$262,000 in funding awarded to 17 trail projects in US Forest Service regions across the nation
Silver Spring, MD. – The National Forest System Trail Stewardship (NFSTS) Funding Program awarded a total of $262,000 to 17 trail projects in US Forest Service regions across the nation. Each of these projects support trail maintenance that is led by dedicated volunteers.
The NFSTS partnership grant is a joint partnership between the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the US Forest Service, in collaboration with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), American Trails, American Hiking Society, Back Country Horsemen of America, the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, and the American Motorcyclist Association. The grants support organizations leading trail maintenance efforts in National Forests.
The collaborating organizations shared this about the National Forest System Trail Stewardship (NFSTS) Funding Program:
“American Hiking Society is proud to join the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the USDA Forest Service, in collaboration with the broader trails community, in support of funding for these projects” said Tyler Ray, Senior Director of Programs and Advocacy, American Hiking Society. ”The National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding Program is a critical way to address trail maintenance by leveraging non-profit partnerships that improve access for hikers and all types of trail users across the Forest Service.”
“The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance is proud to be working with the USDA Forest Service and trail stewardship partners from American Trails, the American Hiking Society, Back Country Horsemen of America, the International Mountain Bicycling Association, the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, and the American Motorcyclist Association to distribute funding to a variety of trail user groups to address critical trail maintenance needs on National Forest system trails. By bringing together diverse partners from across the nation, we engage thousands of volunteers, leverage funding to accomplish more work with less Federal expense, and support essential trail maintenance and repair projects to maintain access and facilitate sustainable use of our national forest trails for all.” Joelle Marier, Executive Director, National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance
“IMBA values the opportunity to work with the National Forest System and to strengthen connections among national trail organizations,” said IMBA Executive Director David Wiens. ”Trails are truly common ground for environmental stewardship and outdoor recreation. We will continue to engage and educate our IMBA Local partners on funding and advocacy opportunities that bring more trails close to home.”
“American Trails is proud to join a diverse group of trail advocacy organizations and the USDA Forest Service in awarding funding to an exciting slate of trail stewardship projects across the country” said Mike Passo, Executive Director of American Trails. “These worthwhile projects demonstrate the vibrancy and passion of America’s skilled trail volunteers and organizations in helping to plan, design, build, and maintain our amazing trail system.”
“Back Country Horsemen of America appreciates the manner in which the US Forest Service has made trails a national priority, including these annual Trail Stewardship grants,” said Mark Himmel, Chairman of the organization. “We’re excited to see Back Country Horsemen, and a diverse number of trail user groups, receive grants that bolster the efforts of volunteers and partners to keep forest trails open and enjoyed by the public.”
The largest award this year was received by Friend of Panthertown, protecting and maintaining trails in the Panthertown Valley of North Carolina. $26,752 was awarded to the Friends of Panthertown’s stewardship project activating 250 volunteers to protect and maintain trails. The funds will be used for conservation and trail maintenance efforts across all 30 miles of Panthertown Valley trails.
AHS congratulates the local stewardship groups that received grants:
Ascend Wilderness Experience http://ascendwilderness.org/
Backcountry Horsemen of California, Mother Lode Unit https://bchcmlu.org/
Backcountry Horsemen of Oregon, Sourdough Unit https://www.bcho.org/chapters/sourdough-chapter/
Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation https://www.bmwf.org/
Continental Divide Trail Coalition https://continentaldividetrail.org/
Friends of Panthertown https://panthertown.org/
Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness https://www.scotchmanpeaks.org/
Hungerford Trail Riders Association http://www.hungerfordtrailriders.org/
Tuff Riders Los Alamos, NM http://tuffriders.losalamos.com/
Munising Bay Trail Network https://www.mbtn.org/
New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors https://nmvfo.org/
Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance https://pwora.org/
Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association https://www.southwestmontanamba.org/
Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance https://www.vvmta.org/
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado https://www.voc.org/
Washington Trails Association https://www.wta.org/
Wildlands Restoration Volunteers https://www.wlrv.org/
The NFSTS Funding Program is made possible through the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Act of 2016 which AHS and partnering outdoor recreation and trails organizations helped to pass. The Act significantly increases the role of volunteers and partners in trail maintenance to aid in addressing backlogged projects such as signage upgrades, trail clearing, reroutes, bridge and structure repair, and improvements to drainage. The funding comes from dedicated USFS funds, demonstrating the significance the agency gives to the program.
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering all to enjoy, share, and preserve the hiking experience.