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Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Sidehill
Guest Column by Julie Judkins, ATC Director of Education and Outreach

Regional Partnerships Expand to Include A.T. Communities

Since the launch of the A.T. Community™ program in 2010, we have built a network of more than 40 A.T. Community partnerships. Trailside communities provide significant support and access to the A.T., and the Trail and Trail users generate significant economic benefit for local communities.
 
A.T. Communities have built shelters, developed signage, cleaned up graffiti, designed and built visitor centers, led Family Hiking Day events, and promoted the Trail as an asset. Partnerships with local communities enhance the Trail’s relevancy, promote awareness and social support, and protect against incompatible development, misuse, and environmental degradation.
 
Engaging Trailside communities in active management, promotion, and decision-making is crucial to protecting the Trail and the diversity of its resources. To that end, representatives from designated A.T. Communities participated in three of ATC’s regional partnership meetings this spring. The Community Summits provided an opportunity for community representatives to observe and participate in A.T. management discussions.
   













Objectives included creating stronger partnerships, discussing stronger integration into the cooperative management of the Trail, and learning more about the ways our constituencies overlap so we can brainstorm holistic solutions to challenges.

Why is this important? Because stronger partnerships among A.T. Communities and A.T.-maintaining clubs, public land agencies, and ATC can only help us increase protection for the Trail we all love.
 
We hope to continue these regional summits next spring to provide:
  • Enhanced communication and engagement with public land agencies in each region
  • Strengthened youth engagement through schools, community organizations, etc.
  • Improved networking capacity among A.T. Communities
  • Increased awareness of the resources available in A.T. Communities
  • Greater regional support for local initiatives
  • Greater support for conservation efforts along the A.T. and surrounding landscapes
  • More effective management of increased use of the A.T.
  • Expanded support services for hikers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts

Acting Chief Ranger Carin Farley 
By NPS APPA Superintendent Wendy Janssen
 
Please join me in welcoming Carin Farley, Chief Ranger at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska, to APPA as the Acting Chief Ranger for a 120-day detail, effective immediately. Carin is a 20-year veteran of the NPS, having been at parks including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Saguaro National Park, Sitka National Historic Park, Bandelier National Monument, and Rocky Mountain National Park. 

She can be reached at (304) 535-6170 (office). Carin has been added to the A.T. incident group e-mail list and will be the point of contact for APPA during her detail.

APPA Chief Ranger Todd Remaley is on a 120-day detail to the NPS Northeast Regional Office working on special projects.
 


Views from the Maine Woods
2017 A.T. Conference
 

The 41st conference of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will be held August 4–11 at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. For more information, go to www.atc2017.org. A few highlights:

ATC business meeting and Board election: Saturday August 5, 3–5 p.m.
 
Workshops: August 5–7
There are eight workshop tracks (although workshops may be taken individually): Beyond the Corridor, Cultural/Historical Resources of the A.T., Engaging Youth/Diversity, Hiking and Backpacking Skills, Hiking Beyond the A.T., Natural Wonders, the Appalachian Trail Experience, and Trail Maintenance and Management. Track abbreviations are shown at the end of each workshop in the schedule.
 
Club leaders are encouraged to attend the workshop entitled Essentials of the A.T. Cooperative Management System on August 6. 


Boundary Blurb 

Field season is underway in New England. Corridor Stewardship Technicians Molly Redfield and Scott Simon are working with the Appalachian Mountain Club to maintain surveyed boundary lines in New Hampshire’s rugged Mahoosuc range. In Maine, Corridor Stewardship Technicians Garrett Fondoules and Shane Mason are recovering boundary lines over Bemis Mountain. They also will traverse Chairback, Sugarloaf, Spaulding Mountains and more, continuing the joint ATC and Maine A. T. Club effort to recover the surveyed lines of the Trail corridor so that MATC volunteers can keep them maintained.
 
In July, Molly and Scott will return to the Upper Valley area of New Hampshire and Vermont to work on boundary maintenance and volunteer support and development. They will work with the Dartmouth Outing Club to develop both the volunteer and easement monitoring programs, including monitoring all 26 of the NPS easements on A.T. corridor lands in the DOC section this season.
 
