Recent AT Maintenance

Below is submitted maintenance activities for the last 6 weeks. Please note that trail conditions can change quickly. Or view maintenance by section.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 04/29/2016
Purpose: Build Cattle Fence
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Danny Harper, Karen Loven, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Mike Price, Ed Speer, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe, Reuben Potter
Summary: We are building a fence to allow cattle to graze an open but steep hillside that cannot be mowed with a tractor. Without grazing the area will grow trees and block the magnificent vistas. USFS had drilled wood post holes except several places they hit rock. We set many of wood posts and t-posts. What a beautiful place to work. It will take another work day to finish the posts and bracing.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 04/25/2016
Purpose: Blowdown Report
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Aaron Grills and Stephanie Roane f
Summary: Aaron and Stephanie are north bound thru hikers. Ed Oliver knows Aaron well and asked them to record blowdowns. They just got off the trail to attend a wedding in Mexico. Here is their report.
1.8 miles north of Chestoa 10” tree
2 miles north of Chestoa 8” tree
1 mile south of Curley Maple Shelter 12” tree
Need north bound blaze at Indian Grave Gap

Reporting: Tim Stewart
Date: 04/23/2016
Purpose: check fire status and rhodo removal
Section: 11b: Canute Place to Bitter End
People: Tim Stewart
Summary: The trail was open but fire crews were still busy containing the fire. I hiked out to Moreland Gap Shelter from Bitter End. There was no evidence of fire South of the shelter.

I lopped rhodos and removed several small blowdowns. I also identified several areas that could use some minor repairs, mostly places where the trail is dipping. Rake, shovel and broom were all present and accounted for at the shelter, as well as a little bit of trash, which I removed. I placed a bottle of hand sanitizer at the shelter.

Local USFS and Fire Crews seemed to have the fire under control and were informing hikers as required. Great job done by all!

Reporting: Greg Kramer
Date: 04/16/2016
Purpose: Garlic Mustard Challenge at Roan Mountain
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Greg Kramer, Serita Blankenbecler
Summary: 18 people showed up at the Roan Mountain State Park Conference Center, at 10 AM, for the Roan Mountain Garlic Mustard Challenge. After an introduction of people and what is garlic mustard, we had a warm up activity, the invasive species hop and then off to our respective areas to pull. Greg Kramer and Serita Blankenbecler represented TEHCC. Amy Snyder, Marquette Crockett, and 2 ATC interns went to the lower shaded portion of SR143 to pull. We six pulled 190 pounds and the other 12 also pulled 190 pounds.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 04/23/2016
Purpose: Garlic Mustard Challenge
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Vic Hasler
Dan Firth
Amy Snyder (ATC)
Phillip (ATC Intern)
Summary: Two invasive species were addressed today. The club pulled 163 pounds of Garlic Mustard (alliaria petiolate) from Devils Creek Gap area along the Appalachian Trail. It was clear that the treatment made last year to remove 130 pounds was effective in reducing the number of plants growing along the trail, forest service roads, and an open area. However, continued diligence will be needed to complete the eradication. The other invasive removed today was 17 pounds of Litter (species: trashae humanous) mostly in the form of empty beverage containers. The day was cool and cloudy which was good for working in long sleeves around the briars also growing along the edges. Many section and thru hikers (with a couple of dogs) were observed going in both directions.
Another invasive (autumn olive) was seen along the edge of the open area, thus next year’s effort could be expanded to cut and treat it with an approved herbicide.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 04/21/2016
Purpose: Inspect for blowdowns; remove trash
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Dean Baird
Summary: Checked trail for blowdowns or other damage; none found. Removed 2 bags of trash.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 04/21/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Danny Harper, Pat Loven, Ted Mowery, Ken Murray, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We rehabbed trail N and S of No Business Knob Shelter. Mostly, we added locust side logs and rock cribbing to cover exposed roots. The graffiti board at shelter seems to be working well and is about full. We must have seen two dozen hikers.

We also did similar rehab south of USFS road 278.

The trail rehab on this section is probably done for the immediate future.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 04/19/2016
Purpose: Check trail for fire damage
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Brian Paley
Summary: Lopped trail through multi-flora roses, cleared a couple of small blowdowns, and inspected the trail for possible damage due to the recent forest fire.
The trail is in good, passable condition.
However, there are several step-overs and leaning trees that I plan to take out on my next maintenance visit.

