AT Journeys Summer 2019
DARK NIGHT SKIES
in the Wild East
FALL 2019
Support the Trail You Love
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Milky Way above the A.T. Roan Highlands, Tennessee/North Carolina – By Malcom MacGregor
Happenings in the Trail community
Starry skies on a chilly summit
Enjoy a four-season paradise in Rangeley, Maine
Wild East Women’s Workday is a force of nature
Wild Atlantic salmon recovery
Fresh impressions in writing and art
Stargazing and expanding horizons

ON THE COVER
Ron Griswell takes a break to enjoy the dark night sky over the Smokies (Ron is the founder of HBCU’s Outside – an organization that fosters interest and engagement of Historically Black College students to become more active in outdoor recreation) – By Steven Yocom

The sky plays an integral role in the tapestry of the Wild East
Natural darkness as refuge
Inspiring a future of diverse environmental leaders
Protect your food to protect A.T. wildlife
Milky Way above the A.T. Roan Highlands, Tennessee/North Carolina – By Malcom MacGregor

ON THE COVER
Ron Griswell takes a break to enjoy the dark night sky over the Smokies (Ron is the founder of HBCU’s Outside – an organization that fosters interest and engagement of Historically Black College students to become more active in outdoor recreation) – By Steven Yocom
Happenings in the Trail community
Starry skies on a chilly summit
Enjoy a four-season paradise in Rangeley, Maine
Wild East Women’s Workday is a force of nature
Wild Atlantic salmon recovery
Fresh impressions in writing and art
Stargazing and expanding horizons
The sky plays an integral role in the tapestry of the Wild East
Natural darkness as refuge
Inspiring a future of diverse environmental leaders
Protect your food to protect A.T. wildlife
ATC Executive Leadership

Sandra Marra / President & CEO
Nicole Prorock / Vice President of Finance & Administration
Shalin Desai / Vice President of Advancement
Laura Belleville / Vice President of Conservation & Trail Programs
Cherie A. Nikosey / Chief of Staff
Brian B. King / Publisher

A.T. Journeys

Wendy K. Probst / Editor in Chief
Traci Anfuso-Young / Art Director / Designer

Contributors

Jordan Bowman / Communications Manager
Laurie Potteiger / Information Services Manager
Brittany Jennings / Proofreader

MISSION
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail — ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.
Board of Directors

Colin Beasley / Chair
Robert Hutchinson / Vice Chair
Edward R. Guyot / Secretary
Jim LaTorre / Treasurer
Beth Critton / Stewardship Council Chair
Grant Davies
Norman P. Findley
Thomas L. Gregg
Daniel A. Howe
Robert Hutchinson
James LaTorre
Colleen Peterson
Rubén Rosales

President’s Advisory Circle

Hon. C. Stewart Verdery, Jr. / Co-Chair
Hon. Stephanie Martz / Co-Chair
Diana Christopulos
Jim Fetig
Lisa Koteen Gerchick
Jessica Herrera-Flanigan
R. Michael Leonard
Robert Rich
Rick Tyler

© 2019 Appalachian Trail Conservancy. All rights reserved.
Membership

For membership questions or to become a member, call: (304) 885-0460

[email protected]

Advertising

A.T. Journeys is published four times per year. Advertising revenues directly support the publication and production of the magazine, and help meet Appalachian Trail Conservancy objectives. For more information and advertising rates, visit: appalachiantrail.org/atjadvertising

MISSION
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail — ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.
Board of Directors

Colin Beasley / Chair
Robert Hutchinson / Vice Chair
Edward R. Guyot / Secretary
Jim LaTorre / Treasurer
Beth Critton / Stewardship Council Chair
Grant Davies
Norman P. Findley
Thomas L. Gregg
Daniel A. Howe
Robert Hutchinson
James LaTorre
Colleen Peterson
Rubén Rosales

President’s Advisory Circle

Hon. C. Stewart Verdery, Jr. / Co-Chair
Hon. Stephanie Martz / Co-Chair
Diana Christopulos
Jim Fetig
Lisa Koteen Gerchick
Jessica Herrera-Flanigan
R. Michael Leonard
Robert Rich
Rick Tyler

© 2019 Appalachian Trail Conservancy. All rights reserved.
The staff of A.T. Journeys welcomes editorial inquiries, suggestions, and comments. Email: [email protected] Observations, conclusions, opinions, and product endorsements expressed in A.T. Journeys are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of members of the board or staff of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

A.T. Journeys is published on Somerset matte paper manufactured by Sappi North America mills and distributors that follow responsible forestry practices. It is printed with Soy Seal certified ink in the U.S.A. by Sheridan NH in Hanover, New Hampshire.

