ACE Press Release: New President and CEO Laura Herrin
American Conservation Experience (ACE) proudly announces the selection of Laura Herrin as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Laura begins her leadership role at ACE on July 16, 2018, succeeding ACE Founder, Chris Baker who is stepping down after 15 years of exceptional service and organizational growth nationwide.
“Laura Herrin has dedicated her career to youth and young adult development and conservation corps programs and has a great track record of accomplishments,” said Brad Bippus, ACE’s board chair. “Laura has a very obvious passion for ACE’s dual mission of on-the-ground environmental work and providing meaningful opportunities for young people. We are delighted to have Laura, with her very impressive skills and many years of leadership experience, take the helm of ACE.”
Click here for complete Press Release
WGAL 8: Piece of Gettysburg battlefield getting facelift
A piece of the Gettysburg battlefield is getting a facelift. More than 1,400 feet of stone walls are being rebuilt. American Conservation Experience is proud to take part in the historic conservation efforts.
Click here for article: http://www.wgal.com
Tahoe Weekly: Incline Flume, Kingsbury trails complete
Seven years in the making and volunteers have built the most technical rock line on a sanctioned trail in Tahoe. In June, TAMBA funded the American Conservation Experience for two weeks to rough-in a 500-foot alternate route down some crazy steep rock slabs on the Kingsbury Stinger Trail that challenge even the most experienced riders.
A 40-person TAMBA volunteer force attacked the trail on June 24, polished the tread and made it rideable.
Click here for article: https://thetahoeweekly.com
WGAL 8: Piece of Gettysburg battlefield getting facelift
A piece of the Gettysburg battlefield is getting a facelift. More than 1,400 feet of stone walls are being rebuilt. American Conservation Experience is proud to take part in the historic conservation efforts.
Click here for article: http://www.wgal.com
Sonoma Valley Sun: Rehab project for Sonoma’s Overlook Trail
Sonoma’s Overlook Trail is getting a makeover, and the 14-week project kicks off with a celebration on Wednesday, June 29 at 1 p.m.
The event, at the trailhead on First Street West just outside the gates to the Sonoma Mountain Cemetery, will include an overview and history of the project, groundbreaking ceremony and light refreshments.
The trail will be closed to the public until mid-September.
The project will be undertaken by a crew of 12 young adults and two experienced trail-building supervisors with the American Conservation Experience. Planned improvements include: new stone steps at the badly eroded main trailhead; a 795-foot reroute on the Lower Trail; rebuilding of climbing turns and junctions; and short runs of steps at key locations.
Click here for article: http://sonomasun.com
Sonoma News: Sonoma’s popular Overlook Trail to be closed for 12 weeks
The work will be undertaken by a crew of 12 young adults and two experienced trail-building supervisors with American Conservation Experience (USAconservation.org). Examples of the improvements include: stone steps at the badly-eroded main trailhead; a 795-foot reroute to avoid a severely degraded segment on the Lower Trail; rebuilding of climbing turns and junctions; and short runs of steps at key locations to alleviate gradient and erosion issues.
Click here for article: http://www.sonomanews.com
WBRC Fox 6 News: National nonprofit groups working to preserve Moss rock
Kate is from Maine, but says Moss Rock is one of the most beautiful places she’s seen, and was thrilled when the city of Hoover reached out to the Access Fund for help preserving it.
“We welcome people to come out to moss rock. It’s rad here. Thanks to the city of hoover for having us. We are psyched.”
At least ten thousand people visit the 350 acre park every year, which is known for it’s hiking trails and boulder field. All that traffic, leads to erosion issues. That’s why the city teamed up with the Access Fund, and the American Conservation Experience, to build retaining walls, natural stone staircases, and trail landscaping to protect the park and improve access.
Click here for article: http://www.wbrc.com/
Smokey Mountain News: Trail work resumes on Rainbow Falls Trail
The second phase of a two-year trail rehabilitation project in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will begin Monday, April 16, on the popular Rainbow Falls Trail.
The trail will be closed from 7 a.m. Mondays through 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, April 16 through Nov. 15, federal holidays excluded. The Mount LeConte backcountry shelter will be closed for eight seven-night periods between July 18 and Oct. 24 to accommodate American Conservation Experience trail crewmembers working on the project.
Click here for article: http://www.smokymountainnews.com/
Monterey Herald: Work on Soberanes Creek Trail nears completion
In addition to the new portable restrooms for the Soberanes Creek Trail, American Conservation Experience and a State Parks trail crew have been working on retaining walls, steps, clearing brush, light trail maintenance and repairing slides. Work began Feb. 14.