In southern New England, Corridor Stewardship Assistant Cheryl Byrne is also working on easement monitoring,  helping the AMC-Berkshire A.T. Committee develop its easement monitoring program in Massachusetts and providing support to the Connecticut A.T. Committee’s existing program.
 
The A.T. corridor in New England includes about 150 easements. In addition to annually monitoring the corridor boundaries, Trail club volunteers seek to monitor easements every three to five years. Conducting easement monitoring not only helps ensure that conflicting uses—or encroachments—are not occurring on these lands, but also supports good relationships between landowners and A.T. managers and sets the groundwork for the volunteers’ regular monitoring activities.

Alison Scheiderer
Land Protection Associate
ATC New England Regional Office

(Above, Doug DeJarnette of NBATC reviews safety information)

Tips for Safety Sessions

Below are brief excerpts from "The Register Blog."  Read the full post here, and watch a video that samples tailgate safety session topics with the Natural Bridge A.T. Club.

A good tailgate safety session doesn’t need to be lengthy, though it should cover some essentials. A mnemonic can be helpful, like this one for BE SAFE:

Bearings: Provide an orientation to the day’s planned activities so participants "get their bearings"
Environmental considerations: Detail conditions that may impact work, such as weather, wildlife, trail conditions

Safety first: Review tasks, potential job hazards and mitigation, tool safety
Accountabiity: Everyone is responsible for ensuring a safe work environment
Freedom to disclose: Be sure participants know they can speak to leader about health concerns
Emergency Incident Plan:  Explain emergency procedures, location of nearest hospital, etc.


Mountain Valley Pipeline

Washington regulators are rushing to approve a proposed route for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which would permanently damage the Appalachian Trail. There are much better ways to bring natural gas to Virginia without harming one of America’s most popular national park units, impacting tourism or contaminating the local drinking water.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy ​is strongly opposed to the MVP project, which would cause irreversible damage to the Appalachian Trail.

We have a history of working collaboratively to ensure that the energy needs of the public are met while preserving the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and the unique hiking experience the A.T. provides. However, the proposed pipeline will needlessly devastate the Appalachian Trail at a unprecedented scale. 

We urge the public to voice their concerns by visiting appalachiantrail.org/MVP.
“Mount Katahdin From Millinocket Camp” (Frederic Church, 1895, Portland Museum of Art)

Art and Land Symposium

This two-day symposium will be held August 3–4, prior to the 2017 ATC conference. It will explore the critical role that 19th and 20th century visual artists played in the American conservation movement, and consider how their work can inform land conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, art lovers, and policymakers in addressing contemporary pressures on the American landscape.

For more information: ArtLandSymposium2017.org


Leave No Trace
Master Educator Course

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy will be offering its final open-enrollment Leave No Trace Master Educator course for the year from August 28–September 1.

The five-day course will be based out of the Konnarock Crew Camp in Sugar Grove Virginia and will include four days of backpacking in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.

For more information on the course please visit our website at
 www.appalachiantrail.org/leavenotrace or e-mail Marian Orlousky at morlousky@appalachiantrail.org

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 theregister@appalachiantrail.org.


Toolkit for Trail Clubs

www.appalachiantrail.org/toolkit

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.
Volunteer of the Month

Gail Lehman of the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) started by joining club hikes. She was invited to a Trail maintenance work trip, and has been volunteering ever since.

A regular Appalachian Trail maintainer for more than 20 years, she also serves on the NHC board and is a Trail Ambassador. She is the club's hike coordinator and was hiking cochair for the 2013 ATC biennial conference, working with hike leaders to develop a  schedule of 65 hikes.

(Read more about Gail here

2017 ATC Meetings

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

New England RPC Meeting
October 21
Warren, NH

Mid-Atlantic RPC Meeting
October 21
Harrisburg, PA

Central/Southwest Virginia RPC Meeting
October 21
Location TBD

Southern Region RPC Meeting
October 21
Asheville, NC

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 www.appalachiantrail.org.
 
Our mailing address is:
ATC Headquarters
799 Washington St, PO Box 807
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

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