A.T. Journeys ( ISSN 1556-2751) is published quarterly for $15 a year by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, (304) 535-6331. Bulk-rate postage paid at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and other offices. Postmaster: Send change-of-address Form 3575 to A.T. Journeys, P.O. Box 807, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.

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Contributors
Contributors
Opening quotation mark
those visions of stars, the Milky Way, and even the northern lights, are becoming harder to see every year.
Dr. Tyler Nordgren

Closing quotation mark

IT’S LATE, AND I AM ALLOWED TO STAY UP BECAUSE MY SISTER AND I are lying on a blanket in our front yard and staring at the sky on a Saturday night with the low embers of a fire pit near our feet and our dogs lounging nearby. There is very little to say, unless we ask our parents a question about the sparkling stars and planets above us. We had no idea how fortunate we were at the time, but looking back, I think that part of my childhood shaped how I feel about night skies. I love the ambient glow of a bright moon and the sound of one owl calling to another. I can’t think of a better place to be but outside in the dark with nothing but natural light from the sky. These places are harder to find as the darkness of night slowly glows brighter with artificial light — from outdoor floodlights in rural areas to the inescapable sea of bright lights in urban areas. Thankfully, there are some remaining spaces where the landscape, and the wildlife that relies on it, still thrive on a rhythm of natural night darkness. Much of the A.T. and the surrounding Wild East stretching along the eastern U.S. are a special part of that. And as long as we keep that sacred space protected, there will continue to be a path to serene nocturnal escape under the vast dark universe.
Wendy K. Probst / Editor in Chief
AT Journeys contributor, Mark Ellison

Mark Ellison
Mark Ellison lives in Cullowhee, North Carolina, which is a perfect base camp for exploring the southern Appalachian Mountains. Fascinated by the beauty of the region since he was a student at Western Carolina University, he frequently hikes the A.T. and trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His doctoral research at NC State was on the restorative benefits of hiking in wilderness solitude and he continues to help others learn about the health benefits of nature as a forest therapy guide and hiking instructor. “My concern about the diminishing opportunities to experience dark night skies and the implications it has for many species inspired me to write about it in the hope to reach others who feel passionately or just want to learn more about protecting our dark night skies,” he says.

AT Journeys contributor, Luz Lituma

Luz Lituma
Luz Lituma is an outdoor enthusiast from Atlanta, Georgia with a newfound passion for backpacking, hiking, and all-around adventuring. Unable to explore the outdoors in her younger years, she is now taking every opportunity to discover the natural treasures near her home. She is a co-founder of Latinxhikers, a community dedicated to bringing diversity and inclusivity to the outdoors. Luz recently assisted in the Go Dark – a Wild East Story film project created by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Horizonline Pictures and invited some of her closest friends to join her on a three-day backpacking trip on the A.T. “Living in Atlanta, stargazing is not an opportunity we engage in often,” she says. “Two of my friends had never backpacked before, so sharing this moment with them was invaluable. Now that society is starting to see the value in bringing more diversity to the outdoors and giving us a spotlight, it makes me feel like necessary change is coming.”

AT Journeys contributor, Dr. Tyler Nordgren
Dr. Tyler Nordgren
Dr. Tyler Nordgren is a professional astronomer, artist, and author. He holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Cornell University where he did work on dark matter. His popular science book Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks, reveals what visitors to America’s national parks can observe in their dark night skies. The color illustrations in this book include both his night sky photography as well as vintage-style “travel posters” he designed to help the public learn about and see the astronomical wonders in the sky. It was in that format that he was commissioned to create for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Wild East poster art. He also leads astronomically-themed tours and hikes including a recent stargazing hike on the A.T. for an the upcoming ATC /Horizonline Pictures film: Go Dark – a Wild East Story. “Sleeping under the stars, I can escape the modern world,” he says. “But as light pollution increases, that sense of escape becomes more difficult at night.”
AT Journeys contributor, Corey Sebring
Corey Sebring
A resident of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Corey Sebring graduated from Northampton Community College, where he received his degree in communication design. He is currently a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, and animator. He also works as a motion graphics designer for Service Electric Cable TV and Communications. Over the past four years, he has created several feature illustrations for A.T. Journeys. “Creating an Illustration for Wild East Night Skies was something that really appealed to me,” he says. “There’s always something mystical, and surreal about illustrating a night scene. It seems to conjure the feeling of making the impossible possible.”
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Presidents Letter

Presidents Letter
STAYING TRUE TO COURSE
IT IS APPROPRIATE THAT this first letter I write to you as president and CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is in an issue of A.T. Journeys that celebrates the night sky and guiding stars of our universe.

