News Release Date: June 1, 2017
Contact: Elizabeth Stern, 202-230-2974
WASHINGTON – Today, several federal agencies and their nonprofit partners announced the launch of #FindYourWay to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the Wild & Scenic Rivers acts in 2018. Over the next two years, #FindYourWay will invite visitors from all backgrounds to explore America’s trails and rivers.
The National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers have stewardship roles in the trails and rivers systems, from the Appalachian, Lewis and Clark, and Ozark Highlands trails to the Delaware, Salmon, Snake, and Missouri rivers. State and local governments and nonprofit partners also provide stewardship support for the two systems through site management, volunteer service, philanthropic support, and community engagement.
Find Your Way expands on the National Park Service and National Park Foundation’s Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement and invites the public to discover their own personal connections to thousands of trails across the U.S. and more than 12,000 miles of rivers protected by the Wild & Scenic Rivers System. Through social media, local and national events, videos, and other programs, Find Your Way aims to build public awareness of the National Trails and Wild & Scenic Rivers Systems, and increase engagement and volunteerism to support them.
The launch of Find Your Way is accompanied by the first in a summer-long series of videos produced to depict the different ways in which people, families and communities connect to and experience public lands through trails and rivers. Partners across the country will invite the public to Find Your Way to celebrations on American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day on June 3, and the tourism industry will explore Find Your Way during the International Trade and Tourism trade show in Washington, DC in early June. Additional elements of the rivers and trails campaigns will roll out later in 2017.
“So many of us have experienced unforgettable moments of inspiration on America’s remarkable landscapes,” said National Park Service Acting Director Michael T. Reynolds. “As the National Park Service continues to invite the public to find your park, the rivers and trails 50th is a unique opportunity to find your way to your own inspirational moments along America’s exceptional rivers and scenic and historic trails.”
On October 2, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Trails System Act and the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, establishing the two systems. Legislation establishing National Historic Trails was enacted in 1978. Criteria for designation vary, and elements of the systems are stewarded by a variety of federal, state, and local agencies and nonprofit organizations. More information is available online about the National Trails System and the Wild & Scenic Rivers System.
About the 50th Anniversary Partners
The river and trail communities commemorating the 50th anniversary of their establishment include both federal government and non-profit partners. Federal agency partners include the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers. River organizations American Rivers and American Whitewater, River Management Society and River Network join the federal agencies to build community around rivers in 2018. Trails nonprofit partners include American Hiking Society, American Trails, the Partnership for the National Trails System, and the Rails to Trails Conservancy.