National Trails System Projects

To preserve, protect, and develop the components of the National Trails System, with a strong emphasis on volunteer involvement.

The Secretary may enter into written cooperative agreements to operate, develop, and maintain any portion of such a trail either within or outside a federally administered

credit: IDEA

The Secretary may provide financial assistance to encourage participation in the acquisition, protection, operation, development, or maintenance of such trails.

For American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects additional objectives include: To preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery; To assist those most impacted by the recession; To provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health; To invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits; and To stabilize State and local governments budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.
Website Address

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2009: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2010: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funding is to be used by States or their political subdivisions, landowners, private organizations, or individual to operate, develop, and maintain any portion of such a trail either within or outside a federally administered area.

Such agreements may include provisions for limited financial assistance to encourage participation in the acquisition, protection, operation, development or maintenance of such trails.

The NPS shall also initiate consultations with affected States and their political subdivisions to encourage (A) the development and implementation by such entities of appropriate measures to protect private landowners from trespass resulting from trail use and from unreasonable person liability and property damage caused by trail use, and (B) the development and implementation by such entities of provisions for land practices compatible with the purposes of this Act, for property within or adjacent to trail rights-of-way.

After consulting with States and their political subdivisions under the preceding sentence, the Secretary may provide assistance to such entities under appropriate cooperative agreements in the manner provided by this subsection.

The availability of discretionary funding is determined by individual trail units each fiscal year.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State, Local, Interstate, Intrastate, Federally Recognized Indian Tribes, Individual/Family,Native American Organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Interstate, Intrastate, State, Local, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments, Individual/Family, Profit Organization, Anyone/general public.


Documentation of ownership of the subject property is required of all applicants in the form of a registered deed or presentation of the most recent tax bill. All applicants other than individual property owners are required to cite laws or bylaws that authorize the organization to accept funds. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Eligible applicants will be required to submit a SF 424, Application for Federal Assistance and other required documentation. The announcement will be published on

Award Procedures

A proposal for financial assistance can start with a letter of intent to the National Park Service office servicing the agreement. Or, direct face to face negotiations can result in NPS framing the agreement for later review and ratification by the receiving party. Before the agreement is finalized, it should include a detailed budget breakdown for each work element. The mutually agreed-upon cooperative agreement is reviewed within NPS and submitted to the appropriate Departmental Offices for approval. Once the agreement is approved and signed by a qualifying NPS contracting official, the work outlined in the agreement can begin.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5; The National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C 1241-51.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Generally 30 to 90 days.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 50.%. When trail base funds are available through these cooperative agreements, this program has no matching requirements. When funds are made available from the NPS Challenge Cost-Share program, if the project will be credited to that program, at least a 50-50 non-Federal match is required. Such matches can include in-kind services, volunteer hours, and other non-monetary services.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Cooperative Agreements generally have a period of performance of up to five years. Funding availability and source will be a factor in determining the length of assistance. Reimbursement is accomplished as outlined in the proposal and subsequent agreement based on the particular project requirements. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Not available.

Post Assistance Requirements


All organizations will be required to submit a minimum of a yearly narrative summary accomplishments reports to the National Park Service in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

All projects and activities are monitored for progress and compliance with agreed upon scope of work.

For ARRA funds, recipients and agencies must comply with the reporting requirements as described in 2 CFR Part 176 -Award Terms for Assistance Agreements That Include Funds Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Requirements for reporting the use of awarded ARRA funds are found at and will incorporated into the agreement.

Recipients must register and report on the use of awarded funds at

These reports will be made publicly available.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Specific projects or activities for which funds are advanced shall be tracked and reported by submittal of Standard Form 270 Request for Advance or Reimbursement, and a quarterly submittal of Standard Form 425 Federal Financial Report.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Recipients will maintain records in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments" and 43 CFR 12, Subpart F, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations. The Cooperator must must maintain a complete detailed accounting system to report expenditures of Cooperative Agreement funds and accomplishments achieved under the award. Records, accounts and supporting documents must be retained for 3 years submission for final request for reimbursement. For ARRA funds, the provisions of 2 CFR 176 apply.

Financial Information

Account Identification

14-1035-1-1-303 - TAFS 1409/101035; TAS 14-1036-0-1-303.


(Project Grants) FY 08 $0; FY 09 est $4,700,000; FY 10 est $0 - FY 2010 awards will depend on individual trail budgets. Currently the estimate for FY 2010 is not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range of awards $1,000 to $1 million. Average award $96,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Government-wide Guidance located at 2 CFR Part 12; Department of Interior Regulations regarding financial assistance located at 43 CFR Part 12, Guidance

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

Steve Elkinton National Park Service, National Trails, 1849 C Street, Washington, District of Columbia 20240 Email: Phone: (202) 354-6938

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

These criteria may vary somewhat from region to region. Fosters components of the National Trails System. Helps local trail office carry current program objectives. Helps complete work started in previous years. Enhances public understanding and appreciation of a trail or the entire Trails System. Can be accomplished within the next year.

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