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

2013 DOC Spring Banquet

20130511-041059.jpg

2013 DOC Spring Banquet
At Moosilauke Ravine Lodge
On May 9th, 6:30-9pm

An honor and a pleasure to be invited and included in this gathering. Many people seem surprised when they discover I am a volunteer and did not attend Dartmouth College. I attended Lebanon High School located ‘next door’, Class of ’95 and Keene State College, Class of ’99. I was the Vice President of the Environmental Outing Club at Keene State for a couple semesters. Although, it was my upbringing on a NH farm, a walk with my grandfather to the family corner property lines when I was in elementary school, and my mother’s expectation that after school my brother and I were to go outside and play that most influenced my love of outdoor activities and nature. I also have a deep and abiding love of reading, studying history, and I am fascinated by tradition. My three favorite books are The History of Hanover, NH and Dartmouth College up to 1815, The First 75 Years of the Dartmouth Outing Club and the double compilation of Walden and Civil Disobedience.

This program and why I put so much care into is not about me or for me.  I’m returning a favor to the universe.  My ultimate mission is to see students take ownership of this program.  To see students discussing the Boundary and Corridor.  To see students engaging local community, recruiting new volunteers and educating themselves and others.  My ardent desire is for students to become stewards of the land, the trails and the history of this Upper Valley region that has, is and will profoundly effect their lives.   I’m merely laying the groundwork.  I’m simply an intermediary for greater things yet to come.

This image is a detail shot of a bandana presented to me at this banquet for my volunteer service as the DOC’s Appalachian Trail Monitor Coordinator these past three years. I feel humbled by the recognition and appreciate the gift. I’m looking forward to the rest of year three, four and five of my voluntary commitment in managing the AT Stewardship program.


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

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.

Press Release: February 10, 2013

Snowpocalypse Not: Upper Valley Dodges Brunt of Monster Winter Storm

Randy Hill, of Hanover, smooths a part of his snow sculpture, which represents Rapunzel’s tower, on Occom Pond in Hanover yesterday. Hill has been creating sculptures at locations around Hanover during Winter Carnival since 1987. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Randy Hill, of Hanover, smooths a part of his snow sculpture, which represents Rapunzel’s tower, on Occom Pond in Hanover yesterday. Hill has been creating sculptures at locations around Hanover during Winter Carnival since 1987. (Valley News – James M. Patterson)

By Jon Wolper Valley News Staff Writer

Sunday, February 10, 2013
(Published in print: Sunday, February 10, 2013)

Hanover — The winter storm that walloped much of the northeastern United States largely spared the Upper Valley, whose residents saw the snowfall as business as usual.

“It’s not 3 feet of snow,” said Nichole Hastings, who was sculpting a pair of hiking boots out of packed snow. “It’s not even a foot of snow. I’m just happy that it looks like the proper season.”

At any rate, it was enough powder for construction. Hastings, of Norwich, was one of several builders yesterday at Occom Pond, sawing and chiseling at large mounds of snow. It was also enough powder to get several trucks driving up and down the pond, plows affixed, clearing the snow from the iced-over body of water.

Snowfall in Lebanon reached 16 inches, according to National Weather Service meteorologists. Orford, by contrast, received only 6 inches. On the Vermont side of the Upper Valley, snowfall ranged from 8 inches in Wilder to 15 inches in Thetford Center.

And in Hanover, there was plenty of snow to play with. The sculpting and plowing yesterday was in preparation of the annual Occom Pond Party, which will take place at the pond today, from noon to 3 p.m. The theme of this year’s party, like the Dartmouth Winter Carnival — the two events are spiritually connected, if not directly so — is “A Grimm Carnival,” based on the famous fairy tales.

So Hastings’ boots were symbolic of both The Boots of Buffalo-Leather, one of the tales, and the group she was representing: the Hanover Area Friends of the Appalachian Trail.

Read more here.

Two feet of snow!

Two feet of snow!

This image was not included in the Valley News article but was taken by another Pond Party volunteer.  It’s of the Hanover Area Friends of the Appalachian Trail sculpture and Nichole Hastings at the 16th Annual Occom Pond Party.

Press: “Irene: George Mallet Reports From Hanover”

George Mallet reports from Hanover, N.H.  Several areas in Southern Vt., and N.H. have been hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene.  Many Residents Evacuated To Emergency Shelters.

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