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Thanks for your response - very helpful.
It looks like the correct location for trap template files is:
c:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\Orion
We have one Solarwinds polling server/web server and one alternate polling server in the environment. As it turns out the team member working on the custom snmp trap copied the file to the correct location but on the alternate polling server.
I finally figured out that the trap file was not on the main polling/web server. Copied the file there and the new file started showing up in the drop down for SNMP template.
I was looking for some kind of import/config routine to add an snmp template or - eeek - add directly to a SQL table.
It looks like you just add the trap file to the correct folder and the alert action configure routine reads all files with correct extension from the configured folder to populate the drop down.
Again thanks much. Marking as Answered.