The Soberanes Fire started July 22, 2016, in Garrapata State Park from an illegal, unattended campfire and it was contained Oct. 12, 2016. It burned 132,127 acres and destroyed 57 homes and 11 outbuildings.
Click here for article: http://www.montereyherald.com
Perry County Tribune: Take a hike
Construction on the new loop trail around Tecumseh Lake is expected to begin within the next few weeks through grant funding obtained by the Buckeye Trail Association. The Wayne National Forest is partnering with the American Conservation Experience to provide an AmeriCorps trail crew for eight weeks, starting in June, to reroute sections of the BT/NCT in the Shawnee area. Additionally, the Buckeye Trail Association is partnering with the Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action Program (HAPCAP) and the Perry County Jobs and Family Services (PCJ&FS) to provide an additional youth crew for eight weeks this summer to complete project work.
Click here for article: https://www.perrytribune.com
KSBW8: Re-opening of beloved Big Sur trail facing more delays
In February American Conservation Experience crews start work to repair the trail with and California State Parks estimated the contractors would have the job done by April.
State Parks reports ACE has been making great progress but the late winter and early spring rains have been slowing things down. The precipitation causes the fresh soil of the newly cut trail to erode.
The State Parks Monterey District Office is hoping to re-open Soberanes Canyon Trail the week of April 2nd but said it could take until mid-April.
The trail is one of the most trafficked in Monterey County. It sits just past the gateway to Big Sur on the eastside of Highway 1 across the road from Garapata State Park.
Click here for article: http://www.ksbw.com
ACE announces the departure of President and Founder, Chris Baker:
For Immediate Release:
Flagstaff, AZ, March 9, 2018 –
It is with deep appreciation and gratitude for his leadership and service that the Board of Directors announces Chris Baker’s departure as President and CEO of American Conservation Experience (ACE), effective June 30, 2018.
Chris founded ACE in August 2003 and under his guidance it has developed into a nationally recognized leader in the conservation community engaging thousands of young adults in the accomplishment of practical environmental restoration projects in America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
Although Chris will be greatly missed by the board, staff, corps members, and partners alike we wish him great success in his new endeavor as the co-founder of Conservation United Insurance (CUI), where he will continue to support and consult conservation corps and other nonprofit organizations across the nation.
We want to thank him for the 15 years of dedicated service as well as his inspirational leadership and mentorship which involved many significant accomplishments and contributions…
To read the official press release click here: http://www.usaconservation.org/press-releases/
Blue Ridge Now: trail Work at Carl Sandburg Home NHS
Members of the Great Smoky National Park trail crew are onsite working with youth from the American Conservation Experience trail crew from Asheville, NC to repair and rehabilitate the main pedestrian trail leading from the front lake to the Sandburg Home at Carl Sandburg Home NHS.
Click here for article: www.blueridgenow.com/
The Tribune: 20 acres of Oceano Dunes’ off-roading area closed for new dust control effort
Dust mitigation work began early this month, when two nine-acre sections of riding area on the sand highway between markers 15 and 16 were fenced off permanently to establish native plants that Glick said are more effective than fencing in reducing dust.
The areas were identified as hot spots for dust by the California Air Resources Board.
This week, workers with the California Conservation Corps in San Luis Obispo and the American Conservation Experience distributed layers of weed-free rice straw on the sand to stabilize the ground long enough for native plants to take hold.
Click here for article: www.sanluisobispo.com/
KNAU Arizona Public Radio: City of Flagstaff Seeks Public Input on Climate Action Plan
Woodman says that includes preparing for wildfires, floods, and droughts. She’s also concerned about decreased snowpack and its effect on Flagstaff’s water supply and tourism.
Jeff Bousson of the American Conservation Experience is a member of the steering committee. “What do we want our community to look like ten years, twenty years, thirty years, fifty years from now?” he says. “I want this to be as inclusive as possible, and provide a lot of opportunities for us to live in a community that we’re incredibly proud of.”
Click here for article: http://knau.org/
Rancho Santa Fe Review: San Dieguito restoration project helping to reduce fire risk
Kreutz said they owe so much to dedicated volunteers who have contributed nearly 2,000 hours to the project, people like Bob Byrnes and Arne Johanson with the California Native Plant Society, and hard-working crews from American Conservation Experience (ACE), who travel all over the country to complete projects like trail restorations, fuel reduction and invasive removals.
Local homeowners have contributed approximately 600 hours of labor and organizing.