I have spent the past 35 years of my life volunteering and working, in multiple capacities, to protect and support the Appalachian Trail and the organizations responsible for its care. I have earned my stripes, so to speak, learning and working at the club level and eventually taking on leadership roles with the ATC. That focus — to work for this iconic and powerful place we call the A.T. — has been a beacon and guiding star for most of my adult life. Both the personal and the professional me has matured within and benefited from the experiences I’ve had on and around the Trail. And, it is with gratitude and humility that I take on this new role for the ATC and the A.T.

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Letters
Letters
A.T. Journeys Summer Issue cover

AS A BACKPACKER AND conservationist, the Wild East is so inspiring! Thank you for everything you do to protect these beautiful Appalachian corridors!

Erin Tate
St. Louis, Missouri

YOUR SUMMER ISSUE ABOUT the historical points on the A.T. was masterful. However, there is one point of history of which few are aware. Cowart Gap is traversed by the A.T. 1.8 miles north of Dick’s Creek Gap at Georgia Highway 76. The great Cherokee Trading Path from the Carolina Low Country crossed the Chattooga River at Sandy Ford (Georgia/South Carolina line). Today, a forest road crosses the A.T. at Cowart Gap. It climbs up from the Plumb Orchard Valley to the east. It’s a peaceful place. The siege and surrender of Fort Loudon in 1760 is accurately depicted in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans.

Mike Maffett
Lake Burton, Georgia

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Dark Night Skies - Woman hiker illustration
Wild East Dark Night Skies title

The white blazes marking the Appalachian Trail serve much the same navigational purpose as stars have to explorers for thousands of years. During the day, the blazes encourage us on, but as the sun sets, the green tunnel of the Appalachian Trail turns black, offering above it some of the darkest skies remaining in the eastern United States. Instead of watching wildflowers bloom, at night we gaze up into a vast maze of stars and planets we may have never known existed in an urban environment.

Darkness has always cradled mystery and the unknown. It magnifies sounds and intensifies imagination primarily because it limits what we can see. Darkness, like quiet and solitude, is a gift if we are open to embracing it. Just as we are in awe of vibrant sunsets, bucolic mountain vistas, and cascading waterfalls, the impenetrable depth of a dark sky nurtures a sense of peace and wonder.

Dark Night Skies - Woman hiker illustration
Wild East Dark Night Skies title
By Mark Ellison; Illustration by Corey Sebring

The white blazes marking the Appalachian Trail serve much the same navigational purpose as stars have to explorers for thousands of years. During the day, the blazes encourage us on, but as the sun sets, the green tunnel of the Appalachian Trail turns black, offering above it some of the darkest skies remaining in the eastern United States. Instead of watching wildflowers bloom, at night we gaze up into a vast maze of stars and planets we may have never known existed in an urban environment.

Darkness has always cradled mystery and the unknown. It magnifies sounds and intensifies imagination primarily because it limits what we can see. Darkness, like quiet and solitude, is a gift if we are open to embracing it. Just as we are in awe of vibrant sunsets, bucolic mountain vistas, and cascading waterfalls, the impenetrable depth of a dark sky nurtures a sense of peace and wonder.

AT Journeys: Trailhead - LatinXhikers group in Atlanta
AT Journeys: Trailhead - LatinXhikers group in Atlanta
“Go Dark – A Wild East Story”
For many people around the world, light pollution prevents us from seeing the true beauty of the night sky. In the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s latest short film, Go Dark – A Wild East Story, take a journey with the Atlanta-based LatinXhikers group and astronomer Dr. Tyler Nordgren as they experience the splendor of a starry sky, preserved by surrounding Wild East lands and the Appalachian Mountain landscape of the A.T. in Georgia. Through gorgeous cinematography and from the hikers’ point of view, you will be able to observe the Trail like never before and learn how places like the A.T. protect not only the landscapes around them, but also the skies above.

trailhead

Friendly Night Sky Lighting at ATC Headquarters

This spring, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) discovered that motion-sensor floodlights installed at its headquarters in Harpers Ferry to keep employees safe as they exited the building after hours were far brighter than necessary. Jarring light escaped into the skies as well as quiet streets and paths where residents took evening strolls, and research showed that overly bright security lights can be counterproductive. By installing LED lights and adding shields endorsed by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), reducing the lumens, and changing the color and angle of the lights, ATC became a better neighbor, reduced our electricity consumption, and helped preserve dark skies in our own community.

