Tuesday, November 24, 2015

AMC's 2015 Trail Sign Auction is Underway!

Top: The Old Bridle Path trail sign
just before its retirement
Photo: Josh Lake
Every year the AMC's White Mountain Trail Crew replaces weathered or out-of-date trail signs with new ones. The old signs are collector's items, having guided thousands of visitors for many years along celebrated paths throughout the Whites. All proceeds from the auction will directly support AMC's trail maintenance efforts.

AMC's Trails team is offering up some treasures this year, including signs from the Davis Path, Falling Waters Trail, Mt. Jefferson Loop, Airline, Buttress Trail, and Old Bridle Path.

Check out full descriptions of the signs and start the bidding »

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Next Appalachia: Too Cold – The Death of Kate Matrosova

Two rescuers, one kneeling, the other’s leg showing,
work to recover the body of Kate Matrosova (out of frame).
The site where she was found is between
Mount Adams and the Madison Spring Hut,
off the Star Lake Trail south of the lake,
at the bottom of the summit cone of Mount Adams.
Photo Credit: Mike Cherim
In the Winter/Spring issue of Appalachia journal:
“Too Cold: The Death of Kate Matrosova” by Sandy Stott

“It was an ambitious itinerary. In the face of an extreme forecast, speed would be essential; Matrosova expected to be up and down before it got too tough.”
Read more »

Subscribe to Appalachia Journal by January 10 to receive the Winter/Spring 2016
issue »

Friday, November 6, 2015

AMC responds to efforts to gut the Land and Water Conservation Fund

This week, efforts to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) came to a crossroads as Representative Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, proposed to dramatically revise LWCF and divert some of its funding to non-conservation programs. His proposal is expected to have a formal hearing in this committee on November 18.

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has steadfastly supported reauthorizing and fully funding LWCF, our nation’s most important conservation program, which was allowed to expire on September 30 after 50 successful years.

AMC disagrees with Chairman Bishop’s draft legislation, as it would divert and repurpose LWCF funding from its intended conservation purposes, and severely restrict funding for National Trails, National Parks, National Forests, and other treasured places in need of protection.

AMC supports passage of H.R. 1814 to permanently reauthorize LWCF, which has bipartisan support from 195 Members of Congress.

In response to efforts to gut LWCF, AMC Vice President for Conservation, Susan Arnold, released the following statement:

“In spite of its 50-year track record of protecting special places across the U.S., Chairman Bishop is proposing to divert dedicated conservation funding from LWCF to oil and gas industry interests, while adding more rules and restrictions that will cripple the future of our nation’s most successful conservation program. LWCF should be reauthorized and fully funded, without reallocating its dedicated funding to non-conservation purposes and away from our National Trails, Parks, and Forests, and other iconic landscapes in need of protection.”

Learn more about AMC support for LWCF.

AMC supporters can help by writing to your Representatives and Senators in support of reauthorizing and fully funding LWCF. Personalized letters about special places protected by LWCF that you love to visit will have the greatest impact. Explore this interactive map to see all of these places, ranging from Acadia National Park to the Appalachian Trail and Valley Forge National Historical Park.

Take action today >>

Friday, October 30, 2015

Support the Silvio O Conte Refuge today

Attend a public hearing in support of the Silvio O. Conte U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Learn more »

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

AMC Huts, Lodges Support $17.9 Million in Economic Activity in N.H.

Appalachian Mountain Club Huts and Lodges Support $17.9 Million in Economic Activity in State of New Hampshire, Says Plymouth State University Economic Impact Report

WHITE MOUNTAINS, N.H.-- An economic study released by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Oct. 20 shows spending by out-of-state overnight guests to its White Mountains huts and lodges supported $17.9 million in economic activity throughout the state of New Hampshire during the study period, June 2014 to May 2015. Of that economic activity, 73 percent benefited businesses other than AMC, the study showed. Read more

Monday, October 19, 2015

6 Fall Hikes along the New England Trail

Foliage and the Millers River from Erving Ledges|photo by John Burk
Fall hiking is in full swing in Western Massachusetts and the New England National Scenic Trail (NET) serves up a bounty of hikes perfect for soaking in the colorful views. From easy to strenuous, we’ve hand-picked six of the best hikes along the NET in Massachusetts from the recently published New England Trail Map & Guide, the first comprehensive map for one of America’s newest National Scenic Trails - (now available in AMC's online store with a 20% member discount).

