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North Bend Trail Warning

Posted by Lauren Braden at Apr 24, 2012 11:40 AM |

Chasing Sun on Desert Hikes

Posted by Lauren Braden at Apr 23, 2012 01:47 PM |
Chasing Sun on Desert Hikes

The view from the trail at Frenchman Coulee. Photo by David Hagen (c).

Support Trails when you Shop at REI.com

Posted by Lauren Braden at Mar 20, 2012 01:05 PM |

When you use a special REI.com link, WTA earns a percentage of your total purchase that we'll put to great use in our trail programs, from maintaining wilderness trails to saving state lands from closing.

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A Crossroads for State Parks

Posted by Lauren Braden at Mar 13, 2012 12:55 PM |
A Crossroads for State Parks

Stacy Czebotar, a Washington State Park ranger for more than six years, had to turn in her badge, say goodbye to her co-workers and let go of a park she loved. She was laid off in late December along with more than 80 others.

Stacy Czebotar, a Washington State Park ranger for more than six years, had to turn in her badge, say goodbye to her co-workers and let go of a park she loved. She was laid off in late December along with more than 80 others. Find out what you can do to help increase funding for our state parks.

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WTA Debuts "TrailBlazer" App for Windows Phones

Posted by Lauren Braden at Mar 08, 2012 02:55 PM |
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WTA Debuts "TrailBlazer" App for Windows Phones

WTA debuts its first-ever smartphone app, WTA Trailblazer.

Got a Windows smartphone? You're in luck. Washington Trails Association has debuted WTA TrailBlazer, our first phone app. Search for hikes, check conditions on the trail and view photos all from your phone. What's more. It's free!

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Discover Pass Bill Passes House

Posted by Lauren Braden at Feb 28, 2012 01:15 PM |
Discover Pass logoGood news - we just received word from the halls of Olympia that engrossed substitute House Bill 2373 has passed the House, 54-44.

The next step for HB 2373? It'll now move on to the Senate, where it may be heard in policy and fiscal committees but more likely will form the vehicle for a House/Senate compromise. A similar, but less detailed bill, passed the state Senate on January 27.

Here's what's in the bill:
  • Adds two-vehicle transferability.
  • Creates an up to $50 Family Discover Pass that is transferable among any vehicles registered in a household between any vehicle.
  • Does not allow WDFW to charge vendor fees when people buy a  Discover Pass from the WILD site.
  • Exempts possessor of a daily Sno-Park permit from requiring a Discover Pass or Day-use permit at designated Sno-Parks.
  • Allows Discover Pass purchaser to designate a start date, making the Pass giftable.
  • Allows for Iron Rangers (unstaffed pay stations) on State Parks.
  • Requires free access days at State Parks and suggests they be timed with National Park Service free days.
  • Codifies that the DNR, the WDFW, and State Parks must designate free 15-minute short-term parking.
  • Adds to the types of vehicles for which the owners are given the opportunity to donate to state parks upon vehicle registration (heavy trucks, single-axle trailers, RVs and ORVs).
  • Creates a $10 state parks support fee on recreational vehicle registrations until July 1, 2015, to be used to pay for State Parks sites that serve ORV users.
  • Allows tsunami cleanup to count as volunteer hours towards a free Discover Pass.
  • Requires the agencies to develop proposals for finding consistent state recreational policies where inconsistencies exist and to report findings to the Legislature. Refers to inconsistent management of Discover Pass and Volunteer component.

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Trails Activists Hike in Olympia Today

Posted by Lauren Braden at Feb 01, 2012 09:40 AM |
Trails Activists Hike in Olympia Today

Thanks to these hiker lobbyists, trails have a strong voice in Olympia today.

Hello from Hiker Lobby Day 2012!

About 50 intrepid hikers have assembled in the conference room of St. John's Church for our Hiker Lobby Day orientation and training. After this, we will hike to the State Capitol for our scheduled meetings with elected officials and get down to the heart of the day -- face to face lobbying!

This is my fifth Hiker Lobby Day, and as I sit here surrounded by WTA members, volunteers and others who have taken the day off work to come advocate on behalf of trails, I feel deeply appreciative of their efforts. One year ago, these hiker lobbyists were instrumental is securing passage of the Washington State Discover Pass, without which many of our DNR recreation lands and State Parks would have locked their gates. Although the Discover Pass is not performing as well as expected and State Parks regrettably just passed pink slips to dozens of park rangers, the passage of this sustainable funding source was critical. Without it, we might have NO rangers on the state parks payroll. We might not have access to Deception Pass State Park, or Mount Si.

This year, hikers are here to make the Discover Pass a better program. Two companion bills -- SB 5977 and HB 2153 -- will add space for an additional vehicle license plate number to the Discover Pass. It is widely hoped that this improvement will result in higher sales of the pass, and therefore more revenue for these cash-strapped agencies.

We'll keep you posted on our progress as the day progresses right here, and on twitter and facebook.

An Evening on the Elwha River

Posted by Lauren Braden at Jan 09, 2012 12:20 PM |
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The National Parks Conservation Association and other community partners will be hosting an event on Wednesday evening at the Seattle REI flagship store called An Evening on the Elwha River - Dam Removal and Restoration.

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Mt. Rainier National Park Ranger Shot and Killed

Posted by Lauren Braden at Jan 01, 2012 02:15 PM |
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Mt. Rainier National Park Ranger Shot and Killed

Park ranger Margaret Anderson. Photo courtesy of Mt. Rainier National Park. "She loved people and she loved being outside," Paul Kritsch, Anderson's father, told KOMO News Radio. "She was doing what she loved."

A federal law-enforcement park ranger was shot and killed at Mount Rainier National Park earlier today. The gunman remains at large. He is on foot and armed with a long rifle.

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Legislation Would Make Discover Pass Transferable Between Vehicles

Posted by Lauren Braden at Dec 09, 2011 04:50 PM |
Legislation Would Make Discover Pass Transferable Between Vehicles

Little Greider Lake is accessed through DNR land, and a Discover Pass is required at the trailhead. Soon, we hope, Discover Passes will be transferable between two vehicles. Photo by "terpene."

Senator Kevin Ranker has introduced a bill that would allow each purchaser of a Discover Pass to use it on two vehicles, effective immediately. The legislation applies to current pass holders as well as future ones.

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Diablo Lake Trail (Apr 17)

Diablo Lake

North Cascades

Follow the Diablo Lake Trail up and across talus slopes on the flanks of Sourdough Mountain to impressive cascading waterfalls and stunning views. This hike in the North Cascades Institute's backyard makes a great option for an early season hike in stunning North Cascades National Park, much of which is inaccessible during the winter and spring.

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