Advocacy in the Blog
Current issues affecting trails and hikers.
Early Budget Proposals in Olympia Show Promising Support for Trails
Apr 07, 2021
With only a few weeks left before state lawmakers finalize budgets, we break down how things are looking for trails and outdoor recreation. See where things stand and take action.
Hiker Headlines: Funding, National Park Projects, Pro-Crew, Sno-Park Fee Increase
Mar 25, 2021
It’s March 25. Money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund will go to important conservation projects in Washington. North Cascades National Park announced plans to reroute a section of Stehekin Road, and in Olympic National Park a new entrance station will improve traffic flow. WTA is hiring for our first paid, pro trail-work crew. State Parks announced that Sno-Park fees will increase starting next winter. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
5 Big Take-Aways from WTA's First Virtual Hiker Rally
Mar 17, 2021
2021 brought a new twist to our biannual Hiker Rally Day — like many other events have been for the last year, it was all-virtual. WTA staff learned a lot about what it takes to move to an online format. But more importantly, we were inspired, as always, by our hiker advocates who showed up to speak out for our trails and public lands.
Five Land Managers Get Real on the Pandemic and Public Lands
Mar 16, 2021
A year after COVID-19 pandemic began to change our lives in innumerable ways, including in how we get outside, WTA sat down with our land manager partners to talk about the last year. We discussed the opportunities and challenges from the pandemic and the key role that public lands played in people’s mental and physical health. We also talked about the impacts of unprecedented visitors to public lands when agencies were underfunded and trying to keep their staff safe during a public-health crisis. Everyone we talked to was grateful that public lands could be there for people who desperately need exercise, escape and restoration. Our partners also have real concerns for the long-term management of public lands — and they hope to help everyone see how they can ensure that these special spaces so they will be there for generations to come.
From Awe to Ah-Hah!: 4 Advocates Realize the Power of Their Voices for Trails
Mar 11, 2021
When did you realize that trails don’t just appear in the woods? Or that your favorite trail probably exists in part thanks to hikers like you? If you haven't had that "ah-hah!" moment yet, it's understandable. The path towards establishing and protecting trails is winding (much like those trails we love so much). But in the same way that you can lay the foundation for memorable summer adventures by tuning into permit season each year in February, hikers like you can help build a lifetime of adventure by consistently participating in advocacy work.
GAOA Provides Vital Funding for Public Lands
Mar 03, 2021
The Great American Outdoors Act was a huge win for the outdoor community. Here’s some of the ways it will help Washington.
Hiker Headlines: Weather Advisory, Lunar New Year, Backcountry Trips, LWCF
Feb 11, 2021
It’s February 11. This weekend promises to bring extreme winter weather. Lunar New Year is tomorrow. Registration for WTA’s backcountry trips goes live this Saturday. There are new changes to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. We have valentines for that special hiker in your life.
Hiker Headlines: New Sno-Park, Backcountry Trips, Take Action, Climate Plan
Jan 28, 2021
It’s January 28. A new Sno-Park was just announced. Sign up for WTA’s volunteer backcountry trips is almost here, with a few changes. New ways to take action for trails. And, the President lays out a plan for climate and conservation. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Speak Up to Protect the Enchantments & Wilderness
Jan 26, 2021
The Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is an iconic hiking destination in Washington. A proposed dam project on Eightmile Lake and other water projects have a new open comment period through Feb. 1. Join WTA in speaking up to reduce impact and ensure the project doesn't set new precedents for activities in wilderness areas.
Hiker Headlines: Snow-Free Hikes, Wildfire Help, Changes to LWCF, Mask Up, Trail Closure
Jan 21, 2021
It’s January 21. Lowland hikes offer hassle-free winter outings. An executive order reinforces mask-wearing on public lands. House Bill 1168 offers help for wildfires. WTA is tracking and responding to last minute changes to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. And, the Snow Lakes Trail will be closed for several weeks this winter. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Hiker Headlines: In Remembrance, MLK Day, Busy Slopes, Legislative Priorities, Public Planning
Jan 14, 2021
It’s January 14. We remember Leonard Sauer. A fee-free day is coming up on Monday in honor of MLK Day. Snow play areas are now open at Paradise, but busy slopes make alternate plans necessary. WTA has announced our priorities for the 2021 legislative session. And, check out two opportunities to provide input for public land planning. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Thank You, Land Managers!
Jan 08, 2021
Without our agency partners, we wouldn’t have trails to work on.
WTA Advocacy Director Andrea Imler Receives Prestigious Jim Ellis Spirit Award
Dec 11, 2020
WTA’s Advocacy Director, Andrea Imler, was awarded with the Jim Ellis Spirit Award for her work in developing the Recreate Responsibly Coalition (RRC) in response to the pandemic on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the 2020 Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust annual dinner.
Hiker Headlines: Thankful for the Outdoors, Funding for Projects, Virtual Events
Nov 25, 2020
It’s November 25. Consider 6 outdoor activities to celebrate the season in addition to #OptOutside, which is this Friday. The Forest Service is accepting public comment on which projects should be funded. In-person events put on by the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest will go virtual this winter. And, a turkey visits a national park. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Hiker Headlines: Sno-Parks, New Public Land, Twisp Area Restoration
Oct 29, 2020
Starting this Sunday, hikers can prep for winter adventures by purchasing a Sno-Park permit. The Every Kid Outdoors pass is receiving an extension. New public land is coming to the Little Spokane River. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest released plans for a Twisp River drainage restoration project. And, a new community forest in Kittitas County wants to hear from you.
