UPDATE (August 3) — In March, the Appalachian Mountain Club Board of Directors considered and delayed a decision on the proposed sale of AMC’s Fire Island Cabin in Atlantique, NY. Since that time, the Fire Island Committee has worked with the vice president of operations to develop plans for the cabin with the aim of assessing its sustainability. The Fire Island Committee has also worked closely with the director of volunteer-led camps and cabins to update policies and practices to align with organizational expectations for registration, access, and risk management. The Facilities Asset Management (FAM) Committee of the AMC Board has also been briefed on the recent activities and progress.
As part of the review of the Fire Island Cabin, AMC staff and a representative group of directors plan to visit the cabin this summer. This is a further step in AMC’s assessment of its facilities (both staff- and volunteer- managed) in terms of their contribution to organizational goals and mission, long-term sustainability, and overall impact. While there are concerns around these issues for the AMC Fire Island Cabin, including its limited flexibility in lodging options and access and the threat posed to it by rising seas, there are also many positive considerations, including realizing its full potential as an AMC facility in close proximity to New York City and accessibility by public transportation.
Following this in-person visit, the Board of Directors, FAM Committee, and staff will continue this year to evaluate the use, impact, and potential of the cabin as part of the AMC mission while engaging in further dialog with the Fire Island Committee to plan for the cabin’s future.
UPDATE (March 14) — The Appalachian Mountain Club Board of Directors will delay a vote on the proposed sale of AMC’s Fire Island Cabin facility. The board was scheduled to hear member statements and discuss the sale proposal during a regularly scheduled meeting at the AMC Boston headquarters tomorrow. It was determined today that the Board instead will use the next year to continue evaluating the use and impact of the cabin as part of the AMC mission while also engaging in further dialog with AMC members.
More details about the ongoing discussion of AMC’s Fire Island Cabin will be available following the March 15 meeting.
BOSTON (March 8) — The Appalachian Mountain Club is a regional nonprofit organization intent on identifying how best to fulfill its mission and capitalize on opportunities for leadership. As part of an ongoing process, our Board of Directors has been working to identify the strategic areas where AMC can have greatest impact.
The board’s strategic directive necessarily involves evaluating AMC facilities. All AMC facilities were assessed in 2017 to determine the extent to which each location contributes to organizational goals and mission. The Fire Island Cabin raises some specific concerns, namely the residential character of the surrounding neighborhood, limited flexibility in lodging options and access, and its proximity to rising seas.
Given these concerns, the board is weighing AMC’s continued presence on Fire Island against the likelihood that increased investments elsewhere would allow us to engage more constituents in the outdoor recreation, learning, and conservation that lies at the heart of the AMC mission. The board will therefore consider a proposal to sell the Fire Island cabin and deploy funds elsewhere in greater New York. Additional expansion in Harriman State Park may be one opportunity where increased investment enabled by a sale will have a greater mission impact.
The Board of Directors and AMC staff leadership recognize how difficult this potential change will feel to many members. While appreciating our collective traditions over many decades, AMC must remain agile and current in its work and priorities in order to remain strong and effective for our mission serving the public and membership.
We welcome comments and questions about this statement at AMCinformation@outdoors.org.