trailhead

Congressional Update
The Land and Water Conservation Fund and the A.T.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has advocated for dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) since 1972. Through our advocacy efforts and partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and multiple state agencies, more than $180 million dollars has been appropriated to secure a land base for the A.T. and to protect landscapes near the Trail. The LWCF is a key tool for state and federal land management agencies to protect important plant and animal habitat, enact land exchanges (such as trading out privately owned properties located within protected lands), and preserving the viewshed from the Trail.

With the enactment on March 12, 2019 of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Recreation, and Management Act of 2019, LWCF was permanently reauthorized and will never again expire. The ATC is grateful to the hard work of everyone who contributed to making this important land management program available for future generations. The next step is to fully fund LWCF so this critical tool will be available to more state lands, national forests, and national parks (including the A.T.).

For more information on the ATC’s position regarding LWCF visit: appalachiantrail.org/lwcf

trailhead

Congressional Update
The Land and Water Conservation Fund and the A.T.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has advocated for dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) since 1972. Through our advocacy efforts and partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and multiple state agencies, more than $180 million dollars has been appropriated to secure a land base for the A.T. and to protect landscapes near the Trail. The LWCF is a key tool for state and federal land management agencies to protect important plant and animal habitat, enact land exchanges (such as trading out privately owned properties located within protected lands), and preserving the viewshed from the Trail.

With the enactment on March 12, 2019 of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Recreation, and Management Act of 2019, LWCF was permanently reauthorized and will never again expire. The ATC is grateful to the hard work of everyone who contributed to making this important land management program available for future generations. The next step is to fully fund LWCF so this critical tool will be available to more state lands, national forests, and national parks (including the A.T.).

For more information on the ATC’s position regarding LWCF visit: appalachiantrail.org/lwcf

trailhead

sustaInable camp management study awarded

Jeff Marion

Jeff Marion on the A.T.

Dr. Jeff Marion has built a career around a lifelong passion for the outdoors, and that effort has culminated in his being selected as the co-recipient of the George Wright Society’s Natural Resources Achievement Award for 2019. The award seeks to recognize excellence in research, management, and education related to parks and protected areas.

Hunting Season Safety

Hunting Season Safety

Hunting regulations vary widely along the Appalachian Trail. Although the A.T. is a unit of the National Park System, it traverses a patchwork quilt of public lands managed for many different purposes. Hunting is permitted within close proximity of some parts of the A.T. in every Trail state. Many segments of the A.T. in Pennsylvania north of the Cumberland Valley and a few miles of the A.T. through the G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management area in northern Virginia are game lands managed primarily for hunting. Both hikers and hunters are advised to “know before you go.”

For more information and to see ATC’s “2019-2020 Hunting Season Guide by State” visit: appalachiantrail.org/hunting

trailhead

A Dedicated Trail Relocation
By Stephanie Bouchard
On a sunny fall day in the Tribute Garden of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) Harpers Ferry headquarters, the family and friends of Michael Alexander Cooker joined with the members of the ATC family to celebrate his life and the role the Appalachian Trail played in it.

Cooker’s life ended tragically in April of 2018 when he was 30 years old. Wanting to celebrate that life, his family and friends raised funds and made a donation to the ATC, which were used to complete one phase of an ongoing Trail relocation project at Loudoun Heights. On September 29, on what would have been his 32nd birthday, Cooker’s family, friends and members of the ATC gathered to dedicate a plaque in his memory — which is now on display in ATC’s Harpers Ferry Visitor Center — and to commemorate the new section of Trail supported by their donation.

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Wild East Time Travel
The Milky Way in a dark night sky above Rangeley Lake (seen here from Hunter Cove) is a common scene in the A.T. Community of Rangeley, Maine – By Tom McMahon / photo courtesy of the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce
Wild East Time Travel
The Milky Way in a dark night sky above Rangeley Lake (seen here from Hunter Cove) is a common scene in the A.T. Community of Rangeley, Maine – By Tom McMahon / photo courtesy of the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce
Ed-Venutures in the Wild West Title
Supporting Future Conservation Leaders
Participants in the Everybody’s Environment Emerging Leader’s (E3) Summit in western North Carolina were brought together to connect, inspire, and learn about public lands.
/ Supporting Future
Conservation Leaders /
Element Symbols Image - Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind
/ By David Smith and Julie Judkins /
// The Appalachian Trail famously provides more than 2,000 miles of awe and adventure for every visitor who wishes to partake of what we call the Wild East. Thanks to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) education and outreach programs, however, the Trail also offers enthusiasts of every age a springboard for student exploration and achievement, as well as civic and community engagement.
Harmful
Habits
By David McDowell Schafer
C