Reporting: Ken Buchanan
Date: 04/18/2016
Purpose: Clear reported blowdown
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Ken and Pat Buchanan
Summary: For the third consecutive Monday we hiked this section. A step over blowdown had been reported since out last outing.
On the way in, several hikers passed us. All younger and some better looking. Later, we found a smart phone in the trail. I picked it up and decided to make a try at catching them. Fortunately, I soon found they had stopped for lunch saving me from a total collapse. Anyway, the young lady was quite appreciative.
We went on, found and removed the blowdown (by axe) and passed the hikers once more on our way out.
A lovely fun day maybe we will get another tree down this week.

Reporting: Bob Peoples
Date: 04/18/2016
Purpose: Check trail
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Bob Peoples
Summary: Bob inspected the trail because of weekend fire around Watauga Lake. AT was not affected at all. They used the trail from just north of the shelter to a distance south of the shelter as a fire break. Visual damage from the trail is just some burned undergrowth. Hikers are able to pass through.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 04/16/2016
Purpose: Repair trail
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Becky Kinder, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Gayle Riddervold, Gerald Scott, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe, ASU Trail Crew: Santino Thorton, Jeremiah Bolick, Kate Miller, Austin Babb, Trent Ellen, Audrie Emma Bruce f, Samantha Smyth f, Maddie Wolfarth f
Summary: With a beautiful day and Dutchman's breeches blooming on entire hill side, we repaired the section of trail recently removed by the root balls of two recently fallen trees. It is not often that it takes 19 good workers to repair 25 feet of trail. We were fortunate to have the ASU Trail Crew with us today. We had to haul a very large 25 foot locust by dragging it with the rope pulley system. Than we hauled many rocks and soil to fill the almost three foot deep hole. And we added some steps on south side. The trail is stable again.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 04/16/2016
Purpose: Put new metal lath on bog bridges
Section: 12a: Bitter End to Walnut Mountain Road
People: Phyllis Cairnes, Jeffrey Richards, Ken Murray, Kim Peters
Summary: The task for this first 3rd Saturday - Hiking with Tools trip was to install new metal lath on the bog bridges on this section. The metal lath is used to provide a non slip surface on the wooden bridges, but it deteriorates over time and it was time to replace the lath on these seven bridges. We started at Bitter End and worked our way to Walnut Mt. Road. The weather was perfect and we met many thru-hikers, most of whom thanked us for our work. There were a couple of instances of wet feet, but that is what happens when you stand in the water to hammer on the bridge. A great big welcome to Jeffrey Richards, a first time maintainer as well as all the rest of this hard working crew. It was another great 3rd Saturday - Hiking with Tools trip.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 04/15/2016
Purpose: Mow Camping area
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the Camping area at the Barn, Installed drainage pipe under the path and filled in on the drainage pipe previously installed. Removed rocks from the camping area. Gave a hiker(Gary Bear) with a medical problem a ride to Johnson City.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 04/15/2016
Purpose: Mow Trail
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weedeat along the Trail as needed

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 04/15/2016
Purpose: clear blowdowns
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Ken Buchanan, Pat Loven, Kim Peters
Summary: We cleared all the blowdowns between TN91 to just south of the Grindstaff Monument. Much thanks to Ken for carrying the chainsaw and to Pat for operating it!
Although the day started out very cold and windy, it warmed up nicely and was a nice day to be out in the woods. We met dozens of thru-hikers, most of whom wanted to tell us about the recent bear events at Watauga Lake Shelter.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 04/14/2016
Purpose: Check bridges for rotten timbers
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Ed Oliver, Jim Foster
Summary: Ed and I inspected the two bridges over the river trail north of Laurel Fork Falls. We found 9 braces, 1-4ft deck timber, and 4-8ft deck timbers that will need to be replaced. Once arrangements are made we will scheduled a trip to do the work.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 04/13/2016
Purpose: Trail Prep
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Bob Peoples
Jim Chambers
Summary: We prepped the work site for Saturday's project with the ASU Crew, and built a temporary trail to make the area safer. We also cut locust logs for cribbing and steps.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 04/12/2016
Purpose: Clear blowdowns
Section: 4a: US421 to Double Springs Shelter
People: Carl Fritz, Tim Stewart
Summary: We cleared all blowdowns. Most were minor but there had been some strong winds with many tree tops broke out. Fortunately, the larger ones were off the trail. Trail is showing that many hikers have passed recently.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 04/12/2016
Purpose: Inspect relocation on Backbone Rock trail
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: David Youman, Jerry Kyle, Leslie Beard, Justin Farrell, Leanna Joyner, Reuben Potter, Carl Fritz, Tim Stewart
Summary: We inspected the highest relocation on Backbone Rock trail with the Konnarock Crew leaders, ATC and USFS. Konnarock crew will be working two weeks on this in late June and late July. We also inspected the camping site for the crew. We enjoyed rain all morning.

