The PNT in Montana

US Forest Service Accepting Applications for the PNNST Advisory Council

Since the very beginning, local stakeholders have had a seat at the table in the development of the Pacific Northwest Trail.
The US Forest Service and Pacific Northwest Trail Association are seeking volunteers to help shape the future of the trail by serving on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council. Applications will be accepted through May 31.

What is the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council?

The National Trails System Act of 1968 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act require the establishment of a National Scenic Trail Advisory Council in order to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture to aid in the development a Comprehensive Management Plan for a newly designated National Scenic Trail, such as the PNNST.

Organized by the United States Forest Service, the unique role of the PNNST Advisory Council is to serve as a venue where stakeholders including representatives of Tribes, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations can work together to develop shared recommendations to the Forest Service and the Secretary of Agriculture on matters related to the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. Additional information can also be found by visiting the Council’s website.

What is required of an advisory council member? 

Serving on the advisory council requires a considerable time commitment and is unpaid. Members commit to a two-year term with the potential to be reappointed by the Secretary to serve a second term. 

Volunteers for the advisory council should understand that its work will focus on broad, trailwide issues. The advisory council does not make decisions about the location of the Pacific Northwest Trail route, which was designated by Congress and can only be relocated in accordance with Section 7(b) of the NTSA. 

How can I apply?

For more information, including how to apply, please visit the Advisory Council Membership page. The deadline to submit nominations is May 31, 2020. Tribes and tribal organizations may submit nominations through June 30, 2020.

When did the process begin? 

The advisory council was previously active, holding three meetings in 2015 and 2016, before the charter for the council was left to expire after the presidential administration change. The process was on hold until the Secretary of Agriculture renewed the charter, on March 10, 2020.

How has the PNTA been involved? 

Decades of advocacy by the Pacific Northwest Trail Association earned the Pacific Northwest Trail a place in our National Trails System. In 2009, our efforts earned the PNT congressional designation as a national scenic trail—the gold standard among long-distance trails in America.

Since the federal advisory council process began in 2015, the Association’s Executive Director, Jeff Kish has served on the council, and many PNTA members, volunteers and partners have also contributed to the process. 

How will the council’s work impact the PNT?

Until the council completes the Comprehensive Management Plan, many decisions that affect the enhancement of the Pacific Northwest Trail have been on hold. The Association fully supports the decision at the USDA to renew the Council and looks forward to contributing toward a successful completion of the process.


Look for updates from PNTA about the work of the Council, opportunities for public comment, and other ways to get involved and contribute to the process at our website



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