Local trail angel: Holly Weiler walks the talk

Holly Weiler, 34, has a trail addiction. If she’s not hiking, running, pedaling or skiing trails, she’s building or maintaining them.

Her enthusiasm extends to collecting pulaskis and other trail tools. She counts her cross-cut saws among her family and she knows how to pack and use them.

The high school English teacher and girls cross-country coach carves out time for trail work with a variety of groups including the Backcountry Horsemen, Friends of Mount Spokane State Park and Washington Trails Association.

Once she concluded a weekend trail project in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness by hanging up her pulaski about 2 p.m. and hiking the entire 19-mile Salmo Loop before dark to log miles for the Hike-A-Thon that raises money for WTA trail projects.

  “I hate it when anyone says ‘Someone ought to do something about …’ without being willing to pitch in to help,” she said before quoting Gandhi: ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’

“I use trails all the time, so it makes sense that I occasionally do some trail work.  I don’t like the trend toward a reliance on volunteerism (I think maintenance in State Parks and National Forests should be adequately funded with supplementation by volunteers). 

“However, with the shrinking budgets, volunteers are necessary, and that means I’d better be one.”

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