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View Full Version : Wanna be a Ridgerunner? Volunteers needed in Cherokee NF



The Cleaner
03-15-2013, 12:11
I just got back from a meeting with USFS Trails Technician Gray Buckles,at the Nolichucky District office here in Greeneville.I gave him an update on my recent and past volunteer activities on the AT and some local district trails.I asked Gray about the RidgeRunner program and told him I was interested in starting one here due to the increase of hikers in the local area and an increased number of thru hikers in the last few years.First thing he said was that they are trying to get one for the Roan Mtn.-Hump Mtn. section started this year.I told him that the last time I was through there it seem to be as crowded & used as the GSMNP.Then I explained that the Hot Springs to Erwin section seemed to be getting to be a popular destination for section hikers due to the availability of services at either end.Also this section is in good shape as the Carolina Mtn. Club has completed most relocations away from older jeep road sections and installed switchbacks at some very steep places.The CMC has done a lot of work here but they are now working on the MST in NC so that their resources are spread out now leaving less time for AT maintenance.I'm not saying that they are not still working here(last fall they built new privies at Little Laurel & Jerry's Cabin shelters) but that they can use help from volunteers in the area.Currently they usually have to drive from the Asheville area.By starting a RidgeRunner program here from the local USFS District it would greatly increase a volunteer presence on the trail.We both agreed that when hikers see volunteers working that they sometimes are less likely to leave litter or do other things which negativity affect the trail.No pay or stipend will be given at this time,but offical volunteers could be given hand tools and signs to post.Also volunteers officially signed up would have access to Workman's Comp insurance if injured while performing volunteer work.Just meeting and talking with hikers makes them aware that someone really does care about the local area and it's fun to me to meet hikers from all over the world who have come to hike the Grandaddy of long distance trails.I'll be meeting again late next week with Gray and the District Ranger to sign necessary paperwork.Anyone interested please just call me @ 423-972-9560(PMs just seem to take too much time and I can give more info faster via phone) One last thing.Gray will be contacting the CMC and Morgan Sommerville at the ATC office at some point to get their input and any necessary info.Also a possible press release via local newspapers may be in the works to help spread the word and enlist possible volunteers.I think it's going to be on a first come first choice on what section you are interested on working on.Thanks for any interest,see ya on the trail...:sun

The Cleaner
03-15-2013, 13:40
No replies or interest:eek:,I guess giving out info& insults appeals more to today's cyberhiker than getting out and trying to help a little.I would say" nothing like getting dirt under your fingernails for a good cause",but that doesn't happen if you wear work gloves...

10-K
03-15-2013, 14:11
You just posted the message a few hours ago... :)

The Cleaner
03-15-2013, 15:18
Hey 10-K,You're correct but I have a good idea that there are not too many WBers close enough to the trail to want to do this.In 30 years of backpacking in the local area I've only met a few from Greeneville & Greene Co on the trail.Anyway this is going to be a pilot program where you choose your area and when & how much you do.Which should leave those involved plenty of time to hike other areas.With plans now for TN's 55th State Park at Rocky Fork,the USFS has plans to paint blazes and route hikers to the AT via several trails.Also heard that some trail has been broken for the relocation @ the Shelton Graves area.If you can use a GPS and a paint brush you're needed.Just want to check a shelter or two? That's needed also.You may work on your own or join a small trail crew for a little brush removal work.This is just starting and rules& regulations will be made as this goes.Work has also started on cleaning out trails to make a loop trip from Marguerite Falls>Round Knob>Sarvis Cove>AT then back to the falls parking lot.Gray wants to finish brushing out Middle Spring Ridge trail up to the [email protected] Buzzard Rock.So many trails,so few hands.Have a story for your grandkids sign up soon...

The Cleaner
03-15-2013, 15:22
You just posted the message a few hours ago... :) There too busy beating that dead horse thread about handguns on the AT....:confused:.....

10-K
03-15-2013, 16:05
There too busy beating that dead horse thread about handguns on the AT....:confused:.....

:)

I would be interested in what you're talking about if I didn't already have 4 other niggling little commitments that I have that are non-hiking related. I'm in a position now where if I do anything (hiking or not) that takes me away for more than 48 hours I have to find people to cover for me. I don't want something else I have to do whether I want to or not.

I do a fair amount around here on my own already - pick up trash, move brush off the trail, etc. but it's not official and if I don't do it I don't feel like I"m letting someone down.

Tennessee Viking
03-15-2013, 17:01
Hey 10-K,You're correct but I have a good idea that there are not too many WBers close enough to the trail to want to do this.In 30 years of backpacking in the local area I've only met a few from Greeneville & Greene Co on the trail.Anyway this is going to be a pilot program where you choose your area and when & how much you do.Which should leave those involved plenty of time to hike other areas.With plans now for TN's 55th State Park at Rocky Fork,the USFS has plans to paint blazes and route hikers to the AT via several trails.Also heard that some trail has been broken for the relocation @ the Shelton Graves area.If you can use a GPS and a paint brush you're needed.Just want to check a shelter or two? That's needed also.You may work on your own or join a small trail crew for a little brush removal work.This is just starting and rules& regulations will be made as this goes.Work has also started on cleaning out trails to make a loop trip from Marguerite Falls>Round Knob>Sarvis Cove>AT then back to the falls parking lot.Gray wants to finish brushing out Middle Spring Ridge trail up to the [email protected] Buzzard Rock.So many trails,so few hands.Have a story for your grandkids sign up soon...
From what I have heard, the relocation will turn off just before the graves going down the ridgeside into Rocky Fork, then come back up right before Flint Mtn Shelter.