The work is funded by grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services ($55,300), the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project ($23,000) and recently $10,000 from the Patagonia store in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Click here for article: www.ranchosantafereview.com
Arizona Daily Sun: Make a Difference Day 2017
This year, Make a Difference Day focused on efforts around the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center at Sawmill Park. Maggie Twomey of the City Sustainability Division organized groups and volunteers to restore the Willow Bend habitat gardens, weed and seed the Monarch Waystation, stabilize and seed the slope below the gardens, and remove trash along the Rio de Flag in Sinclair Wash. Participants included City and County staff, Americorps/American Conservation Experience, Natural Channel Design, Friends of Willow Bend Gardens, Willow Bend staff and Board members, Northern Arizona Trail Runners, Friends of the Rio de Flag, and many individual community members.
Click here for article: http://www.azdailysun.com
Lincoln County Record: Caliente City Council News
Jon Prescott is working with the BLM portion of the bike trail. So far they have four and a half miles of complete trail on the Barnes Canyon and are working on the engineering design of the trailhead. The plan for this season is to have seven miles complete in Barnes Canyon by the time the snow falls in late December. The crews are a volunteer corp, and they camp, so, until it gets too cold, they will be down there building. They will come back in the spring and keep going from there. Eventually, more trails will be built coming down Ella Mountain coming into town. The environmental analyses are being studied now.
The American Conservation Experience (ACE) hired a crew of four locals for the project, one from Alamo, two from Panaca, and one from Caliente. They are working 40 hours a week at $10.20 an hour.
The grand opening for the 22 miles down Barnes Canyon is set for Sept. 19, but trails are open to the public as they finish. As of now, there is a three-mile loop that is finished and is open, plus one-and-a-half miles that dead end. At the end of the season that will be a full loop, plus seven miles of loop open for use.
Click here for article: http://www.lccentral.com
The Record-Courier: Four projects in Douglas named Best in Basin
The 15 public and private project implementers recognized with Best in Basin awards restored streams and wetlands, cleaned contaminated properties, built bike trails and shared-use paths, improved forest health and community wildfire preparedness, reduced stormwater pollution that harms Lake Tahoe’s famous water clarity, and revitalized communities.
“People are making tremendous progress to restore and conserve Lake Tahoe’s natural environment, improve the vitality of our communities, and make the region more sustainable,” said Joanne S. Marchetta, executive director of TRPA. “The amount of partnership and collaboration demonstrated by this year’s award winners, and the number of privately funded projects, shows Lake Tahoe is working together like never before.”
This year’s Best in Basin award winners are:
Kingsbury Stinger Trail: The U.S. Forest Service and nonprofit Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association partnered to build this multi-use trail that runs from the Andria Drive trailhead in upper Kingsbury to the Tahoe Rim Trail and ends at Terrace View Street in lower Kingsbury, connecting with a Class 1 bike path there. The project restored a steep and heavily-eroding old trail alignment. More than 100 people contributed to the project with 1,500 hours of volunteer work. Project partners: American Conservation Experience, State of Nevada Recreational Trails Program.
Click here for article: http://www.recordcourier.com
PCTA Trail Dirt: Four years of hard, hard work to build 3.9 miles of trail
In 2014, the PCTA supervised an American Conservation Experience (ACE) crew and broke ground on the new section of trail. Each year since we managed to build one-half to three quarters mile of new trail. The terrain is rocky, steep, and downright rough to work in. And we build the PCT to a very high standard compared to some other trails. Each new piece of trail tread was hard work.
This year, we made a massive push on the project. With the combined efforts of the PCTA, ACE crews, led by our Technical Advisors Connor Swift and Tyler Lau, a Tahoe National Forest trail crew, and the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, we finished the southern section of the trail from Pack Saddle Campground south to the existing PCT alignment.
Click here for article: https://www.pcta.org
Missoulian: Sawyers from Bitterroot Forest to help with Hurricane Irma cleanup
HAMILTON — Three sawyers from the Bitterroot National Forest are taking their crosscut saws to hurricane-ravaged Georgia to help clear trees in wilderness areas there.
On Monday, the three — Amelia Shields (an American Conservation Experience Alumnus), Sierra LaBonte and Katherine Bicking — left the Bitterroot National Forest, where they worked all summer clearing trails. They expect to be available for work on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest later this week near Blairsville, Georgia, cleaning up after Hurricane Irma.
“It’s part of the Appalachian Trail that’s in a wilderness area,” said Mark Smith, a trails specialist for the Bitterroot National Forest. “There are about 600 trees down on this portion of the Appalachian Trail, and they need some technical experts, people who are available this time of year when resources are low, since a lot of people have gone back to school.
