Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and American Trails

The summary for the Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and American Trails grant is detailed below. This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants. Verify the accuracy of the data provides by visiting the webpage noted in the Link to Full Announcement section or by contacting the appropriate person listed as the Grant Announcement Contact. If any section is incomplete, please visit the website for the Fish and Wildlife Service, which is the U.S. government agency offering this grant.
Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and American Trails: Task 1. Redesigning Website for Easier Search and Navigation Functions Starting in the late 1990s, American Trails (AT) began a collection of online trail resources ⿿ documents, web pages, and links for the trails community to utilize. This collection has grown to over 6,000 pages, all stored in static, HTML code that requires manual updating. While this method worked for us for many years, the mass amount of resources has led to a website that is loaded with information, but that can be difficult to navigate. A user may have to click through multiple pages to find a given resource. Our current search method, using Google indexing, can be helpful, but as a keyword-only search method, it often returns dozens of pages of articles for the user to sort through. AT proposes building a single, powerful Content Management System (CMS) to organize and store these resources ⿿ a system that will be powerful, fast, clear, and simple to use and that will provide an unparalleled resource library for the trails community including FWS users who have requested better access to information on the American Trails website. The Trail Resource CMS we propose will provide detailed search options ⿿ title, State, Agency, category, keywords, and full article text search of thousands of American Trails⿿ resources. Updating the website will make it easier for the American people as well as FWS employees to better help navigate the most current up to date information on wildlife trails, refuges, and considering habitat in trail planning, construction and maintenance. By updating to the CMS American Trails will be able to better organize data, make it more accessible and easier for FWS to look up information and find trail resources. Task 2. National Recreation Trails National Recreation Trails may be designated by the Secretary of Interior to recognize exemplary trails of local and regional significance in response to an application from the trail's managing agency, such as a management unit of FWS. Through designation, these trails are 5 recognized as part of America's national system of trails as authorized by the National Trail System Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-543). The FWS vision document ⿿Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation⿝ recommends creative thinking about enabling visitors to learn about FWS resources: "We must actively encourage and provide new opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature by visiting their national wildlife refuges, personally or virtually." Trails in particular can provide the low-impact managed use that can help meet FWS goals for the future. Designation of trails on FWS lands as NRTs has been identified by FWS staff as a way to encourage visitation of trails that would benefit from increased attention. Trails are a critical way that visitors discover the beauty, history, and natural heritage of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and NRT designation is a cost-effective way to provide visibility to Refuge resources. The NRT website and database are essential tools for reaching the public with up to date information on FWS trails and other recreation opportunities. In 2015, analysis of website visitation documented that 40,446 trails were searched and located using the database on average, per month, by the public. In addition, visitors printed out 5,636 trail records from the database. The cost for updating these online resources is minimal compared to traditional public information techniques such as staffing visitors' centers, printing brochures, and attending public events. Most of the FWS NRTs designated in 2008-2015 have included good information in their applications that can be used for website creation and to populate the NRT designation. However, older designations are typically sketchy with details. Information that is of most use to visitors includes trail description, directions to trailheads, points of interest, and related activities. Helping visitors know the trail location relative to cities and highways is also important, and this can be done both descriptively and via downloadable maps (provided by the Refuges). The database records also should link to Refuge websites where news, events, and current conditions are available. Finally, a photo gives a good identity to the trail and makes it more appealing as visitors search the database. Most Refuge websites do not provide much information on trails. The Featured NRT website pages are an opportunity to provide useful visitor information in an attractive article format that includes trail features, seasonal interest, route descriptions, photos, and digital maps. FWS identifies "special attention to opportunities offered for youth and people with disabilities" as a priority for visitor information. Finally, these pages are also a great way to recognize volunteers and Friends groups who help with construction, maintenance, and interpretation. All FWS-managed National Recreation Trails are good candidates for new Featured NRT pages. We will continue to identify which of the NRTs do not have an existing Internet presence. All of these pages will link to agency and nonprofit websites supporting the trails. Task 3. National Trails Training Partnership (NTTP) Refuge Managers need to build sustainable, cost-effective trails that provide the public with memorable experiences of wildlife and natural areas. Expertise in trail development and management, especially in important habitat areas, needs to reach staff as well as volunteers and cooperating organizations. The US Fish & Wildlife Service is a party to the 2011 memorandum of understanding for the National Trails Training Partnership (NTTP), which is an extension of the 2003-04 agreements