On December 2nd, 2018, REI, the national outdoor specialty retailer and the nation’s largest consumer co-op with 6 million active members, announced grant recipients of their National Trails System Act Grant program. The Pacific Northwest Trail Association was awarded $25,000 in grant funding to support trail restoration on the Pasayten Wilderness and to strengthen our youth service programs.
As the longest roadless stretch of the Pacific Northwest Trail, this section offers a spectacular immersive wilderness experience, earning it a place on the life lists of many backpackers and riders. Yet, while its remoteness makes it appealing to the adventurous, it also makes it exceptionally challenging to maintain.
Restoring the Pasayten
In the Pasayten Wilderness’ interior, this stunning 116 mile roadless expanse may only be accessed by other trails, such as the 16 mile long Andrew’s Creek Trail on the east side, or the legendary Pacific Crest Trail on the west. To provide access to the Wilderness and resupply trail crews in the interior, maintaining these equestrian-friendly trails is mission critical to the maintenance of the PNT and the safety of its users.
Following the Diamond Creek Megafire in 2017, and other recent fires, this grant program will allow PNTA to allocate the significant resources needed to continue trail restoration work on the Wilderness and this scenic highlight of the PNT on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
“This project will greatly increase our capacity for recruiting and training our seasonal employees and volunteers,” said Jeff Kish, Executive Director for the Pacific Northwest Trail Association. “With a larger, better-trained workforce we can build and maintain more trail as well as prepare and empower individuals to continue their stewardship both locally and wherever they choose to be involved in public lands.”
REI’s National Trails System Act Grant Program invested nearly $645,000 in funding for maintenance and restoration efforts along the country’s 11 National Scenic Trails.
About REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 17 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 152 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner-to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.