Joe DeLoach reporting
A committee consisting of members of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking & Canoeing Club, the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has been formed to advise the ATC on use of funds from the Tennessee Appalachian Trail license plate. Funds from this program must be used to support management of the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee and along the North Carolina border. One of the duties of this committee is to make recommendations on funding grant requests. The first round of requests have been received and recommended by the committee. The first is for the Cherokee National Forest, to deter vehicle incursions onto Beauty Spot. The Smoky Mountain Hiking Club will receive funding for rehabilitation near the Icewater Spring Shelter. TEHCC will receive funds for two activities. One is for dinner and recognition of the Hard Core hiker volunteers, who in their twelfth year with us completed relocations on Pond Mountain and made substantial progress between Cloudland and Hughes Gap. The second is to outfit our Trail maintainers with hard hats per the most recent Forest Service guidelines. These would have been significant expenditures for us. Thanks to the estimated 2000 or more Tennessee residents that have purchased Appalachian Trail license plates, the hard work to establish the plate is paying off!