Dave Field, Overseer of Lands, Maine Appalachian Trail Club
1. How did you become (and what inspired you to become) the Monitor Coordinator for your club?
2. What are your responsibilities in that position?
Duties are defined in the MATC Constitution/Bylaws:
1. Maintain the Club land record files for all corridor lands acquired by the National Park Service and managed by the MATC.
2. Serve as Corridor Monitor Coordinator for the MATC, to organize and oversee the monitoring of the condition of corridor lands.
3. Represent the MATC in matters involving corridor design and boundary surveying and oversee whatever activities the MATC accepts in connection with Trail corridor boundary maintenance.
4. Represent the MATC in matters that involve interactions between corridor lands and lands of adjacent landowners, including the exercise of residual rights by former landowners and use of easement crossings of the corridor.
5. Coordinate the work of the MATC independent corridor monitors (those without a Trail Maintenance assignment) and corridor monitoring specialists ( a team of individuals with special expertise in boundary inspection and maintenance, road closures, etc.).
6. Provide support for corridor monitoring training.
7. Submit an annual report to the Appalachian Trail Conference for corridor monitoring activities.
3. What are some of the unique challenges to doing corridor monitoring/boundary maintenance in your club’s section?
4. How long have you volunteered for A.T. and in what capacity (ies)?
I have been a member of the MATC for 53 years, have maintained 6-7 miles of the AT footpath for 52 years, served as MATC Overseer of the Trail for Western Maine (100 miles) for ten years, as President for 10 years, and have been on the MATC Executive Committee for 40 years. I served on the ATC Board of Managers for 26 years, including 10 as Secretary, two as Vice Chair for New England, and six as Chair.
I'm a professional forester, worked for the USDA Forest Service for three years, taught forestry at Purdue University, Yale University, and the University of Maine for 36 years, and administered the Forestry program at Maine for 25 years. I "retired" in 2006.
6. What inspires you (over all) to do volunteer work on the Trail? What keeps you coming back to boundary work?
I'm a forester. I love the woods and believe whole-heartedly in the AT program. Boundary work involves an element of exploration that reveals new wonders every time I go into the woods.
7. What do (or would) you say to a volunteer interested to giving A.T. boundary work a try?
This is enormously rewarding work and a lot of fun, but you do need to understand that it is very different from working on the AT footpath. You won't be following a blazed trail and you need to be comfortable working in remote forest areas, off the footpath. If you get into trouble, you can't count on a hiker coming along to help you out. If you're in a place like Maine, you can't count on a cell phone signal either. But, the whole AT community fought and worked hard to create the protection corridor. As a corridor monitor, you are in the vanguard of the volunteers dedicated to protecting the Trail.
8. What do you like (and/or dislike) the most about volunteering?
I'm the same as every other volunteer--paperwork is the most unpleasant part of the job.
You have put an incredible amount of work into the AT and the AT Boundary. The shear size and complexity of the Maine Boundary is daunting. Thank you for dedication!
- the gals at the Boundary Program