Partnership for the National Trails System e-news May 2021

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News of the past month and what's ahead

In this edition:

  • PNTS Has a New Address
  • Celebrate National Trails Day on June 5th
  • Free Webinar on June 2nd to Feature Helpful Information and Resources for Land Conservation
  • Two New PNTS Roundtables Encourage Peer Exchange
  • In the News
  • Scholarships, Grants, and Other Awards
  • Resources and Updates
  • Webinars & Educational Opportunities
  • Comings and Goings
 

PNTS Has a New Address

A panorama of the 100 M St. building in Washington, DC by Grzegorz Czajkowski

A panorama of the 100 M St. building in Washington, DC by Grzegorz Czajkowski

We're moving! As of June 1, 2021, PNTS will have a new address in Washington D.C. We will be located at the following address:

100 M St SE #700, Washington, DC 20003

Our phone number will remain the same: (202) 963-2910

Please update your records.

 

Celebrate National Trails Day on June 5th

National Trails Day is June 5 -- A Day of Service and Advocacy for Hometown Trails

Screenshot from American Hiking Society website.

Held on the first Saturday in June since 1993, National Trails Day (NTD) is an annual event led by the American Hiking Society (AHS) aimed at encouraging “advocacy and trail service.” Each year, according to AHS, “Thousands of hikers, bikers, rowers, horseback riders, trail clubs, federal and local agencies, land trusts, and businesses come together in partnership to advocate for, maintain, and clean up public lands and trails.” There are many ways to participate in the annual event, including:

  1. Attend, host, and/or promote in-person or virtual events: Organizations across the US host a wide variety of virtual and in-person events to promote NTD. Find an event to attend, promote your NTD event, or share NTD events with your community. More info on NTD events here.
  2. Take the #NationalTrailsDay Pledge: The pledge is a simple way to take action to care for trails and advocate for safe, welcoming access to quality green space. You can then leverage this to additionally create a unique challenge or custom call-to-action for your community or take the pledge for yourself here.
  3. Share why trails are vital to you on social media on June 5: Tag #NationalTrailsDay and @AmericanHiking in your social media posts to help connect the trails community. Sharing with those tags will also give you the chance to win some gear prize packages, too. Amplify your voice even further by tagging the trail you're on and PNTS at @PartnershipNTS on Twitter and Facebook and @nationaltrailssystem on Instagram.

Click here to learn more about National Trails Day, including how you can get involved in 2021. 

 

Free Webinar on June 2nd to Feature Helpful information and Resources for Land Conservation

Land Acquisition 102 takes place on June 2 at 3 PM EDT

PNTS’ second webinar on demystifying the land acquisition process takes place next Wednesday. Join Miriam Mazel, Deputy Chief at the National Park Service, Washington Area Servicing Office Land Resources Division; Jenny Katz, Traubert Lands Fellow at National Park Foundation; and Reggie Hall, Director of Conservation Loans with The Conservation Fund for a discussion on the LWCF process and resources, grants, and other opportunities to help advance land acquisition projects.

Presenters will provide tips to help you prepare for projects and work with federal agencies and nonprofit partners to leverage resources for land acquisition. There will be time to ask questions about the complexities of land acquisition and situations specific to your land acquisition needs. Attendance is free for PNTS members; a $15 donation is suggested for nonmembers. Register here.

 

Two New PNTS Roundtables Encourage Peer Exchange

PNTS is introducing forums to facilitate learning and discussion around important topics such as trail operations and next generation programs. These roundtables are designed as forums for trail organizations and federal agencies to share resources, learn together, and discuss successes and challenges. As an opportunity for peer exchange, participants will help define the focus of each roundtable meeting.

The Next Generation roundtable began last week. It featured discussions led by both next generation program participants and organizational professionals while providing opportunities to learn, share, and network. The Next Generation Roundtable plans to explore topics such as program structure, empowering youth through decision making and advisory roles, recruitment, ongoing engagement, program evaluation, and more. Organizations with existing next generation programs and those that are interested in starting one are welcome to join the Roundtable. This forum will be held quarterly with the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET. 

The Trail Operations Roundtable will take place on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET. During this first meeting, the group will set the format and structure for future meetings and decide what topics should be discussed so that the forum is a beneficial space for all who want to participate.  

We welcome you to join us. For information or to sign up to receive meeting notices, contact PNTS Program Coordinator Cara Yendrzeski at cara@pnts.org.

 

Advocacy and Policy Updates

Wide shot of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on a cloudy day.