“They’re trying to maintain those traditional skills and work ethic in a wilderness area, and these three are perfect for that.”
Click here for article: http://missoulian.com
Moab Sun News: Visitors to Mill Creek Canyon impact ecology, public safety
Nearly $50,000 of the WRI project budget will come from in-kind donations from local partners, including local nonprofits Rim to Rim Restoration and Moab Solutions, Grand County, the Utah Conservation Corps, The American Conservation Experience, and local property owners, according to the WRI project report.
“In the Moab Field Office, we have (responsibility for) 1.8 million acres, and if we didn’t have those partners and volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to get everything done that we need to get done,” BLM Moab Field Manager Christina Price said. “They’re extremely crucial and valued members that we look at as our partners.”
Mill Creek Partnership lead organizer Sara Melnicoff said since she began daily visits to the canyon in 2003, she estimates that she and other volunteers in the canyon portion of the corridor have removed tens of thousands of tumbleweeds, and hundreds of pounds of dog poop.
“We’re lucky now we’ve got a lot of interest focused on the canyon,” Melnicoff said. “My plan now that it’s the quiet time is to work my butt off all fall and winter clarifying trails.”
The partnership is exemplary in the state, WRI Project Manager Nicole Nielson said.
“I would say it stands out,” she said. “I think that’s the neatest part of the project – and it’s also a very good project technically. But the neatest part of the project is the number of partners involved.”
Click here for article: http://www.moabsunnews.com
Scottsdale Independent: Scottsdale OKs trail design revamp projects in McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Two-year job order contracts worth $4 million each have been awarded to two contractors for Preserve trails design, construction, renovation and rehabilitation.
Scottsdale City Council approved the resolution on consent at a Sept. 19 meeting at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Cuddy Mountain Trails Co., and American Conservation Experience were both selected following their responses to a May 22 request for qualifications issuance.
The type of work performed by the contractors includes minor design efforts and construction of new trails, renovation and rehabilitation of existing trails, vegetation removal and maintenance, rerouting of existing alignments, closing “social trails,” repairing and correcting damage on existing trails, providing for design and installation of access controls, and the design and survey of new trails, a city staff report states.
Click here for article: http://www.scottsdaleindependent.com
Rancho Santa Fe Review: San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy receives grant for continuation of work on Fairbanks Ranch Restoration Project
In 2016, an additional effort took place to remove eucalyptus trees, arundo and other invasives from the project area using an American Conservation Experience (ACE) crew over four weeks in January and February of 2017.
Due to the success of the work conducted to date, several new owners signed onto the project and the work has expanded to 200 acres covering additional parcels in Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe.
With this grant, the Conservancy will be able to once again hire a 10-person crew from ACE to remove arundo, tamarisk, pampas grass, and other nonnatives from these new project areas. Work will be conducted over a two-week period in October.
Click here for article: http://www.ranchosantafereview.com
Mountain Xpress: Youth crew rehabilitating Craggy Flats Bald trail on BRP
(Asheville, NC) – A rehabilitation project for one of the most popular trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway is underway! A crew with the American Conservation Experience is repairing Craggy Flats Bald Trail, which has become deeply rutted, leading to erosion.
The trail work extends from the historic shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937 across the bald to the stone overlook at Craggy Knob. The crew with the American Conservation Experience will spend four weeks removing encroaching vegetation, eliminating braided trails causing damage to the landscape, and repairing areas that contribute to erosion. It will be a valuable learning experience for these young adults (ages 18-25) who are exploring outdoor careers in the field of conservation. The trail will remain open to hikers during the rehab initiative.
Click here for article: https://mountainx.com
Tahoe in Depth: Young adults help at park
American Conservation Experience supported the construction of a 6-mile path that will create a route along Angora Ridge and North Upper Truckee area. New trail loops being developed will allow trail users to experience incredible vistas from Angora Ridge. Trails that were lost in the devastating Angora Fire 10 years ago will be rebuilt.
The project is a collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), American Conservation Experience (ACE), and Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA). The work will help solidify the Tahoe Basin’s reputation as a world-class single-track destination.
Patrick Parsel, National Trails Coordinator and Trainer for ACE, said the work helps shape his crew members’ understanding of conservation and community service.
Click here for article: http://www.trpa.org
Gettysburg Times: Young adults help at park
Seven young adults from across the country are at Gettysburg to take on project “Restore Battlefield Landscapes at Gettysburg National Military Park” thanks to a cooperative agreement between American Conservation Experience (ACE) and the Department of the Interior.