Trail Planning Takes Time: Scouting Trails in the Teanaway Community Forest
Oct 13, 2020
WTA is helping bring the Teanaway Community Forest trail plan to life, scouting an existing web of unofficial trails for the ones that will be able to sustain hikers, bikers and riders for years to come.
Science Says Building the Outdoors for Kids is Better for Everyone
Oct 12, 2020
Research has confirmed that nature is good for kids. That's why WTA has been working to create a future that ensures kids have more access to nature.
Changes are Coming to Mount Rainier National Park
Sep 15, 2020
Mount Rainier National Park wants to hear from visitors about the most popular access point to the park. The park is focusing on Paradise Road, and the facilities along it, from the Nisqually entrance near Ashford, all the way up to Paradise. The public has until Oct. 5 to comment on the plan.
Hiker Headlines: Baby Wolverines, Closures, Forestland for the Community, Free State Parks Day
Aug 20, 2020
It's Aug. 20. Scientists in Mount Rainier made an exciting discovery recently. Folks in Kittitas County can help shape the future of nearby forestland. An upcoming closure at Olympic National Park may impact your hiking plans. And on Tuesday, you won't need a Discover Pass to explore state parks. Here's some news you might have missed while out on trails this week.
The Great American Outdoors Act was, Indeed, Great - Now, What’s Next?
Aug 18, 2020
The outdoor recreation world is buzzing after the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) passed and was signed by the president recently. With billions of additional dollars now invested in public lands, we've all been wondering: What’s next? Where might these investments go? And how might the government take on the hefty task of addressing their maintenance backlogs?
New Report Shows Outdoor Recreation Economy Stronger Than Ever
Aug 13, 2020
A new report about the outdoor recreation economy in Washington shows just how important hikers' contributions are to making our state thrive. From money added to the overall economy to the 264,000 people employed by recreation, it's clear that we need to continue to advocate for increased investment in the outdoor community.
How Powerful Partnerships Help WTA Build a Better Future for Trails
Aug 13, 2020
WTA has been bringing people together for years. By building connections, finding middle ground and creating shared goals, we are moving toward our vision of trails for everyone, forever. Here are a few recent examples of how, when we come together, we can do more for trails and the hiking community.
Hiker Headlines: Input For Trails, Fire Season, GAOA Signed Into Law
Aug 05, 2020
It’s August 6. With the celebration of Washington Trails Day and the Great American Outdoors Act being signed into law, trails have been in the spotlight this week. Land managers across the state are looking for community input on a variety of proposed projects. And it’s the season of fires and road construction, so check conditions and plan ahead to avoid inconvenient delays.
We Need Trails, on Washington Trails Day and Every Day!
Aug 05, 2020
This Washington Trails Day — our state's official holiday for trails — we asked our community why they need trails. Here's what you told us.
Hiker Headlines: We Want to Hear From You, Trails Rebooted, SOAR Act
Jul 30, 2020
It’s July 30. We’d like to hear your thoughts on a couple things. We’re celebrating some Trails Rebooted wins this year. And we’re excited to see the SOAR act moving ahead in Congress. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.
Hiker Headlines: Big News for Public Lands, Goats Fly, Borrow a Discover Pass, Cover Your Face
Jul 23, 2020
The Great American Outdoors Act, a critical piece of legislation for public lands, passed Congress this week. Mountain goats are flying via helicopter from the Olympic mountains to their new home in the Cascades. Libraries across the state are reopening and offering Discover Passes for checkout. And, yes, face coverings are still an essential part of your trail attire: keep bringing them and keep wearing them when passing other folks. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.
Hiker Headlines: Write Your Representative, Latino Conservation Week, Comet, Rainier Q&A
Jul 16, 2020
It's July 16. Please write to your House member right now to support the Great American Outdoors Act. Latino Conservation Week kicks off soon. We have some tips on where you can hike to see the comet. And Mount Rainier's superintendent answers some questions about this summer.
What to Expect at Mount Rainier This Summer: Q&A With Rainier's Superintendent
Jul 10, 2020
WTA staff recently sat down — over Zoom — with Chip Jenkins, superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, to gain some behind the scenes insight on what we can expect at the park this year.
Hiker Headlines: Act Now for Public Lands, Coronavirus, Online Events
Jul 09, 2020
It's July 9. If you act now, you can help public lands get vital funding for years to come. WTA joined partners for an exciting talk about the value of time outside, and how we can help more people enjoy time in nature. Coronavirus continues to disrupt some outdoors services. And we have ideas for a few — remote — events to celebrate the outdoors. Here's some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.
Hiker Headlines: Fire Safety, Hike-a-Thon, Inclusive Trails, National Park Re-openings
Jul 02, 2020
It's July 2. We all need to keep safety in mind right now — from fires to fireworks. And while we're at it, let's also keep each other safe and welcome everyone on trail. You can now register for WTA's Hike-aThon! National parks continue to open up more options for exploring. And a bill in Congress offers some good news for road access to trailheads. Here's some news you might have missed wile out on trail this week.