Photo courtesy of Doris Gray Wood

  • Conservation and Restoring America the Beautiful, a preliminary report to the National Climate Task Force developed by the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was released earlier this month. It recommends a decade-long national conservation effort that emphasizes a commitment to collaboration, support for voluntary and locally led conservation, and honoring of Tribal sovereignty and private property rights. The report outlines a locally led and voluntary nationwide conservation goal to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 as an important part of the solution to the problems of the disappearance of nature, climate change, and inequitable access to the outdoors. Read a summary of the “America the Beautiful” Initiative and find a link to the full report here.
     
  • Through H.B. 2924 and S.B. 1461 Congressperson Jimmy Gomez and Senator Cory Booker respectively reintroduced the Transit to Trails Act, which promotes equitable access to parks, green spaces and public lands and waters. It would create a Department of Transportation grant program to provide access to funds for transportation systems to and from underserved rural and urban communities and public lands. This legislation was inspired by a similar successful program in Los Angeles County. Click here to learn more.
     
  • The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a study on the Zebulon Pike Trail to evaluate its eligibility as a new national historic trail. The study addresses the 1806-07 expedition led by Lt. Zebulon M. Pike into the southern portions of the Louisiana Purchase, and the northern edge of the Spanish colonial empire. The route affects areas and interests in present-day Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as Mexico. Visit parkplanning.nps.gov/pike to connect to the study’s webpage where you can provide comments and track updates.
 

In the News

Barney Scout Mann walks with his 2-year-old grandson, Cormac.

Barney Scout Mann walks with his 2-year-old grandson, Cormac. (Trevor Johnston/Handout) (Trevor Johnston/Handout)

  • PNTS Board President and Triple-Crowner, Barney “Scout” Mann, published an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun. In it, he talks about gaining a new perspective on short walks with his grandson during the Covid-19 lockdown.
     
  • The Ice Age Trail Alliance received the Stewardship Award at the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism for their 2020 Mammoth Hike Challenge. Congratulations!
     
  • Nez Perce NHT Interpretive Signs to be installed throughout the Bitterroot Valley: The Bitter Root Cultural Heritage Trust (BRCHT), working through a Nez Perce (Nee-MePoo) National Historic Trail (NPNHT) Challenge Cost Share Agreement (CCSA), has partnered with organizations to install the standard NPNHT interpretive sign throughout the Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana.
     
  • In honor of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the National Park Foundation explores some of the stories told and preserved in national parks.
     
  • The Open Space Institute (OSI) Announces the Acquisition of 32 Acres of Land Adjacent to the Appalachian Trail in Putnam County, New York. The "Canopus Hollow" property acquisition will further the ecological and recreational connectivity of the eastern Hudson Highlands, protecting the area's natural resources for wildlife habitat and providing additional opportunities for outdoor recreation on and around the Appalachian Trail. More information is available here.
     
  • Arizona Trail Association (ATA) and Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) Among Recipients of 2021 National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA) Grants: Awards for both NWSA funding programs -- the Wilderness Stewardship Performance Partner Funding and the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding -- have been announced. Both the ATA and CDTC were among 48 organizations awarded with funds from the Trail Stewardship Partner Funding Program. More information on the funding programs can be found at http://www.wildernessalliance.org/funding_programs.
     
  • Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) Awarded 2021 National Forest System Trail Stewardship Grant for Lehmi Pass Section: The National Forest System Trail Stewardship (NFSTS) Funding Program has partnered with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and other trail groups to award $547,000 to 48 projects in nine U.S. Forest Service (USFS) regions. The CDTC received funding to support development in the Lehmi Pass Section of the National Scenic Trail. More information is available here.
     
  • Yellowstone National Park and Wright Brothers National Memorial will pilot the use of self-driving shuttles this summer. 
     
  • National Park Service commemorates Asian American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, announces $3.15 million in grants to preserve and interpret World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites.
     
  • The National Park Trust announced the completion of a land acquisition that expands San Antonio Missions National Historical Park by 44 acres and further protects this unique cultural landscape with its archaeological artifacts.
 

Scholarships, Grants, and Other Awards

A woman stands in a vast empty field under a clear sky
  • Applications open for Land Trust Alliance (LTA) Scholars for Conservation Leadership Program. Rising college seniors are invited to apply for LTA’s career and leadership development program that expands opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue careers in conservation. The 2021 program will bring together 10-20 students for a virtual professional development experience. Applications must be submitted by June 4. Learn more here.
     
  • Nominations are now open for the Outdoor Retailer Inspiration Awards. Nominate an individual, retailer, manufacturer, emerging leader, and/or nonprofit for inspiring and encouraging others to enjoy, participate in, and support outdoor recreation. Nominations are due June 23. Application and info available here.
     
