Maine Woods Initiative

They could’ve joined the Peace Corps, launched a nonprofit, or run for office. Instead, they founded outdoor brands in which social and ecological stewardship permeates every product line and business decision, and where serious profits convert to social progress. Consider them next-generation enviropreneurs, taking up the charge led by their godfather, Yvon Chouinard. In mingling…

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1. No-Pay Stays In its third year, the Peter Roderick Trail Award Scholarship was given to six AMC members, all first-time trail-work volunteers on AMC’s Maine Woods property. Established in 2016 by the Maine Chapter in honor of a longtime executive committee member, the scholarships cover the cost of food and lodging on volunteer trail-work…

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The Swiss Miss Fire started on a hot August day in 2017. Deep in the 100-Mile Wilderness, 300 feet from the Appalachian Trail, someone had stopped to make cocoa on Columbus Mountain. “It was in one of those high, dry areas where you get deep layers of decayed leaf matter and moss,” explains Steve Tatko,…

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The very first Maine Mountain Guide, a svelte sky-blue volume, appeared in 1961 as a spinoff of AMC’s longstanding Katahdin Guide, itself an offshoot of the original White Mountain Guide. At a scant 190 pages, the book was hardly the definitive compendium we rely on today. Nonetheless, each of the Maine Mountain Guide hikes below…

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We caught up with Karin Bothwell, AMC’s first ever research fellow. AMC’s research fellowship program, supported by the Leadership Giving Initiative (LGI), provides a recently graduated MS or PhD student an opportunity to build their professional resume while augmenting AMC’s research capacity in a relevant area of expertise. In December 2017, Karin Bothwell joined AMC…

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We started looking for a moose as soon as we arrived in the Maine Woods. Around each bend in the road, across every marsh or pond, we expected to see the gangly outline of the state’s most iconic mammal. So on our last evening, while walking a waterfront path below AMC’s newly rebuilt Medawisla Lodge…

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Preserving nearly three-quarters of New England’s forests is an ambitious goal. But it has to be. Forestland declining for the first time in 200 years is a big deal. Thanks to Wildlands and Woodlands and related efforts by AMC and other groups, efforts are underway to permanently preserve much of the region’s iconic landscape and…

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AMC’s on-the-ground conservation efforts in Maine extend to the water, thanks to recent successes in aquatic habitat restoration. That’s a fancy way of saying that, over the past seven years, AMC has worked to restore historic brook-trout habitat on the organization’s 115 square miles of land in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness. To date, AMC and partner agencies have opened 33.5 new miles of streams, with four separate projects restoring 4.5…

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Untouched by humans for centuries but ravaged by deer and nearby development, an old-growth forest in suburban New Jersey was foundering until ecologists stepped in, revisiting the question of wilderness versus management. You wouldn’t guess from the patchwork of yards, golf courses, and I-95 feeder roads surrounding it, but an ancient forest stands in suburban…

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For many people, the loon’s eerie call is the quintessential sound of the wilderness. In an effort to protect this primitive and iconic bird (which faces threats such as human disturbance, habitat loss, and climate change), AMC Maine staff and guests, plus hundreds of volunteers statewide, are set to take part in the Maine Audubon…

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