PCT: Oregon is not a political platform. However, it does recognize threats to trails, wilderness and public lands, as well as the recreational opportunities and local economies these things support. In the last eight years, President Obama, along with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and EPA head Regina McCarthy, implemented many positive changes to address climate change and help preserve America’s natural national treasures—including the designation of five new national monuments—as well as make progress in addressing the threat of global climate change.
However, all that progress could soon be undone by the incoming Trump administration, who are planning to declare all-out war on the environment, wildlife, wilderness protection, public lands and climate consciousness. This includes rolling back or eliminating regulations on resource development, pulling out of climate agreement treaties and the possible wholesale liquidation of public lands. At the head of this offensive are a cabal of energy lobbyists, science-deniers and corporate-owned politicians who only see dollar signs when presented with an unblemished landscape. Here are some frightening examples (click to read):
- Trump’s Climate Contrarian: Myron Ebell Takes On the E.P.A.
- Donald Trump’s Pick For Interior Secretary Could Do A Lot Of Damage
- GOP Platform Proposes To Get Rid Of National Parks And National Forests
- The North Pole Is 36 Degrees Hotter Than It Should Be Right Now
But hope is not lost. It is time for hikers, outdoor lovers and everyone who cares about the environment to speak up for clean air, clean water, protected wilderness and wildlife. We need to oppose environmental ignorance and regressive climate policies and tell the Trump administration that we will not tolerate threats to our public lands, water sources and air quality—and by extension, our parks, wilderness areas and trails.
It’s easy. You can show your support by joining a local or national trails or outdoors group. You can support state and national parks through charitable foundations and volunteer groups. You can donate to wilderness and environmental protection organizations. You can shop and dine in gateway communities to support local economies. Every little bit helps—and its going to take every little bit to ward off some of the Trump administration’s most offensive and destructive efforts.
Finally, call your representatives! They need to hear from you. The only way that they learn what is important to the public is when they hear from them. Signing petitions is good. Writing letters is better. Personal phone calls are the best. Call your mayor. Call your governor. Call your state and federal representatives. Tell them that you expect public lands and wild areas to be protected, that outdoor recreation is good for local economies, and that you cherish clean air and clean water.
Now is not the time to sit idly by. Below is a list of some of the organizations—national, and in Pacific Crest Trail states—that will be working to maintain the integrity of our wild places. You can search online for other state organizations. We need to act today in order to secure our environment for tomorrow.
The PCTA is the primary organization that supports and advocates for the Pacific Crest Trail. You can also support and/or volunteer with your local state or national trails organization.
Pacific Crest Trail Association
The mission of the PCTA 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.
American Hiking Society
The American Hiking Society champions conservation issues, builds public and private partnerships, supports volunteer stewardship, and provides critical resources to help plan, fund, and develop trails.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge
Friends of the Columbia Gorge promotes responsible stewardship of Gorge land, air and waters by educating and working with the public about the unique natural values of the Columbia River Gorge.
Washington Trails Association
As the nation’s largest state-based hiking nonprofit organization, WTA is the voice for hikers in Washington state as it works to protect hiking trails and wildlands, take volunteers out to maintain trails, and promote hiking as a healthy, fun way to explore the outdoors.
Support Wilderness Areas
Most states with wilderness areas have their own preservation and advocacy organizations. You can support the Pacific Crest Trail’s wilderness areas with any of these groups.
The Wilderness Society
TWS works to protect wilderness areas through protection, stewardship and restoration of public lands with the mission of preserving their natural legacy for current and future generations.
Oregon Wild works to protect and restore Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and waters as an enduring legacy for all Oregonians by maintaining environmental laws, building community support campaigns and leading an active grassroots citizen network.
Washington Wild protects and restores wild lands and waters in Washington State through advocacy, education and civic engagement by bringing citizens together in the vigorous defense of our remaining wild forests, waters, and wildlife.
California Wilderness Coalition
CalWild protects and restores the state’s natural landscapes and watersheds as important places that provide clean air and water, refuges for wildlife, and opportunities for recreation and spiritual renewal for people.
Support State and National Parks
The PCT passes through numerous state and national parks. They all rely on supportive funding and volunteer groups to help maintain park trails and preserve park environments.
National Parks Conservation Association
With more than a million members and supporters, the NPCA is the voice of America’s national parks, working to protect and preserve America’s most iconic and inspirational places for present and future generations.
National Park Foundation
The NPS works to conserve the scenery and natural and historic objects and wildlife within America’s national parks, and to provide for their enjoyment in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.
Oregon State Parks Foundation
OSPF works to enhance and preserve the experience of Oregon’s 260 state parks by raising funds, building partnerships, and increasing public awareness about recreation and education available in Oregon state parks.
California State Parks
CSPF protects, improves and advocates for all 280 California state parks to ensure that their natural beauty, rich culture and history, and recreational opportunities are available for all to enjoy now and in the future.
Washington State Parks Foundation
WSPF’s mission is to ensure a vibrant state parks system for generations to enjoy by engaging, expanding, and sustaining a broad base of supporters who give to, advocate for, and treasure Washington’s state parks.
Individual State and National Parks
Many parks have their own foundations and community organizations, such as the Crater Lake Institute, the Yosemite Conservancy, and the North Cascades Institute. Support one of your favorites.
Support the Environment
There are several national organizations who work diligently to preserve and protect nature and the environment. All of them rely on grassroots funding, advocates and volunteers.
The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization that works to protect our wilderness, air, water and wildlife, in addition to promoting a clean energy economy.
Natural Resources Defense Council
The NRDC works to combines the power of members and activists with the expertise of 500 scientists, lawyers and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water and the wild.
The Nature Conservancy
TNC works to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends, in order to sustain a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.
The Conservation Alliance
The Conservation Alliance provides a link between the conservation community and the outdoor industry by enabling and inspiring its colleagues to work together to protect and restore America’s wild places that are vital to their businesses.
Greenpeace is the leading independent organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.
Support Independent Media
Part of taking action is staying informed. Follow and support independent (i.e., non-corporate) news organizations that cover real issues regarding community and the environment.
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is a progressive destination that aims to inform, inspire, entertain and empower with news, blogs and original content that covers U.S. and world politics, business, entertainment, style, technology and comedy.
ThinkProgress is a news site dedicated to providing rigorous reporting and analysis from a progressive perspective, covering the intersections between politics, policy, culture and social justice.
Mother Jones is a reader-supported nonprofit news organization that features independent and investigative reporting on everything from politics and climate change to education and food (plus cat blogging).
The Young Turks
The Young Turks is a progressive, member-supported online news series that focuses on political commentary, as well as issues including money in politics, drug policy, social security, climate change, reproductive rights and religion.
National Public Radio
NPR works strives to create a more informed public by distributing programming of the highest standards of journalism to communicate a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.
Contact Your Representatives
Click on the following links to find your state and federal representatives. Call and/or write them and tell them that wilderness protection, parks and trails, the environment and the outdoor economy are important to you.
United States House of Representatives
Oregon State Legislature
Washington State Legislature
California State Legislature