that began this initiative to promote trail-related training. The current MOU among seven Federal agencies and 24 national organizations states: "The purpose of this MOU is to develop and expand a framework of cooperation among the Parties at the national, regional, State, and local levels for planning and implementing mutually beneficial projects, activities, and programs for workforce development, training, and education associated with trails and related outdoor recreation and transportation activities." With efforts to promote public health and engage youth in natural resources by building and promoting trails and greenways, the environmental issues are increasingly important to planners 7 and managers. An important way to reduce visitor impacts is to improve planning of trails in habitat areas and use best practices for building and managing trails. Quality trails also facilitate environmental education as well as resource protection. The NTTP website, developed and maintained by American Trails, is a key element in making available resources to help in developing and managing trail systems. This website is available to trail building and management agencies and organizations, as well as to members of the general public who are interested in trails training. Another task is providing resources to help improve accessibility to public lands. Our goal is to provide effective technical information on building better, more sustainable trails, which also increases the level of accessibility. NTTP has also been effective in promoting best practices as well as identifying training providers. Federal agencies, organizations, and States have worked together through NTTP to improve coordination on training nationwide. Specific training available from a variety of providers includes skills for conservation and youth corps organizations, curricula for college-level students, and training to address local needs of agencies and organizations. Task 4. Technical Assistance Technical assistance and information sharing for FWS staff and cooperating organizations is essential to providing attractive as well as cost-effective recreation facilities. The key issues are effective delivery of technical information, improving accessibility, and managing visitor facilities in habitat areas. The FWS vision document ⿿Conserving the Future⿝ encourages new technology for sharing information and connecting with the public. Recommendation 15 states: "Develop integrated mechanisms for using web-based and other emerging technologies to store and share data, communicate within the System, and inspire and educate visitors and the public." Technical assistance also involves documenting the experience of staff who are retiring. Conserving the Future states: "As we transition from an older to a younger workforce, we must look for ways to transfer knowledge from senior staff." The key challenge for Refuge Managers is how trails can best be built while recognizing the needs and sensitivities of wildlife and the environment. We need to look at good examples on the Refuges, identify best practices in place in other jurisdictions, and document how new or improved trails contribute to both conservation and environmental education. As trails become even more popular, and are the subject of efforts to promote public health and outdoor activity, environmental issues are increasingly important. The desired result is to enable Refuge managers to build the best, most cost-effective trails. While trails may seem like simple projects, managers may not be experienced with state-of-the-art practices. Managers need the technical knowledge to make decisions on surfacing, maintenance, and facilities, as well as management issues of habitat impacts, seasonal closures, and wildlife watching. Providing the best information, as well as contacts with other trail managers on similar projects will lead to the most effective problem solving for trail development. It is also important to manage trails and visitors in ways that reduce impacts while increasing positive experiences and learning opportunities. Refuge managers and others in the field of parks and outdoor recreation need effective technical information on building better, more sustainable trails, which are also increasing the level of accessibility. With years of confusion and uncertainty over actual requirements for accessibility, many agencies have either ignored the need for more accessible trails, or have avoided tackling new trail projects. With the recent publication of final regulations for trails and facilities on federal land there is a critical need to interpret, publicize, and share information on accessible trails. To provide better assistance with trails in habitat areas, we need to continue development of the website area for "Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind: A Handbook for Trail Planners.⿝ Material from the original print publication by Colorado State Parks has been adapted by American Trails to an online presentation at: The goal of the Handbook and the new website area is to help planners and managers create trails that make a positive contribution to stewardship of open space and habitat. It is still the only 9 comprehensive resource that details both the impacts and benefits of trails as visitor management tools. Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind was intended to encourage new contributions and add to the body of knowledge to improve our planning efforts. When it was compiled in 1998, the subject was just beginning to be studied. We need to involve FWS staff in expanding this information source with examples from the Refuges. We also need to make this information available to the public, volunteers, and environmental education providers. Task 5. International Trails Symposium The American Trails International Trails Symposium is the best opportunity for a comprehensive learning experience on all aspects of trail planning, development, and management. The 2017 Symposium will be held in Dayton, Ohio May 7-10, 2017. Over many years of attending the Symposium, FWS representatives have been able to share success stories with trail and greenway advocates, managers, planners, and users, as well as tourism and business interests. American Trails sponsors the International Trails Symposium every two years, The Symposium offers ways to publicize the FWS mission and resources, as