This summer, ACE crew members are helping eradicate invasive plant species; maintain and stabilize park trails near Big Round Top and Little Round Top; and build and re-establish wooden fences and stone walls.
Click here for article: http://www.gettysburgtimes.com
Arizona Daily Sun: Ask a Ranger
American Conservation Experience partners with Trail Skills Institute and the Arizona National Scenic Trail to train trail stewards, trail crews, and community members on building and maintaining sustainable trails.
Click here for article: http://www.azdailysun.com
Arizona Trail e-News: Trail Improvements in Oracle State Park
Despite the rising temps, Rob Bauer and the dedicated conservation corps at American Conservation Experience are making significant improvements to the AZT within Oracle State Park. Funded by the State of Arizona’s Arizona Trail Fund and administered by Arizona State Parks, the goal is to build sustainable trail where it is currently located within Cherry Valley Wash and on unpleasantly steep hills nearby.
Master machine operator Rob Bauer (the same guy who fabricates the steel AZT Super Gates) is cutting through the thick brush using a mini excavator, followed by a conservation corps using hand tools. The result is truly amazing. We’ll let you know once this piece of the AZT has been rebuilt and is open for exploration – probably within the next three weeks.
Oracle State Park is an ideal summertime destination, with slightly cooler temps than Phoenix and Tucson. Many miles of trails within the Park offer numerous loop options, and as an International Dark Sky Park you’re not likely to find a better night sky anywhere. They offer a variety of programs and events. Learn more at their website.
Click here to subscribe to the Arizona trail Newsletter: http://www.aztrail.org/enews.html
The Lawton Constitution: At refuge, team does battle with black locust
An invasive strike team wrapped up four weeks’ worth of work at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, according to Wildlife Biologist Scott Johnson.
The six-person crew from American Conservation Experience (ACE), a registered nonprofit organization that provides a range of voluntary service programs for both American and international participants, is based out of Flagstaff, Ariz. They were here for a four-week detail.
“This year we decided to incorporate an ACE crew into our invasive plant program to help work on infestations that we needed a little extra manpower for,” Johnson explained. “Our core project was to remove infestations of black locust from the northwest corner of the refuge around Baker’s Peak, with secondary projects including the treatment of Johnson grass in Scott Canyon by Lake Elmer Thomas and searching for common mullein along Deer Creek in the Special Use Area, when rain or high wind events prevented access to Baker’s Peak.
“Unpredictable weather throughout the month of May was our biggest challenge, but the crew was very hard-working and diligent to make the most out of the time we had and accomplished an impressive amount of work.”
The crew consisted of a crew leader, Dylan Baker from Connecticut, and five crew members: Arthur Cohen from Maryland, Victoria Gaddy from Massachusetts, Matis Batarags from New Jersey, Terry Lavergne from Mississippi and Mia Gilbert from North Carolina.
Click here for article: At refuge, team does battle with black locust
Huffington Post: Engaging Women in Conservation
Last month was Women in History month. In recognition of this month-long celebration, our amazing partners at The Corps Network did an informative piece for Huffington Post Blog. They reached out to women within the conservation world who literally blaze trails: the women of Conservation Corps.
We are thrilled that some of the women on our ACE staff as well as some of our female crew leaders and crews were quoted and shown throughout this article.
Thank you to our staff that contributed to this wonderful article: Director of California, Sarah Miggins, National Restoration Program Manager Afton McKusick, Crew Leaders, Jenny Diamond and Krish Karau, photo of corps member, Kyia Foster, Photojournalist, Jessica Plance, Director of Communications, Susie Jardine, President/CEO, Christopher Baker.
Click here for article: Engaging Woman in Conservation
Press Release: Carl Sandburg Home NHS News Release
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Contact: Superintendent, Carl_Administration@nps.gov, 828-693-417
Little Glassy Mountain Trail Reopens After Extensive Work
Flat Rock, NC – Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site has reopened Little Glassy Trail after extensive rehabilitation. Little Glassy Trail was considered by park staff to be in the poorest shape of any of the trails in the 5-mile network. The trail was rerouted to a less severe grade that now follows the contours of the mountain instead of cutting into it. “In some places the grade reached 18% which had resulted in severe erosion leaving only bedrock and tree roots along the route”, said Steven Kidd, Chief of Resources and Facilities at the park.
A crew from the American Conservation Experience (ACE) worked for six weeks clearing brush, moving rocks, and excavating more than a half mile of tread along the new trail.