Reporting: Ken Buchanan
Date: 04/11/2016
Purpose: Clear trail
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Ken and Pat Buchanan
Summary: This time I took my axe along ! We walked in about 1/2 way to the shelter and cleared a step-over blowdown.
It was a fine day to be out and about. We encountered a dozen or so hikers.

Reporting: Michael Watts
Date: 04/09/2016
Purpose: Spring maintenance trip
Section: 3a: McQueen's Gap - Spring 2.3 miles N of Low Gap
People: Rick Lott
Richard Cox
John Nypaver
Michael Watts
Summary: We had to clear a blowdown on the forest service road to McQueen's Gap, which was an omen of things to come. The trail was covered by an inch of snow, with 20-30 mph winds on the ridges. Rather wintry conditions for a spring maintenance hike. Total blowdown count of 7 which required a chain saw. Also dug out waterbars, clipped brush, and picked up trash. Passed a number of through hikers scurrying to Damascus, hoping for warmer overnight accommodations.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 04/10/2016
Purpose: Trash removal
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: While the day was planned as a club hike, I ended up also picking up a full bag of bottles (glass and plastic) plus another half of one of Al can. Most of the items were from the steep gravel hillside along the “cardio” steps to Laurel Falls or the campsites along the A.T. The trail has free passage from Coon Den Falls Trail to Laurel Falls with over dozen thru-hikers and half dozen day hikers out enjoying the day.

Reporting: Wes Ford
Date: 04/07/2016
Purpose: check trail
Section: 11a: Dennis Cove Road to Canute Place
People: Wes Ford
Summary: I did an overnighter SB from Dennis Cove to 19E. Both shelters were in good shape with no trash. Trail looked good except several trees down. I took pics and will send email to section maintainers and Carl. I passed 29 NB hikers on the first day, stayed with 4 thru hikers at Mountaineer shelter overnight, and passed 12 NB hikers on day two. The first big bubble of thru hikers are definitely here. All water sources were flowing good.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 04/08/2016
Purpose: Trail Assessment
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Jim Chambers
Summary: Considerable trail loss has occurred north of Doll Flats, and Carl asked me to hike up and assess the damage. As reported by Becky and Gayle, approximately 30 feet of side hill trail has been lost due to root structure failure of 2 large trees. Photos and assessment have been forwarded to Carl Fritz.

Reporting: Gayle Riddervold
Date: 04/07/2016
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Gayle Riddervold & Becky Kinder
Summary: Today we checked the water bars and picked up some trash around the trail head. There was a small blow down at the entrance of the campground that had to be sawed and another fallen tree that we were physically able to roll off the path. Right before the power lines there is a big tree partially blocking the trail that will need to be removed with a chainsaw. About 3/4 of a mile further up the trail 2 trees were uprooted taking about 20 feet of the trail with it leaving a big crater like hole. We notified Carl that it will take a maintenance crew to reconstruct this part of the trail. A few feet from this area is also another tree that needs to be removed.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 04/07/2016
Purpose: Place signage
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Dean Baird, Carl Fritz, Joe Morris
Summary: The signs and post at junction of blue blazer to Hampton and AT were removed recently. We toted in a 6x6 post that had been routed with basic signage. We dug a new hole and put spikes in bottom of post. Then filled the post hole with rocks, a bag of Quikrete, and tamped soil. Also we reset using the same techniques a 4x4 post at power line that had been pulled up recently .

