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Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Guest column by Dave Field, Overseer of Lands for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club 
(Photo of Dave happily provided by Robert J. Sutherland)

Monitoring the Appalachian Trail Corridor in Maine

Many have visited, or at least heard of, Maine’s scenic Acadia National Park. It is small compared to Yellowstone, but beautiful and exciting. Although Acadia encompasses 49,000 acres, only 35,763 are owned in fee by the National Park Service. 
Maine’s second national park, the Appalachian Trail corridor lands, includes 31,803 acres owned in fee by the National Park Service. These lands are defined by 307 miles of surveyed boundary lines—more than the miles that surround Yellowstone. 

Walking those boundary lines, keeping track of their condition, and the condition of 2,041 survey monuments and some 6,000 witness trees, looking for encroachments on park lands, and reporting all of this to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is the work of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club’s volunteer corridor monitors.
What’s it really like to monitor the corridor in Maine? Here are excerpts from actual reports: "Yellow jacket nest on top of monument area kept me from seeing monument." "I got to see deer eating, a moose casually walking towards me, and several grouse were raised by me as I approached them." "The boundary at this point gets deep into a Cedar swamp and the bugs were getting heavy." "I spent an hour and a half digging and pulling and measuring and re-measuring, and just could not come up with anything but the log with the nail in it.  After giving up, I did take a half hour out to eat fresh ripe raspberries." "I'm sorry to say that I missed this monument, because I do not want to go back there.  The map says 'boundary at top of south facing vertical rock--monument offset.' I think that I was so preoccupied with figuring out how to get down the cliff that I neglected to look as carefully for the monument as I should have."
Monument hunting in the muck (MATC photo)

As you can see the work can be tough. Walking the corridor boundary lines is not like walking the Appalachian Trail. The terrain can be very challenging—steep, rough, wet. But it’s fun! This is “geocaching” with a purpose beyond exploration. The greatest expense of surveying the corridor in the first place was locating the monuments, and it would be very expensive to re-locate a monument should one be lost. “Good boundaries make good neighbors.” Our goal is to safeguard the lands that make the Trail across Maine such a special experience.

A Corridor Monitor’s Forum will be held on Saturday morning, August 5, in Waterville, Maine. We hope you will join us.
AUGUST 4-11, 2017

Registration Open - 2017 Maine A.T. Conference
The 41st conference of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will be held August 4-11 at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. The ATC business meeting and election of the Board of Directors will be held on Saturday August 5 from 3-5 p.m.

There will be hikes, excursions, bike rides, and all kinds of activities that highlight the beautiful state of Maine from the ocean to the mountains. Participants will have the option of staying in dorms or camping on the grounds of Colby College and can participate in a variety of interesting guided or self guided trips.

Register prior to June 15, 2017 in order to receive the early registration discount. The full conference packet, including information on the lodging, meals, workshops, excursions, entertainment, and more is available here.
To register online for the Conference, click here.  

Boundary Blurb 

Just about since its inception, survey work has been performed on the Appalachian Trail. Myron Avery meticulously plotted out the original Trail  route and walked the entire Trail with his famous measuring wheel, which some consider to be the first “survey” of the Trail.  

Since then, the A.T. centerline has been professionally surveyed, the Trail corridor acquired, and the exterior corridor boundary survey (which took more than 30 years to complete across 11 different states!) was completed.  That survey is used by corridor monitors, who monitor and maintain the survey line to protect our valuable A.T. resource.  

A two-part article entitled Mapping the Appalachian Trail, by Matteo Luccio, was published in 2015 by xyHt magazine. This intriguing article documents the history of the survey accomplishments along the A.T. and is well worth the read.  Part one can be found at A link to part two is found at the end of that article.
ATC’s Alison Scheiderer using a compass to position this monument to point north along with Mountain Club of Maryland volunteer Mike Jenkins and NPS professional land surveyor Kirk Norton.  (Photo by Nicole Wooten). 

Did you know that the Appalachian National Scenic Trail survey monument, when positioned in the ground, points north?  The monument was designed by NPS surveyor Dave Hurst. The survey center point falls in the empty space inside the letter “A”. 

Ryan Seltzer 
Corridor Stewardship Coordinator
ATC Mid-Atlantic Regional Office

Seeking Next Generation Applications

Applications are being accepted for ATC's Next Generation Advisory Council (NextGen) until June 10.

The NextGen Council empowers, engages, and educates our next generation to protect the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

NextGen members have quarterly calls and one annual meeting. Members are encouraged to attend Regional Partnership Committee, Stewardship Council, A.T. Community, and club meetings, as well as other local, regional, and national events. 

Profiles of current members and the application are on our website. Or, you can link directly to the application here.

Maine 2017 A.T. Conference
Quick Links:

The 41st Appalachian Trail Conference will be held August 4-11 at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. The Conference is hosted by the Maine Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. 

For more information:
Conference website:
Conference packet:

To Register online:

To Volunteer:

To be a Sponsor or Exhibitor, email:

Art and Land Conservation Symposium

"Exploring the Role of Artists in American land Conservation"
Aug. 3-4, 2017

Preceding the 41st conference of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy,
a two-day symposium exploring the critical role played by 19th and 20th century visual artists in the American conservation movement, and considering how their work can inform land conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, art lovers, and policymakers in addressing contemporary pressures on the American landscape will be held at Colby College. A separate registration is required.

The symposium will include lectures and break-out sessions, followed by optional field trips on August 5 and 6 to three iconic regions where some of America's most influential artists worked
Katahdin, Acadia, and Monhegan.

To learn more and register, click here.


Pointing North

Did you know that the Appalachian National Scenic Trail survey monument, is positioned in the ground to point north?  The survey center point falls in the empty space inside the letter “A”. 

Share the Wealth...

...of information found in The Register. 

The Register is intended for Trail volunteers and managers. It began as a printed newsletter, then moved online, and is now emailed monthly. The image above is from the April 1978 inaugural issue. Email issues are posted in the Trail Club Toolkit and can be found here.

Please forward this issue to Trail maintainers and anyone interested in the stewardship of the Trail and encourage them to subscribe by sending their first and last names and email address to

Toolkit for Trail Clubs

A.T. club managers and volunteers - this web page is for you! 

From back issues of The Register  to a maintainer reference library, ATC policies, local management planning, information on managing volunteers, and more—the Toolkit is the best place to find resources quickly.
Volunteers of the Month

“For the past two years, Pam Underhill and James Smyle have shared duties as A.T. Ambassadors for the Harpers Ferry and Bolivar  A.T. Community and as organizers for our Flip Flop Festival.

They have provided so much in the way of energy, enthusiasm, organization and wisdom that we truly couldn’t have done much of what we’ve accomplished without them."

Chris Craig, Chair
Trail and Town Alliance of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar

(Read more about Pam and James here

2017 ATC Meetings

Maine 2017 A.T. Conference
August 4-11
Waterville, ME

ATC Board of Directors
November 9-11
Adamstown, MD

ATC Stewardship Council
November 9-10
Adamstown, MD
The Register  is published by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for the volunteers of the Appalachian Trail, their agency partners, and others interested in the stewardship of the Trail.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trailensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. To become a member, volunteer, or learn more, visit
Our mailing address is:
ATC Headquarters
799 Washington St, PO Box 807
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

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