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Cmc Om - Trail Maintenance
Revised July 2022
Operations-Trail Building and Maintenance
The CMC is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of approximately 430 miles of hiking trails for which the Club has accepted responsibility through various agreements and for building new trail as approved by the Landowners. The total mileage will vary based on our negotiated agreements.
CMC has responsibility for:
· 94 miles of the A.T. Our responsibility for maintaining this trail is defined in the MOU we signed with Appalachian Trail Conservancy in 1998. The CMC is responsible for creating a new Local Management plan in conjunction with the ATC that is still a work in progress.
· 154 miles of the MST - Our portion of the MST traverses land owned by the BRP, NC State Park, and the USFS. We are in the process of signing a new BRP and multi district agreement with the UFS spanning 5 years. Those agreements once signed will be posted on our website in the TM section under agreements.
· 165 miles of secondary trails in the Pisgah and Appalachian ranger districts.
· 7 miles of secondary trails found along the Blue Ridge Parkway
When requested and when crew time is available, CMC crews will maintain and/or build hiking trails on Public lands. The CMC will not work on multi use trails or on Private Land trails.
In addition to building and maintaining trails, the Maintenance Group is responsible for:
- Negotiating and maintaining agreements with Federal and State land owners that establish the procedures to be used in building and maintaining trails on their land – agreements will be established only when CMC has undertaken a long-term commitment to maintaining a trail.
- Making website support personnel – currently Tim Carrigan – aware when changes are needed to the functionality of the maintenance webpage.
- Maintaining current and relevant trail maintenance information on both the maintenance and main CMC web areas. This includes the current TM Waiver form, Partner Volunteer
forms and the Sawyer certification roster.
- Managing the CMC award system that recognizes trail maintainers who have achieved various levels of cumulative volunteer work hours and corresponding awards.
- Nominate and submit qualifying CMC volunteers for Partner awards. (Ie BRP, ATC, NC State Parks)
- Organizing and hosting an annual Trail Maintainers! Picnic.
- Securing and maintaining an inventory of tools and power equipment required by the CMC Crews and Maintainers to sustain, rehab and build trails per our partner agreement
- Oversee Grant Writing Committee to ensure CMC submits timely and accurate requests for eligible funding to support tool / equipment purchases, our Green Initiative, training and other CMC Council priorities.
- Reporting volunteer work hours to CMC partners quarterly.
- Represent the CMC trail maintenance group at periodic meetings with our various partners. Showcase our work, safety record and discuss relevant strategic projects where the CMC can support our partners.
- Ensuring that trail maintainers are properly trained and appropriately certified to operate power equipment as defined by ur partner agreements. This includes Sawyer, First Aid, Trail Safe and Weed Trimmer training.
- Ensure Section Maintainers who have the tools and training are assigned to all sections of the AT, MST and Secondary Trails.
- Recruiting and retaining new volunteers.
- Operating within budgeted funds approved by the CMC Council for operating expenses, mileage re-imbursement, awards and picnic costs.
- Continue to partner with ATC and ARD on Max Patch VUM. This includes participation on the steering committee and overseeing the Trail Ambassador program including recruitment, training and support. The Club will also partner with the USFS and ATC to ensure the Forrest Closures guidelines are adhered to and to maintain and protect this important section of the AT thru crew events and National Public Lands Day in Sept each year.
Agreements: We have made long-term commitments to maintain trail on land owned by the;
- Pisgah Forrest spanning 6 Ranger Districts
- The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
- The Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP)
- The National Park Service and USFS through the ATC
** Note that we are in the signature phase of formalizing new 5 year agreements with the USFS and BRP in 2022.
Maintaining contact with these land owners and others involved in our maintenance efforts is a major task. A revised list of our partner contacts can be found on our website under the TM section in the Extras tab. The Trail Maintenance Councilor or his/her designee is responsible for keeping the contract list up-to-date.
Types of Trail Maintenance CMC members are involved in trail building and maintenance at various levels including:
- Trail crew leaders
- Trail Crew members
- AT, MST and Secondary Trail Supervisors and Section Maintainers
- Quarterly Crew, Remote Overnight Crew and Special Project Events Participants (ie Pisgah Project Day)
The CMC also receives trail-building support from the ATC!s Konnarock Crew. Many elements of the CMC!s Trail Maintenance Work is discussed below.
The eight CMC work crews and their crew leaders are listed on the Club!s website under the Trail Maintenance tab. The standards to which these crews work are defined in the agreements discussed above.Presently there are 10 different CMC crews based on the workday, geographic location and assigned work.
1. Art Loeb Crew - Monday
2. Burnsville Crew - Monday
3. Asheville Section Rovers - Tuesday
4. Waynesville Crew - Weds
5. Asheville Thursday Crew
6. Asheville Friday Crew
7. Pisgah Friday Crew
8. Wilderness Crew - work schedule varies
9. Quarterly Crew - schedule and location published in Q1
10. Remote Overnight Crew (ROC) - schedule and location published in Q1.
11. Free Ranger Crew - specialist group of sawyers and crew workers who work on major trail issues as they arise.
The Weekly Crews are what most Club members should think about first when considering trail work. As noted above there are many options to do trail work for the CMC based on your geography, work or family situation and skills/ability. The CMC welcomes anyone who wants to participate including families. The club provides the tools, training and personal protection equipment as needed. When selecting work, Crew Leaders start with their list of assigned trails – AT Sections, MST Sections and Secondary Trails. Priority is
given first to the AT and the MST followed by the secondary trails. Other considerations for selecting work include scheduled hilly hikes, reviewing the Trail issues report for major trail issues as reported by club members, reviewing data from annual maintainer survey where crew support is requested and warranted.
