6.5.13 Letter to the Editor

Hiker’s Writings Raise Concerns

By Jon Wolper Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, June 1, 2013
(Published in print: Saturday, June 1, 2013)

http://mobile.vnews.com/home/6721478-108/hikers-writings-raise-concerns

Begin forwarded message:

From: Nichole Hastings
Date: June 5, 2013 7:28:56 AM EDT
To: “newseditor@vnews.com”
Subject: Re: AT register entries

Dear Valley News Editor,

My colleagues of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and I conferred yesterday about last Saturday’s article in regards to the graphic register entries, fellow leaving them, and Mr. Wolpar’s mis-representation of the facts. In spite of what community members, Trail Angels have said, Mr. Wolpar’s gross mis-prepresentation of the Appalachian Trail is troubling.

Essentially Mr. Wolpar painted a picture that this sort of unusual behavior is typical on the trail and that ‘worrisome’ people may be regularly found traversing the A.T. Neither of those are true. I speak not only for myself as the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Appalachian Trail Monitor Coordinator, a Corridor Monitor for the Green Mountain Club but also as a representative of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. These graphic entries and this fellow disturbing other hikers is A-typical and highly unusual. In fact, it’s almost unheard of which is why I and the organizations I represent spread the word quickly through the trail community, local communities and notified the authorities.

I am confused as to why Mr. Wolpar chose to present this story in such a ‘sensationalized’ way and on the words of folks who are not official representatives of the Appalachian Trail. I am confused on how Mr. Wolpar thought that painting such a dark picture of an isolated incident on the trail benefits a community and their perception of the hundreds of thru-hikers that will soon be passing through West Hartford, Norwich and Hanover. I hope that this letter will be shared as to correct this unfortunate error on Mr. Wolpar’s part and his misrepresentation of the trail.

Best regards,
Nichole


Nichole Hastings
Appalachian Trail Monitor Coordinator
Dartmouth Outing Club
Robinson Hall, Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
Email: doc.at.corridormonitors@gmail.com
DOC AT Boundary Program Schedule: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~doc/appalachiantrail/
Twitter ID: @DartmouthOuting @HAFoAT

Press Release: “Trail Time? Not Quite”

As Always, Mud Season Beckons Caution

By Jared Pendak

Valley News Staff Writer

Thursday, April 18, 2013
(Published in print: Thursday, April 18, 2013

Elm Street AT Kiosk

Nichole Hastings received a disturbing email recently.

As a volunteer Appalachian Trail corridor monitor , Hastings was alerted to the sight of a mountain bike’s tire treads on the AT in Norwich, off of Cossingham Road. As a designated National Scenic Trail, the AT is meant for foot travel only and is subject to National Park Service regulations prohibiting bicycle and motorized travel of any kind, as well any use by riders of “pack animals,” i.e. horses, mules, goats and llamas.

The AT crosses Cossingham Road, a Class IV road near the intersection of Bragg Hill Road and Happy Hill Road that is popular for use among mountain bikers and horseback riders.

“The AT passes over the road, north-to-south,” said Hastings, who coordinates the Dartmouth Outing Club’s trail monitor program and also volunteers with the Green Mountain Club, which maintains the Appalachian Trail from Norwich to Woodstock. “It makes it convenient for ATVs or mountain bikers to go onto the trail, if they’re using that road. What some people don’t realize is that the trail is part of the National Park Service, and that keeping vehicles, including, bikes, off the trail is federally mandated.”

Read more here.

Norwich Celebrates A.T. Family Hike Day with a Weekend of Events

What could be better than a beautiful Fall day with family out hiking in Vermont?

We have an exciting series of events coming up on September 29th to celebrate ‘Appalachian Trail Family Hike Day’ in Norwich.  The Norwich Friends of the A. T. in partnership with The Norwich Bookstore, the Green Mountain Club, the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, and the Town of Norwich would like you to join them on Saturday the 29th.  There will be hikes, a picnic, and an opportunity to meet the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s publisher Brian King.

