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From the Desk of the Director of Trail Operations


Since late March, accompanied by Matt McGrath our USFS Trail Administrator, I've been hosting meetings in counties along the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.  These meetings are not quite complete, with a couple of counties left to go, but I've received a very good response to date. 


These meetings have included local staff from the USFS, Park Service, Border Patrol, State lands, private timber companies, local politicians, business leaders, Chambers of Commerce, and tourism interests.  I've gleaned valuable knowledge along the way about what the Trail means to locals and where the local community's involvement would like to be.  Boosting the economy of the local communities, educating youth and other users in the etiquette and benefits of having a National Scenic Trail in their backyard and what it means, encouraging volunteers to work with the PNTA in helping to maintain the Trail, developing more Trailheads to make it easier to access the Trail, and of course signage of the Trail.  These are all things that I take very seriously and as the PNTA moves forward will work with all constituents involved to implement.


In areas where we're confidant that the Trail Corridor will remain the same, signage has already been started on federal lands.  Signage of the Trail on state or county lands, as well as private lands is up to the discretion of the land owners, and we continue to work with them as to our ability to sign the Trail.  This process is ongoing!


Although the Trail was an Act of Congress in 2009, no federal dollars have been obligated to the Trail to speak of.  We have been fortunate to receive maintenance monies from the USFS to continue our SKY Youth Programs over the years which has enabled us to keep around 300 miles of the Trail maintained on a yearly basis.  That coupled with efforts from our volunteers and members of the Backcountry Horsemen we have kept another 150 plus miles maintained.


We are in dire need of more memberships and donations to the Association and implore those that are interested in the Trail to either contribute or join.  Those funds can be leveraged at a ratio of 5:1 with our agency partners to help with purchase of tools to supply our volunteers, more youth involvement along the length of the Trail, and all the other aspects of protecting and insuring the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail for future generations.


Happy Trails,


Jon Knechtel

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              Youth Volunteer Highlights


Hats off to Christian Warman and Cody Trout who as volunteers worked to get local high school students and student groups out on the trail as workers in April and May. To date they have a few hundred hours on Blanchard Mt. with students from Sedro-Woolley, Burlington, and Anacortes. Starting in June they will spend more time promoting the trail, day/weekend hikes on the PNNST, and showing how to access our trail from the local trail heads. They will visit sites in Bellingham, Marysville, and Skagit County. They had a test run at the new Cabals in Marysville in May where the cross cut saw was a big hit. They noted some changes and will incorporate them in further outings. Christian and Cody are also looking to fill some vacation volunteer trips for ages 16 and older.  It would be good opportunity for families to spend time together. If you know anyone who would be interested or want more information please give us a call.



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  Youth Volunteer Vacations 2012


Pacific Northwest Trail Association's Youth Vacations are opportunities for high school students ages 14-18 to spend a week outdoors building and maintaining hiking trails in a safe, teamwork-oriented environment throughout the state. Learn more about the details and the schedule.


Service Trips for High Schools Students


  Are you a high school student age 14 - 18 who loves to be outdoors? Are you eager to experience new challenges, learn new skills and meet new people? Learn all about the world of building and maintaining hiking trails, experienced in a safe, teamwork-oriented environment in various locations across the state. PNTA offers first-time participants front country trips, and more experienced students have the option to join a more remote trip in the backcountry.


Front country Trips:


PNTA Front country trips provide opportunities to experience projects near the ocean and in the mountains. All of our trips provide you with experienced crew leaders, a great project, some camping gear may be available (tents and sleeping pads provided for front country trips) and all of your meals for the week.


Advanced Backcountry Trips:


Those with experience, or Youth Volunteer Vacation experience may be eligible for one of our Advanced Backcountry trips. Participants on these trips will be backpacking in to the work site and will have a chance to advance trail and leadership skills under the supervision of a PNTA crew leader. Approval from a crew leader is necessary.

Trip Details:


In 2012, trip fees for PNTA members will be $195 for the first trip and $145 for each additional trip. No refund for cancellations less than 30 days prior to the trip. Due to the popularity of our trips, full payment and application is due within two weeks of signing up for a trip. If a trip is full and you would like to be added to a waitlist, please call us at 206/625-1367 or e-mail mailto:ltrout@pnt.org


Youth Vacation Information:

  • You must be 14 -18 years old to join one of our Youth Volunteer Vacations
  • Each person working on a crew will have to sign a liability release form.  Parents or guardians of those under 18 must sign for minors.