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 04/06/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Jim Fischer, Carl Fritz, Danny Harper, Greg Kramer, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, George Thorpe
Summary: We continued trail rehab near Oglesby's branch. Wind where USFS road crosses trail was about 25 mph and temperature was below freezing when we arrived. We quickly moved away from that area. Rest of day was good and we mostly removed roots and rocks or cribbed with logs and backfilled. Another day of rehab in this area is needed.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 04/06/2016
Purpose: Blow Down Removal
Section: 15b: Cloudland Hotel - Hughes Gap
People: Bob Peoples
Jim Chambers
Summary: Removed 28 blow downs and felled 8 dead hazard trees between Cloudland and Hughes Gap.

Reporting: Eric Middlemas
Date: 04/04/2016
Purpose: Spring AT maintenance
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Eric Middlemas
Judy Middlemas
David Douthat
Grover Byrd
Wayne Jones
Mike Hupko
Marsha Hupko
Howard Guinn
Pat Kenney
Jack Lawson
Summary: Conducted Spring maintenance of the AT from Beauty Spot Gap to Deep Gap and from the upper south side of Unaka Mtn to Low Gap. Cleaned water bars, lopped branches encroaching upon the trail, removed fallen tree limbs, and removed about 18 blowdowns. Also removed a blowdown at the water source at Deep Gap.

Reporting: Kevin Sedgwick
Date: 04/04/2016
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 12d: Campbell Hollow Road to US19E
People: Kevin Sedgwick, Gloria Sedgwick, Eric Yankel (Robocop).
Summary: Beautiful day to be out. Passed about 10 hikers today. Quite a lot of limbs and dead fall. Cut several small and medium size blow downs till we broke the hand saw. We filled a garbage bag of trash. Pulled across the ATV path they use to get to the trail limbs. Seems to be somewhat working. Multiflora rose is starting to come in and we cut it back. Some large blow downs. Saw Jim Chambers/ Bob Peoples near the trail and reported to Jim about the blow downs.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 04/03/2016
Purpose: Section Maintenance
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Craig DeLoach and Joe DeLoach
Summary: After learning that Craig Haire had cut blowdowns between Carvers Gap and Roan High Knob Shelter during a recreational hike, we concentrated between Cloudland and the shelter. There was only one blowdown which was cut, and we clipped some briars and branches. Placed the shelter register and cleaned up around shelter, not bad except for a couple of fire rings near the summit which were broken up. Thanks to Craig for his work, and to Carl Fritz for taking the initiative to notify me about it.

Reporting: Bill Hodge
Date: 04/03/2016
Purpose: Brush and Refresh Blazes
Section: 7: Vandeventer Shelter to Wilbur Dam Rd
People: Bill Hodge, Laura Hodge
Summary: We brushed from Wilbur Dam Road to the top of the switchbacks and refreshed blazes north and south bound for that section of trail.