The celebration begins on Saturday at 10am with Brian King, the publisher for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is flying up from Harpers Ferry West Virginia to sign his book The Appalachian Trail at The Norwich Bookstore.

The foreword of the book is written by Bill Bryson, a former resident of Hanover and author of A Walk in the Woods.  For more information on the book event, please call 802.649.1114 or email info@norwichbookstore.com.  The bookstore is happy to arrange for Brian to sign a book for you if you cannot join on Saturday.

At noon, there is a bring-your-own-picnic-lunch on the Norwich Green until 1pm.  During the latter half of the hour, we will begin shuttling people up to the Willliam Tucker Trail entrance on Happy Hill Road to hike.

At 1pm, Nichole Hastings will lead the hike to the Happy Hill Shelter and discuss the new privy installation.  We will hike the A.T. back towards Norwich and down Elm Street to the Norwich Green.  For more information please call 802.332.6615 or email nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com.  The trail from Happy Hill Shelter to Elm Street is rated easy/moderate for all ages.

The events are free and open to the public; reservations are not needed.  For a simple listing of the events see the  AT Family Hike Day Schedule.

And on Sunday September 30th, the Green Mountain Club will be moving lumber to the new Happy Hill privy site.  Volunteers are welcome!  Please meet at 10am at the West Hartford Village Store on VT Route 14.  Bring work gloves and boots.  You may email Nichole for more information at nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com.

We look forward to celebrating community, a treasure in our own backyard and Autumn with you!

***

Three other local hikes in celebration of AT Family Hiking Day are:

Holt’s Ledge Hike, Lyme NH – Meet 10 am at lower parking lot of Dartmouth Skiway, call Matt Stevens at 603.676.4102 or email at mstevens@appalachiantrail.org for more information.

Cossingham Road to Norwich, VT – Meet at 9am at Huntley Meadow, call Becky at (802) 649-9075 or email Becky.Lewandoski@uvtrails.org for more information.

Dupuis Hill, Pomfret VT – Meet 1 pm at far end of Billings Farm Museum in Woodstock.  E-mail Marissa_Jager@partner.nps.gov, or call 802-457-3368 x17 for more information.

*These three local hikes are sponsored by and being led by
the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, the National Park Service,
and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Discover the D.O.C. A.T. Boundary Program

Introduction

to the

Dartmouth Outing Club’s

Appalachian Trail Boundary Program


Do you like to hike?  Are you interested in volunteering your time for a greater good?  Or a local summer escape into Nature with some ‘treasure hunting’?
You may want to consider volunteering to be an Appalachian Trail Corridor Monitor for the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Appalachian Trail Boundary Program.
Please join us at an introductory presentation and learn more about it and how to get involved and volunteer as a D.O.C. A.T. Corridor Monitor.

Date:  April 22, 2011 / April 27, 2011 / May 14, 2011

Time:  9:00 a.m. to 11/11:30 a.m.

Registration: pre-register, e-mail Nichole, limited space, no fee

Location:  Robinson Hall, Dartmouth College


Agenda

9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

The Boundary Program Presentation

In this presentation you will learn about how the program operates, the roles, responsibilities and expectations of a volunteer Corridor Monitor for the D.O.C. and A.T.C..

10:00 to 11/11:30 a.m.

A Walk on the Boundary

We will take the presentation on a walk from Robinson Hall to the A.T. Boundary, located near the Chase Field, behind the Co-op Food Store in Hanover, NH.

11/11:30 a.m. to ———-

Conclusion at the Canoe Club (optional)

When we conclude our field presentation, we will walk back and those who are interested may join us for further discussion over coffee.


 
 


What is the ‘Corridor’ and ‘Boundary’?
The Corridor is what we call the tracts of land on either side of the Appalachian Trail.  The Boundary is the yellow blazed ‘line’ delineating the separation of our Federal/State/National Park land from privately owned property.

