Above: Jack Mountain as seen from the PNT in the Pasayten Wilderness. Photo by Jeff Kish.
July eNews
In This Issue

  • Thru-hiker Gives Back
  • PNTA Works on Pasayten
  • US Forest Service Publishes Fact Sheet
  • Crews Volunteer to Conserve Whitebark Pine
  • August Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer, Christian Frey and the PNTA's Eastern Washington Performance Trail Crew.
Thru-hiker Gives Back

After thru-hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail from end-to-end last year, Christian “Blues Clues” Frey returned to the PNT for his Fourth of July Holiday, not to hike the trail, but to lend a hand with maintaining it.

Thoughtful and unassuming, Christian earned the trail name, Blues Clues for his ability to reunite other thru-hikers with their lost gear.

After hiking the trail during the worst wildfire season in years, Christian knew firsthand the effects fire had on the Northwest. In all, five major fires threatened the Pacific Northwest Trail in 2017.

To restore the PNT after the Noisy Creek Fire , the Association’s trail crews needed a little extra help, and Christian answered the call for drop-in volunteers. As he put it, “The trail gave me so much, and I wanted to give back.”
PNTA Crews helped to restore access to the PNT/ Boundary Trail. Photos by Kelsey Leppek.
PNTA Works on Pasayten

Restoring the Pacific Northwest Trail in the Pasayten Wilderness after last year’s Diamond Creek Megafire is a priority for the Association and our partners in 2018.  

Nearly 100 miles of the PNT falls within the 531,000-acre Wilderness , a highlight of the trail in Washington which offers the longest roadless stretch of the National Scenic Trail’s corridor.

The immersive wilderness experience offered by this stretch of remote trail earns it a place on many outdoor enthusiast’s life lists. With 150 miles between resupply points, the PNT presents a challenging traverse of untrammeled landscape, crossing from the open grasslands in the eastern portion of the wilderness to the dramatic peaks in the west.

Aside from the length of the section, the rugged character of the Pasayten Wilderness makes for a challenging backcountry experience. While naturally-occurring fires have played an important role in forest health, they have compounded the challenge of keeping trails open and safe.

Over time, several fires have contributed to a trail maintenance backlog which helped earn a large portion of the wilderness designation as a priority area by the USDA earlier this year.

After the news that last year’s Diamond Creek Fire had burned an additional 128,000 acres in the Wilderness – including 22 miles of the PNT/ Boundary Trail – many felt the call action.
US Forest Service Publishes Fact Sheet

Do you have questions about the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (PNT)?

The Pacific Northwest Trail Association has a long-standing partnership with the US Forest Service in the management of the Pacific Northwest Trail. As the lead agency responsible for the administration of the PNT, the Forest Service is responsible for providing trailwide coordination, guidance, technical assistance, and consultation with other agencies or private landowners who manage sections of the trail.

To help answer common questions about the PNT, the US Forest Service recently published an informative fact sheet.

If you would like to learn more about the management of the PNT related to: long distance/thru-hiker capacity, grizzly bear recovery and other conservation efforts, impacts on motorized access and timber production, or border safety and security, you can find the US Forest Service fact sheet , below.

For answers to other questions about long distance hiking and other forms of recreation on the the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, please visit the Association’s FAQ page at PNT.org.
Above: Volunteers at the Kettle Range Rendezvous. Photo by Jeff Johnson.
Crews Volunteer to Conserve Whitebark Pine

The Association’s Performance Crew took a day off from trail work this month to help volunteers with the Lands Council and Kettle Range Conservation Group with whitebark pine conservation efforts at the annual Kettle Range Rendezvous.

The Kettle River Range is one of several mountain ranges along the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. On this portion of the Colville National Forest , the PNT follows the crest of the range through stands of whitebark pine, an important species that thrives at altitude, but is declining across its range in the Western States due to a combination of threats.

On the Colville, where nearly half of the trees have been infected by white pine blister rust, important disease-resistant stands of the pine have been discovered. In 2015, the Forest implemented the Whitebark Pine Enhancement Project to help improve growing conditions for whitebark pine on the Kettles through vegetation management, prescribed burning, and other methods.

In the western Cascades, blister rust, and outbreaks of mountain pine beetles have caused severe population decline in the species, now classified as endangered by the IUCN.

By partnering with the Kettle Range Conservation Group and volunteers, the Forest seeks to protect the species which provides an important food source for many birds and mammals, including grizzly and black bears.
Above: The PNT in the Buckhorn Wilderness. Photo by Tyler Yates.
August Volunteer Opportunities

This summer, you can help restore access to closed trails and keep the PNT in shape. A new volunteer opportunity on the Olympic National Forest was just announced and more will be posted throughout the month.

Join our PNTA Trail Crews in beautiful settings for the day, or longer. No experience is necessary for most trips. PNTA will provide training, tools, and safety equipment.

You can also complete a volunteer form and we’ll contact you when an opportunity that matches your interests becomes available.

Follow us on social media for trail updates, pictures and fun!
Use the hashtag #crowntocoast and we'll share your PNT pictures. 
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