Partnership for the National Trails System e-news September 2021

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News of the past month and what's ahead

In this edition:

  • Anupama Joshi, Blue Sky Funders Forum Executive Director, to Lead Interactive Keynote "Rethink Outside: Let's Tell a New Story" at the 2021 NTS Workshop 
  • PNTS and Partners Seek an Indigenous Mapping and Research Project Coordinator
  • Pledge to “Go Where the Trail Leads You”
  • Join PNTS' Trail Operations Forum on September 16
  • Advocacy & Policy Updates
  • In the News
  • Scholarships, Grants, and Other Awards
  • Resources, Events, and Promotional Opportunities
  • Webinars and Educational Opportunities
  • Comings and Goings

Join Anupama Joshi for an Interactive Keynote Presentation at PNTS' 2021 National Trails Workshop

Click to learn more about or sign up for PNTS 2021 Virtual National Trails Workshop

PNTS 2021 National Trails System Workshop kicks off on November 1 with an engaging and interactive keynote presentation by Anupama Joshi (she/her), Executive Director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum. Her presentation, titled "Rethink Outside™: Let's Tell a New Story!" will discuss the critical role narratives and stories play in enabling partnerships, funding, and policy change. Ms. Joshi will introduce the Rethink Outside™ shared narrative (co-generated and coordinated by Blue Sky Funders Forum) and share ideas for how you can apply the concept of a shared narrative to maximize the appeal of your organization's interpretive and educational efforts. An interactive portion of the session will provide attendees the opportunity to explore the Rethink Outside™ messaging framework in small groups to brainstorm ideas for telling your story in different ways that may help open doors for new allies and funders.

More info and registration here.


PNTS and Partners Seek an Indigenous Mapping and Research Project Coordinator

Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps,, and pnts Logos. Click for job info.

Partnership for the National Trails System, Ancestral Lands Corps, Federal Land Management agencies, and Native Lands Digital have partnered on a project that will develop educational resources and GIS mapping designed to help foster conversations about the history of colonialism and settler-Indigenous relations related to National Trails. This project is intended to be the beginning of important and necessary conversations that we hope will spark genuine, future collaborations and long-standing relationships.

To lead this project, we are recruiting an Indigenous Mapping and Research Project Coordinator through the Ancestral Lands Individual Placement program. This AmeriCorps position will be responsible for developing an interactive GIS map, a toolkit, and other resources to help the Federal agencies that administer National Trails and their nonprofit trail organization partners advance National Trails System knowledge of Ancestral Lands and increase partnerships and collaboration with Indigenous Communities along National Scenic and National Historic Trails.

Applications are being accepted now. Use the link below to learn more or share this position description.

Find more info and application instructions here.


"Go Where the Trail Leads You" with PNTS and Bell's Brewery

Image of a footpath in a forest. Click to read the PNTS announcement..

PNTS and Bell's Beer have officially launched the "Go Where the Trail Leads You" campaign to raise awareness for PNTS and trails. Bell's Brewery will make a donation to PNTS each time someone pledges their time to get involved with trails (up to $15,000). That means you can pledge to spend time, volunteer, learn about, or introduce a friend to trails and Bell's will donate $5 to PNTS. Make your pledge at now through October 31st. Mountainsmith will also be supporting the the campaign by donating a portion of sales of daypacks co-branded with the PNTS and Bell's Brewery logos to PNTS. Once manufacturing is complete, daypacks will be available on the Mountainsmith website, as well as on the campaign page linked below. We will send an update when the daypacks become available.

Visit the Campaign Page.


Join the Trail Operations Forum on September 16

A young man helps another young man summit a hilltop against a sunset

Join PNTS' next Roundtable Discussion for Trails Professionals on September 16, 2021 from 2:00–3:00 PM EDT. The Trail Operations Forum will discuss funding for trail operations & management. The meeting will feature a presentation by the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association, followed by additional discussion of specific trail needs. We welcome your comments and questions. Please submit them to PNTS Program Coordinator Cara Yendrzeski at

Next Roundtable or Working Group Meeting: Volunteer Program Working Group October 20, 2021


Advocacy and Policy Updates

Silhouette of a hier celebrating against a sunset with the phrase

Photo courtesy of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, originally published on Twitter..

Congressman Neguse of Colorado Introduces Bill to Complete the Continental Divide Trail

On Friday, August 27, Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado’s 2nd District, introduced the Continental Divide Trail Completion Act in the US House of Representatives. The legislation, which is also supported by Congresswoman Teresa Leger-Fernández of New Mexico’s 3rd District, would direct the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to work together to finish the 3,100-mile Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) in time for the CDT’s 50th Anniversary in 2028. To do so, the U.S. Forest Service will work alongside the Bureau of Land Management to acquire lands from willing sellers using authorities such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund. More than 40 years after its creation, the CDT remains incomplete along more than 160 miles of its route. 

