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  1. #1
    Long Trail '04
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    Default AMC Buys Camp in 100-Mile Wilderness

    Appalachian Mountain Club buys camp in 100-Mile Wilderness
    Associated Press Newswires
    August 7, 2006
    01:06 PM

    GREENVILLE, Maine (AP) - The Appalachian Mountain Club said Monday it has purchased a sporting camp along Second Roach Pond as part of an ongoing strategy that combines land conservation, recreation and sustainable forestry in the 100-Mile Wilderness.

    The acquisition of Medawisla Wilderness Camps follows the outdoors organization's purchase three years ago of the nearby Katahdin Iron Works tract, a 37,000-acre property that was its largest land acquisition ever.

    The 100-Mile Wilderness extends from Monson to Baxter State Park and is traversed by one of the Appalachian Trail's most rugged sections. Its natural features include the West Branch of the Pleasant River, which feeds the Gulf Hagas Gorge, and the three highest peaks between Bigelow and Katahdin.

    The Medawisla camp, in operation since 1953, include seven housekeeping cabins frequented by hikers, canoeists, fishermen, wildlife watchers and cross-country skiers. The AMC will continue to manage the camps for backcountry recreation as part of its Maine Woods Initiative, which seeks to address the region's needs by supporting nature-based tourism and recreation as well as local forest products jobs.

    Medawisla, seven miles south of Kokadjo and accessible by gravel logging roads, is the second sporting camp in the area under AMC management. The club also runs Little Lyford Pond Camps, 15 miles to the south. Both camps are open to the public.

    "We are excited to broaden the range of outdoor experiences we can offer to the public, a key goal of the initiative," said Walter Graff, the club's deputy director.

    Medawisla was purchased form Larry and Shannon LeRoy, who have owned and managed the property since 1992.

    Based in Boston, the 90,000-member AMC was established in 1876 and describes itself as the nation's oldest conservation and recreation organization.
    ------
    On the Net: http://www.outdoors.org

  2. #2

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    how long will it take the Appalachian Money Club to build some damn holiday inn-type lodges up there and turn the 100-mile wilderness into the 100-mile tourist trap?

  3. #3
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    Why is "Another one bites the dust" playing in my head?

  4. #4
    Registered User Hammerhead's Avatar
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    Say hello to the future 100-Mile Strip Mall
    Official Star Schlep Crew Member

  5. #5
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    The AMC has no interest in building a strip mall. I'm sure that in the long run, having the AMC in charge of this property will be a positive thing. If this land had to be sold, I'm glad it was purchased by the AMC and not by an independent commercial developer, who would do God-knows-what with it.

    That being said, I certainly hope they don't plan to duplicate the New Hampshire hut system here. Wise and caring stewardship of a beautiful but fragile area is obviously a worthy goal, but building more back-country lodges for the well-to-do, in order to provide more play areas for their club's members, is not, in my opinion, the best way to go.

    I'll be curious to see what happens next.

  6. #6
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    Jack makes an excellent point - the AMC likely won't do as much damage as most commercial developers. However, their previous track record hints that they may turn the property into a resort rather than a campground.

  7. #7

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    they've got something up their sleeve. they wouldn't buy some kind of fishing camp just to operate it indefinitely as is.

  8. #8
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    Although it is AMC PR, you could start here to get some info. Of course speculating without facts is certainly more fun!

  9. #9
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    Old Fhart, I can't find the plans for the new camp in the press release. Are they stated elsewhere?

  10. #10
    Registered User Hammerhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Fhart
    Although it is AMC PR, you could start here to get some info. Of course speculating without facts is certainly more fun!

    Exactly....I wasn't being serious about the 100-Mile Strip Mall.
    Official Star Schlep Crew Member

  11. #11
    Geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Fhart
    Of course speculating without facts is certainly more fun!
    I find facts limit what conclusions I reach, and are not conducive to pre-determining outcomes prior to starting a discussion.
    Frosty

  12. #12

    Default Not exactly a resort

    Quote Originally Posted by SavageLlama


    The Medawisla camp, in operation since 1953, include seven housekeeping cabins frequented by hikers, canoeists, fishermen, wildlife watchers and cross-country skiers.
    Now, I am really confused. I visited a camp in that area a few years ago, but my pictures look nothing like the cabin shown on the Medawisla Camp web site.