Lindsay Donkin, the ACE crew boss was responsible for leading the crew that did most of the work. Donkin, a New Jersey native, has spent the last 18 months working on various ACE projects in the southeast. The ACE crew, which varied in size from 12 to 21 interns, mostly used hand tools such as mattocks, picks and shovels to complete the trail work. Ken Gragg, a trail worker from Great Smoky Mountains National Park served as the technical expert during this project. Gragg constructed some of the locust structures such as steps, turnpikes, and drainage features with fellow Great Smoky Mountains trail worker Jeff Fraiser. “Without the knowledge of the Smoky’s employees and the hard work of the ACE crew the park would never have accomplished as much as we did this winter”, Sarah Perschall, Chief of Visitor Services at Carl Sandburg said.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is a unit of the National Park Service. The park is located three miles south of Hendersonville off U.S. 225 on Little River Road, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., daily. For further information, please telephone 828-693-4178, or visit our website at:
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 411 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov.
For the full press release click here: pr-little-glassy-trail-mtn-trail-reopens
Ready to ride: Kingsbury Stinger Trail up and running on South Shore for hikers, bikers
The South Shore has a new trail for hikers, bikers and off-road riders. And its path to completion represents a vision that began nearly a decade ago.
The Kingsbury Stinger Trail celebrated its grand opening Oct. 8. The 5-mile trail above Stateline was created through a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and local nonprofit Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association — and is finally ready to ride. ….
Construction of the new trail began in 2015, with a majority of the work coming this past spring and summer. The Forest Service had a full-time crew working on Kingsbury Stinger starting in May, American Conservation Experience provided a part-time crew, and TAMBA hosted multiple trail work days — along with volunteer efforts coordinated by nearby Shoreline of Tahoe.
“We’re all volunteers, and a lot of us don’t even work in the bike industry,” said TAMBA president Ben Fish. “We just want to see cool trails get built and be able to ride them.” Read the full article here.
To the bluffs: Two-year Alum Cave Trail project culminates
Smoky Mountain News
It’s a miraculously warm, blue-skied November day, the iconic Alum Cave Trail stretching smoothly from the trailhead. The trail invites, almost audibly, framed by a mosaic of rhododendron, leafless deciduous trees and towering hemlocks that have thus far resisted the onslaught of the hemlock wooly adelgid. Tightly constructed wooden bridges and steps interject the trail’s leaf-and-dirt flooring, a stone drainage here and there waiting, shrouded with ferns, to siphon runoff from the trail when the drought finally ends.
It’s everything a trail should be.
And that’s not by accident. Folks hiking the trail that day, Nov. 17, were the first to do so following two years of intensive trail rehabilitation. Before the work began, Alum Cave was a hodgepodge of leaping rocks, eroded edges, unstable steps and braided trails.
It took 50 positions working about 50,000 hours, funded with $500,000 from the Friends of the Smokies Trails Forever endowment to upgrade the popular route to its present state of idyllic tranquility. The trail had to be closed Monday through Thursday, May through October while the work progressed. READ MORE
Historic ranger cabin gets a makeover
Arizona Daily Sun
A mile-and-a-half southwest as the crow flies from the Jacob Lake Inn sits an old wooden Forest Service cabin. The structure is significant to the agency as it once served as a ranger station on the Kaibab Plateau providing rangers with remote workspace to manage programs for timber, livestock, tourism, wildlife and fire protection.
Approximately a year after its construction in 1910, six such ranger stations existed on the North Kaibab, providing rangers with strategic locations from which to manage their forestry programs. These locations included Ryan, DeMotte Park, Dry Park, Big Springs, Bright Angel and Jacob Lake.
Today, the Jacob Lake Ranger Station is the only one left standing. READ MORE
Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebrates reopening of Alum Cave Trail
The Daily Times
As Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials celebrate the completion of extensive renovations to Alum Cave Trail, plans are already underway for the next big Trails Forever rehabilitation project.
The trail was reopened on schedule following work completed by the Park’s Trails Forever crew, American Conservation Experience youth crews and volunteers.
“We can all share in the pride of this incredible accomplishment,” Deputy Superintendent Clay Jordan said Thursday during comments to a crowd of hikers, volunteers and community members. READ MORE
Alum Cave Trail restored; trail character preserved
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS – After nearly two years of restoration work, crews are just a few days away from officially cutting the ribbon on a revitalized Alum Cave Trail.
The popular trail stretches five miles along steep slopes from Newfound Gap Road to the top of Mount LeConte. Along the way, hikers encounter some iconic scenery in the Great Smoky Mountains, including Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, and Alum Cave Bluff. Alum Cave is technically a concave cliff, not an actual cave. …
An official ribbon cutting ceremony to reopen Alum Cave Trail is scheduled for Thursday, November 17, 2016. Volunteers have spent a great deal of time cleaning up the trail and hauling down the hundreds of pounds of tools used during construction.