ampsite 113 is the first overnight site that northbound A.T. thru-hikers reach when they enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a ridgerunner in the Smokies, part of my duty is the maintenance of sites like 113. For many hikers, it serves as a spot for a short lunch break, or one of countless overnight stays on their long journey north. Humans, however, are not the only frequenters of the site. During my three-month season, I encountered the same mother bear and her cub at campsite 113 no less than ten times. They became a feature, a constant. I would yell and throw rocks until they ran away, but without fail they would be there the next time I visited the site.

Harmful
Habits
By David McDowell Schafer
C

ampsite 113 is the first overnight site that northbound A.T. thru-hikers reach when they enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a ridgerunner in the Smokies, part of my duty is the maintenance of sites like 113. For many hikers, it serves as a spot for a short lunch break, or one of countless overnight stays on their long journey north. Humans, however, are not the only frequenters of the site. During my three-month season, I encountered the same mother bear and her cub at campsite 113 no less than ten times. They became a feature, a constant. I would yell and throw rocks until they ran away, but without fail they would be there the next time I visited the site.

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Appalachian focus
Appalachian focus
Mountain High Stargazing
photographer Aaron Ibey
“When we arrived at Roan Knob Shelter in the middle of the night, it was dark as could be, and we could only see as far as our head lamps could shine. This is the highest shelter hikers can stay at on the Appalachian Trail, sitting a little higher than 6,270 feet above sea level. When we finally reached the old two-floor cabin within a dense alpine forest, nestled upon the summit of Roan Mountain in North Carolina, within the blink of an eye the Trail transitioned from robust rhododendron forest to sparse silhouettes of pines that greeted us to winds that stung our faces. We crept up each switchback going up the south side of the mountain, trudging through the fresh snow pack. The moon was completely gone that night — we had planned this out methodically so we could stargaze at the summit. As I was setting up my camera to shoot the night sky, “Puma,” my hiking partner, wandered out to get a glimpse of the sky I was obsessing over. The long exposure tracked his beam from his headlamp as he plodded around the cabin. This scene reminded me of a fairy tale describing an old witch’s house, with the boarded-up windows, dirt floor, and eerie attic. Yet, this was our home for the night, our shelter, keeping us out of the harsh elements of a 10-degree January night.” ~ Aaron Ibey
Roan Knob Shelter
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A.T. CommunitiesTM
A.T. CommunitiesTM
Rangeley / Maine

WITH ITS RICHNESS OF NATURAL RESOURCES, YOU ARE GUARANTEED AN AMAZING OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE YEAR-ROUND IN RANGELEY, MAINE.

By Linda Dexter

Rangeley is the perfect place to hear the loons calling across open waters on warm summer evenings or to snuggle up in a cabin during snowy winters. Situated on the shores of Rangeley Lake and nestled in the heart of the vast Rangeley Lakes region, Rangeley is full of New England charm and natural beauty. Ten of the fourteen 4,000-footers in Maine are located in the Rangeley area known as the High Peaks Region. In addition to high peaks, a chain of lakes connects over a thousand square miles of non-stop scenic beauty. Nine miles from the A.T. crossing, Rangeley is an important stop along the Appalachian Trail.

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trail stories
trail stories
Enjoying a lunch break during the Wild East Women’s Work Day (author is standing at right)
Enjoying a lunch break during the Wild East Women’s Work Day (author is standing at right)
Give and Take
Building a relationship with one another and with nature by showing up
By Nicole Ager

Coming most recently from just outside of Boston, I knew next to nothing of the Appalachian Trail. I had no idea how far it was, just how many states it covered, or where it started and ended. But then I moved to Rabun County, Georgia, the very northern point of north Georgia, and the Appalachian Trail is now 11.5 miles from my back door. On Labor Day weekend last year, my husband and I hiked up to Siler Bald. It was a beautiful crisp morning — a perfectly magical day to set foot on the Trail for the first time. We made our way through the woods and the mist, following our first white blazes higher up the mountain. Greeted with spectacular views from the bald, I fell in love with the idea of seeing more of these blazes and views. As if he was placed there for a reason, when we were heading back to our car, we met a 63-year-old thru-hiker who was 11 days away from finishing his hike. I remember thinking to myself, “What an amazing thing to accomplish… but I don’t think I could ever do it.”