Reporting: Anna Hackler
Date: 04/03/2016
Purpose: Check for blow downs & trash after storms
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Anna Hackler
Shane Hackler
Summary: Cleared briars & over growth. Picked up trash. Remove a few smaller trees that had fallen across the trail. Somehow all of the signs except one are gone from our whole section. Even the large Forestry Wilderness Area sign is gone. We had some thru hikers not knowing which way to go coming down off the AT to get to Hampton because the small sign there is gone also. It's the one that pointed left for the falls or right for Hampton. The one near the beginning of the trail that directs you up onto the newer trail to miss going thru the old mud swamp area is gone also. We tried to lay some bigger limbs across the old to prevent people from going down there. There is major tree problems in this area from where the electric company keeps coming thru & trashing the hillside. The trees they chop down are all slowly coming down into standing trees & making them fall. That whole section of the trail looks a mess. If anyone can tell me how to get the sign replaced I will come pick them up & get them reposted asap. We should be having a lot of thru hikers coming thru over the next month or so. I'm horrible about checking my emails but my cell is 423-440-9436 if someone can contact me about the signs.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 03/28/2016
Purpose: clearing blowdowns, trail rehab
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Cleared 2 small blowdowns that had been reported to me north of the first Nolichucky overlook. Used large dead debris to block two places near the end to first big switchback where people had been cutting across the switchback. Widened the trail a little above the steps at the road.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 03/27/2016
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Cleared about half a dozen trees across the trail from Carvers Gap to the Roan High Knob shelter, including one across the side trail to the shelter. Met a through hiker who reported that there were around a dozen blowdowns between Hughes Gap and Cloudlands, especially in the upper part of this section.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 03/30/2016
Purpose: Remove blowdown and tent
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Richard Carter, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, George Thorpe
Summary: We removed an 8" blowdown and an abandoned tent made from a couple of tarps in Jones Branch area.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 03/30/2016
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, George Thorpe
Summary: We rehabbed trail by redigging and cribbing rooty areas that were sloughing. We worked south of USFS 278 and also north of No Business Knob Shelter. More work remains. We encountered about a dozen north bounders and a couple of section hikers.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 03/21/2016
Purpose: Annual Open Areas Planning Meeting
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: Representatives from the Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests, ATC, SAHC, CMC, and TEHCC hold an annual planning meeting for open areas to be maintained as such along the Appalachian Trail. Maintenance is typically carried out by National Forest employees using funds allocated by the Appalachian Trail Park Office, a unit of the National Park Service (NPS). The Forest Service also uses some of their funds, and some areas such as Little Hump Mountain are mowed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission. Amy Snyder from ATC, soon to be ex-ATC, led the meeting. Funding looks encouraging for this fiscal year. Plans for this year are to treat the accessible Trail section at the Osborne Farm above Shady Valley and along the Elk River twice, and to mow on the Trail north side of Hump Mountain, Round Bald, Doll Flats, the Senter Tract near Dennis Cove, an open area called "Upper Laurel" between Bitter End and Walnut Mt. Rd., the Canute Place on White Rocks Mt., the Berry Fields on Holston Mt., and Beauty Spot with NPS funds. Restoration to reclaim some of the formerly open area is planned on the Tennessee side of Beauty Spot. We expressed interest in making sure an old apple orchard north of Iron Mt. Gap is included in the rotation, though not necessarily this year; the two forests are reviewing their access. The Cherokee NF plans treatment of several sites between Highway 19E and just north of Campbell Hollow Rd. for golden-winged warbler habitat, also maintaining the open areas.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 03/24/2016
Purpose: Spring Partnership Discussion
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: (ATC SORO) Morgan Summerville, Leanne Joyner, Chris Binder, Amy Snyder
(USFS Appalachian District) Matt McCombs
(USFS Unaka District) Leslie Morgan, Cheryl Summers
(USFS Watauga District) Keith Kelly, Alice Cohen, Reuben Potter
(TEHCC) Dan Firth, Carl Fritz, Jim Foster, Vic Hasler, Mike Hupko, Greg Kramer, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Steward
Summary: Trail partners held an engaging discussion at the USFS office in Unicoi, TN. A few highlights are given in this trip report. If you desire further details, please contact someone who attended.
SAHC selected Eric Rayfield as the 2016 Roan Highlands naturalist / ridge runner. After LNT training in April, Eric will start mid-May to have at least one weekend of experience before Memorial Day. His term will last into August.
Bob Peoples reported that 32 folks stayed at Kincora hostel in February versus just one last year – a 3200% increase! Morgan Sommerville shared that more EMS events are occurring in GA, but could also be from more field resources available (three caretakers covering first few days from Springer) finding the unprepared.
An extensive discussion occurred on hazard trees with the goal being to outline how to handle reported locations between the trail-maintaining club and land owner. Matt McCombs shared a case example regarding two ash trees identified at Hogback Shelter. After CMC notified the FS that removal was beyond their capacity, the FS went out three days later to remove one (plus other dead trees around the shelter). An arborist was then contracted to address the more difficult tree two days later. Action items are to create policy text for TEHCC LMP which the FS partners can review – and possibly develop draft warning sign for shelters when hazard trees are potentially identified.
The Atwood property ownership has not yet passed to FS because there is a disputed sliver of land. Expected timing for the transaction is Fall. There is a house and outbuilding which will be removed once FS takes ownership. [After the meeting, Carl Fritz contacted Holston Habitat for Humanity to learn that they would be interested in having an opportunity to remove resalable components from the buildings. Would need few days to accomplish the recovery operation.] TN tag funds might be used to complete the remaining demolition. Action item is for Morgan to follow up on when the relocation could be flagged.
Many USFS personnel were in field addressing fires (including the one near Grandfather Mtn), thus apologies for the low attendance. The next NC Forest Supervisor is Allen Nicholas coming from Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. For Appalachian RD, Cleve Fox will be now handling recreation/trails program, while Brandon Jones will focus on dispersed areas. NC completed an extensive staffing review, thus now has 20 positions open – including Botanist.
Volunteer Service Agreements had an extensive discussion. Conclusion is to work from the basic 301a/301b forms with Cherokee NF as one agreement separate from Pisgah NF. Reuben Potter had a draft for TEHCC to review. College groups will need to provide roster for single events to fill out the 301b form. Normal roster used by TEHCC is a liability release for Eastman Chemical with the JSA on back. Discussed whether both 301b and release forms were needed, but did not resolve. No interest in the multiyear appendix as implemented by other clubs.
Keith Kelley stated the USFS is considering a Food Storage Closure Order where within the campgrounds and forests that all food must have nearby attendance or be properly stored. A cooler on the table is not appropriate. Inside the passenger compartment of a vehicle is not sufficient, but must be in an enclosed trunk. Along the A.T., compliance with the order could be the bear canister or properly hung bear bag.
Since last October, TEHCC has rehabbed 0.8 mi of trail, completed the APPA Trail Assessment, and updated the TN-NC Guidebook. TEHCC was able to get out into the field for all but three week due to snow.
An updated agreement for A.T. maintenance in Roan Highlands, as developed by a subteam, was reviewed. Flexibility is obtained by ensuring the maintainers are trained on the rare plants. While all current maintainers in this section are fully experienced regarding rare plants, Amy Snyder had a set of draft training cards which could assist in future. The Roan Naturalist will further check populations over the summer to ensure our understanding of their locations is current. This information will be added to the TEHCC LMP.
Next partnership meeting was set for Wednesday, October 5th 1-4PM at USFS Unicoi, TN office.
After the discussion, the TEHCC A.T. Committee briefly met to answer questions regarding the ATC annual meeting and proposed Blaze biennial plus the BSA Order of Arrow opportunity.

