The National Park Service has drafted a "Programmatic Categorical Exclusion" (PCE) for work on NPS-APPA lands. Those are lands that were acquired by the NPS for the A.T. They are managed by APPA, as opposed to other park units through which the Trail passes, such as Delaware Water Gap, Shenandoah, Harpers Ferry, Great Smoky Mountains, or Blue Ridge.
The PCE would apply to routine and cyclic maintenance, upkeep, and repairs designed to keep existing trail and trail facilities in good working order. The work at any location should not take substantial resources or time, or change the “character” of the existing trail or facility.
Covered activities would not be exempt from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy. Act, but would generally not require preparation of an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement. Other proposed activities would still be required to be submitted to APPA for compliance review using the standard process.
Review and comments on the draft PCE and activities covered under it are encouraged. The document and instructions for submitting comments are found here
Be Tick Aware
- 05/01/17 (12:00 noon–1:00 pm): APPA will host a one-hour Q&A Webinar to relay information and take questions from volunteers and ATC staff. Contact Leanna Joyner at email@example.com for information.
- 05/31/17: Comment period closes.
- 06/30/17 (Time TBD): APPA will host a roll-out Webinar to inform volunteers and ATC staff what is in the final document.
Working on the Appalachian Trail and Trail lands means working in wooded, brushy, and grassy areas, where ticks are likely to be found. Although ticks can become active any time the temperature remains above freezing, spring and summer are when most people become infected with Lyme disease.
(Enlarged image of adult female deer tick)
The highest concentration of reported cases of Lyme disease on the A.T. occur from Virginia to Massachusetts, especially at elevations less than 2,000 feet. Deer (black-legged) ticks transmit Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses on the A.T. Deer tick nymphs, about the size of a poppy seed, pose the most risk as they are difficult to see.
Other tick species may be encountered at lower elevations along the Trail and may transmit serious or even fatal illnesses. A single tick bite can transmit more than one disease.
- Wear light-colored clothing; ticks can most easily be spotted against a lighter color.
- Wear clothing treated with permethrin, which can kill ticks on contact. You can purchase pretreated clothing, spray clothing with permethrin, or have your own clothing treated commercially.
- Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are recommended. Tuck pant legs into socks or shoes, and tuck shirts into pants. Wear shoes that cover the entire foot.
- In warm, humid weather, bug-net clothing allows for ventilation and bug-net pants over shorts are effective. These also can be treated with permethrin.
- Use insect repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin, following manufacturer's instructions.
- Check for ticks frequently in the field and do a careful body check for ticks after a work trip.Removing an embedded tick within 24 hours reduces risk of illness. Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick key to lift under the mouth parts in a slow, steady pull.
- Put clothing worn in the field in the dryer on high heat for 60 minutes to kill any remaining ticks.
- Seek medical treatment if symptoms develop, even if you are unaware of being bitten by a tick.
Centers for Disease Control:
National Institute for Arthritis and Infectious Diseases: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/lyme-disease
We are looking forward to having six seasonal staff working on corridor stewardship in central New England this field season.
In an effort to introduce new folks to the boundary program—and get some much needed maintenance work done—the corridor stewardship technicians will work closely with the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) and will lead Saturday morning volunteer opportunities for area corporate and school groups throughout the summer along the boundary around Hanover and Lyme, New Hampshire.
We also are excited to be able to offer two separate volunteer opportunities for a few current thru-hikers. And, thanks to the DOC and the Norwich Trail Angels Network, they will receive food and lodging for their service.
From July 24–28, they will have the opportunity to join the techs and DOC on the boundary line in the Hanover area.
From October 9–13, DOC will host a second hiker work week at the newly renovated Moosilauke Ravine Lodge in Warren, NH.
We are looking forward to getting hikers and community members out on the boundary. If you are part of a group in the Upper Valley region that would enjoy giving back to the Appalachian Trail this summer, please get in touch.