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Home News Blog Hiker Headlines: Snow-Free Hikes, Wildfire Help, Changes to LWCF, Mask Up, Trail Closure

Hiker Headlines: Snow-Free Hikes, Wildfire Help, Changes to LWCF, Mask Up, Trail Closure

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.

It’s January 21. Lowland hikes offer hassle-free winter outings. House Bill 1168 offers help for wildfires. WTA is tracking and responding to last minute changes to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. An executive order reinforces mask-wearing on public lands. 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.  

Porter Creek Falls with a small rainbow. Photo by Godziraaa.
Snow-free lowland hikes like this trail at Porter Creek Falls in Capitol State Forest are great options during the winter. Photo by trip reporter Godziraaa.

Lowland hikes:  Land managers across the state are urging visitors to consider alternate plans to popular winter recreation activities this season. Many areas are experiencing visitation beyond their capacity, causing parking and safety issues. Consider a snow-free, lowland hike where you can find solitude and beauty during the winter months. And if snow is what you’re looking for, remember, many good summer hiking destinations become risky avalanche-prone trails during the winter so do your research.

Wildfire help in Olympia: House Bill 1168 was introduced in the state legislature last week, and would provide dedicated funding to mitigate wildfire risk through forest restoration, provide more resources to wildland fire fighters and help communities threatened by forest fires. WTA is in support of this bill. Sign up for our Trail Action Network to stay updated on this bill.

Changes to LWCF: The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the bedrock funding source for public land and natural resources across the country. Earlier this week, the Secretary of the Interior issued an order to make last minute changes to the LWCF. These changes include diverting funds from their intended purpose — the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Program (ORLP) — which provides access to parks for underserved communities. Other changes in the order impact to the ability of states to prioritize their projects for the program. WTA is working with our partners to respond to these changes and ensure the future of both LWCF and the ORLP.

Mask up, stay safe: A new executive order for federal lands reinforces existing state recommendations that you wear a mask while recreating, particularly in areas where you are likely to encounter other folks such as view points and trailheads. 

Snow Lakes closure: The Snow Lakes Trail, a popular access to the Enchantments will be closed for 5 weeks sometime between January and March this year while crews replace a bridge at the start of the trail. Check the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest’s Facebook page for updates, or call the Wenatchee River Ranger Station.


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