“Completing the CDT would fulfill a promise that Congress made more than four decades ago, to provide the American people with world-class recreational opportunities spanning the length of the Continental Divide. By expediting completion of the trail and closing existing gaps, we ensure more people can enjoy these beautiful landscapes and we invest in Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy and the mountain towns and businesses that rely on visitors for their livelihoods,” said Congressman Neguse, who is also Chair of the U.S. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

See a map of the trail and gaps to be completed here.

See the bill text here.

See quotes of support here.


White House Nominates Chuck Sams III as Director of the National Park Service

On Wednesday, August 18, the White House announced its intent to nominate Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III as Director of the National Park Service. The nomination will now be considered by the U.S. Senate.

“The diverse experience that Chuck brings to the National Park Service will be an incredible asset as we work to conserve and protect our National Parks to make them more accessible for everyone. I look forward to working with him to welcome Americans from every corner of our country into our National Park System. The outdoors are for everyone, and we have an obligation to protect them for generations to come,” said Secretary Deb Haaland.

Sams III has worked in state and Tribal governments and the non-profit natural resource and conservation management fields for more than 25 years. He currently serves as a Council Member to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and has held a variety of roles with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, most recently as their Executive Director. He has also had roles as the President/Chief Executive Officer of the Indian Country Conservancy, Executive Director for the Umatilla Tribal Community Foundation, National Director of the Tribal & Native Lands Program for the Trust for Public Land, Executive Director for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Executive Director for the Community Energy Project, and President/Chief Executive Officer for the Earth Conservation Corps.

Read more about Sams III nomination and background here.


In the News

Arial shot of Shoshone National Forest.

Image of Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming courtesy USDA Forest Service.


Scholarships, Grants, and Other Awards

A woman in a red knit cap and white sweater carries a baby wearing a blue knit cap with a poof on top on her back on a trail lined by pine trees
  • Mosaic Momentum Grant Program Request for Proposals. 
    In this second annual RFP, Mosaic will distribute $5M to fund projects that advance one or more of six types of field-wide movement infrastructure: communications, leadership development, advocacy tools & training, data & information, relationships & trust, and philanthropic innovation. Projects must be collaborative by design, engage and benefit multiple stakeholders, and create shared tools that are widely beneficial to movement members as opposed to having a narrow focus on one or a small number of organizations. More information and application links can be found here.

    Deadline to apply: September 10, 2021

  • Apply Now for a 2022 Hydro Flask Parks For All Grant.
    Hydro Flask, in partnership with the National Park Trust, is excited to announce the opening of their 2022 grant round of the Parks for All grant program. If you are a nonprofit dedicated to building, restoring, maintaining, or providing more equitable access to parks and recreational public lands, beaches, or coastal areas, Hydro Flask wants you to apply. Proposals should cover projects in the areas of New Parks, Park Maintenance/Restoration, and/or Park Access/Education. More information available here.

    Deadline to apply: September 10, 2021
  • Western National Parks Awards and Scholarship Applications Open.
    Western National Parks Association (WNPA) annually recognizes exceptional contributions to National Parks and supporters who generate widespread awareness of WNPA’s mission. WNPA also offers a scholarship opportunity that aims to change the lives of young people with diverse backgrounds and alter the future of our public lands. More information available here.

    Deadline to apply: September 14, 2021
  • The Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program Now Open.
    To build a more just and sustainable outdoor and environmental movement, the Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program by Justice Outside supports outdoor initiatives and organizations that cultivate and celebrate the contributions of Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color and affirm the many experiences and identities those communities hold. Liberated Paths currently supports recreation, marine and coastal conservation, and land conservation initiatives in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and California. More information available here. You can also access a recorded webinar on the program here.

    Deadline to apply: September 17, 2021
  • National Wilderness Stewardship Awards Nominations Open. 
    Have someone in your organization deserving of recognition for their wilderness stewardship work? Work with an agency partner you'd like to highlight for their partnership? Now is the time to nominate individuals and organizations for the National Wilderness Stewardship Awards. More information available here.

