100-Mile Wilderness

Walter Graff almost didn’t make it past his first summer at AMC. When the 22-year-old walked into what was then called Pinkham Notch Camp in July 1974, the recently hired program manager’s first job was screening 60-millimeter environmental films for guests in a newly built conference room. “By the end of the summer, I had…

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Imagine a perfect cross-country ski trail. The snow underfoot is firm but not icy, forming a wide, clear, white path. It takes you over frozen creeks and under tall pines. There are no branches in your way, no potholes to hinder your progress. You can glide, swiftly and surely, through the winter woods. These trail…

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The Northeast abounds with ponds, rivers, and streams that beckon both aspiring and veteran fly-fishers alike. To get started, it’s important to know the four core components of a fly-fishing rig—rod, reel, line, and flies—and how they work together to match the conditions, and the fish, you expect to encounter. Rods Fly-fishing poles come in…

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I have given the river safety talk hundreds of times: that pre-launch speech a guide delivers to passengers before plunging into the water. There’s a certain tone you take, a combination of stern yet humorous, intended to make sure guests are prepared but not scared to death. Your audience is usually attentive, respectful, even a…

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  “Welcome, to the annual Tri-Wizard Tournament!”  I look up from the steaming cup of coffee I’ve been staring into to see a young woman wearing the head of a mop as though it were a wig, shouting into a whisk. She’s leaning out of the second-floor library loft that overlooks the dining room where…

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When it comes to AMC’s intent to purchase 26,740 additional acres of land in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness, Walter Graff, the organization’s executive vice president, doesn’t want anyone to miss the forest for the trees. Yes, purchasing the acreage at what AMC is calling Pleasant River Headwaters Forest will keep crucial Maine forestland intact and undeveloped….

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1. SUMMIT HIGH POINTS The 143rd Annual Summit, AMC’s meeting open to all members, welcomed a record 535 attendees on January 26. Some 40 workshops and hands-on tutorials included yoga, backcountry cooking, and learning about AMC’s recent conservation work. Summit also provides a chance to recognize volunteers who demonstrate outstanding passion and commitment to the…

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In as few as 25 years, a handful of islands in Chesapeake Bay may be underwater. According to one recent report, islanders there are already familiar with the ocean slowly overtaking their lands—expected to be the first United States territories rendered uninhabitable by climate change.  This image should haunt conservationists and flat-earthers alike. No wall…

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Fat bikes draw attention. Tricked out with bulbous tires measuring 3, 4, even 5 inches wide, they’re more dune buggy than mountain bike. And while those tires allow cyclists to roll over just about any terrain, they also elicit comments from bystanders. Which means I’m more than a little self-conscious as I adjust the seat…

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Nestled in the shadows east of Baxter State Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has remained relatively wild since its designation by President Obama in 2016. Sparse infrastructure throughout the monument’s 87,500 acres, much of which once served the area’s logging industry, offers minimal support for outdoor recreation. In order to make the monument…

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