FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2008
Staff, conservation partners, and friends of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) gathered at Long Pond July 14 for the dedication of Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins, named in honor of longtime AMC supporters and outdoor enthusiasts Leon and Lisa Gorman. This special naming recognizes the Gormans for their support of AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, conservation, outdoor recreation, and environmental education.
The camps will be opened to AMC members and the general public in 2010. Gorman Chairback will be the third sporting camp opened as part of the camps and trails network being developed by AMC through its Maine Woods Initiative. The camps lie within the 37,000-acre Katahdin Iron Works tract, which is owned and has been permanently protected by the AMC.
The camps were originally known as York’s Long Pond Camps, a commercial sporting camp. In recent years, the property has been operated as a private camp. The camps lie on the original route of the Appalachian Trail through Maine.
Two other sporting camps, Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins and Medawisla Wilderness Lodge and Cabins, are currently open and available for hiking, paddling, fly-fishing, and mountain biking in summer, and snowshoeing and camp-to-camp skiing in winter.
Speaking at the dedication, AMC Executive Director Andy Falender commended the Gormans for their exceptional support of AMC’s mission and programs, and their leadership throughout the conservation community. Falender also recognized Leon Gorman for his leadership as past President of L.L.Bean, the Freeport-based outdoor outfitter, and cited the company’s support for outdoor recreation and conservation.
“We’re very proud to have our names associated with the camps and the Maine Woods Initiative. I believe it’s going to very beneficial, not just to AMC, but to the State of Maine itself,” Leon Gorman said.
AMC project manager Gerry Whiting outlined planned improvements at the camps, and trails consultant Mike Cooper described work this summer to build a new connector trail between Gorman Chairback and the Appalachian Trail at Chairback Ridge.
Also participating in the celebration were Mike Tetreault, executive director of the Maine chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and Alan Hutchinson, executive director of the Forest Society of Maine, representing AMC’s Conservation Framework partners; L.L.Bean President and CEO Chris McCormick; and Bob Peixotto, L.L.Bean Chief Operating Officer and Board Chairman of Maine Huts and Trails; L.L. Bean Senior Vice President for Marketing Steve Fuller; and L.L. Bean Vice President of Public Affairs John Oliver.
Maine Master Guide and AMC Land Stewardship Manager Bob LeRoy presented Leon with four custom-made brook trout flies, hand-tied by LeRoy, and named “The Leonwood Special,” in honor of Leon and his grandfather, Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean.
The event featured a dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting, a luncheon provided by DKB Catering of Greenville, and music by the bluegrass band, The Adrians.
After lunch the group paddled across Long Pond with long-time residents James and Janë Draper. James remarked at the dedication that he was “so grateful to Lisa and Leon for their efforts to protect special outdoor places for future generations.”
The Maine Woods Initiative is AMC’s strategy for land conservation in the 100-Mile Wilderness region – addressing regional ecological and economic needs through outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry and community partnerships. More information is available at www.outdoors.org/mwi.