    Nominations due September 30, 2021

Resources, Events, and Promotional Opportunities

A man stands on a mountain top and appears to be walking on air against a blue sky
  • The National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration seek public feedback on air-tour management plans for 24 National Parks . Comment and meeting dates are being announced on a rolling basis. Find more information, including a list of parks, here.
  • The 39th Annual Oregon-California Trails Association Convention takes place September 13-16 in Elko, NV. The convention, titled “Through the Lens of History–Preserving the Past–Focusing on the Future”, will focus on the Humboldt River corridor as the main branch of the California Trail heading west from Missouri to California, including its usage by American Indians for thousands of years prior to usage by emigrants. The convention will explore each of these different eras via tours throughout the region, a premiere list of authoritative speakers, and events at other local sites. More information and registration here.
  • The 2021 Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Symposium takes place September 23-26 in La Junta, CO. The Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial is a commemoration of a living part of the American Experience. The Trail remains crucial to American history in all its many forms: connecting people in commerce, conflict, and culture. The Bicentennial creates opportunities for education, awareness, and exploration of the countless facets of the American Experience past, present, and future. More information and registration here.
  • American Hiking Society is accepting crew requests for the 2022 AHS Volunteer Vacation and Alternative Break schedule. The Volunteer Vacations program is designed to send you a crew of eager volunteers, ready to assist with your trail needs. Volunteer Vacations are week-long trail building/maintaining projects organized by American Hiking Society. Most projects are one-week or shorter in length, consist of 6-10 crew members, and involve trail maintenance and building tasks on hiking trails on public lands. Any government land management agency or nonprofit organization can request a crew. Application deadline is November 1, 2021. Click here for more information about hosting a Volunteer Vacation

Other Opportunities and Events:

Emerging Leaders of the World Trails Network (WTN) forum (September 17) Two Fall Conferences for The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and the Arkansas Museums Association (AMA) (Little Rock, AR Meeting: September 22-25; Virtual Conference: October 12-15) | National Wilderness Workshop (Virtual: November 15-18) 


Webinars & 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. Some recordings are also available.

  • Nature Mindfulness in your EE Programming and Daily Life
    Wednesday, September 15 at 12:00 PM EDT; Virtual
    Free for Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE) Members; $5 for PAEE nonmembers.
    In recent years, a new nature movement has emerged that includes traditional conservation and sustainability, but gives special attention to the right of every child to the benefits that nature brings to children’s physical and mental health and their ability to learn and create. This movement is based on a growing body of scientific evidence that points in the same direction: there are many physical and mental benefits from being outdoors and a deficit of a nature connection for all ages. In this presentation, Tara Muenz, conservation ecologist and Assistant Director of Education at the Stroud Center, will review the scientific literature of the benefits of nature, share resources that every environmental education provider should have in their toolkit about this topic, and provide example activities of nurturing nature connections in your programming.
    Hosted by PAEE. 
    More information and registration available here.

  • Path to 30 x 30: Aligning Conservation, Equity, and Recreation
    Wednesday, September 15 at 1:00 PM EDT; Virtual
    Free to Attend.
    President Biden issued an executive order establishing a national goal to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and freshwater and 30 percent of U.S. ocean areas by 2030 in an initiative commonly referred to as 30x30. In a follow-up last month, The Department of the Interior, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, and the Council on Environmental Quality, recommended a ten-year “America the Beautiful Campaign” in a report to the National Climate Task Force on how the Biden-Harris Administration should implement 30x30. Join an expert panel in a discussion centered on the progress and implementation of this audacious initiative, and highlighting opportunities for advancing outdoor recreation as it moves forward.
    Hosted by the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.
    More info and registration here.

  • Forest Conservation with USFS and the Forest Legacy Program
    Thursday, September 16 at 12:00 PM EDT; Virtual
    Free to Attend.
    Join the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Coalition and the USDA Forest Service on Sept 16th for their webinar series about LWCF projects and programs. This webinar will focus on forest conservation projects with presentations from the USDA Forest Service and partner organizations.
    Hosted by the LWCF Coalition.
    Register here.

Other events:

The Value of Trail Assesments (September 2 at 1 PM EDT) | Trails are Common Ground
National Campaign to Reduce Conflict, Promote Respect, and Increase Diversity on Our Trails (September 9 at 1 PM EDT)
Feasibility Study of the 90-Mile Multi-Use Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail (September 16 at 1 PM EDT) | Civilian Climate Corps (September 22 at 1:00 PM EDT) | Strategies for Civilian Climate Corps Program Investments (September 23 at 1 PM EDT)Rails-with-Trails: Best Practices and Lessons Learned (September 28 at 1 PM EDT)


Comings and Goings

Announcements about new hires, appoints, and outgoing professionals at National Trail nonprofits and Federal partner agencies.

  • Kylie Yang joined the Continental Divide Trail Coalition as their new Field Programs Manager.
  • The National Park Service announced the following Superintendent appointments:
  • Dr. Tracey Ritchie joined the National Park Foundation as vice president of education and engagement.
  • Stan Austin retired as Regional Director of the NPS South Atlantic-Gulf after 43 years of Federal service.

Do you have an upcoming event, news story, new staff announcement, or job posting that is not listed above?
Send us an e-mail at


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

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