Our Stories

Hike the Hill 2021: Congressional Outreach

Categories: Advocacy


The final week of Hike the Hill was a busy one!

by Andrea Ketchmark

We kicked off the week with a meeting with the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Vicki Christiansen to discuss the new 10 Year Trail Shared Stewardship Challenge. Trail advocates met with the House and Senate Natural Resources Committee, as well as Appropriations Committee staff to communicate the funding needs of our critically underfunded resources. Our last meeting was with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Interior Shannon Estenoz to discuss how the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management can better support the Trails under their management.

We also reached out to our members of Congress, asking our Senators to support the reintroduction of the National Scenic Trails Parity Act, and our Representatives to sign on to a “Dear Colleague” letter supporting funding for the National Trails System.

Although we build these relationships year round, during Hike the Hill our voice is amplified. By joining forces with the Partnership for the National Trails System, American Hiking Society, and American Trails, organizations like NCTA have the ability to share our story on a much broader stage. And our collective stories speak for themselves.

During the pandemic, we saw the realization that our nation’s trails are critical parts of America’s infrastructure. Trails aren’t simply nice to have – they are public assets that drive the health of our people and our economies. If we want our trails to meet the needs of millions of users that seek respite in nature, we as a nation need to invest in their future. Join us in the effort to advance climate resilience, equitable outdoor access, local economic growth and public health through trails!

Contact your members of Congress and ask that the National Trails System be a priority.

  • Share why the Trail matters to you, and ask that it be made priority in Congress and in our federal agencies. 
  • Ask your Senators to sign on to the National Scenic Trails Parity Act by contacting Senator Baldwin’s office. 
  • Ask your House members to sign on to a “Dear Colleague” letter supporting funding for the National Trails System by contacting Rep. Blumenauer and Rep. Stivers. 

More information on these issues and how to contact your members of Congress can be found on our Advocacy page.