National Trails Training Partnership
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Training and education

Mission of the National Trails Training Partnership

A wide variety of agencies and organizations nationwide have joined together to promote opportunities for training in trail planning, design, development, maintenance, and volunteer management. Also see the Case Statement for NTTP which explains current actions and goals. A Memorandum of Understanding among Federal partners has also been signed.

These non-profit organizations have signed the following Private-Sector Partnership Agreement: American Hiking Society, American Motorcyclist Association, American Trails, Back Country Horsemen of America, International Mountain Biking Association, Leave No Trace Incorporated, National Association of State Trail Administrators, National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, Partnership for the National Trails System, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Student Conservation Association, Tread Lightly!, Professional Trail Builders Association.

VISION: A voluntary association of Federal agencies, Tribal governments, State and local governments and private trail organizations to promote a full range of skills and informational training and resource information being available each year for partners to responsibly manage (plan, protect, design, enhance, build, interpret, preserve, maintain and perform other activities on) trails throughout America.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES: The signatories to this PA agree to work together following these guiding principles:

  • To collaborate on the promotion of high quality trail training opportunities to foster trails which are managed appropriately within the mandates of the land manager, while addressing the public's needs and desires and environmental, economic, and social considerations.
  • To provide people with the opportunity to easily access trails training and resource information to acquire knowledge and skills to manage high quality trails of all types.
  • To promote and participate in cooperative trail training efforts with land management agencies.
  • To make decisions within the scope of this PA through consensus rather than majority voting.


  • Explore ways to mutually establish and maintain a centralized private/public partnership to foster broad collaboration and leadership in enhancing and making trails training opportunities available.
  • Coordinate and disseminate timely and accurate information about existing trail-related training opportunities nationwide through a web-based clearinghouse and related resources and materials.
  • Identify unmet training needs, striving to encourage the development of seamless or collaborative training opportunities to meet these needs, cutting across traditional public or private physical and social jurisdictions or boundaries.
  • Establish a collection of trails-related competencies. The group will explore ways to identify basic skills, abilities, and knowledge needed to further professional or volunteer skill development.
  • Work with related programs and agencies which are not signatories to the NTTP MOU to encourage their memberships or staffs to take advantage of these opportunities and sponsor this effort.
  • Work together to raise the visibility, awareness, appreciation, and support of trails training by government agencies and by the public at large.


  • Each participating group will identify existing training opportunities. When possible, NTTP partners will share training materials, curricula, materials, and other trails-related information and expertise.
  • NTTP partners will convene at least once a year, or as otherwise needed on a voluntary basis, with the Convening Leadership provided on a rotating basis as mutually agreed to by the signatory groups to this PA.
  • Each participating NTTP group will strive to increase the number of trails-related training opportunities in their ongoing training and career development programs.
  • An NTTP subcommittee will maintain a web-based National Trails Training Information Clearinghouse that shall be ongoing.
  • An NTTP subcommittee will identify trails skills experts willing to share their experience.
  • A subcommittee of the NTTP shall conduct needs assessments, as needed, to determine what skill subjects are most in demand, comparing such information to existing opportunities, and determining where training gaps may exist.
  • In future years, NTTP partners will set up work groups to address:
    • Exploring and identifying trails skills competencies
    • Guidelines to assess top-quality training opportunities
    • Characteristics of trail career paths
    • Interagency training opportunities
    • Needs assessments, when appropriate, to determine training needs

BACKGROUND: America's diverse network of trails provides great satisfaction and inspiration to United States citizens and international visitors. These trails accommodate many types of visitors and uses and are often managed through public/private partnerships involving volunteers. With adequate skills, Federal and State agencies, volunteers, and other trail-oriented interests are better able to manage this rich heritage of trails of all kinds, in ways that will minimize their impact on the environment and maximize responsible recreational enjoyment.

AUTHORITIES: All efforts undertaken under this Private-Sector Partnership Agreement ("PA" hereinafter) and with local, State, or Federal agencies shall be in accordance with United States laws and regulations. Unless otherwise provided by law, all contract work undertaken by the parties for Federal, State, or local government shall be performed in accordance with the relevant government's procurement and claims policies and procedures. This PA does not authorize the transmittal between or expenditure of funds by any of the signatory groups.



Non-Fund Obligation Document: This PA is neither a fiscal nor a funds obligation document. Any endeavor involving reimbursement or contribution of funds between parties of the PA will be handled in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and organizational procedures. Such endeavors will be outlined in separate agreements that shall be made in writing by representatives of the parties.

Participation in Similar Activities: This PA in no way restricts any signatory from participating in similar activities with other public or private agencies, organizations, and individuals.

NON-DISCRIMINATION: During the performance of this PA, the parties agree to operate as a non-discriminatory body that does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The participants will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The National Trails Training Partnership (NTTP) began in September of 1999 as a forum of representatives from diverse trail organizations and land management and funding agencies concerned at the level and availability of trails training opportunities. A critical component of NTTP's future is incorporation of other interested trail organizations and agencies.

(July 2005)

For further information and to contact NTTP partners visit the NTTP website at

The National Trails Training Partnership
American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797(530) 605-4395Fax: (530)

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-06-H-00023. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.

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