  • Funding Opportunity for Youth Programs in New Mexico. Know someone doing great work to help New Mexico youth access the outdoors? The New Mexico Outdoor Equity Fund grant program was created to improve equitable access to the outdoors for youth, and in 2020, funded outdoor classrooms, after-school programs, youth conservation projects, cultural connections for Indigenous populations, and more. Applications are due June 30. Learn more and apply here.
     
  • Nominations open for the 2021 Coalition for Recreational Trails Awards program. Nominations are due June 30. Find more information and nominate stand-out projects at https://form.jotform.com/210485547611152.
     
  • The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grants program is accepting applications for projects in rural communities located on a river or ocean coastline. Priority will be given to National Scenic Areas impacted by wildfires. Applications must be submitted to the applicant’s nearest USDA office by July 6, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. local time. Additional information is available here.
     
  • The National Park Service will distribute $150 million to local communities through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership grant program. Established in 2014, the program enables urban communities to create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, and form connections between people and the outdoors in economically underserved communities. Submissions are due September 24. Click here to learn more.
 

Resources and Updates

Screenshot of the LWCF Past Project Map

Screenshot of the LWCF Past Project Map

  • LWCF Coalition Faces and Places Series: The Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition launched a new page on their website highlighting conservation success stories that benefitted from LWCF funds. The Coalition is currently seeking more stories to spotlight for that series. The first two spotlights on the Black River in South Carolina and the Ocmulgee Mound in Georgia can be found here. You’ll also find a link to submit your LWCF story at the bottom of that page. To find projects on or near your National Scenic or Historic Trail, check out the new LWCF Past Projects Map here.
 
  • The Federal Highway Administration Office of Federal Lands Highways is conducting research on integrating public health in transportation planning on public lands. The project team is seeking case studies that highlight how public lands have successfully integrated public health considerations into their transportation planning processes. Please send your ideas to Amit Armstrong (amit.armstrong@dot.gov) and/or Michael Flood (michael.flood@wsp.com). The solicitation period for case studies closes June 18.
 
Chart showing color-coded CDC guidelines for safety of certain activities for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Updated Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines for Outdoor Recreation: The CDC released updated mask guidance for outdoor activities. Individuals no longer need to wear masks when they walk, run, or bike outdoors with members of their household, and small groups of both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people are permitted to meet outdoors
 

Featured Educational Opportunities

Partnership for the National Trails System Webinar Series

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.

  • New Mexico State Park Association Virtual Town Halls
    June 1 - July 13; Virtual
    Free to attend.
    The New Mexico State Parks Division is currently preparing its five-year update of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The plan will evaluate the existing supply of outdoor recreation resources and facilities in each region of the state in order to help prioritize future funding of outdoor recreation projects. The organization will be assessing regional recommendations and priorities for outdoor recreation and they need your input! Join the Virtual Town Hall for your region to learn about the input coming from other New Mexico residents so far and to voice your opinion about what is needed in your community.
    Register Here

     
  • The Appalachian Trail’s Role in Worldwide Conservation
    Thursday, June 10, 7 PM EDT; Virtual
    Free to attend.
    Join the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), author Tony Hiss, and conservationist John Griffin to learn about the vital role land conservation has for the future of our planet. As a growing number of voices commit to the idea of “30 by 30” — protecting 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030 through science-based decision-making — the importance of land conservation has never been clearer. During this program, we will discuss the key role lands like those surrounding the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) have in meeting this goal; why protecting the lands around the Trail is vital for ensuring the long-term survival of the A.T. experience; and how a movement started by Benton MacKaye almost 100 years ago today can be a model for collaborative conservation work for the next century and beyond.
    Hosted by ATC
    Register Here

     
  • Zoom Facilitation Training
    Thursday, June 17, 8 PM EDT; Virtual
    Free to attend.
    The Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA) is hosting a free Zoom facilitation training session to help organizers who need help using Zoom become more proficient with the software.
    Hosted by OCTA
    Register Here

Other learning opportunities in June:
June 2: Land Acquisition 102June 3: Using Interactive Maps to Engage Trail UsersJune 9: Connectivity: A Look at Two Specific Projects in Chattanooga and Knoxville, TNJune 10: Understanding the National Recreation Trails (NRT) ProgramJune 17: Introduction to Trail Design and Development (Part 2 of 3)

 

Comings and Goings

 

Do you have an upcoming event, news story, or job posting that is not listed above?
Send us an e-mail at communication@pnts.org.

 

Partnership for the National Trails System
100 M St SE, #700,  | Washington, District of Columbia  20003
202-963-2910 | admin@pnts.org

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