“The change here has been dramatic,” said Zak Beyersdoerfer with the American Conservation Experience. “The trail is phenomenal. It’s kind of brutal, too, if you’re not really an avid hiker. But it’s well worth it. All around here, you can just sort of lose yourself in the moment.” READ MORE
Utah conservationists work to save the Desert Tortoise
The Bureau of Land Management is working to create a sanctuary for the endangered Desert Tortoise in southern Utah. Wildlife experts from the BLM are working with the American Conservation Experience to plant nearly 5,000 plants within a 100-acre lot near the Utah-Arizona border.
For the past few decades, the Desert Tortoise has been slowly dying off, due in part to wildfires in Southern Utah. “The tortoise population here in southwestern Utah went down 50 percent,” said BLM biologist John Aellama. READ MORE
Little Bear Trail reopens
Arizona Daily Sun
The Coconino National Forest has reopened the Little Bear Trail in the Schultz Fire burn area thanks to many donations and years of volunteer efforts…and the use of American Conservation Experience crews to stabilize the trail.
The trail was closed in 2010 due to public safety concerns after the Schultz Fire swept through the area. Following the fire, numerous hazards along the trail such as falling trees, rolling rocks and unstable trail conditions kept the trail closed. Monsoon storms continued to severely erode and flood the trail.
Little Bear Trail climbs the Dry Lake Hills from Little Elden Trail to meet Sunset Trail in a quiet nook between the Dry Lake Hills and Mount Elden.
The trail passes through the skeletons left behind by the Schultz Fire and patches of surviving ponderosa pine and Gambel oak and offers outstanding views of the San Francisco Peaks, Sunset Crater and the Painted Desert. Many wildlife species make their home in this area including mule deer, elk, porcupine and black bear for which the trail is named.READ MORE
Volunteers help with maintenance backlog at National Military Park
http://www.gettysburgtimes.com/news/local/article (Subscription Required)
A team of young adults is spending the summer in Gettysburg getting their hands dirty, all in the name of cleaning up. Organized through the nonprofit American Conservation Experience (ACE) as part of its Conservation Corps summer employment program, the team of seven 18-25 year-olds arrived in town at the beginning of last week and set up camp on the battlefield, where they were immediately put to work cutting brush along fence lines and treating non-native invasive vegetation to support the maintenance and upkeep of some of Gettysburg’s historic landscapes. READ MORE (Subscription Required)
Local growers surge in Flagstaff, but the going isn’t easy
A moody gray sky brews over freshly mulched rows, shoulder-height sunflowers and flourishing tomato plants at Flagstaff Family Farm on a recent summer afternoon. Husband and wife Tyler and Patty Allenbaugh are five months into the farming venture, becoming one of just a few farmers in the immediate Flagstaff area trying to make local agriculture a sustainable career. The couple is quick to point out that even getting the farm to where it is now wouldn’t have been possible without donations of things like mulch and compost, county grants, and hundreds of volunteer hours from organizations like the American Conservation Experience. READ MORE
No longer city dwellers – Prairie dogs relocated to the Sevilleta
El Defensor Chieftain
Lauren Slater puts a little hay and a few carrots into a burrow on the grasslands of the eastern part of the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Slater then reaches into a carrier in search of the burrow’s somewhat reluctant new resident, a Gunnison’s prairie dog. She grabs the small pup around the neck to keep the cute, cuddly looking creature from biting her and gently places it inside the burrow.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Slater, a recent Virginia Tech graduate who is a wildlife fellow with the American Conservation Experience. “I’m learning how they are in the wild after only seeing them zoos. It’s good learning about their part in the ecosystem and the food chain. They’re really smart. In some ways, it seems like they’re smarter than us.” READ MORE
Arizona Trail News | Summer 2016 | Volume 24, No. 2
Arizona Trail Association (ATA) and Tonto National Forest are proud to announce the completion of a new 1.8-mile segment of the Highline Passage of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. Due to heavy rains, eroding soils and poor design, the trail was completely failing in several locations east of the Pine Trailhead – the most popular AZT access point in Mogollon Rim country. American Conservation Experience carved 1.4 miles of the route with a mini-dozer and worked several crew-days finishing the trail. READ MORE
Newly released photos of Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park
…American Conservation Experience workers completed a 2.85-mile trail to the site in June 2016. Arizona State Parks officials said more than 189 boulders were moved and 169 stone steps carved along the trail…
Fritch adds fun as Lake Meredith adds depth
As part of a $142,000 grant from the National Park Service, Lake Meredith will finish the extension of South Turkey Creek Trail to run from Harbor Bay all the way around to Dolomite Point, a total of 12 miles for hiking and biking around the lake.
