Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Show Your Love for National Forests!

Show Your Love for National Forests!

Posted by Christina Hickman at Jul 31, 2018 03:04 PM |

Hiking is the number one use of national forest lands. Explore the trails they have to offer, and show your support recreation funding for our forests.

Here at WTA, we think our national forests are awesome, and it’s safe to say PNW hikers agree.

Hiking is the single most popular activity in Region 6 of the National Forest Service (encompassing Washington and Oregon), according to a study of recreational visits between 2012 and 2016. That's why, this Washington Trails Day (Saturday, Aug. 4), we're encouraging hikers to explore and support recreation funding for our forests.

WA Trails Day 2018.PNG

“Outdoor recreation is by far the single greatest use of the National Forest System, dwarfing every other use,” said Mary Wagner, former Associate Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, in her speech at the National Outdoor Recreation Conference in 2013. “Not surprisingly, it is also the single greatest employer, and it provides the single greatest stimulus for local economies.”

number 1 use of national forest lands

In 2016, a report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, showed the outdoor recreation economy contributed $373.7 billion to the national GDP or 2 percent of the GDP that year. (In comparison, mining and oil and gas extraction accounted for 1.4 percent of GDP in 2016, and has been declining in recent years).

Hiking is one of things that makes living in the Pacific Northwest so incredible. And like other federal lands, local economies benefit from the outdoor recreation they generate. But these numbers also strengthen the national economic case for the value of properly funding and maintaining public lands, including our chronically underfunded trail system.

Sign and support

All of this adds up to why we are asking our hiking community to sign a petition below urging the forest service to prioritize recreation funding for our national forests. Make sure to join us in hiking on our national forest lands on Washington Trails Day (Saturday August 4).