Above: PNTA coordinates an annual bulk print run of mapsets as a service to our members.
Maps are produced at cost using a local printer and shipped using the US Postal Service.
June eNews
In This Issue

  • 2018 Mapset Released
  • University of Montana Study
  • Significant Wildfire Potential
  • In Remembrance of Gene Joy

2018 Mapset Released


The new and improved PNTA mapset was released in early June, just in time for the prime hiking season.

The 2018 edition reflects the latest changes to the Pacific Northwest Trail - this year, the PNT is 9.3 miles longer. The Association and our partners devoted considerable resources to refine our data set. The update features over 130 new waypoints and 75 updated base maps to improve the user experience and aid in navigation. It also has over 60 miles of updated and field-verified track files for area trails where information is provided solely by the Association.

The PNTA produces maps to the Pacific Northwest Trail to improve access and to promote responsible use. PNTA Strip Maps feature easy-to-read, detailed map pages which communicate land manager regulations and Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics with embedded page notes. PNTA Strip Maps also include notes to support planning and logistics for long-distance hiking trips.


BULK PRINTING

Each season, the PNTA coordinates a bulk printing of newly revised maps, at the cost of production, as a service to our members. It’s our way of saying, “thanks” for helping to support our work, and for giving back to the Pacific Northwest Trail.

The Association would like to thank everyone who became a member this month, and those who donated in support of the project. If you are not a PNTA member , there is no better time to give back to the trail and help support our mission.


USING PNTA MAPS

PNTA Strip Maps can be viewed on our website, or downloaded for home or commercial printing, for free from our webstore.

PNTA Strip Maps are designed for use with The Pacific Northwest Trail Digest, 2018 Edition , by Tim Youngbluth, and Guthook’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest Trail . The guidebook, app, and mapset all reference a common set of waypoints. While the most important notes are included on PNTA’s map pages, Youngbluth provides more detail to help in navigation, route choice decisions, and much more.

Guthook’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest Trail can turn your smartphone into a powerful navigation tool. The official hiking app of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association is NOW AVAILABLE for iPhone and Android devices and makes a perfect companion to PNTA Strip Maps.


HOW YOU CAN HELP

Did you know? The first maps to the Pacific Northwest Trail were created by a volunteer.
Thanks to herculean efforts by cartographer, Ted Hitzroth, the first PNT maps were published in Ron Strickland’s Pacific Northwest Trail Guide, in 1984. Since that time, mapping technology and the route of the trail have continuously improved.

Today, the Association maintains the data set of the PNT, but volunteers and partners still play an outsized role in their making. If you’re planning a trip on the trail this year, you can help by being our eyes and ears on the ground. Help us to verify data, collect tracks and waypoints, or submit a Field Report about trail conditions .

As with any trail map, conditions on the ground may differ from our data. With the dynamic and remote trail corridor of the Pacific Northwest Trail, the 2018 edition of our mapset remains imperfect. Always expect the unexpected on the PNT, and keep your sense of humor. Navigation challenges have always been a part of the Crown-to-Coast adventure.
Glenns Lake in Glacier National Park. Photo by Ashley Hill.
University of Montana Study


Attention 2018 Thru-hikers and section hikers: Would you like the help the land managers and policy makers improve the PNT experience for future generations?

This year, a joint study led by the University of Montana seeks to understand the intersection of recreation and conservation on the Pacific Northwest Trail in grizzly bear habitat.

The study is optional, but it’s important, and your participation would be greatly appreciated.

The study will investigate the movements of thru-hikers on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail and the movements of grizzly bears in the Cabinet-Yaak region. This is important data to land managers because it can help them to better understand the relationship between recreation and conservation in grizzly habitat.

Participants will use a lightweight GPS unit to collect data on the grizzly bear habitat along the Pacific Northwest Trail and will be asked to complete an online survey after their hike.

Please register here if you’re interested in volunteering and giving back to the National Trails System in 2018. 
Above: The National Interagency Coordination Center predicts significant wildfire potential in 2018.
Significant Wildfire Potential


If NICC forecasts prove to be accurate, fire danger ratings could become elevated across the Pacific Northwest Trail this year. Areas from the Rocky Mountains to the North Cascades are expected to have “significant wildfire potential.” Yet, with a few basic precautions, elevated fire danger does not have to lead to a wildfire.

Although wildfires caused by lightning are a natural phenomenon, too many wildfires today are caused by preventable accidents. According the US Forest Service , “nationally, nearly nine out of ten wildfires are human-caused,” each year. To date, the PNTA is unaware of any wildfire caused by a PNTA hiker. Don’t be the first!

As fire season approaches, the Association would like to remind our trail community to put forests first on the PNT and take these steps to prevent human-caused fires.


1. Cook Responsibly by Adapting to Conditions

It is common for fire danger to become elevated throughout the summer as conditions become drier. When this happens, campfires and certain camp stoves may be temporarily prohibited on the PNT until conditions change.

Before your visit, you should always check fire restrictions in effect and be prepared to be flexible. If campfires are prohibited, consider these great alternatives suggested by our partners at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

While alcohol and twig-burning stoves are popular among ultralight backpackers, they are a poor choice for many trips on the PNT. These stoves are prohibited on the dry, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (which includes the Pasayten Wilderness) and may become temporarily prohibited across most of the trail corridor. Canister stoves can provide a safer alternative, because they have an on-off switch and are less prone to user error.

You might also consider packing no-cook meals for overnight trips on the PNT. Many dehydrated foods can be rehydrated with cold water, and there are many ready-to-eat foods that are well-suited to backpacking trips. No-cook meals also have the advantage of saving the carried weight of a backpacking stove and fuel, and they can save the time and burden of responsibility that comes with backcountry cooking.


2. Know Before You Go

Before you leave for the trail, it’s your responsibility to research the latest fire restrictions put in effect by the local land manager. During wildfire season, conditions can change quickly.

You can also get the latest information about trail closures, fire restrictions, and wildfire detours by subscribing to the Association’s Trail Alerts system . The PNTA partners with land managers to monitor conditions along the trail corridor. The Association shares key information through plain text emails to our subscribers. This allows us to alert our users to changing conditions, including those who are out on the trail and may have access to limited service.


3. Speak Up

Be our eyes and ears on the trail; report all wildfire sightings to the proper authorities. When you observe non-approved fires, report them to a ranger. If you feel comfortable using the “ Authority of the Resource Technique ,” try approaching the individual in a non-confrontational manner and illustrate the consequences these kinds of actions could have on our public lands. 
In Remembrance of Gene Joy


Gene Joy, President of SWITMO, the Skagit-Whatcom-Island County Trail Maintenance Organization and longtime Skagit Valley resident, passed away this month.
 
Throughout his life, Joy was a dedicated volunteer in his community, serving as an active member of the Prairie Volunteer Fire Department for 29 years. As a 15 year member of SWITMO , Joy helped to build and maintain the popular hiking trails that form the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail in Northwest Washington.
 
Joy led SWITMO trail crews that work in Deception Pass State Park , Blanchard Mountain , and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest .

Every Pacific Northwest Trail enthusiast can appreciate Joy’s many contributions to the trail, particularly on the Swift Creek Trail south of Mount Baker. For over a decade, Joy worked to ensure that PNT hikers could enjoy a safe crossing over Rainbow Creek by installing a seasonal footbridge and hand cable each spring.

A Life Celebration potluck gathering will be held on Sunday, June 24, 2018 at 2:00 PM at the Sedro-Woolley Community Center. You can also share memories of Gene and sign the online guest register at the Lemley Chapel.

Lowell E. "Gene" Joy, President of SWITMO
1933 - 2018

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