Monday, February 22, 2016

Old Man Winter Fails to Show His Face

Have you noticed it is has been a weird winter?  A lot of warm, snowless weeks and certainly not the prolonged snow and deep cold of last winter.  Blame it on El Nino or climate change or both, but here we are in the third week of February and the daffodils are pushing up their first tender shoots!  It looks more like late March or early April right now than February.  As trail managers, we generally look to the winter months to catch a breather, relax, and plan for another busy upcoming season.  When winter is abbreviated our recuperation time is as well.

Daffodils in the third week of February!
Kellogg Conservation Center

2016 promises to be a busy year on the trail as we expect to see an uptick in the number of people visiting this unit of the National Park Service following the September movie release of "A Walk in the Woods" and the resultant increased awareness of the possibility of a short hike or a long walk on the Appalachian Trail as a reality for a wide spectrum of the population.  We welcome that increase but with it comes inherent challenges: more trash, more erosion, more user conflicts, etc etc.  ATC has spent the past year or so kicking around ideas on how to mitigate such effects on the land, natural resources, and facilities that comprise the A.T. experience.  Our intended response is to raise awareness through increased education and more capacity (ie full-time and seasonal employees).  As of yet, we are unsure if we will be successful but we have worked to lay the foundation for that success.  Please consider a donation to ATC to help us further our mission to manage and protect the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.  

As you take your first steps out onto the Trail this season, please keep in mind the following seven principles of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics:

1. Plan ahead and prepare
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
3. Dispose of waste properly
4. Leave what you find
5. Minimize campfire impacts
6. Respect wildlife
7. Be considerate of other visitors


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Job Opportunity!

Want meaningful outdoor work in a beautiful place this summer?  Apply to be Trail Management Assistant with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy!  Go here to see the job description and for instructions on how to apply: