Trust for Public Land and Pacific Crest Trail Association Announce Permanent Protection of Girard Ridge, Preserving 2.5 Mile Section of The Historic Pacific Crest Trail
Girard Ridge Marks Over 28 Miles of the PCT Protected by Completed TPL-Led Conservation Work
San Francisco, CA – Trust for Public Land (TPL), in conjunction with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), is thrilled to announce the conservation of Girard Ridge in Northern California, providing permanent protection to a 2.5-mile section of the iconic Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT). As part of this new conservation measure, Girard Ridge will be transferred to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and forever protected.
The conservation of Girard Ridge marks another significant milestone in TPL’s ongoing commitment to safeguard and expand one of the nation’s most treasured landscapes – the Pacific Crest Trail.
Guillermo Rodriguez, CA State Director for Trust for Public Land, stated, “We have been working diligently for over a decade to help consolidate private lands along this section of the Pacific Crest Trail, placing them back in public hands. TPL is proud to have helped protect the experience and scenery for hikers and provide better access for all the public to enjoy Girard Ridge and this section of the PCT.”
“It’s been a pleasure for us to continue to work with Trust for Public Land and the Pacific Crest Trail Association to acquire land encompassing the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California. Thanks to the hard work and determination of our partners and staff, the Girard Ridge parcel, with its grand vistas showcasing Mt. Shasta, Castle Crags, and the Trinity Alps Wilderness, is now part of a living legacy for the American people,” said Rachel Birkey, Forest Supervisor, Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Formerly privately owned and situated on 1,172 acres, visitors to Girard Ridge will be captivated by the breathtaking vistas, with views of Mount Shasta to the north and the Trinity Alps and Castle Crags California State Park to the west.
Located within a 30-minute drive of the communities of Dunsmuir and the City of Mount Shasta, Girard Ridge and much of this portion of the PCT is accessible for day hikes and weekend backpacking trips, offering outdoor recreationalists a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region and panoramic views of some of Northern California’s most incredible mountain landscapes.
This project exemplifies TPL and PCTA’s shared dedication to protecting the Pacific Crest Trail, a historic national trail that spans an impressive 2,650 miles across Washington, Oregon, and California. Designated as one of the original National Scenic Trails under the National Trails System Act of 1968, the PCT showcases some of the most scenic and diverse terrain in the western United States, traversing 25 national forests and seven national parks.
Megan Wargo, Acting Executive Director of the Pacific Crest Trail Association, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “The PCT has long had a special relationship with this region of Northern California. The neighboring communities—towns like Dunsmuir, Mount Shasta, and McCloud—have always been favorites for PCT long-distance hikers, and they offer great access for anyone looking to experience the Pacific Crest Trail for shorter trips or first-time use. We appreciate our partnerships with Trust for Public Land and the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and are excited that even more of this extraordinary region and the trail are now permanently protected.”
Funding for this project was made available through the Land and Water Conservation Fund and builds upon the successful completion of the Trinity Divide project led by TPL in 2019. Girard Ridge perfectly bookends and complements the conservation efforts in the Trinity Divide—which expanded recreation access, conserved vital wildlife habitat, protected water quality in four river systems, and ensured the preservation of a 17-mile section of the PCT – the longest unprotected stretch along the entire trail.
“We are grateful for our partners that share our mission to protect the opportunity and experience of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Protecting these lands preserves the opportunity for future generations to find a sense of awe through these grand views and respite from mechanized society along the Trail,” said Lindsey Steinwachs, Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail Administrator for the U.S. Forest Service.
Approximately 10 percent of the PCT corridor remains unprotected. To date, Trust for Public Land has protected over 36 special places and over 40,000 acres within the mile-wide corridor of the Pacific Crest Trail, extending from the Mexico border in California to the Canada border in Washington State, totaling over 28 miles of protection for the PCT due to TPL conservation efforts.
The property was owned and managed for decades by a succession of timber companies including Roseburg Forest Products and more recently New Forests, which made it available for purchase.
J.D. Marshall, Director of U.S. Operations for New Forests, stated, “In alignment with the access policies of previous managers, New Forests is happy to have continued to provide public access to this section of the PCT since acquiring this property and while working to execute this transaction. Permanently ensuring public access to this section of the iconic PCT aligns with New Forests vision of shared prosperity for the communities where we operate, and we are happy to have worked with our partners to bring this transaction to fruition.”
For more information about Trust for Public Land and its efforts to protect the Pacific Crest Trail, please visit here. To learn more about the Pacific Crest Trail Association and its ongoing work, please visit here.
About Trust for Public Land (TPL)
TPL is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.
We believe the Pacific Crest Trail provides connection between people, communities, land, and ecosystems, and the PCTA facilitates this. Our mission is to protect, preserve, and promote the PCT as a world-class experience for hikers and equestrians, and for all the values provided by wild and scenic lands. Our 14,700 members and nearly 40 staff are committed to maintaining and conserving the trail, corridor, viewshed, and healthy surrounding landscapes for current and future generations; fostering a more safe, welcoming, and accessible trail experience where all people belong; and making the PCTA an effective, sustainable, inclusive, and equitable organization. In 2022, almost 1,400 volunteers contributed more than 67,000 hours on and off the trail so everyone can enjoy the PCT.