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Hiker Headlines: WTA Testifies in Olympia, King County Trails, Olympic Backcountry Permits

Posted by Jessi Loerch at Jan 30, 2020 04:25 PM |

It's Jan. 30, 2020. WTA spoke in a legislative committee this week to share the results of a study on the benefits of trails. Use King County regional trails? Share how you think they should be used. You can already start applying for summer backpacking permits in Olympic National Park.

It's Jan. 30, 2020. Washington Trails Association spoke in a legislative committee this week to share the results of a study showing the many benefits of trails. If you use King County regional trails, now's your chance to have your say on how you think they should be used. And you can already start applying for summer backpacking permits in Olympic National Park. 

Here's some new you might have missed while out on trail this week. 

Upper Lena Lake
You can begin making reservations for some backpacking destinations in Olympic National Park, including Upper Lena Lake. Photo by Mark Heller. 

Speaking up in Olympia: Andrea Imler, WTA’s advocacy director, spoke in front of the House Capital Budget Committee on Tuesday. She shared the results of a recent study, the “Economic, Environmental, and Social Benefits of Recreational Trails in Washington State.” In 2018, WTA rallied hikers and worked with our partners at Washington Bikes to lobby the legislature to fund the study. It was a great opportunity to share the results of this study, which shows scientifically that trails are good for people, good for communities and good for the economy. We hope this information will make an impact when lawmakers are making funding decisions related to outdoor recreation.

Use your voice: King County is proposing changes to what uses are allowed on regional trails. Currently, these multi-use regional trails, like the paved Burke-Gilman trail in Seattle, are used for recreation, non-motorized transportation and commuting. One of the proposals is to allow class 1 and class 2 e-bikes on such trails. The change would align with recent changes in Washington law. King County has created a survey to give trail users like you a chance to share your thoughts

Time to start planning: Last year, Olympic National Park changed the way they issue backpacking permits. Permits are now issued on a rolling basis, up to 6 months in advance. That means you can now make reservations for some July trips and August trips will be available soon. (Get tips on planning.


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