News Rights

2024 National Forest System Trail Stewardship Grant Recipients Announced

$215,000 awarded to support 16 trail maintenance and improvement projects

By Joy Burgess

The National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partners (Trail Partners) Funding Program recently announced the recipients of the 2024 grants. In total, the program awarded $215,000 to 16 trail maintenance and improvement projects across the U.S.

The Trail Partners grant program is a joint partnership between the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the U.S. Forest Service in collaboration with the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), American Trails, American Hiking Society, International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), and the Back Country Horsemen of America. Grants help support organizations leading trail maintenance efforts across the country’s National Forests, distributing funds throughout the trails’ community, both by recreation type and geographically.

The AMA has been involved with the Trail Partners grant program since its creation in 2016 as a result of the National Forest Trails Stewardship Act and continues to work on increasing awareness of the program as a grant source.

“It’s important that AMA members, clubs and the general public are aware of the Trail Partners program as a possible grant source to fund trail repair and improvements,” said AMA Government Relations Central States Representative Nick Sands. “We encourage more people to submit grant applications for motorized trail projects in 2025.”

Another motorized group that sits on the review committee for the Trail Stewardship Partners Funding Program includes the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), a 501c3 dedicated to creating a positive future for off-highway vehicle recreation.

“NOHVCC is honored to participate in this fantastic grant program and we hope to do our part to encourage motorized partners to apply for grants in future funding cycles” said Marc Hildesheim, Executive Director for NOHVCC. “It is always a pleasure to work with the AMA; NOHVCC and the AMA have partnered on many great initiatives over the years.”

The projects selected for grants in 2024 will engage around 2,250 volunteers in 39,000 hours of maintenance work to repair over 900 miles of trail and will match federal dollars awarded with $1,723,000 in cash and similar support.

“The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance values ongoing partnership with the USDA Forest Service and our national trails community to get much-needed funding on the ground for critical trail maintenance projects that increase access, engage the public, promote sustainable use, and stretch federal dollars,” said Joelle Marier, Executive Director of National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance. “I am continually impressed by the energy, dedication, and passion every single applicant brings to public lands stewardship. This year our partners really brought the fire, leveraging federal dollars at an 8:1 ratio. I am particularly grateful for the ongoing support from our collaborating organizations whose reviewers contribute many hours of their valuable time year to year to represent their communities and help select the best and most diverse projects.” 

Chad Schneckenburger, USDA Forest Service Acting National Trail Program Manager added that, “Investing in the Trail Stewardship Partner Funding program has proved to be an excellent way to help actualize the vision and meet the goals of the 10 Year Trails Shared Stewardship Challenge —to increase the collective capacity to care for National Forest System trails while simultaneously increasing the number of trail miles that are well-designed, well-maintained, and well suited to support recreation use today and into the future. These grants encourage partners, volunteers, and the general public to become engaged with their National Forest System trails and provide an excellent return-on-investment for the American taxpayer.”

Out of the 16 groups receiving funding, groups awarded grants specifically for motorized trail maintenance include:

  • BCHC Educational Fund: $12,300; Region 5 (Pacific Southwest) – A volunteer-led general trail maintenance and repair project with a strong focus on fire-impacted areas.
  • Mountain Bike the Tetons: $16,300; Region 4 (Intermountain Region) – An organization that has strong collaboration with partner organizations serving diverse communities of trail users.
  • Headwaters Trail Alliance: $30,000; Region 2 (Rocky Mountain Region) – Multiple use general trail maintenance proposal on a variety of trail types using a combination of staff, contractors and volunteers to complete work. Funding will contribute to staffing costs for HTA’s overall trails program.

The Trail Partners 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.  

To learn more about the Trail Partners Funding Program, visit

To learn more about both grant programs at the federal and state level, visit the AMA’s grant resource page at  

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