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Delaware Valley Chapter 2019 annual report now available ... link


More than 100 attend annual dinner; Mike Manes, Kathy Kindness earn awards

With more than 100 in attendance, the DV Chapter's 2020 slate of officers was voted in, and Kathy Kindness and mike manes were presented with the chapter's highest awards.

Our featured speaker was Steve Tatko, AMC Director of Maine Conservation and Land Management. Steve's presentation was "AMC's Maine Mission: Conserving a Northeast Legacy Landscape." AMC is undertaking a new model of large-scale conservation work that pairs ecological protection with sustainable economic development in the Maine Woods by buying huge tracts of land.

The Appie award is given each year to a newer member of the club who's outstanding work has contributed to the club and it's members and the greater community. The Golden Appie goes to someone who has given many years of dedication and effort to the same end.

Appie of the Year

You will often find our Appie of the Year, Kathy Kindness, leading moderately paced activities designed to attract new people to the outdoors even though her personal preference is for high peaks and epic bike rides.

But she is not just a one sided outdoors woman. She has brought her love of books to the Chapter by starting an outdoor themed book club and has used her creative skills to design and staff AMC displays at local community events.

She served the chapter on the executive committee for the past five years, Four as secretary and this year taking on a new role as membership chair. She has already put in place innovative ways of reaching out to potential members and her enthusiasm and positive attitude is perfect for this role.

Golden Appie of the Year

Mike Manes, our Golden Appie of the Year has been an AMC member since 1984 and has been an active hike leader for most of that time and continues to regularly lead hikes. If you have a chance to hike with him you will soon appreciate all the knowledge that his years of observation and study of the outdoors brings to our chapter and the wider community.

A past trails chair and AT boundary monitor coordinator, Mike often monitored the entire length of our AT section with his wife Kieu as his fellow monitor. Our chapter now has 16 people doing the same work!

Conservation has always been a major focus for our Golden Appie and he is an expert on the American chestnut tree, the survival of which has been severely threatened by the Chestnut blight. If you don’t find him out planting Chestnut trees in the spring or gathering seeds in the fall, you will find him working on other community conservation projects such as invasive plant removal or tree planting in more urban areas.

Our Appie is often on the trail five or more days per week, usually traveling with his wife as his faithful conservation assistant.


New 2020 Executive Committee

Chair                                Susan Weida,

Vice Chair                       Bill DeStefano,

Secretary                         Midori Wakabayashi,

Treasurer                        Margaret McDonald,

Backpacking                    Cindy Crosser,

Bicycling                          Robert Liston,

Communication               Eric Pavlak,

Conservation                   Adrian Noble,

Diversity, Equity &

Inclusion                        Janet Penner,

Family Activities               Annette Sheldon,

Hiking                              John Rogers,

Leadership                       Jeffrey Fritzinger,

Membership                     Kathy Kindness,

Newsletter*                      Eric Pavlak,

Paddling                           Eric Pavlak,

Publicity*                        Raun Kercher,

Leroy Smith Shelter*       Patricia Sacks,

Social                              Jeanne Mantell,

Skiing*                             Sue Bickford-Martin,

Trails                               Greg Bernet,

20s & 30s                        Kate Prisby,

Lehigh Valley Group*       Phill Hunsberger,

Ombudsman*                  Allen Male,

Names in bold are new to the committee or the position. Those marked * are non-voting positions. The Southern Regional Director is Lois Rothenberger, and attends meetings but does not vote. Regional Directors are selected by a different process.

The Executive Committee members serve a term of one year, beginning when they were approved by vote at the Annual Meeting and Dinner.

Cindy Friel, hike and paddling leader, interorganizational connection, Volunteer of the Month

Cindy Friel has been an AMC member since 2011 and is a DV Chapter hike and paddling leader. She has been coordinating many joint events with the Bucks-Montgomery County Hiking Group and AMC DV, including hikes and kayaking trips.

Cindy’s connection of the two organizations is a great way to introduce like-minded people who love the outdoors to all that AMC has to offer. Cindy has also helped the social committee this year with the picnic and helped the membership committee by leading several welcome hikes.

She is a former executive committee member who served as family activities chair.

If you know someone who deserves to be named Volunteer of the Month, send an e-mail to


Right: Cindy, pencil in hand, organizing a trip she led in the Berkshires


National Park Service issues draft plan for Water Gap, invites public comment, schedules meetings

Plan includes new camp sites, facilities, entrance fees.

The National Park Service has issued a draft Visitor Use Management Plan for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River. The draft plan is available for public review and comment for  until December 6, 2019 at their web site.

In addition proposing an to an entrance fee, which has yet to be established, the plan also proposes a park-specific seven-day pass: $25 for a vehicle, $15 for a person, and $20 for a motorcycle,  and a $45 annual pass. The new entrance fee would mean changes to existing amenity fees and the park’s entrance stations. The plan calls for expansion and improvement of visitor facilities and amenities, including additional river camp sites.

In addition to public comment submitted on line and by mail, there will be two public meetings:

Thursday, October 24, 6 - 8 PM, Bushkill Volunteer Fire Company Hall, 124 Evergreen Drive, Bushkill, PA 18324

Saturday, October 26, 1-3 PM, Sussex County Technical School Auditorium, 105 North Church Road, Sparta, NJ 07871

Take the Kittatinny Ridge Recognition and Identification Survey

The Kittatinny Ridge (the Ridge) is Pennsylvania’s longest contiguous forested ridge. This long mountain range is familiar to many. It is the large forested expanse that one can view to the left when you travel north on Interstate 81 from the Maryland border and continue east on Interstate 78. It’s where many go to play, relax, enjoy nature, and get away from it all. Click here for more information and to take the survey.

Take Action:

Demand Full and Dedicated Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Now is our chance to finally secure permanent, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The United States Senate is reviewing S.1081, a bi-partisan bill to permanently provide $900 million annually to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Write to your Senators today asking for their support of S.1081 by joining as a co-sponsor.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a visionary and bipartisan federal funding program for protecting our nation’s most special places. From Sterling Forest in the New York Highlands, to White Cap Mountain in Maine, to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has funded the protection of some of our most iconic landscapes and trails in the Northeast. Earlier this year, we celebrated the permanent re-authorization of the Land Water Conservation Fund, but without dedicated funding Congress’ work is not complete.

Write to your Senators in support of funding for LWCF.

Click here for the Appalachian Mountain Club main website.

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