Friday, November 21, 2008

Getting to Know Your Monitor Coordinators - Tom Lupp (PATC)

Tom Lupp, Monitor Coordinator,
and PATC Corridor Monitors
Dick & Laurie Potteiger

1. How did you become (and what inspired you to become) the Monitor Coordinator for PATC?

I was asked to run for and then elected to the position of Supervisor of Corridor Management in 1999 and held that position for 4 years. In 2003 the position was changed to a committee chair position on the PATC council.

2. What are your responsibilities in that position?

Within the club my primary position responsibility is to supervise the AT corridor committee which consist of my volunteer corridor monitors. I also coordinate with the Supervisor of Trails and the District Trails Managers to fund and participate in various activities such as mowing of open areas, fencing and placement of kiosks.

3. What are some of the unique challenges to doing corridor monitoring/boundary maintenance in your club’s section?

The AT through PATC territory has the potential for a lot of encroachment problems from housing developments. Fortunately most issues have been minor and quickly corrected. We have a lot of ATV issues which are not so easily dealt with. With a very large boundary especially in VA there are access issues for the monitors so some area get visited infrequently.

4. How long have you volunteered for A.T. and in what capacity (ies)?

I started working with PATC in 1986 helping on the monthly work trips with the North Chapter trail crew in PA. I helped with trail construction & maintenance, shelter and cabin construction and repair and took on the role of a corridor monitor in 1992.

5. What do (or did) you do in your professional life?

I am an entomologist with the Maryland Dept. of Agriculture and work in the Forest Pest Management section. I am responsible survey and control of forest pest problems in 5 counties including those with the AT. The primary pest is the gypsy moth but I also work on other forest pests and diseases affecting both rural and urban forest.

What inspires you (over all) to do volunteer work on the Trail? What keeps you coming back to boundary work?

I began section hiking the AT in 1980 and after hiking the local sections wanted to keep involved with trail related activities. I like boundary work as it is off the beaten path and is a good off season activity.

6. What do (or would) you say to a volunteer interested to giving A.T. boundary work a try?

They need to know that the work is very strenuous and that there is not a clear path to follow like trail maintenance. They will work independently and must be self motivated to monitor and do the maintenance. I always strive to provide training and offer help from both myself and the ATC to assist with difficult work in hard to follow boundary sections.

7. What do you like (and/or dislike) the most about volunteering?

As a volunteer supervisor I like meeting and training new club members. I like working with groups on larger projects. I don’t like having to push for volunteers to file their reports and I don’t like having to dismiss volunteer that are not doing there assignments.

We're really excited about what PATC is doing right now to take their Boundary Program into high gear. Great job!
- ATC Boundary Program

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