Moving Forward and Embracing Change

A message from Rick Thalhammer, Chair of the PCTA Board of Directors.

A PCT trail sign by Old Snowy Mountain in Washington’s Goat Rocks Wilderness. Photo by Leah Harman.

The Pacific Crest Trail Association enters 2022 in an exciting and dynamic time, and the organization is embracing some exciting changes. At our quarterly board of directors meeting on January 29th, 2022, PCTA’s board made some key decisions which I want to share with you, as cherished members of our community.

First, PCTA’s long-time Executive Director and CEO, Liz Bergeron, will be retiring May 5th. Liz announced her retirement plans to the board in June of 2021 and to the PCT community in an email in September 2021.

Before I go on, I would like to thank Liz for over 20 years of building and developing the PCTA into the top-tier organization that the Pacific Crest Trail deserves. Since joining in 2001, Liz’s vision and dedication has created a robust organization capable of protecting, preserving, and promoting the PCT in an ever-changing world. Furthermore, I congratulate Liz on retirement: may every day of your post-work life be fulfilling and happy!

To make good on our commitments to change, the PCTA board is committed to a process in which we listen to the community and seek excellent candidates for Liz’s successor as our new Executive Director and CEO.

First, to keep PCTA operational during this process, the board appointed Megan Wargo as Acting Executive Director and CEO effective the same day, May 5th. After being promoted to PCTA’s Deputy Director in the fall of 2021, Megan is a natural choice to keep the organization running at a high level while successors are sought and considered.

We appreciate Megan’s willingness to lead, allowing staff, board, and community time to determine what’s next for PCTA. The board has the utmost confidence in Megan and the organization’s other incredibly talented staff and volunteer leaders.

Next, the board also decided to appoint a taskforce consisting of board and staff leadership to identify a strategic planning consultant and define a scope of work to help us conduct our strategic planning (see below regarding our current strategic plan) and succession planning processes.

Also, the board of directors elected board officers for one-year terms, beginning in April 2022. I congratulate and welcome each of you into these roles!

  • Kevin Bacon, Chair-Elect
  • John Remmers, Vice Chair-Elect
  • Dianne Daley Laursen, Secretary-Elect

Finally, the Pacific Crest Trail Association is ready for this next chapter because of support and direction from you—our members, donors, trail users, community leaders, staff, partners and volunteers.

I look forward to seeing you on the trail,

Rick Thalhammer
Chair, PCTA Board of Directors

Extending and Revising PCTA’s Strategic Plan

Following is the specific language adopted by the PCTA Board of Directors as an addendum to the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan:

In October of 2021, PCTA’s board extended PCTA’s current strategic plan while adding language acknowledging our emerging DEI and climate change work, which was not previously covered. Otherwise, the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan remains the same.

This Strategic Plan was originally developed in 2017 to cover the period of 2018-2021. At that time, PCTA did not include two focus areas that we now understand to be of vital importance to the PCT, the trail community, and the organization: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and Climate Change. The Board has decided to extend this plan through the end of 2022.

During 2022, PCTA will be engaging in a new strategic planning process, to result in a new plan that will start at the beginning of 2023. In this new plan, these two focus areas will be prominently featured. We acknowledge that we will be putting time and resources towards both Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Climate Change program areas in 2022.


Author: PCTA Staff

The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as a world-class experience for hikers and equestrians, and for all the values provided by wild and scenic lands.