Gifford Pinchot forest gets state grants

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The state Recreation Conservation Office has awarded more than $100,000 to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to maintain wilderness trails and pay for a snow ranger.

The Mount Adams District is getting $20,000 for a snow ranger to patrol the southern end of the forest. The Forest Service has money for only one ranger and without a second, no patrolling would occur, according to RCO.

The state agency awarded $85,000 to the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District to maintain 235 miles of wilderness trails during the next two years in Skamania and Lewis counties.

Crews will clear trails, repair water drainage structures and prevent damage from user-created detours.

The ranger district will fund two seasonal employees and two interns for two years.

The money comes from federal gasoline taxes attributed to recreational, non-highway uses.