Trail clearing on North Shore another example that public are future to public lands

Another spring work weekend on the Superior Hiking Trail reinforces a wider story: Some of Minnesota’s favorite footpaths are nothing without the sweat and commitment of volunteers. The morning woke up dry and with promise. It was warming fast in the early sun, which set the North Shore’s boreal tree line in sharp relief against an almost bluebird sky. It was...

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Smokies Park Recruits Volunteers for Cataloochee Valley

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking volunteers to assist rangers with managing traffic and establishing safe wildlife viewing areas within the Cataloochee Valley region. Volunteers will receive information and training in wildlife behavior, safe viewing practices, and cultural history. Cataloochee is a remote mountain valley on the eastern edge of the park...

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Labor of love in the wilderness

Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians who frequent the forests and mountain trails outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe perform a vital role as guardians of these recreational areas. Each year, groups from local clubs put in thousands of volunteer hours to keep the trails clear of vegetation, repair weather- and fire-caused damage or create new routes to enhance the...

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Smokies park rangers need citizen science volunteers

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are recruiting volunteers to adopt and monitor tree plots. The volunteers will collect information at tree plots throughout the park as part of an important research project tracking phenology, or cyclic and seasonal biological changes. For each plot of trees, volunteers will record when trees leaf out and when leaves start to...

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Volunteers key to making Appalachian Trail a success

The millions of people who enjoy the Appalachian Trail each year might not realize just what it takes to make its incredible recreational opportunities available to them. Though it features countless wonders of nature, the trail itself did not come about naturally. It took years of effort to achieve its completion, and in the nearly 80 years since then, it’s...

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Appalachian Trail Volunteers Report Record Number of Hours During Federal Fiscal Year

For fiscal year 2015, a record-breaking 6,827 volunteers reported approximately 272,477 hours to maintaining and protecting the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for hikers to use. Since the ATC began collecting reports in 1983, individuals have contributed more than 5 million hours to the A.T., resulting in a volunteer network that is recognized worldwide. The record number of...

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American Express Announces $5 Million Grant to Increase Volunteering in America’s National Parks

American Express (AXP) and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced a multi-year partnership to increase volunteerism in National Parks and Public Lands. The $5 million grant over four years from American Express will help the Department of the Interior (DOI) and National Parks Service (NPS) build volunteer coalitions to preserve and sustain America’s...

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Walking into history: volunteers improve the Mason-Dixon Trail

On June 6th, 1765, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon placed an oak post at the point on their survey where the West or Mason-Dixon Line (northern boundary of Maryland) intersected with the North Line that formed the boundary between Maryland and the three lower counties of Pennsylvania (later to become Delaware). The survey divided the lands of the Calverts (Maryland) and...

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Volunteers Donate More than 200,000 Hours in 2014 to Maintaining the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has announced that for fiscal year 2014, 5,617 volunteers reported 241,936 hours to maintaining and protecting the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for hikers to use. Since the ATC began collecting reports in 1983, individuals have contributed more than 5 million hours to the A.T., resulting in a volunteer network that is recognized...

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Volunteers help build a better Appalachian Trail

Visitors from across the country and throughout the world make the journey to Maine to hike the Appalachian Trail, and they have volunteers from just as far afield to thank for the trail’s upkeep. “If you are hiking, you’d rather not have mud up to your ankles every step you are taking,” stated Ron Dobra, a sort of volunteer district manager for a...

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy reports record number of volunteer hours

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is pleased to announce that volunteers devoted a record number of hours last year to maintaining and protecting the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for hikers to use. For the federal fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013, close to 6,000 volunteers reported approximately 245,500 hours, donating time equivalent to what is completed by 118...

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Waterfall trail at Pantertown looking for sweat donations

Volunteers are needed in Panthertown Valley, NC during Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 25, 2013 to help complete a new section of the Wilderness Falls Trail. The work will entail re-routing the popular trail to make for safer and easier access to the waterfall below. There will be no more than five miles of hiking, and the work will be completed by 2:30 p.m. REI...

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Volunteers Needed to Staff Information Center at Clingmans Dome

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help staff the visitor information center at Clingmans Dome through November 30. The visitor information center at Clingmans Dome sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet and is a point source of information for the national park and the high elevation spruce fir ecosystem, in particular. Volunteers are needed to...

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Volunteers sought to staff fire lookout towers in the Angeles National Forest

Volunteers are needed to staff fire lookout stations in the Angeles National Forest this summer, officials said. The Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association is recruiting volunteers to man the Slide Mountain Lookout as well as Vetter Mountain Peak, “to protect the forest and local mountain communities from the threat of fire,” ANFFLA officials said...

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FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway (FRIENDS) has launched a two-year 25th anniversary celebration commemorating the volunteer-driven organization’s founding in North Carolina in 1988 and in Virginia the following year. “We believe the best way to celebrate a quarter century of service to the Blue Ridge Parkway is with a renewed commitment to America’s...

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Smokies Park Volunteers Needed for Roving

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to assist park visitors by roving the Oconaluftee River Trail, Mountain Farm Museum and fields along Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road). The volunteer positions will be available from now through November 9, 2013. These volunteers will provide information regarding various park regulations including littering,...

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An Appreciation for Those Who Came Before

The expansive views of the Southern Appalachian Mountains from the summit of Hemphill Bald are enough to make anyone want to plop down in the tall grass and spend the day watching the shadows of clouds flow across the landscape. Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies like a pearl on the string of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the thread running down the spine...

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Blue Ridge Parkway head to retire April 1

If you want to run the busiest national park unit in the country, you need to know the people who make the park tick. From the rangers to the visitors to the local business owners and the volunteers. The people who know Phil Francis, the superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway for nearly 8 years, say he has been that kind of leader. Unlike many government bureaucrats...

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