2019 Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Highlights

Pacific Northwest Trail Association (PNTA)


Trail Towns — PNTA developed an Interpretive Kiosk Planning Guide to be used to inform and standardize the design and installation of informational kiosks in Gateway Communities along the length of the Pacific Northwest NST. The kiosk guide was developed throughout a pilot trail town project to erect the PNTA’s first interpretive kiosk near the halfway point of the PNT in Oroville, WA. The project built off a foundation laid by a previous internship facilitated through a partnership between the USFS, PNTA, and Western Washington University to develop an interpretive plan for the PNT. PNTA tested best practices for community engagement and developed a template for partnering with local land managers on content design and shared shared responsibility for maintenance and upkeep. 

Partnerships — The Pacific Northwest Region and Northern Region of the USFS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (KTOI) to establish Government-to-Government consultation and coordination on the PNT. A team of staff members from KTOI, the USFS PNT program, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, and the Kootenai National Forest meets monthly to discuss concerns and opportunities to work together, and identify issues to bring to the Tribal Council and USFS leadership. The relationship and coordination between KTOI and USFS was highlighted in a jointly written USFS Office of Tribal Relations blog post honoring Native American Heritage Month in November.


Maintenance — PNTA prioritized restoration of the PNT in Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest. The trail goes nearly 100 miles through the Pasayten Wilderness in the Methow Valley Ranger District, one of 15 USFS Trail Maintenance Priority Areas. Two PNTA Performance Trail Crews, made up of youth and young adults from trailside communities, performed a combined 80 crew days of log out along the PNT within the wilderness, contributing significantly to a combined effort involving multiple PNTA partners which removed over 1,000 trees that had accumulated over the PNT after several years of catastrophic wildfire. 


Infrastructure — PNTA relocated to the heart of historic downtown Sedro-Woolley, WA after nearly 20 years in the same office location. The new headquarters location, which has a flexible layout to accommodate a growing staff and network of volunteers, was selected to fulfill PNTA’s vision to operate as a hub of trailwide operations and as a Pacific Northwest Trail visitor center. 

Volunteerism — USFS established a gear library for use by volunteers and youth crew participants for whom lack of access to appropriate gear for backcountry work and travel would otherwise be a barrier to participation, building upon the Challenge Cost Share agreement with PNTA for collaborative management and administration of the PNT.