Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

You Can Help AMC Protect White Cap Mountain

Deep in the Maine Woods is a remote mountainous area known as the 100-Mile Wilderness. The term has become the de facto name for this 1-million-acre region, but few people know that the term was first used as a warning about the remoteness of the area. It was a warning not just for casual visitors, but for long-distance hikers thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Unlike much of the Appalachian Trail on which a hiker comes across public roads or towns every few days, this stretch of trail from Monson to Abol Bridge Campground – about 100 miles--crosses neither. Hikers – even experienced ones – must carry everything they need for seven to 10 days of remote backpacking without resupply.

Seen on a map, the region is roughly book-ended by two of Maine’s most iconic natural features: Moosehead Lake – Maine’s largest -- to the southwest, and Katahdin-- Maine’s highest mountain -- to the north. The region is almost entirely comprised of private timberlands without conservation protections, but thanks to those landowners and the work of state and non-profit groups, multiple conservation success stories have arisen here. This includes AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, which has protected nearly 67,000 acres, and now an adjacent new conservation opportunity is in the works.

At 3,654 feet White Cap Mountain is the highest mountain in the 100-Mile Wilderness. It provides hikers with a stunning view across the 100-Mile Wilderness to Katahdin. The Appalachian Trail corridor protects the summit, and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s conservation lands protect its north slope. But the rugged south slope, with multiple waterfalls and the West Branch of the Pleasant River, is unprotected – for now. Thanks to a willing landowner and the Forest Society of Maine, 14,000 acres of White Cap’s south slope could soon be conserved by a conservation easement and purchase by the State of Maine.

This conservation project, known as the “Gulf-Hagas White Cap Project,” seeks to permanently protect 5.5 miles of frontage on both sides of the West Branch of the Pleasant River, which contains sea-run Atlantic salmon and native brook trout. The project lands contain the trailheads to two National Natural Landmarks: Gulf Hagas, a 3.5-mile gorge on the West Branch of the Pleasant River, and The Hermitage, a 35-acre reserve with some of Maine’s oldest white pines. If successful the project will conserve 5,400 acres of high-elevation spruce-fir forest abutting 11 miles of the Appalachian Trail corridor and 1,200 acres of wetland forests along the West Branch of the Pleasant River as ecological reserves. An additional 7,200 acres will be protected from development while allowing sustainable forest management to continue. The project lands also include two scenic waterfalls, campsites, and hiking access to the summit of White Cap.

Funding for the conservation of these lands will come from the Land for Maine’s Future Program as well as federal grant programs like the Forest Legacy Program and Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Public support for these conservation programs is critical to their being funded and for this project in particular. AMC is asking our members and anyone who values spectacular wild places in the Northeast to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support full funding for Forest Legacy and LWCF. For members in the Northeast, please ask them to support the Gulf Hagas-White Cap Forest Legacy project. Just a handful of calls makes a difference.

You can easily find your Representatives’ contact information at:

And your Senators’ contact information at:

AMC appreciates the assistance of the Conservation Alliance and the many outdoor retailer companies who support it. These companies give generously to support protection of wild places across the country:

Monday, September 1, 2014

2015 Lodge and Hut Reservations Now Open!

Now is the time to book that winter gateway or summer adventure for 2015!  Check availability and request a reservation online, or call AMC Reservations, Monday through Saturday, 9:00AM - 5:00PM, at 603-466-2727.

Monday, August 11, 2014

AMC Senior VP Walter Graff in Leaders of Conservation Series

As part of its Leaders of Conservation Series, spoke with AMC Senior Vice President Walter Graff about the accomplishments of the organization and the Maine Woods Initiative.

Read story >>

Monday, August 4, 2014

Science for the Outdoors: Cleaner Air and Water

Perhaps you have seen that strange equipment near Lakes of the Clouds Hut. Or, maybe you’ve spied a less conspicuous white object near the forest floor along the trail to Carter Hut.

These are just some of the places where AMC monitors air quality in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We’ve put together an interactive map for you to check out the scope of our ongoing research – locations denote direct measurements of air pollutants (A), water quality sampling sites (W), and plant monitoring sites where we are documenting the life stages and climate change (P). You can explore this Google Map >> or check out the more detailed version by opening this file in Google Earth >>

AMC has been studying the impacts of air pollution in the White Mountains for decades. As outdoor recreationists and conservationists, we take air pollution personally because it impacts our lungs, our views, and our environment. AMC’s air quality research provides important information on air pollution levels, its associated impacts, and progress from important Clean Air Act regulations. Here are a few things we know from AMC’s and partner organizations’ science...

VIEWS ARE CLEARER! On hazy days we can see about 18 miles further.
Thanks to the Clean Air Act Regional Haze Rule and other power plant regulations that are designed to protect special places like the Great Gulf and Presidential Range Dry River Wilderness Areas.
AIR IS HEALTHIER! Ozone levels are now at their lowest in the past 28 years of monitoring in the White Mountains.
Thanks to Clean Air Act National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone and the Ozone Transport regulations. But there is still work to be done! Higher elevations still observe polluted ozone days. Children and people who exercise outdoors or suffer from respiratory diseases are the most susceptible to the impacts of elevated ozone.
MOUNTAIN RAIN IS 4 TIMES LESS ACIDIC than 30 years ago – and water in mountain headwater streams is cleaner.
Thanks to Clean Air Act Acid Rain Program that reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel burning sources.
Explore this Google Map >> or check out a more detailed version by opening this file in Google Earth >>

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AMC Opposes Proposed Gas Pipeline in MA

Here in Massachusetts, we can be proud of the state’s track record in protecting land, water, and prime outdoor experiences while also reducing carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency, and other measures to reduce our demand for fossil fuels.

Which is why a proposal for a new gas pipeline from New York, through the Berkshires, and to eastern Massachusetts makes little sense.

Learn more >>

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