We hope you enjoy these picks – and happy hiking!

East Mountain
Distance: 2.0 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain: 435 feet
Estimated Time: 2.0 hours
Difficulty: Easy

The trail crosses an interesting series of traprock ridges with several scenic overlooks, including a fine view of Snake Pond, with an option to return along the shores of the McLean Reservoir. In spring, look for wildflowers such as columbine, fringed polygala, and violets.

Mount Tom State Reservation
Distance: 4.8 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 1,150 feet
Estimated Time: 2.75 – 3.75 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous

A challenging but rewarding hike on a spectacular section of the New England Trail! The trail leads to a unique basalt ridge formed by ancient volcanoes with outstanding views of the Connecticut River Valley and Berkshire foothills. The outlooks offer excellent foliage viewing in October, plus hawk watching during migrations most typically in September.

Erving Ledges – Hermit Mountain
Distance: 4.8 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain: 1,020 feet
Estimated Time: 2.75 – 5.0 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

This moderately difficult hike traverses the rugged Millers River Valley. There is a high seasonal (springtime) waterfall in 15 minutes, and at roughly 1 hour, a side loop leads to a rock cave and ledges with a great panorama view.

Mount Norwottock
Distance: 3.4 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain: 680 feet
Estimated Time: 2.25 – 3.25 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The trail leads to excellent views from the 1,106-foot summit of Mt. Norwottock, the highest peak of the Holyoke Range, in roughly 50 minutes, and the Horse Caves, which were reputedly used as a hideout during Shays’ Rebellion, in another 20 minutes.

Mount Grace
Distance: 4.0 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
Estimated Time: 2.25 – 3.25 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The trail passes a shelter in about 45 minutes, then reaches the 1,614-foot summit of Mt. Grace, the highest point on the New England Trail, in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. This is a good mountain trail for families.

Royalston Falls
Distance: 1.6 mile round-trip
Elevation Gain: 340 feet
Estimated Time: 1.25 – 2.0 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The trail reaches Falls Brook and a camping shelter in about 15 minutes, and dramatic views of Royalston Falls and a high rocky gorge in about 40 minutes. And excellent hike for families, geologists, and long-distance hikers!

Difficulty key –  
“Easy” = The terrain is relatively level and the hike is less than 3.0 miles, or the hike is somewhat steep, but very short.
“Moderate” = The terrain may be rocky or there is a steeper grade in some sections. The hike may be 1.5 to 5.2 miles long.
“Strenuous” = The terrain may be difficult, especially for children, and the hike may be 4.0 to 8.6 miles long.
For more details about these hikes, printed on a durable, waterproof map of the 215-mile NET in Massachusetts and Connecticut, grab your copy of the New England Trail Map & Guide.

Monday, September 28, 2015

DOE Agrees with AMC Request to Issue Northern Pass DEIS Supplemental

Last week, in response to a request initiated by AMC and joined by colleague organizations the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Audubon Society of NH, The Nature Conservancy—NH Chapter, and Responsible Energy Action, LLC, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will prepare a supplement to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that analyzes the new “Preferred Alternative” route announced by Northern Pass on August 18, 2015. In order to provide the public ample opportunity to evaluate and comment on the to be released supplemental DEIS, DOE has reset the public comment period on the DEIS to December 31, 2015, and postponed scheduled public hearings from the week of October 5 to a date yet to be determined but before the end of the year. However, Northern Pass has stated they intend to proceed with an application to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) in October. (An update on the SEC process will come once Northern Pass takes that step.)

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