In the Spring, a complete #walk thru” of the AT, and priority secondary trails is performed by all the crews on their assigned sections and trails . It is expected that each crew will work on all its assigned trails at least once each year. The Wilderness Crew who’s schedule varies works in the two wilderness areas in the Pisgah Ranger District, Middle Prong and Shining Rock. The crew must meet the standards for wilderness trail maintenance, which are defined in our agreement with the USFS.
The Quarterly Crew is our signature community outreach program where we pick a high profile work site to work with with new and part time volunteers teaching them the basics of safe trail work. We strive to get our most experienced trail workers to work at these events to showcase our TM knowledge and skills. These events along with the Special project days and Remote Overnight crew help build awareness of the Club and recruit new members and TM volunteers. Often times the club will source new Maintainers and Crew Members from these outreach events.
Trail crew members are largely recruited by word-of-mouth, but a standing invitation to join the trail crews and other maintenance activities is included on the CMC website.
CMC Membership by Crew Members In the past, CMC!s Council had approved policies requiring trail crew members and Section Maintainers to be Club members. However,
because individuals who were not Club members were making substantial contributions to our trail building and maintenance efforts, the Trail Crew Leaders refused to implement this policy. In 2014, the Council recognized that the policy was inappropriate and passed a resolution (Attachment 2) rescinding it. CMC and the Crew Leaders still strongly encourage all trail maintainers to become members, but accepts that a small number will chose not to.
Section Maintainers commit to maintaining 1-5 miles of either the A.T. MST or Secondary Trails. Their work is coordinated either by the A.T. Supervisor, one of the five Supervisors for the MST or the Secondary Trails supervisors. A comprehensive Job description and responsibilities along with a current list of our assigned section
maintainers can be found on our website.
When encountering conditions or issues on their section beyond their capability, Section Maintainers are expected to take photos if appropriate and enter the issue on our website under New Trail Issues. Taking a photo with GPS coordinates helps our crews plan accordingly and save time and effort.Many hikers view being a Section Maintainer as a way of giving back,and ask for the opportunity. A.T. sections rarely remain open for anextended period of time. The same is less true of some MST sections and secondary trails where remote portions of trail may be open for months. When a section or Trail does not have a Maintainer assigned, it becomes the responsibility of the assigned trail crew to scout and maintain the unassigned section or trail. Most if not all of our Section Maintainers are CMC members.
The ATC supports the trail-maintaining clubs in the Virginia Area (VARO) and Deep South Regions (SORO) with the Konnarock Crew, a volunteer trail-building crew that is active for 12 weeks during the summer. The Konnarock Steering Committee determines the crews priorities when it meets at the Spring Partnership Meeting, a joint meeting of VARO and SORO RPC. The ATC Regional Directors solicit requests from the Clubs prior to the steering committee meeting and the committee prioritizes these requests and adjusts the Konnarock crew priorities to account for near term issues as needed. Konnarock’s work is typically planned 7 years out to comply with Federal budget guidelines. The Konnarock crew typically works for a week, and their projects are broken into weeklong segments. This crew typically camps near its projects, and therefore is more suited to carrying out projects remote from trailheads. The CMC crews typically work side by side with the Konnarock crew 2-3 days for each week planned and often provide a meal at a local establishment to socialize and build rapport with the crew.
** Note that the CMC has had representation on the Konnarock steering committee for 3 out of the past 5 years. Looking forward the Club should have one of the RPC representatives join the committee the next time the CMC has a seat and prepare to represent the Club’s request for Konnarock support working in collaboration with our AT
supervisor (Paul Curtin).
Trail Maintenance Webpage and Databases The trail maintenance webpage contains the forms and reports that trail maintainers use to document their work, lists of section
maintainers, crews leaders and supervisors, maps of the trails and other pertinent information that supports the Club!s maintenance efforts. The page includes two databases, one that is used to record maintenance hours worked, the other to record trail issues that need to be resolved. The hours worked database is linked to the membership database, so that the information about individual volunteers is the same in both places. Tim Carrigan, a CMC volunteer, provides support for this page and the databases.
Trail Maintainer Awards
A variety of awards are available to CMC trial maintainers based on volunteer hours worked. These are listed in Attachment 4.
Trail Maintainers! Picnic The Maintenance Committee holds an annual picnic, open to all Maintenance Crew members, AT/MST Section Maintainers, wives / significant others and children on the third Saturday in September. It is currently being held at Lake Julian Park. The Club provides grilled fare and drinks while attendees are requested to bring munchies, salads, casseroles and deserts. Live music has been provided to date.
TM Roles and responsibilities can be found on our website in the TM section under Extras.
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Asheville, NC 28802