:)

I would be interested in what you're talking about if I didn't already have 4 other niggling little commitments that I have that are non-hiking related. I'm in a position now where if I do anything (hiking or not) that takes me away for more than 48 hours I have to find people to cover for me. I don't want something else I have to do whether I want to or not.

I do a fair amount around here on my own already - pick up trash, move brush off the trail, etc. but it's not official and if I don't do it I don't feel like I"m letting someone down.
Last time I heard, the TEHCC is wanting at least 1-2 ridge runners for some of the more long walk-in and inaccessible areas. I think it was the No Business area and the Iron/Holston Ridgelines. And they were to station at Kincora with Bob.

At most of what I heard of other ridge runner programs, they walk a section once a month or so, check on hikers, basic checks water sources/shelters, check for blowdowns, steps and trail grades. If there is a huge problem area of trail, they will note/photo the problem and flag & GPS it. Then report the problem with the club. Then the actual maintainers come out knowing a little bit more of what to expect.

10-K
03-15-2013, 17:08
I could do NBK to the river once a month. Heck, I'm up there almost that often now.

10-K
03-15-2013, 17:09
I can actually drive my jeep to less than half a mile to NBK shelter.

The Cleaner
03-15-2013, 17:39
I can actually drive my jeep to less than half a mile to NBK shelter. I found that road and hiked out via it in 1983......That's why there's a mess there sometimes....

10-K
03-15-2013, 17:42
I prefer hiking out that way myself. The views are a lot better than the ones on the AT.

If I'm in a hurry I take the Temple Hill Trail which shaves about 1.25 miles off and avoids the climb out of Temple Hill Gap.

mountain squid
03-15-2013, 18:56
I'm not exactly sure what you are describing The Cleaner. There is a Ridgerunner position in the Roan Highlands that should be available this summer. It will not be a volunteer position. We (TEHCC) had a meeting with the Forest Service and ATC Asheville last Wednesday and this was one topic. There is another partner involved with this Ridgerunner program. I believe it is Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. I am unfamiliar with them.

It was briefly discussed to advertise the position here on WB. One of the Asheville members said that they usually do not have a problem receiving applicants for their other Ridgerunner programs. He is also a member here and if he desires to advertise here I am sure he will. I will PM him about this thread.

I'm not going to describe any of the details or duties and responsibilities because I am not 100% sure of just exactly what they will be and I don't want to misinform anyone. If anyone is interested I would suggest they contact the ATC Southern Regional Office (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/locations/directions-to-soro) in Asheville for more info.

See you on the trail,
mt squid

Lone Wolf
03-15-2013, 18:58
There too busy beating that dead horse thread about handguns on the AT....:confused:.....

and feeds....

Chaco Taco
03-15-2013, 20:43
I think Digger is the guy on here in Asheville. He is the ATC guy in Asheville unless he no longer does it.

I'm not exactly sure what you are describing The Cleaner. There is a Ridgerunner position in the Roan Highlands that should be available this summer. It will not be a volunteer position. We (TEHCC) had a meeting with the Forest Service and ATC Asheville last Wednesday and this was one topic. There is another partner involved with this Ridgerunner program. I believe it is Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. I am unfamiliar with them.

It was briefly discussed to advertise the position here on WB. One of the Asheville members said that they usually do not have a problem receiving applicants for their other Ridgerunner programs. He is also a member here and if he desires to advertise here I am sure he will. I will PM him about this thread.

I'm not going to describe any of the details or duties and responsibilities because I am not 100% sure of just exactly what they will be and I don't want to misinform anyone. If anyone is interested I would suggest they contact the ATC Southern Regional Office (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/locations/directions-to-soro) in Asheville for more info.

See you on the trail,
mt squid

The Cleaner
03-15-2013, 21:01
I'm not exactly sure what you are describing The Cleaner. There is a Ridgerunner position in the Roan Highlands that should be available this summer. It will not be a volunteer position. We (TEHCC) had a meeting with the Forest Service and ATC Asheville last Wednesday and this was one topic. There is another partner involved with this Ridgerunner program. I believe it is Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. I am unfamiliar with them.

It was briefly discussed to advertise the position here on WB. One of the Asheville members said that they usually do not have a problem receiving applicants for their other Ridgerunner programs. He is also a member here and if he desires to advertise here I am sure he will. I will PM him about this thread.

I'm not going to describe any of the details or duties and responsibilities because I am not 100% sure of just exactly what they will be and I don't want to misinform anyone. If anyone is interested I would suggest they contact the ATC Southern Regional Office (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/locations/directions-to-soro) in Asheville for more info.

See you on the trail,
mt squid Let me apologize if I have given misinformation here.:confused:I was only encouraging others to sign up as volunteers here and possibly some interesting jobs will be available soon.Gray said he could use several volunteers as he had been out digging treadway alone a few days ago.You sometimes have to wear a hard hat.You may get a free hat.Blisters possible.Thanks for your post and work Mountain Squid,I'm glad you spoke up to help clear up. See ya on the trail....

JAK
03-15-2013, 22:07
Do they get to carry guns?

skerry
03-16-2013, 10:41
I'm definitely interested in talking to you about this opportunity. I will give you a call on Monday.

The Cleaner
03-16-2013, 12:07
Also anyone interested about opportunities on the Unaka District of the Cherokee NF can contact Trails Tech,Gray Buckles @ 432-638-4109.He is hard to reach sometimes,and you may have to leave a voicemail.I'm a bit easier to reach and welcome calls anytime.....I'll know more next week when I meet with Gray and the District Ranger Terry Bowerman....