National Forest System Trail Stewardship Grants Awarded for 2023 

Seventeen Trail Stewardship Projects Funded on National Forests Across the Nation 

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.  

The NFSTS partnership grant is a joint partnership between the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the US Forest Service, in collaboration with American Trails, American Hiking Society, Back Country Horsemen of America, the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), and the American Motorcyclist Association. The grants support organizations leading trail maintenance efforts in National Forests.  

In addition to significant trail maintenance, this funding engages thousands of volunteers and adds significant leverage to Federal dollars. The slate of projects selected this year will support maintenance and repair of 975 miles of trail, engage approximately 3,225 volunteers in 48,750 hours of maintenance work, and match federal dollars with $1,554,000 in cash and in-kind support at a ratio of 6:1. 

“The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance is proud to be working with the USDA Forest Service and trail stewardship partners to distribute funding to a variety of trail user groups to address critical trail maintenance needs on National Forest system trails” said Joelle Marier, Executive Director of National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance. “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.”   

“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.” 

“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.”  

"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 NFSTS Funding Program is made possible through the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Act of 2016. 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.

View the Fact Sheet with final program statistics


Congratulations to all of the local stewardship groups that received grants this year:  

Ascend Wilderness Experience 

Backcountry Horsemen of California, Mother Lode Unit 

Backcountry Horsemen of Oregon, Sourdough Unit 

Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation 

Continental Divide Trail Coalition  

Friends of Panthertown  

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness  

Hungerford Trail Riders Association  

Tuff Riders Los Alamos, NM  

Munising Bay Trail Network  

New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors  

Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance  

Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association  

Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance 

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado 

Washington Trails Association  

Wildlands Restoration Volunteers