“We are getting ready to have the American Conservation Experience crews come back in May. They are creating the four and a half miles of trail to connect the two segments,” said Arlene Wimer, chief of resource management at Lake Meredith. “Eventually, the goal is to get everything to connect, so you can leave Fritch Fortress, ride the trail, take South Turkey Creek, go to Alibates, across Mullinaw, then across the new south side and end up in Plum Creek.”
Hope for the Mazatal Mountains
Arizona Trail News
Hope for the Arizona Trail through the Mazatzal Mountains recently arrived in the form of an announcement from the National Forest Foundation (NFF) that the Arizona Trail Association’s grant application had been approved. The $37,631 will help fund professional conservation corps to thoroughly brush the corridor, remove all deadfall, and repair the tread to its former glory. Crews of eight young people from American Conservation Experience will camp in the wilderness and work up to 10 hours per day hacking back vegetation and moving dirt and rocks. Because of a lack of natural water sources, most of the water the crews need for drinking and washing will be hauled in on the backs of equines. Read More
http://times-journal.com/eedition/ (Requires Subscription)
The National Park Service said the walkway to Martha’s Falls needs improvement because it is the most visited trail in the park…“It’s been a long time coming to get this area worked on. We wanted to do it right, so we took extra time planning it and got an experienced crew in. There will be no comparison to the old trail when we finish.”
The experts who are improving the trail come from a conservation corps group called ACE, or American Conservation Experience. They are based out of Ashville, North Carolina. Read More (Requires Subscription)
Crescent City Cyclists attend IMBA trail building seminar
Del Norte Triplicate
A group of local riders led by Joe Gillespie plan to use about $8,000 in Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) grant money to design a mountain bike trail in the Mill Creek watershed, with a possible connection to the Rellim Ridge Trail, and existing roads, that run through the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. The grant money will be used to hire National Trails Coordinator Mark Loseth of the American Conservation Experience in Flagstaff, Arizona to design a mountain bike trail with features and trail options appealing to every skill level. Loseth has vast experience developing plans and building mountain bike trails across the country, Gillespie said. READ MORE
Volunteers break ground on new mountain bike trail in Kanab
Southern Utah News
With direction provided by the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) Trail Care Crew and The American Conservation Experience Crew, volunteers broke ground on the first section of single-track trail above Jacob Hamblin Park. The diverse group included all types of trail users. Their single unifying factor was their love for outdoor recreation in Kanab’s beautiful red rock landscape. READ MORE
Pinnacles Peek: First flight for condor intern
Alongside park rangers, Pinnacles National Park counts on interns and volunteers to operate. One of our youngest resource management interns finished a successful season at the end of December. Born in Gilroy and raised in Paicines, Patrick Frusetta started in the workforce with excitement and positivism. Here are his thoughts as he reflects on his term of service as an American Conservation Experience AmeriCorps member. READ MORE
Do-Gooder of the Week – Brad Hanson
Moab Sun News
Brad built trails with the American Conservation Experience, before moving on to teach young people in the outdoors with Outward Bound. READ MORE
Mountain bikers are ‘lichen’ new Cedar City trails
St George News
CEDAR CITY – After two years of planning and building, the first five miles of the new Iron Hills Trail System hiking, running and mountain biking trail on the south end of Cedar City is open to the public and ready for use. The Bureau of Land Management Cedar City Field Office, along with the International Mountain Biking Association, Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association, Southern Utah University’s Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative, American Conservation Experience, Utah State Parks and the Cedar City Trails Committee worked together actively for two years to bring the project to fruition, BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner David Jacobson said. READ MORE
Alum Cave Trail gets a facelift
Knoxville News Sentinel
On a typical day the Alum Cave trail crew consists of about 35 people — 10 professional crewmen from the National Park Service, and 24 or so trail workers from American Conservation Experience based in Asheville, N.C. Unlike the Chimney Tops Trail, where the focus was on fixing water erosion problems, the main concern on the Alum Cave Trail is making it safer. READ MORE
New Trails Slated For Holbrook’s Hidden Cove Park
construction of sustainable recreation trails, retaining walls, waterbars and switchback details to be designed by American Conservation Experience (ACE) of Flagstaff for installation at Hidden Cove Park. With the contract, ACE received formal approval to begin construction, which is estimated to be completed within 16 working days. READ MORE