Protecting White Mountain Alpine Vegetation
The joint U.S. Forest Service (USFS)/Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Alpine Stewardship Volunteer program started in 2000, sparked by the dedicated interest of a few individuals. Today the program has developed new partnerships with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and expanded its efforts to include both Franconia Ridge and the Mt. Washington summit.
The AMC, USFS, and ATC hope to increase the public’s awareness of its impact on the alpine environment and educate visitors about preservation of alpine vegetation. The volunteer Alpine Stewards address topics such as the importance of staying on the trail, prevention of “summit sprawl,” Leave No Trace ethics, alpine safety and low-impact trail tending. While on the trail, Stewards respond to questions or concerns of hikers and engage visitors in a friendly, educational manner.
Alpine Steward Qualities
Individuals interested in applying should:
Have a friendly, outgoing, professional manner, in addition to experience working with the public in a recreational setting.
Have extensive hiking experience and an understanding of AMC and the White Mountain National Forest.
Are committed to the protection of the alpine zone and the promotion of Leave No Trace ethics.
Have comfort in approaching individuals to provide educational conservation and safety information.
Hold a current Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification;or are willing to be certified.
Can provide coverage at least two weekends per year.
Can attend the annual training held one weekend in the spring.
Are AMC members.
In addition, Alpine Stewards also:
Demonstrate appropriate alpine zone behavior and Leave No Trace ethics and approach hikers to provide education on these matters as well as ecology, Forest Service backcountry camping regulations, and low-impact trail tending.
Provide information to visitors about safety concerns, particularly regarding weather.
Participate in AMC’s Mountain Watch program by monitoring plant phenology stages and collecting data for AMC research.
Partners provide the following support for alpine stewards:
Room and board on the weekends they serve at Greenleaf hut or Joe Dodge Lodge.
Gear and uniform to use while working.
Recognition for their efforts through Stewardship Society awards, based on the number of hours contributed annually.
Discounts on AMC retail merchandise while volunteering.