What is a Corridor Monitor?
They are the dedicated volunteers who hike that ‘line’ monitoring and maintaining the Boundary.

Why monitor and maintain the Boundary?
To monitor and protect the Boundary and Corridor from encroachments such as hunting, timber harvesting and ATV use.


Schedule

April 2011

THURSDAY

21

FRIDAY

22

SATURDAY

23

9:00 a.m. to 11/11:30 a.m.

An Introduction to

the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Appalachian Trail Boundary Program

May 2011

FRIDAY

21

SATURDAY

22

SUNDAY

23

9:00 a.m. to 11/11:30 a.m.

An Introduction to

the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Appalachian Trail Boundary Program

June 2011

FRIDAY

10

SATURDAY

11

SUNDAY

12

MONDAY

13

TBA TBA

July 2011

MONDAY

4

TUESDAY

5

WEDNESDAY

6

THURSDAY

7

FRIDAY

8

SATURDAY

9

SUNDAY

10

 X  X

TBA

TBA

TBA

TBA

TBA

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

TBA TBA TBA TBA

TBA

 X  X

To become a Corridor Monitor or find out more about the D.O.C. Boundary Program, please contact Nichole Hastings at: nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com

Journal Entry: “Endangered Wilderness! Call to arms!”

On Saturday, March 5th I attended a photography presentation and talk given by Harvey Halpern at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science(VINS) courtesy of an invite given by my friend, Maureen Sheldon about the endangered wilderness and what we can do to protect and preserve it.  I not only had the priviledge to view some amazing photography of lovely Utah landscapes that most people have not seen, I also had the pleasure of speaking with others who share my passion for the preservation of nature and the wilderness.

Some of you may be thinking, Utah…it’s so far away from me and my world.  But in fact, the desecration of our wilderness is happening close to home in Maine along the Appalachian Trail as well.  These public lands are under threat of development, being stripped for their resources and are on the brink of being lost forever.  The actions being taken by those opposing what is happening in Utah are setting a standard and model for what others can do to fight the development of these wilderness regions, owned by you, that should remain untouched by the hand of man.  Regions which, of solitude and nature, should be left to its own devices.

Here is a link that will provide more information on Southern Utah:

Maureen, Harvey, Tree(from VINS) and I are discussing putting together a hiking trip to visit this region.  If you are interested in going or would like more detailed information on what you can do to get involved please contact me at: nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com

Now to address the threat in Maine on the Bigelow Preserve, a wind farm that would be visible within 4-miles from the Appalachian Trail.  This wind farm would not only put in place infrastructure, that in my mind is one step closer to other developments, it would dominate a  remote region considered ‘wilderness’ and for many hikers an escape, a moment of solitude from civilization.

Here is a link about the Bigelow Preserve:

Here are some other links that will give you a better idea of the current state of affairs concerning the Highland Winds LLC wind farm:

Maine needs your help!  Utah needs your help!  If you are a Vermont resident, your state reps are in support of those working to protect the wilderness in Utah.  If you are a New Hampshire resident then you need to write a letter to Jeanne Shaheen asking for her support of Utah. And while you’re at it, let’s address Maine.

You may do so here:

Support of Utah, your efforts in supporting Utah will help with what is happening in Maine.  Please write and get involved.  Nature needs your support and voice.  As the MATC points out on their website, Maine is an exporter of energy.  Le’s contemplate this.  I am a supporter of clean renewable energy but not at this cost.

Please take action and let others know who may be interested in supporting these causes.  Thank you.

DRadio Wissen – August 31, 2010

“My friend, Sonja Beeker, a Freelance Radio Journalist got in touch and told me that another radio station wanted to broadcast the interview.  They also wanted a longer broadcast and more content.  Sonja asked if I could put her in touch with someone from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  I immediately thought of Matt Stevens who then passed the information along to Hawk Metheny, who agreed to do the interview.

Here is the link to the DRadio Wissen podcast, broadcast on August 31, 2010.  Enjoy!”