My goal is to raise money to put more construction and maintenance teams out along our 1200-mile trail. That's extremely important because when someone hears about the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail it should be out there, readily available for day hikes, weekenders, or thru-hikes. Currently our route includes too many gaps, overgrown sections, and dangerous road walks. As in so many aspects of life, money is part of the answer.
Perseverance is another part, and we've had a lot of that. More than half a century ago I personally kicked off the PNT's creation when there were only two official national scenic trails: the north-south Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. I believed that an east-west route from Glacier National Park to the Pacific Ocean would be a spectacular addition to the then-new National Trails System. That vision, described in my memoir Pathfinder, very slowly took shape out where the boot hits the duff. In 2009, Congress officially designated the PNT as one of America's 11 national scenic trails. The perseverance of hundreds and hundreds of individuals made that happen.
But our job is far from finished and I, after five decades, am here to invite you to share in the fun.
The Pacific Northwest Trail Association is leveraging every donated dollar to create maximum impact on the ground. Recently-passed legislation has made more federal funding available for this kind of work than ever before. But these programs come with matching requirements; without enough private support, the PNTA will have to leave precious money on the table.
Any dollar that you give can yield several dollars of work on the ground. Please join me in pledging support for the trail's second half century.