Should the Delaware Water Gap Receive National Park Status?
John Donahue spent his entire career working for the National Park Service, protecting and promoting America’s public lands. Now, in retirement, the 68-year old spends his time advocating for the addition of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as a national park, citing the area’s unique characteristics, extensive history, and abundant outdoor recreation […]
We Speak for the Trees: Behind-the-Scenes at AMC’s 10-Year Carbon Project Inventory
“There’s a witness tree,” says Dave Publicover, AMC’s assistant research director, as a tree with a red-painted stripe around its middle comes into view. We’ve been scrambling down a pretty steep descent over rough terrain in the northern portion of AMC’s Katahdin Iron Works property (KIW) in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness, and I’m relieved we […]
How Climate Change May Be Shifting the Mountain Tree Line
There’s a moment you have on every hike where you think, “Why am I doing this to myself?” It’s a moment where you’d much rather be sitting in a cabin near the fireplace and reading a good book than huffing and puffing up the rest of the mountain. These are what I euphemistically call […]
How and Why AMC Collects Clouds on Mount Washington
Just below Mount Washington’s summit, a cozy hut sits tucked in a cloud. A warm glow emanates from its rustic windows, as the scent of fresh bread and hums of conversation are swept up in the breeze. Someone dashes outside. Scampering over the rocks and past the lake with two sample bottles in hand, […]
An Unfair Burden: Why Environmental Justice Means Cleaner Air for Cities Like Chelsea, Mass.
More than 80,000 vehicles pass over the Tobin Bridge every day, bringing them through the heart of Chelsea, Mass., where Route 1 splits the city in two. Trucks and trains roll through the city at all hours of the day and night on their way to the largest produce distribution center on the East […]
The Only Human for Miles: Deep in the Maine Woods With an AMC Aquatic Researcher
I fumble between my steering wheel and a map along a particularly rough stretch of Ore Mountain about 30 miles Northwest of Milo, Maine, in the geographic center of the state. My eyes scan attentively for the bridge that numerous maps and satellite images have told me lies just ahead. There are many bridges […]
Water: Love It, Protect It.
“I found water!” That’s what I often type next to photos I post social media posts each time I come across and photograph a body of water, whether intentionally or not. Over the past few years, I have grown increasingly interested in exploring nature. I have a deep love for Earth and even created […]
‘America the Beautiful’ Plan Would Conserve 30 Percent of U.S. Land by 2030
In June, the Biden Administration announced its plan to allocate $2.8 billion to conservation and recreation projects across the country. Those funds, set aside by the Great American Outdoors Act, would support overdue maintenance on federal lands and take significant steps toward achieving the administration’s conservation goals. The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), passed in […]
Why I Advocate: How a Lifetime Outdoors Turned Me Into a Conservationist
I had the perfect baby boomer childhood, roaming the central Connecticut woods with my friends, with nary an adult in sight. From a young age, we scampered up trails in an area that gave its name to the Tri-Mountain State Park, a particularly rugged trail system between New Haven and Middletown. We didn’t care. We […]
The Climate is Changing. So are We.
The climate is changing. The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2)—one of the atmosphere’s leading heat-trapping gases—is at its highest level in human history. Climate scientists warn that significant actions are necessary to slow climate change and its impacts. Every region is experiencing its own impacts of climate change. In recent decades in the Northeast, […]
The Basics of Climate Change: Science, Consequences, and Solutions
What is a greenhouse gas? It’s freezing outside—how is the climate getting warmer? I’m only one person. What can I possibly do to slow the effects of climate change? Many of us have basic questions when it comes to understanding climate change. The science can be tricky, and misinformation—much of it deliberately spread by […]
AMC Climate Change Research, Past and Present
AMC scientists have studied the patterns and effects of climate change and air quality in the Northeast for decades. Here’s a sampling of some of that research. Air Quality Both climate change and air quality issues are caused by emissions of certain pollutants to the atmosphere. Since the 1980s, AMC has been advocating […]
Who Owns Maine’s Land?
Here’s a Maine fact you may not know: Vacationland’s well-known federal- and state-owned public lands—including Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, and the Bigelow Preserve—account for just 5 percent of the state’s forests. That’s right, almost 95 percent of Maine’s forest land is privately owned. And around half of that private land—about 10 million […]
Preserving the Dark Skies of the Maine Woods
AMC’s Maine Woods holds a unique role in the preservation of night sky—nestled within a more secluded part of northern Maine, it’s in the heart of one of few remaining dark skies in the Eastern United States. “A dark sky is one where artificial light doesn’t interfere with the view of the natural starry environment. Very […]
New Shelter in Maine Will Honor the Late Andrew Norkin, AMC’s Longtime Trails Director
Andrew Norkin led AMC’s trails department since 1999, overseeing the construction and maintenance of nearly 2,000 miles of trails annually—from the Bay Circuit Trail in Massachusetts to the mighty Appalachian Trail. Norkin passed away earlier this year after battling cancer. To honor his 21 years of work in trail stewardship, AMC will dedicate a […]
Tiny and Triumphant: How a Team Approach Saved Robbins’ Cinquefoil from Extinction
If you were hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, you wouldn’t notice Robbins’ cinquefoil. It’s too small: an entire plant the size of a quarter that blooms with sunshine-colored flowers. It’s also rare, surviving above the White Mountains’ tree line and nowhere else. In the late 1800s, Victorian flora enthusiasts picked hundreds of Robbins’ cinquefoil […]
How to See a Moose in New England
Visitors to the northern forests of New England often have one wish: to see a moose. But even though an adult moose can weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds and stand over six feet tall, they tend to be elusive creatures. While wildlife is unpredictable, moose are more often seen in certain seasons and locations—intentionally […]
They’re Ba-aaack: Brood X Cicadas To Re-Emerge This Spring
What were you doing 17 years ago? For Brood X cicadas, 2004 was the last time the notoriously loud insects saw the light of day. But this spring, the skies will be buzzing across the mid-Atlantic and Midwest as millions of cicadas in this brood emerge to mate. Likely beginning sometime in May (though the […]
Trail Anatomy 101: Hiking Trail Types and Features
You love to hike, but do you know the names of different trail formats and the common components you’ll encounter on an outing? The following is excerpted and adapted from the newly updated AMC’s Complete Guide to Trail Building and Maintenance, 5th ed. The general trail format will most likely be determined by […]
Get to Know These 6 Common Alpine Plants and Flowers in New Hampshire
Above tree line, conditions can be extreme. Temperature swings, high winds, icy winters, blowing snow, and acidic soil all make the so-called alpine zone a tough place for plants to live and grow. Yet many plants have adapted to rely on—and thrive in—these environments. Plants found in Arctic regions also live in the alpine areas […]