Today the club hosted Melanie Luce, of the White Mountain Trails Collective....
In attendance: Bill, Denise, Sharon, Lisa, Alex, Ben, Steve, Ken, Mike, Peggy, and Paul.
Guest Speaker: Melanie Luce, Executive Director of the White Mountains Trail Collective.
Lisa introduced Melanie and gave a brief background. Melanie spoke about how WMTC originated as a collective impact model organization in 2011 by Mike Stonebreaker at the age of 67 after after learning there was no umbrella organization for trail maintenance. Their mission is to repair, protect, expand, and turn trails into sustainable access points for humans. No motorized or animal access. Less than 1/2 a % of all fees to the National Forest go to trail maintenance. AMC only works on trails surrounding their huts. Mike chose to find a way to support the 1,200 miles of trails in the White Mountains National Forest. There are more miles than this, but many are not legitimate trails, have been created by hikers and mountain bikers and are not sustainable.
Due to COVID, the huge overuse of the trails this summer highlighted new areas of concern. The other organizations involved have few paid trained workers and rely on volunteers. The model of WMTC is to partner these clubs with like clubs to share skills and membership. They supply training on how to do this in a responsible way. The Crawford Pass Project actually moved rocks from the top of Mt Washington that were endangering plant life to correct problems lower on the mountain. They also cultivated surviving plants and replanted areas where the plants were endangered. Professional trail workers helped train new workers on the oldest system in NH. 15038 hours of work on 8 and 1/2 miles of trail. The National Forest Service is now using the Crawford Project on a national level to showcase positive outcomes. The 2022-2023 projects will include PemiValley District, Rumney Rocks, Smarts Brook. they will be building new mountain bike trails to alleviate the damage done by bikers currently. 
  • Steve asked if the Oxbow project had a plan yet and was told it is under review with Fish and Game. 
  • Ben asked about land acquisition and data collection to support changes and any partnership with Granite Outdoor Alliance, a new tourism based outdoor economy group focused on growing this economy to support the lifestyle expectations.
  • Steve asked about a Livermore Falls connection and was told that yes it has been included as one of the top 5 projects where overuse and non sustainable funding needs to be addressed. 
Ken next reported on PGT, voting live and reminded everyone to block off Saturday at 6pm for the live show along with reminders to continue and solicit sponsors. Rotary is very close to meeting the goal normally reached via the Penny Sale. 
Ben reported on the distribution of masks provided by the District to 3 area youth programs (Circle, Mayhew, PYC) and the Senior Center.
Steve and Peggy reported additional garland has been ordered and we are seeking a new contact to help re-string the trees on the common with lights. The proposed date for decorating is November 28-29th. Talks are still ongoing over a possible drive-by Santa event. 
Paul shared contact info from PSU's Angel Tree project as they expect a shortfall this year of $3,000 to $4,000. His hope is that Rotary can help in some way. A reminder that PACC will need help delivering holiday baskets this year too.
Mike reminded us of the leadership training on the 14th and this weekend's certification training for grant submissions. Cheryl will be contacted to see if willing to take this on.
Respectfully submitted by,