park Service announced that Kym Hall has been selected as the National Capital Area director. A 34-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), she recently served as the superintendent of several parks in Southeast Virginia.

“Throughout her career, Kym has effectively managed complex resource management projects and strengthened park relationships with community partners, stakeholders and legislators,” NPS Deputy Director for Operations Shawn Benge said. “Her background in special park regulations, policy, and ability to navigate sensitive and controversial park issues positions her well to lead the parks and programs in the greater DC area.”

Learn more here.



The National Parks Foundation selected 36 organizations to receive the 2020 SPSC Capacity Building Grant. Congratulations to the following Trail Organizations for being grant recipients:

  • Continental Divide Trail Coalition
  • Ice Age Trail Alliance
  • National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association
  • North Country Trail Association

Learn more about the 2020 SPSC Capacity Building Grant and its full list of recipients here.


Advocacy and Policy Updates

  • Department of Interior issued Secretarial Order 3396 that revoked Secretarial Order 3388 and the last-minute, damaging changes it had made to LWCF. Thank you to all PNTS members and partners who contacted their representatives to encourage them to sign on to a Dear Colleague letter that called for the repeal of Secretarial Order 3388.
  • Nomination hearings continue as the Biden-Harris administration works to fill appointed positions. Click here for the up-to-date schedule of hearings.

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

The Forest Service 10 yr Trail Shared Stewardship Challenge
Tuesday, March 9th at 12:00 pm PT
Hosted by National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance

Effective Programs to Improve Access and Use of Trails for Youth from Under-Resourced Communities
April 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM PT
Hosted by: American Trails


Scholarships, Grants, Awards, and Other Opportunities

  • CIRD Applications due March 12th
    • Citizens' Institute on Rural Design is now offering two programs for rural communities with a population under 50,000. Design Workshop communities will receive technical assistance and a $6,000 stipend towards a community-engaged design workshop, and Design Learning Cohort members will join a national network of peers engaged in online learning.
  • Online Adaptation Planning and Practices for Recreation--Applications are being accepted until March 15, 2021
    • The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals, The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, the US Forest Service Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center, and the USDA Climate Hubs are offering a recreation-focused Adaptation Planning and Practices training in a series of seven virtual sessions. This unique opportunity provides hands-on training in considering climate change information and identifying adaptation actions for outdoor recreation management. Participants will receive coaching and feedback on their own real-world climate adaptation project throughout the course. The course will run weekly April 5 - May 24, 2021. There is no fee thanks to support from the US Forest Service and the USDA Climate Hubs.
  • The National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding Program Applications due by March 26th
    • This program is a collaboration of National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the 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.  
  • Mosaic’s environmental movement infrastructure grant slate
    • Mosaic’s environmental movement infrastructure grant slate, which will support 21 projects involving 91 organizations across 27 states working on clean air and water, a safe climate, and healthy and just communities. Selected by Mosaic’s governance assembly of field leaders, these grants strengthen vital connections between organizations and better equip them with shared tools designed to support their goals. 

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


Upcoming Event

Outdoor Retailer Winter Online (various dates) •  January 6 - March 19, 2021
Professional Trail Builders Association Sustainable Trails Conference • March 7-13, 2021
Hike the Hill ® Virtual • March 8-26, 2021
Virtual Outdoor Women’s Summit • March 11-13, 2021
Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators Virtual Conference • March 22-23, 2021
Outdoor Classroom series, Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance  •  April 6, 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:

USGS introduces new strategy for their 100 scientists engaged in studying wildland fire
Brood X Cicadas to Emerge on Appalachian Trail After 17 Years
Black Heritage Council helps Alabama’s African Americans discover their past
Wilderness trail permit system to begin May 28 after yearlong delay
Reviewing the horrid global 2020 wildfire season
Outdoor Afro Connections Black Americans With Nature
Every Day that the National Parks Are Free in 2021
President Biden's 30x30 Executive Order


Job Postings:

Communications DirectorConservation Alliance
Government Affairs and Advocacy Director  • Conservation Alliance
Trail Crew Technical Advisor • Pacific Crest Trail Association
Project Manager • American Conservation Experience
Member Support Coordinator • American Conservation Experience
Logistics Coordinator • American Conservation Experience
AmeriCorps Crew Member • American Conservation Experience
Trail Crew Technical Advisor • Pacific Northwest Trail Association
Trail Crew Leader & Assistant Crew Leader •  Pacific Northwest Trail Association

PCT Program Manager •  USDA Forest Service


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 |

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