The mission of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association is to protect and promotoe the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (PNNST), and to enhance recreation and educational opportunities for the enjoyment of the present and future generations.
The Pacific Northwest Trail Association (PNTA) has a vision for the future of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail and a vision for the future of our organization:
IN OUR VISION:
Decades of advocacy by the Pacific Northwest Trail Association earned the Pacific Northwest Trail a place in our National Trails System in 2009, resulting in congressional designation as a National Scenic Trail—the gold standard among long-distance trails in America.
Today, we are working to permanently protect the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail corridor and to ensure that the PNT is well maintained and well managed for the enjoyment of all, including generations of long-distance trail enthusiasts yet to come.
Approximately 300 miles of the current route of the trail corridor is located on motorized routes—gravel forest roads and blacktop highways. Each year, we work shoulder to shoulder with dozens of federal, state, and local governments, as well as people and communities along the length of the trail, to complete the PNT as a continuous non-motorized route. Mile by mile, we’re working with regional partners to relocate sections of the current route of the PNT off of roads and on to new tread.
The Pacific Northwest Trail explores a diversity of ecosystems and distinctly Northwestern communities along its 1,200-mile pathway from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean. We’re working to preserve and protect the quality and variety of experiences that comprise the Crown-to-Coast route of the PNT, including rugged wilderness environments and the working landscapes of the Northwest.
Building and maintaining trails requires funding. While volunteers play an important role in trail maintenance on the Pacific Northwest Trail, and make significant contributions to the upkeep of thousands of miles of our nation’s beloved trails, the role of our professional trail crews is an essential one. Trained and seasoned crew leaders have the experience to manage local youth, volunteers, and backcountry construction projects safely and to professional standards.
Each year, we meet with Congress to share the economic and social benefits that the Pacific Northwest Trail has had on the communities of the Northwest, and advocate for robust support of federal programs that support our public lands and the future of the Pacific Northwest Trail. It is not widely known among outdoor enthusiasts that budget-cutting measures from Congress in recent years have left thousands of miles of trails in the Northwest unmaintained. Scarce funding at the US Forest Service and National Park Service has left maintenance backlogs across thousands of miles of trails in our National Forests (which make up over half of the trail corridor of the PNT) and in our National Parks (which comprise about 20% of the PNT).
With over three quarters of the trails in the Pacific Northwest below US Forest Service standards, a growing maintenance backlog presents a serious test of member-supported trail associations.
As a result, community fundraising projects are an important facet of our work—the users of our trail and the communities along its corridor make important financial contributions to the PNTA. Their private support helps to keep the PNT maintained under circumstances where federal and state funding may be deficient.
Beaches - Olympic National Park
A combination of sandy and rocky beaches lie along the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park. Photo by Tyler Yates.
For 27 years, the Pacific Northwest Trail Association has engaged local youth in a variety of academic, vocational, and volunteer community service programs.
Today, we administer youth programs which engage local youth in service to our public lands. As PNTA trail crew members, young people across the Northwest learn trail stewardship skills while working to maintain the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.
The PNTA operates multiple trail stewardship programs for youth and young adults. The Quilcene Ranger Corps provides opportunities for local youth to get involved with trail stewardship in the Olympic region of the Pacific Northwest Trail, and our Performance Trail Crews provide opportunities for young adults to build and maintain trails across Washington.
Our Youth Programs provide opportunities to local youth to work in service to the Pacific Northwest Trail. Over the course of the season, they are introduced to trail stewardship and a variety of career paths in: forestry, environmental stewardship, and other related fields.
Beyond learning to perform trail maintenance and construction techniques to U.S. Forest Service Standards, students also learn about Leave-No-Trace Ethics, teamwork, and enjoy the satisfaction of serving our public lands and their local communities.
|Volunteer +||Location||Date Posted|
|The Pacific Northwest Trail Association (PNTA) is seeking new board members.||Sedro-Woolley, WA||February 4, 2021|