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Two WTA Grants Help Support Trailwork in the Southwest and Olympics

Posted by Rachel Wendling at Sep 12, 2017 10:02 AM |

The National Forest Foundation and the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance support WTA's work in parts of the state where trails need the most love.

Lewis River by Ryan Ojerio.jpeg
WTA crews donated hundreds of hours of work to the East Fork Lewis Trail in the Gifford Pinchot this summer. Photo by Ryan Ojerio.

Grant Supports Recovery of Lost Trails in the Gifford Pinchot

As the demand for trails continues to increase, so does the need for the trail maintenance work that will help keep these trails accessible. Because of capacity and funding constraints, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is just one of many areas that is feeling this pressure acutely. This year, a $20,000 grant from the National Forest Foundation is supporting WTA’s work in restoring and expanding access to trails in the Gifford Pinchot.

Through community partnerships with the Mount St. Helens Institute, REI and the U.S. Forest Service, WTA hopes to bring trails like the East Fork Lewis River and Angry Mountain back from the brink of extinction.

By the end of 2017, WTA will have sent six backcountry response teams, two volunteer vacations (including a youth trip) and four single-day work parties to help maintain trails in the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and the Mount Adams Ranger District, all in the Gifford Pinchot.

Upper Big Quilcene by Nereid.jpeg
The much-loved Upper Big Quilcene trail is one of many that will benefit from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance grant. Photo by Nereid.

WTA Earns $10,000 for Hood Canal Work

WTA has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and national trail user groups. It’s the first year of the new National Forest System Trail Stewardship Grant program. Twenty-three grants were awarded in 13 different states.

WTA has been using the funds this season to lead volunteers in maintaining 35 miles of trail in the Hood Canal Ranger District, including the Dungeness River, Upper Gray Wolf, Upper Big Quilcene and Lena Lake areas. Already, the funding allowed volunteers to complete construction of a log bridge across Royal Creek, replacing a rotting structure and ensuring that future visitors can cross the creek safely.

This article originally appeared in the Sept+Oct 2017 issue of Washington Trails Magazine. Support trails as a member of WTA to get your one-year subscription to the magazine.