Reporting: Ken Murray
Date: 03/27/2016
Purpose: Hang Hiker Graffitti Board
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Ken Murray
Summary: Hiked from Devils Creek Gap to NBK Shelter and return. Placed Hiker Graffitti Board and Hand Sanitizer at Shelter. So many NOBO through hikers. The "bubble" is definitely here.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 03/26/2016
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Lyndsey Smith
Summary: A beautiful spring day to work on re-setting some of the locust posts on Little Hump! We touched up the blazes along the way & destroyed the ever-recurring fire ring on Little Hump. We placed another water sign for the spring & removed a huge amount of trash from the barn. Saw a large number of day hikers & several thru hikers. Spring beauties are the only flowers showing up high so far.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 03/26/2016
Purpose: Multiple, including winter blowdown check
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: Seeing multiple club maintenance reports about blowdowns on other sections, I finally got a chance to complete a winter damage check… and it was not too bad. A small diameter limbo-height blowdown was removed with the Silky saw, but had to leave an 8” diameter step over/around just south of the second bridge. Per the instructions given at the Maintainers Dinner to repaint every other year, one jar of white paint was picked up and used to refresh roughly 75 blazes over the first 1.6 miles of trail (to the first bridge). Some blazes were skipped as this spacing still seems to be rather dense once done winding through the initial forest. Overall, the blazes are still in good condition. Three fire rings were removed, including a newer one inside the Curley Maple Gap shelter. One was left because it had folks taking a break there during both passes. The current logbook was half full (with dozen pages removed from back), so left another to ensure adequate space for hiker communication. Overall, a great day to get some steps in on the A.T. Southbound were two young families and a pair of women who had stayed at CMG shelter. Northbound were seven hikers, including thru-hiker “Polar Bear”. One man and his dog on a leash just went to the shelter and back.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 03/26/2016
Purpose: Blow Downs
Section: 12a: Bitter End to Walnut Mountain Road
People: Bob Peoples
Jim Chambers
Summary: Removed all blow downs between Walnut Mountain Rd and Hard Core Cascades.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 03/19/2016
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 11a: Dennis Cove Road to Canute Place
People: Craig Haire
James Price
Joel Zabel
Joey Zabel
Edward Brading
Summary: We hiked up to Moreland Gap Shelter and back, clearing trees across the trail. Some we were able to move off by hand, some needed only a hand saw, but over a dozen needed cutting with my 16" Greenworks electric chain saw. It was a cool spring day with threat of rain, but there was only an occasional drizzle. We passed 2 northbound thru-hikers.