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Indigenous title image

Atlantic salmon was historically reduced to extremely low levels primarily by overfishing and dam construction

Exposure to artificial lighting interferes with the light/dark cycles to which many species have evolved, and can disrupt or alter aspects of migration, navigation, matting, feeding, and predation for a wide variety of wildlife

The Atlantic salmon is an anadromous fish species
The Atlantic salmon is an anadromous fish species

Atlantic salmon was historically reduced to extremely low levels primarily by overfishing and dam construction

Exposure to artificial lighting interferes with the light/dark cycles to which many species have evolved, and can disrupt or alter aspects of migration, navigation, matting, feeding, and predation for a wide variety of wildlife

Atlantic Salmon

Salmo salar

By Marian Orlousky

Maine is home to the only remaining populations of wild and naturally reproducing Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the United States. Referred to as the Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment of Atlantic Salmon, this species has been listed as federally endangered across much of the state since 2000.

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Recommended
Recommended
The Unlikely Thru-Hiker by Derick Lugo book cover
Fresh Impressions
Two A.T. thru-hikers take their inspiration from the Trail to the next level through writing and art.
In his newly-released debut memoir, The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, Derick Lugo, provides a refreshing new perspective to taking on a long trek on the Appalachian Trail. He tells the story of a young, black New Yorker who, when becoming temporarily jobless, grasped what was possibly a “this can only happen now” opportunity to use some free time to experience something that beckoned him intriguingly beyond his comfort zone. So the Brooklyn-born urbanite took a train, then a cab to the Springer Mountain in Georgia and began to put one foot in front of the other. “At first, I was still trying to figure the Trail out and making mistakes that a seasoned hiker would never make. Everything was a wonder to me, from the grandest views to the privies at shelters,” he says. His good humor and ability to accentuate the positive, not to mention his need to stay well-groomed, carried him through (and led to his adopted Trail name: “Mr. Fabulous”).

Trail Giving

Trail Giving
A.T. Sunset and moonrise

A.T. Sunset and moonrise – By John Cammerota

IN HONOR OF

Jackie Barrett by Woman’s Club of Manassas
Mary Bedford by Mary Owens
Richard Bennett by Duane Sonneborn
David Beuning by Cassandra Koskela
Diana Body & Bill Gibson by Sara Morris-Marano
Kai Carlin by Joseph Carlin
Mike Carlin by Krista Carlin
Steve “Mustard Seed” Claxton by Mike Claxton
Dead Letter Officers! By Mike Emery
Edward Dettenmayer by Bonnie Riell
David Dorsch by Susan Dorsch
Martin Fay by Mary Wood
Jonathan Ferrell by Tena Ellis
Doug & Donna Fish by Kenneth Fish
Beth Friend by Laura Winholt
Harrison Gill by Sally Hunt

IN HONOR OF

Jackie Barrett by Woman’s Club of Manassas
Mary Bedford by Mary Owens
Richard Bennett by Duane Sonneborn
David Beuning by Cassandra Koskela
Diana Body & Bill Gibson by Sara Morris-Marano
Kai Carlin by Joseph Carlin
Mike Carlin by Krista Carlin
Steve “Mustard Seed” Claxton by Mike Claxton
Dead Letter Officers! By Mike Emery
Edward Dettenmayer by Bonnie Riell
David Dorsch by Susan Dorsch
Martin Fay by Mary Wood
Jonathan Ferrell by Tena Ellis
Doug & Donna Fish by Kenneth Fish
Parting Thought
Parting Thought
From left: Luz with friends Liz Maldonado and Paola Rodriguez at Blood Mountain shelter
From left: Luz with friends Liz Maldonado and Paola Rodriguez at Blood Mountain shelter — where they prepped for a chilly stargazing night — after a day of hiking along the north Georgia mountains. By Chris Gallaway/Horizonline Pictures
AS I LAY ON THE COOL, SMOOTH ROCK AT THE peak of one of Georgia’s highest mountains on the Appalachian Trail, I was mesmerized by the clear night sky and abundance of shooting stars. It was hiker’s midnight and my crew and I were stargazing, learning about the galaxy extending above us. I felt incredible comfort and appreciation knowing that I could access this natural gift just a few hours away from my home in the city. 
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AT Journeys Spring 2019
Thanks for reading this issue!