2012 Youth Volunteer Vacation Schedule:


Jun 24-Jun 30     Loomis State Forest -Back Country Youth Vacation

                                Washington State Forest ,   5 crew openings left.


Jul 08-Jul 14        Loomis State Forest -Back Country Youth Vacation

            Washington State Parks,    5 crew openings left.                  

Jul 15-Jul 21        Loomis State Forest -Back Country Youth Vacation

            Washington State Forest,    5 crew openings left.      


Jul 22- Jul 28       Hannegan Pass Trail-Front Country Youth Vacation

            Mt. Baker Ranger District,    5 crew openings left.      


Jul 29-Aug 04       Lake Ann Trail-Front Country Youth Vacation

                                Mt. Baker Ranger District,    5 crew openings left.      


Aug 05-Aug 11    Hannegan Pass Trail-Front Country Youth Vacation

        Mt. Baker Ranger District,  5 crew openings left.      



Volunteer Work Parties


The backbone of trail organizations like ours are the volunteers and members who through their efforts help to maintain what is one of our country's greatest assests, its wilderness trails and parks.  If you want to join a crew or if you, your club/organization or company want to put a crew together lets us know.  You can contact us at (360) 854-9415 or e-mail either Lewis Trout, Trail Crew Coordinator at ltrout@pnt.org or Jon Knechtel, Director of Trail Management at jknechtel@pnt.org.  If you want to let other volunteers join your crew we can add it to this list along with your contact information for those interested in volunteering.  


Tips to trail work:

     No matter where you work  wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, have work gloves, and plenty of fluids to drink.  If the crew is a day crew usually you will need to bring a lunch.  It all depends on the crew's organizer as to what you need. 



      Each person working on a crew will have to sign a liability release form.  Parents or guardians of those under 18 must sign for minors.


*******Work Parties*******


Skagit-Whatcom Trail Maintenance Organization

2012 schedule.April through October (First and Third Saturday of each month).  Except for National Trails Day the meeting place is the Cook Road Park-n-Ride, exit 232 from I-5 north of Burlington across from Starbucks.  Meeting time is 8:15 am.  For questions and more information call (360) 424-0407 or e-mail jdmelcher@comcast.net.


 June 2 (National Trails Day)

June 16th

July 7th and July 21st

August 4th and August 18th

September 1st and September 15th

October 6th and October 20th




National Great Outdoors Month!


What a wonderful month June is.  The weather becomes increasingly nice and summer is right around the corner.  What better time of the year to get out and get active.  Along with President Obama the Governors Gregoire of Washington, Otter of Idaho and Schweitzer of Montana have added their States to a growing list of States, who have proclaimed June as National Great Outdoors Month. 


With National Trails Day on June 2nd and National Get Outdoors Day on June 9th what better time is there to check out the trails and parks in your State and spend time enjoying a day or two or more hiking, biking or camping with family and friends. 


To celebrate National Get Outdoors Day on June 9th the US Forest Service and National Parks Department has made June 9th a "Fee Free" day to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day.  So why not take advantage of this opportunity and head outdoors and enjoy.



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If you have any events you would like to have included or if you want to put together a volunteer work party and would like to have that information included in the newsletter you can contact us at (360) 854--9415 or e-mail us at ldowning@pnt.org  
In This Issue
From the Desk of the Director of Trail Operations
Youth Volunteer Highlights
Youth Volunteer Vacations
Work Parties
National Great Outdoors Month
Upcoming Events
Pacific Northwest Trail Guide
Join Today 
Your membership makes the PNNST possible. 
It supports  the construction, maintenance, and protection of the trail for current and future generations to enjoy.
To find out more about becoming a member click on the membership link below.


Upcoming Events


June 2nd, 2012

National Trails Day



Skagit-Whatcom TMO

Deception Pass, WA

For more information call

(360) 424-0407 or e-mail jdmelcher@comcast.net


Okanogan Valley Chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen of WA

will be logging out the Antoine and Southside Trails on the north and west flanks of Mt Bonaparte. For more information call  

(509) 486-2061 or e-mail trygveculp@gmail.com 



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amz logo link to pathfinder book
Ron Strickland




 Ultimate Hiker's                 Gear Guide

amz skurka book logo
ByAndrew Skurka




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Great news up until now it's been difficult to get a hold of a copy of the PNT trail guide.  But thanks to one of our followers on Facebook we were given the heads up that you can now get an affordable copy of the guide from
Google's ebookstore.   

Trail Guide

Pacific Northwest Trail Association
24854 Charles Jones Memorial Circle #4
Sedro Woolley, WA 98273