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Relevant Research, Sound Science

April 24, 2017
AMC sound science
Ryan SmithJohn Judges pledges AMC will always stand up for the outdoors and sound science.

Whether your concern is climate change, mountain air quality, energy-project siting, land and forest protection, or a combination of these and other conservation-related issues, you can expect AMC to take a stand in defense of the outdoors. And you can rest assured that our positions are based on sound science.

AMC’s scientific research provides a solid grounding for our conservation-policy positions and is an essential part of our mission. We have long been involved in air-quality research, correlating the impacts of ground-level ozone pollution on lung function and hiker health. And for more than a quarter-century, AMC has been a leader in acid rain research, collecting and analyzing cloud water at a site near Lakes of the Clouds Hut. When we submit comments to the EPA on clean-air rule changes, those comments are informed by our on-the-ground studies and carry the weight of that research.

We invest in research to ensure our policies are backed by facts. Right now, AMC’s research staff is engaged in a visual-impact analysis related to the proposed Northern Pass electrical transmission project in northern New Hampshire.

Our research department likewise works on windpower analyses to help states guide projects away from visually or ecologically sensitive areas.

Our ecological monitoring and digital mapping work allows us to manage our 75,000 acres of Maine forestland in a sustainable way, informing where to harvest timber and where to let the forest exist in a natural state.

We are fortunate to have more than 90 years of weather records for New Hampshire’s Pinkham Notch, beginning with those kept by the onetime AMC huts manager Joe Dodge in the 1920s. This uncommonly long archive aids our research on air quality, alpine environments, and forest ecology—research that contributes to our understanding of the dynamics of a changing climate.

Over the years, AMC has weighed in on management plans for the White Mountain National Forest, thoughtfully commenting on timber harvesting and recommending new areas for Wilderness designation—mission-related work that represents the combined efforts of our research and conservation staff. In 2006, the 23,700-acre Wild River Wilderness designation resulted, in part, from AMC’s research and advocacy.

AMC has always been dedicated to conservation, knowing that, if we’re going to use natural resources for recreation, we must care for them to ensure their continued integrity. Since our earliest days, that has meant trail maintenance. But in the intervening years, we have broadened our focus to include not only terrestrial resources but air and water, as well. We will continue to conduct expert conservation analysis while also engaging our members and constituents in crucial citizen-science efforts.

When it comes to science-based conservation policy, AMC has a stake in the ground—and in the air and the water, for that matter.


 

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John D. Judge, President

AMC Outdoors, the magazine of the Appalachian Mountain Club, inspires readers to get outside and get engaged. Learn more.