E-News April 30, 2020

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E-News – 30 April 2020
Update on Status of Butterfield National Historic Trail
Educational Resources on OCTA’s Websites
Give Us a Like on Facebook
Updates from the Partnership for the National Trails System

OCTA Hires Digital Media 
Communications Intern

OCTA is pleased to announce Sam Sullivan as their new Digital Media Communications Intern. Sam is a recent graduate of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he earned degrees Communications, Digital Media Communications, and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry. He was also a member of their track & field team, competing in sprint events, the long jump, pole vault, and javelin. He was a four-time Academic All Conference selection and won the 2019 Council of Presidents’ Academic Excellence Award and 2019 Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country Senior Excellence Award. Sam graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Shawnee, Kansas, where he resides today.

Sam has an extensive background in video production dating back to his high school days, where he gained experience by taking production and editing classes all four years and creating videos for various school functions. In college, he gained professional experience working for several KC-area marketing firms where he made videos for everything from financial advisers making economic forecasts to assisting high school athletes in creating sizzle reels to assist in their college recruiting. He also worked for the college, creating videos for sports teams and the psychology department.

Sam received an appointment to the New York Film Academy where he further honed his video skills and also worked on a project in the Florida Everglades. Working as part of a ten person team, Sam led team members through a 100 mile rigorous canoe journey through the Everglades. This experience tests each student’s leadership skills and challenges them both physically and mentally. Sam closed out his college experience as the class leader his college’s major senior Legacy Project by working with Synergy Services. Sam had the vision and leadership skills to raise the needed $35,000 to build and install an outdoor therapeutic wellness program for homeless youth at Synergy in North Kansas City.

Over the next year, Sam will help OCTA to strengthen its video presence across multiple formats and he will work to help populate our YouTube Channel, social media outlets, and websites with tons of new content. He will assist us in strengthening our Facebook presence by studying our analytics and learning our audiences and will also create an Instagram page and Twitter feed for us. Sam will work with us to further hone and develop our Google Ads presence as well and assist us as we create earned income opportunities across all of our digital formats, helping us reach newer, bigger, younger, and more diverse audiences worldwide. In the process, he will gain many valuable skills to help him land a full-time position, just as happened for our previous intern.

OCTA thanks the Partnership for the National Trails System and multiple federal agencies for providing the funding for intern positions. Please welcome Sam to OCTA!

Update on Status of Butterfield 
National Historic Trail Status

In the coming weeks, Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas) will be reaching out to Senators in gathering co-sponsors for support of the Butterfield Overland Trail National Historic Trail legislation. Senator Boozman has one Democrat as a co-sponsor and he wants to include as many additional Senators as possible in co-sponsoring the bill. When the Senate is back in session, Boozman said his office will reach out to the 14 Senators located in the seven states crossed by the Butterfield Overland Trail, which includes Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

His office would like us to reach out to Senators in these seven states as well as our contacts at the Convention & Visitor Bureaus, State Tourism, and State Parks Departments that are located along the Butterfield Overland Trail to ask for their support. OCTA will provide support materials in the coming weeks that you can share with your contacts. Be sure to link heritage tourism and economic development as you talk with decision-makers, as this helped the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail gain passage of the eastern extension from St. Louis to Pittsburgh last year. This economic development message of assisting in our nation’s recovery will be an important tool in support of passage.

Educational Resources on OCTA’s Websites

This is the time of year that educators are usually immersing their classes in their Westward Expansion units. Because all schools are closed down and students are largely learning in an online environment, OCTA’s online educational resources have taken on increased importance this year. If you’re an educator or if you know kids who are working from home, here are a few of our more prominent resources:

Please let us know if and how these resources proved useful to you, and let us know what more we can do to help!

Give Us a Like on Facebook
OCTA has focused even more intently on electronically communicating with you since we are not able to do so face-to-face for now. We’ve been focusing especially on making fun and informative “This Day in History” posts on our Facebook page. If you haven’t already given us a “like,” do so now so that you don’t miss out on near-daily updates! We’ve already shared information on the first ride of the Pony Express (which has over 5,200 views since we posted it!), the opening of a new wagon road between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1861, General Henry Atkinson and his role in opening the West to settlement, and the presidency of John Tyler and his role in opening the Oregon Territory to settlement, among others.

We will also soon be launching new Instagram and Twitter accounts and we’ll be inviting you all to post your own photos, videos, writings, and other content that we can share with each other while we wait for the world to open up again.

Updates from the Partnership for 
the National Trails System (PNTS)
Great American Outdoors Act
When the PNTS last reported on Congressional actions, the focus was on S. 3422, The Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan legislative package to jointly address both full and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and a dedicated fund to address backlog maintenance needs in our national parks, forests, and other public lands.
The Partnership for the National Trails System has been working with other organizations to position outdoor recreation and public lands, including the National Trails System, as a critical part of a national economic recovery effort. PNTS sent a letter to Congressional leaders in late March requesting attention to trails and associated local communities in any COVID-19 response, and along with many other organizations has continued to urge Congress to include the outdoor recreation economy and public lands in its stimulus plans. The question now is when that might happen.
PNTS Workshop
The Overmountain Victory Trail Association (OVTA) is planning to host the PNTS Fall National Trails Workshop in Spartanburg, South Carolina from October 26-30, 2020. This workshop is intended to serve the interests of both national scenic and historic trails. At this time, the Fall Workshop planning committee is very excited to seek your proposals for presentations. Plan B would be to implement this workshop virtually, so please note that the linked form will ask whether your presentation/session could be done virtually if the need arises. Please complete the request for proposals FORM linked here  by May 15, 2020.
PNTS Seeks Executive Director
The Partnership for the National Trails System seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial and visionary Executive Director to build on the organization’s 27-year legacy of accomplishments and guide its work to the next level of success. This position is based in the Washington, D.C. area and requires some national travel. The anticipated start date for the position is Fall 2020. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Salary range: $60,000-$75,000 plus healthcare benefits allowance. Please share this job position with your networks. To inquire about this opportunity, please contact Mary Stelletello, Principal, Vista Global Coaching & Consulting at mary@vistaglobalcc.com. To apply or nominate an individual, please send a cover letter and resume by email only to EDSearch@pnts.org. All correspondence will be held in the strictest confidence. No phone inquiries, please. View the job description here.
COVID-19 Updates for Trails
As you know, the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is evolving quickly. The Partnership for the National Trails System, to the best of its ability, will be posting updates to this webpage  regarding national scenic and historic trail organization responses, guidelines, policies, event cancellations, related news articles, and resources. Please make sure to check social media or individual websites for up-to-date information, and contact the trail organizations and corresponding federal agencies directly if you have questions. If you would like something shared to this page, please email Samantha Haas, PNTS Communications Coordinator, at communication@pnts.org.