Hiker Headlines: Celebrating Public Lands with Fee-Free Day, Hike-a-Thon Wins
There’s a fee-free day coming to our national — and state! — public lands. A new federal transit policy might make it easier for everyone to get outside. The U.S. Forest Service is hiring. The ranger station in Forks is limiting its hours. And WTA's annual Hike-a-Thon wraps up another successful season of fundraising for trails.
It’s Thursday, Sept. 19. There’s a fee-free day coming to our national — and state! — public lands. A new federal transit policy might make it easier for everyone to get outside. The U.S. Forest Service is hiring. The ranger station in Forks is limiting its hours. And WTA's annual Hike-a-Thon wraps up another successful season of fundraising for trails.
Here’s what you might have missed while out on trail this week:
Get out free: On Saturday, Sept. 28, help celebrate Washington Public Lands Day and National Public Lands Day by visiting one of our many state parks, national parks or national forests — no pass or fee required! The goals of Washington Public Lands Day and National Public Lands Day are the same: stewardship of our public lands. Washington's Public Lands Day, though, is specific to Washington, a day to celebrate all of the public lands in our state. And as of this year (with special thanks to the WTA advocate community), it's officially recognized by Washington state law! It’s a perfect opportunity to get outside, hike a trail, or — better yet — volunteer to help build or maintain one! Join WTA on a trail work party.
Everyone outside: The Transit to Trails Act, introduced in Congress on Sept. 13, aims to reduce transportation barriers that keep some people from getting outdoors. The act recognizes that not everyone is able to access public green spaces equally. It would provide federal grants to fund projects nationwide that prioritize either creating new transportation connections to public green spaces, or improving existing ones. WTA recognizes the immense value of such transit programs, which is why we've partnered with King County's Trailhead Direct, a program that provides public transit access to popular hikes along the I-90 corridor. Trailhead Direct continues through Oct. 27.
Forest workers wanted: The Pacific Northwest region of the USFS is currently hiring for the 2020 spring and summer season. Opportunities abound on the Olympic Peninsula, whether you’re interested and experienced in fire safety, outdoor recreation, engineering, biology or customer service. Applications accepted through Sept. 30.
Rangers off-duty: Starting Sept. 23, the Forks office of the Pacific Ranger District in the Olympic National Forest will be open with very limited hours: Fridays only, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and again from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. There is currently no indication as to when normal operating hours might resume. The office provides maps and permits for firewood, mushrooms, salal and Christmas trees.
Making miles count: Hike-a-Thon is officially over, but the stoke level remains high for our 526 participants, who together hiked over 15,000 miles, helping to raise $156,365 to support trails! Our favorite fun fact: Hike-a-Thon-ers together gained a total of 2,576,058 feet of elevation!