Hiker Headlines: Big News for Public Lands, Goats Fly, Borrow a Discover Pass, Cover Your Face
The Great American Outdoors Act, a critical piece of legislation for public lands, passed Congress this week. Mountain goats are flying via helicopter from the Olympic mountains to their new home in the Cascades. Libraries across the state are reopening and offering Discover Passes for checkout. And, yes, face coverings are still an essential part of your trail attire: keep bringing them and keep wearing them when passing other folks. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.
It's July 23rd. We are celebrating because the Great American Outdoors Act passed Congress. Mountain goats are flying via helicopter from the Olympic mountains to their new home in the Cascades. Libraries across the state are reopening and offering Discover Passes for checkout. And, yes, face coverings are still an essential part of your trail attire: keep bringing them and keep wearing them when passing other folks. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.
Success! On Wednesday the House of Representatives voted to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, which will permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and allocate $1.9 billion annually for five years to address the maintenance backlog on public land. Now it moves to the president’s desk where it awaits final approval. This is huge news for public lands — thank you to everyone who spoke up to make it happen.
When goats fly: The fourth and final round of translocating mountain goats from the Olympics to the Cascades will begin on July 27. Since September 2018, several organizations have partnered together to take on this effort including state agencies, federal agencies and local tribes. The goats are flown by helicopter from their current locations in the Olympics to sites in the North Cascades including the Mountain Loop Highway and the Snoqualmie Pass area, among others. Mountain goats are non-native to the Olympics where they have caused ecological damage but are part of the natural fauna of the Cascades.
Borrow a Discover Pass: As libraries across the state reopen, they have resumed and expanded the Check Out Washington program, which allows members of participating library branches to check out a Discover Pass for a week at a time. With over 175 locations throughout the state, this program has removed the financial barrier of purchasing a pass for many hikers. Learn more about this program and find a branch near you.
This season's must-have accessory: Face coverings are still essential on trail. Although nature is a great escape during these tough times, we still need to do all we can to keep each other safe. If you are closer than 6 feet from someone else — regardless of the setting — a face mask must be worn to keep you and others safe. We know it’s been a long time and we all want the pandemic to end, but hikers are known for their endurance, so don’t falter now. Stay diligent and stay safe.
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