Reporting: Steve Wilson
Date: 03/24/2016
Purpose: Cutting Rhododendron & Briars
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Carl Belcher
Steve Wilson
Summary: A visit to Laurel Falls was a nice way to spend a sunny spring day. We cut the rhododendron and briars on the AT between Dennis Cove & the falls, and then walked down stream to the blue blazed high water trail to check on the shelter. We returned on the blue blazed trail cutting the briars & other growth. Fifteen day hikers were seen enjoying the AT and Laurel Falls.

Reporting: Steve Wilson
Date: 03/22/2016
Purpose: Cleaning Water Bars & Cutting Briars
Section: 2b: Abingdon Gap Shelter to McQueen's Gap
People: Carl Belcher
Steve Wilson
Summary: Carl & I took advantage of a clear and sunny day to clear the water bars and cut back the briars on this section. We saw five section hikers also enjoying the sunny day.

Reporting: Ken Buchanan
Date: 03/23/2016
Purpose: Condition inspection
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Ken and Pat Buchanan
Summary: A scouting trip on a lovely day.
Found one blowdown we were not equipped to handle. It is not blocking trail seriously so will leave until next week.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 03/06/2016
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 16b: Greasy Creek Gap to Iron Mountain Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Went 2.3 miles from Iron Mtn Gap to overhanging rock. Removed one blowdown by hand and cut 3 trees across the trail with chainsaw.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 03/23/2016
Purpose: Fence Osborne Farm
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Jim Chambers, Collin Edwards, Carl Fritz, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Ed Speer, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe and USFS: Matthew Gilbert, Reuben Potter
Summary: We spent a beautiful day on Osborne Farm preparing about 60 locust posts after cutting, debarking, splitting and transporting them. What a work crew!

Reporting: Eric Middlemas
Date: 03/21/2016
Purpose: Spring AT maintenance
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Eric Middlemas
Judy Middlemas
Andrew Cleland
Lamar Adcox
Tim Shipley
Pat Kenney
Bruce Darby
David Douthat
Wayne Jones
Grover Byrd
Lana Scott
Mike Hupko
Marsha Hupko
Howard Guinn
Faye Guinn
Jeannine Edwards
Summary: Conducted routine trail maintenance of the AT from Beauty Spot to Indian Grave Gap. Removed limbs and debris from the trail, removed 4-5 blowdowns, and cleaned out waterbars. Trail is in good shape overall.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 03/19/2016
Purpose: Wilderness First Aid and CPR Training
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Carl Fritz
Summary: Two instructors from SOLO and about eleven students participated in an extensive two day 3/19 and 20 event to expose us to basic methods to treat and transport those with injuries or illness in the back country. Most of the participants tended to be leaders of church or other groups who hiked or paddled. Some were hikers who wanted more knowledge. Two drove from South Carolina for these courses. Basic CPR and even basic first aid are highly desired even in front country. The life you help save may be a family member or yourself.

Reporting: Faye Guinn
Date: 03/16/2016
Purpose: To cut and remove 3 large trees blocking the trail
Section: 16b: Greasy Creek Gap to Iron Mountain Gap
People: Jim Foster
Howard Guinn
Faye Guinn
Summary: Three of us with Jim carrying the chain saw walked in from Greasy Creek Hostel and first went south for almost two miles--cut 7 small blowdowns and 2 very large trees out of the trail. After eating lunch sitting on pieces of the large tree we just removed from the trail, we returned to Greasy Creek Gap, with Jim still carrying that chain saw, and went north on Jim's section of AT where we cut two smaller trees out of the trail and almost to the shelter we reached the third large tree that was down and cut and removed from the trail. We saw 4 thru-hikers and even with the sky looking very much like rain all morning there was none; the afternoon was beautiful with some sun and spring beauties and hepatics were pushing their blooms out of the leaves all along the trail.