    The camp I visited was just off of French Town Road south of Kokodjo. I wonder if it was a different camp or if the pictures on their web site are really old?
    Last edited by Shutterbug; 08-07-2006 at 18:33. Reason: Confusion
    Shutterbug

  13. #13
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    Frolicking Dinosaurs-"Old Fhart, I can't find the plans for the new camp in the press release. Are they stated elsewhere?"
    The start of the article says: "The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has purchased Medawisla Wilderness Camps near here and will continue to manage the property to provide guests with outdoor recreation opportunities in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness region." I would expect some changes but right now it doesn't appear that they will be drastic. They obviously have the ability to market the camp much better on their web site and in their member magazine, the AMC Outdoors. I'd keep an eye out to see what develops, because things could change.

  14. #14

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    Baldacci and the Paper Companys are franchising out the "100 Mile Wilderness" to a logical developer.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug

    The camp I visited was just off of French Town Road south of Kokodjo.
    That's where this camp is. There are snowsled trails and logging roads that connect in to the Little Lyford Pond Property. There's a 10,000 acre clear cut area inbetween the two. The AMC now owns most of the land ajacent and to the west of Gulf Hags and White Cap Mountain. Note that the AMC isn't using the code words "allow traditional uses", which will raise the ire of the hunters and snowsleders who traditionally have used this area.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  16. #16

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    I would like to think the AMC will keep it as a traditional "wilderness camp" with a minimum of "improvements" but time will tell. Those of us who are AMC members (and for that matter, those who aren't) should voice our opinions to the AMC.

  17. #17
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Fhart
    The start of the article says: "The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has purchased Medawisla Wilderness Camps near here and will continue to manage the property to provide guests with outdoor recreation opportunities in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness region."
    Isn't this the same organization that believes the hut system is an outdoor recreational opportunity? While it rules out a strip mall, it doesn't rule out some other pretty disgusting options.

  18. #18
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs
    Jack makes an excellent point - the AMC likely won't do as much damage as most commercial developers. However, their previous track record hints that they may turn the property into a resort rather than a campground.
    In my opinion, AMC has done a pretty good job with their management of Little Lyford Pond camps.

    I suspect, however, that they still aren't breaking even. These camps survived mostly through the work of a husband and wife team. If you have to pay all the help, it gets more difficult.

    I think they think the long range success of their Maine Woods Initiative requires a series of camps so clients can walk from one to another much as they do in the "huts" in the Whites. I don't sense that AMC will succeed in a traditional sporting camp business, catering to hunters.

    I applaud the new purchase. It's a step in the right direction. I understand they are negotiating with the owner of the LOng Pond Camps to take over that operation also. That will give the club a start on a meaningful "hut" system without building anything new, which is the goal I've argued since the initiative began a few years ago.

    Speculation about strip malls is not a useful thing at this point. More valuable are thoughts on how best to attract customers to the "wilderness" AMC hopes to preserve and more realistically, recreate.

    Weary
    Last edited by weary; 08-07-2006 at 21:58.

  19. #19

    Default There is opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by weary
    ...I don't sense that AMC will succeed in a traditional sporting camp business, catering to hunters...
    There is a lot of opportunity for the camp outside of their past normal operations. A "Wilderness Conference Center" would have significant demand. There are a lot of organizations that would pay big bucks to take their leadership team to a Wilderness Conference Center away from distractions. That is why I visited the camp a few years ago -- to see if it would be satisfactory for a faculty retreat. It wasn't, but could easily be upgraded.

    Shutterbug

  20. #20

    Default hut publicity

    Many members here have a serious hang up with the White Mountain Huts. They are what they are. However, the AMC (of which I am not a member) provides more to the hiking community in the way of managed shelters. I have no issue with paying $8 so that someone else can manage my human waste. That's actually a pretty decent deal to me and it helps the environment as well. I just looked into purchasing green energy for my home. The cost of that is $6 per 100 kilowatts over and above my current cost. That irritates me more than paying for what I can actually see. Back to my original thought.... If the AMC provided managed shelters for a small fee, would that be so bad? I know that someone will say I'm not seeing the "money monster" for what they are, but with all the other crap going on in the world, anything the AMC does, will be less harmful in the long run. Besides, if rich people were not baited into giving their money to an environmentally consious group (by visiting the huts), where would all the money come from to buy the land so that the condo developers can't.

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