The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,659-mile long trail passing through the Cascade and Sierra mountains in California, Oregon and Washington. It’s a National Scenic Trail, and part of the Triple Crown of Hiking. It looks beautiful. Plus, per Wikipedia: “The chances of meeting your spouse on a backpacking trip seem very low but this has happened several times on the Pacific Crest Trail.” So basically, it’s an amazing hiking trail and it’s Tinder. Sounds great!
The Pacific Crest Trail Association is an organization dedicated to upkeep and preservation of the Pacific Crest Trail. A full-time staff of 20, plus thousands of volunteers, work to keep the trail maintained and provide “concise, thoughtful and constructive advocacy.” It also sounds great.
What was not great was the PCTA’s new logo. It announced the logo in an email to supporters on Monday. “While the current logo has served us well, it’s time for something fresh and new to help us grow our ability to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest Trail,” CEO Liz Bergeron wrote. “The new logo and visual brand is a more sharply-defined personality for the PCTA. We believe it will be more recognizable and memorable—not only for those who know and love the PCT, but also for many more who may not be aware of it but could one day be its strongest supporters.”
Bergeron was right. The new logo was more recognizable and memorable. But that’s because it contained a symbol identified in a purported 2007 FBI document as one used by pedophiles. That document, posted to the Internet by Wikileaks that same year, identified the symbol for the “A” in the PCTA’s logo as the “BoyLover logo.” (If you’re wondering, that document helped spread the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory.)
Obviously, the logo posed no danger to children. I assume the PCTA was just trying to show the image of a mountain. But a bunch of people wrote in to let PCTA know that part of its logo’s appearance in a purported FBI report, and now PCTA has axed its new logo. Bergeron wrote:
Yesterday we emailed you with news of a new PCTA logo, and included an image of that logo in the message. Shortly after sending the email, several of you alerted us to a serious issue with this new logo. We’re thankful for your feedback and concern, and fortunate to have such a caring and committed community. In light of the issue, we have decided not to move forward with this new logo and are discontinuing any use of it immediately.
Some of you also confused our message as a plan to change the traditional PCT shield emblem that is used to mark the trail—and we’re sorry for the confusion. To clarify, the logo we sent was for our association—not the trail emblem.
We apologize for the sudden turnabout, and take your concerns seriously. We hope you’ll bear with us as we move forward. Please know that the Pacific Crest Trail remains our top priority.
In summary: The Pacific Crest Trail Association is not in any way affiliated with pedophiles. They will keep the old logo, or maybe find a different new one.