Advocacy

Youth are outstanding advocates for the trail.

Youth volunteer Korbi Thalhammer being an outstanding advocate for the trail.

As the primary protectors of the Pacific Crest Trail, we are advocates on the trail’s behalf.

We seek its full protection, preservation and funding. To that effort, passionate staff and volunteers attend hundreds of meetings and respond to countless proposals with potential impacts on the PCT experience. We contribute to the decision making process and ensure that our collective voice is heard by land managers and officials from west coast to east.

Part of our advocacy work involves securing full and appropriate levels of support for our partners and our programs. We play an active part in the movement advocating for trails and wilderness protection nationwide.

Advocacy is largely about relationships. Often the process is slow – this work can take years. Our steady and capable presence is remembered and recognized by managers and decision makers nationwide.

Congressional advocacy – ‘Hike the Hill’

PCTA at Hike the Hill

PCTA at Hike the Hill.

A component of these efforts includes an annual trip to Washington D.C. in collaboration with the American Hiking Society and the Partnership for the National Trails System known as “Hike the Hill.” Each year our delegation of PCTA volunteers and staff advocate for trail funding and share our successes and challenges with leaders who will make decisions about federal funding for trails.

A significant part of the effort includes preparing and presenting information for Congressional offices. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, staff and partners, our Hike the Hill presentations keep Washington D.C. up-to-date about the issues facing the Pacific Crest Trail.

Teddi Boston Garrett Keeler at Hike the Hill.

Volunteers travel to D.C. for the trail.

Annually, we urge Congressional support of appropriations for the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service for PCT maintenance. Programs administered within this budget are programs that “give back” – to youth, to rural communities and to the public. The youth corps and volunteers learn trail maintenance, construction and reconstruction, and gain experience in cooperation and leadership. Jobs are created in rural areas, while visitors from all over the world spend their recreation and tourism dollars in communities along the trail. At the same time, the ongoing work of keeping the trail accessible is achieved. These programs represent what can be accomplished when people work across boundaries toward a common goal.

Issue advocacy

Our advocacy work extends beyond the halls of Congress. Throughout the year, we are building relationships with officials at the local and state levels. We seek champions to celebrate and spearhead our cause. From townships to districts, the trail touches the lives of thousands.

A large part of our advocacy work insures that the needs of this National Scenic Trail are considered as decisions are being made. This can be as basic as making sure that the PCT is on the map.

More often, the process is complex and lengthy. We contribute to city, park and state plans. We advocate for the trail in both private and public projects. Our Trail Operations staff advocates on the trail’s behalf to ensure that this wonderful experience is protected. Please read more in our trail protection and management sections.

Past Appropriations Requests

Interested in learning more about our activities? We regularly publish advocacy updates in our member magazine, the PCT Communicator. Join us in advocating for the trail.

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Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton