Rural communities are scattered all throughout the Pacific Northwest. Though they are remote and sparsely populated, their residents have the same needs as those in urban and suburban settings. The Trust places a special emphasis on supporting the diverse, and sometimes unique, needs of rural communities, especially investing in rural health and conservation.
Broadcasting out of Nome, Alaska, Arctic Broadcasting airs programming, news, music, and weather to native Alaskan villages throughout western Alaska and into the Russian Far-East. KICY AM and FM are the only radio stations that reach some of these rural and hard-to-access communities, connecting them to the outside world. Two radio towers for the FM station were damaged by the arctic weather conditions, and the Trust provided a grant to repair and outfit them to withstand the freezing weather.
Serving the small farming town of Libby, Cabinet Peaks is a robust hospital that provides a wide array of services to 19,000 residents over 3,700 square miles in rural Montana. A new CT scanner funded by the Trust is essential to a town that suffered long-term asbestos exposure between the 1940s and 1990s, providing critical diagnostic imaging to residents.
Viola Community Club
In the small town of Viola, Idaho, the volunteer-run Viola Community Club supports the local school, church, and children’s home and for 60 years served as a community center for Viola’s 1,000 residents, until the original clubhouse was condemned. The Trust supported the construction of a new community center to provide the sole gathering space for this rural town and its neighbors.
Blackfoot Challenge manages the conservation of the Blackfoot River, its tributaries, and the adjacent lands located in 1.5 million acres in rural Ovando, Montana. Its land stewardship program needed a full-time steward to promote sustainable resource management and habitat conservation, which the Trust helped fund.
The PCTA has worked for the last 40 years to maintain and protect the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the Canadian border through Washington, Oregon, and ending at California’s Mexican border. About 10 percent of the Trail is on private land and lacks the permanent protection afforded to the other 90 percent. A Trust grant helped PCTA develop a communications and marketing plan to broaden awareness of the Trail, with the ultimate goal of achieving its vision to permanently protect the entire Trail.