2013 Jim Schmid presents awards at Florida National Scenic Trail 30th Anniversary Celebration

Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Symposium. The US Forest Service, along with the Florida Trail Association and the Florida Outdoor Recreation Coalition is hosting the 2013 the third annual Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Symposium to highlight the 30th Anniversary and future plans of one of Florida’s most remarkable trails. An active program of speakers will take attendees through the past, present, and future of the FNST. The symposium occurs from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon on Saturday, Sept. 28th (prior to the beginning of the Florida Outdoor Recreation Summit). Registration, but no fee, is required and a continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. The first 100 registrants will receive a special FNST Trail cap.

The above was the press release we distributed. Two years before working with John Waldron founder of The Florida Outdoor Recreation Coalition (today he is known as the Florida Outdoor Recreation Crusader) had the idea to host a Florida National Scenic Trail Symposium the morning of his Summit. We only needed 3 hours to update folks on our progress with the Trail. 2011 and 2012 went very well with over a hundred Florida Trail supporters showing up at the Zoo in Sanford each year. 2013 was the 30th Anniversary of the Florida Trail being a National Scenic Trail with the US Forest Service as administrator. In that time there had been three administrators before me. I thought it would be a wonderful if they could attend. All said yes. I presented each a plaque thanking them for their service. Steve Sherwood was the first administrator back in the 1970s, Debbie Caffin in the 1990s and Michele Mitchell in the 2000s. I served from 2010 to 2014. Our featured speaker was Steve Elkinton, the program leader for the National Trails System in the National Park Service’s Washington headquarters since 1989. We both retired in 2014. Susan Matthews, Forest Supervisor of the National Forests in Florida  and I are presenting Carlos Schomaker, President of the Florida Trail Association a special plaque thanking the association for their 30 year partnership with the US Forest Service.

We presented each attendee a poster showing the current status of the Florida National Scenic Trail and a commemorative hat. We also presented the first ever State of the Trail Report containing the status of each segment of the Trail. All in all a great morning. I really enjoyed my time working on the Trail. A great bunch of people.