suggested in ⿿Conserving the Future:⿝ "We must also look for ways to build relationships with people who have not had traditional links to wild lands and wildlife, and encourage them to visit refuges." The Symposium is also an important opportunity for FWS representatives to learn from, share success stories, and network with staff of other agencies, communities, and trail organizations. The goal is to create a culture of stewardship for our public lands as well as connections from our communities to nature. This Symposium will continue to build on previous conferences that have offered a variety of presentations on the topic of trails and wildlife. With an increasing need for solving problems and creating more cost-effective and sustainable trails, the theme for the 2017 Symposium is Trails Take Flight: Connecting People, Places, and Possibilities. Symposium programs will explore the many pathways to success for all types of trails, from cities to the backcountry, including trail design, sustainability, safety, advocacy, and health, as well as possibilities for the future. This Symposium will address the need for more technical training through a new partnership with the Professional TrailBuilders Association. We will offer a series of Sustainable Trails Workshops and programs during the Concurrent Educational Sessions, featuring solutions-based topics. In addition, Mobile Workshops will bring attendees to featured Dayton, Ohio area sites to share lessons learned from trail planning, partnerships, maintenance, and visitor management. Task 6. International Trails Symposium Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program Given the spectrum of challenges surrounding human health, underserved communities, and disengaged youth, there is an important need to enable more young people to have the valuable educational experiences such as attending the International Trails Symposium. The ⿿Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program⿝ was launched in 2013 as part of the American Trails International Trails Symposium. The program was named in memory of lifelong trail activist Hulet Hornbeck. At the 2013 International Trails Symposium, American Trails provided scholarships to 18 talented young leaders and recently brought 16 talented young adults to the 2015 International Trails Symposium on scholarship. Recipients were immersed in learning best practices and trends in the field to help pave the path to careers in trails, conservation, and outdoor recreation. Many attendees met and mentored these aspiring young trail professionals at the Symposium to encourage them on their way to becoming tomorrow⿿s trail leaders. Diversity and inclusivity are important aspects of the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program. This initiative was developed to provide unique training and mentoring opportunities to inspire young adults to choose a career path so they can leave a lasting legacy in the field of natural resources. Scholarship candidates are young adults who have an interest in trails, conservation, and outdoor recreation, and are interested in learning about these as potential career paths. See more on the accomplishments of this program in Youth Scholars Assessment of 2013 International Trails Symposium. Involvement in the Symposium also exposes young professionals to multi-generational dialogue about conservation and recreation. Diversity and inclusivity are important to us so that we can meet everyone⿿s deepest needs, values, and long-term interests. We welcome individuals of all backgrounds to apply regardless of past trails experience. We are more interested in potential. During past Emerging Leaders programs, established resource professionals benefitted just as much from the exchange as the field looks to foster new leadership. onserving the Future clearly states the concern facing Federal land management agencies as well as organizations such as American Trails: "We are an overwhelmingly white and aging organization that struggles with being relevant in this rapidly changing society." The FWS vision document expands on the agency's commitment to student and youth programs in Recommendation 22: "Recruit and retain a workforce that reflects the ethnic, age, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, and language diversity of contemporary America." A mentor pairing for every scholarship recipient (whom share a common interest/career goal) ensures that he or she will reap lasting benefits from the experience. These future leaders will learn best practices and trends in outdoor recreation and resource conservation to help pave the path to careers in these fields. An unexpected outcome of the successful 2015 program was that established resource professionals benefitted as well from sharing their expertise and in looking to foster new leadership in their own agencies. Authorizing statues for this program include Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1934 (16 U.S.C. 2901-2911); Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742(a)-754); Refuge Recreation Act of 1962 (16 U.S.C. 460k-460k(4)); National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd); Youth Conservation Corps Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1701-1706); Archaeological Resources Pro
Federal Grant Title: Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and American Trails
Federal Agency Name: Fish and Wildlife Service (DOI-FWS)
Grant Categories: Community Development Education Environment
Type of Opportunity: Discretionary
Funding Opportunity Number: F16AS00368
Type of Funding: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Numbers: 15.654
CFDA Descriptions: Information not provided
Current Application Deadline: No deadline provided
Original Application Deadline: No deadline provided
Posted Date: August 11th, 2016
Creation Date: August 11th, 2016
Archive Date: September 11th, 2016
Total Program Funding: $60,000
Maximum Federal Grant Award: $60,000
Minimum Federal Grant Award: $1
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Cost Sharing or Matching: No
Last Updated: August 11th, 2016
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Nonprofits having a 501 (c) (3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Link to Full Grant Announcement
Grant Announcement Contact
Devon Larson 703-358-2052

Administrative Officer
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