The Maine Appalachian Trail Club is extremely fortunate to have much of the AT in Maine surrounded by 34,000 acres of National Park Service land, but caring for and protecting that land is essential.
MATC Corridor Monitors walk the Trail and the corridor boundary lines looking for timber trespass, trash dumping, illegal motor vehicle crossings, and other encroachments that threaten the condition of corridor resources and reduce the quality of the AT experience. The surveyed boundary itself must be kept clearly visible so that neighboring landowners know where it is, and the regular inspection of boundary line monuments helps to protect against a need for very expensive re-surveys that could be required if monuments are lost. Corridor monitoring offers an opportunity to get off the AT footpath and explore some incredibly beautiful areas that those who only walk the Trail never see. For those seeking something new in Trail stewardship, as well as a little excitement and a chance to satisfy an urge to explore, corridor monitoring may be just what you are looking for. At present, the sections listed below are available for monitoring.
The Thrill of Discovery: Musings of a Corridor Monitor – An essay by Bill Geller, a corridor monitor for the MATC. “That monument marker was right here when I found it last year, I don’t see it?” Five minutes later I did find it without having to get out my hand saw, clippers, loppers, line ropes, tape measure and assorted digging instruments. An essay by Bill Geller, a corridor monitor for the MATC…” Read “The Thrill of Discovery”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a tract and what is the A.T. corridor?
A tract is a unit of land that includes the Appalachian Trail within its boundary. One tract is connected to the next tract, and the next, and so on. The connected tracts define the A.T. corridor through Maine, from Katahdin to the Mahoosucs. The A.T. runs north-south inside the corridor boundary. Don’t assume the corridor is always 1,000 feet wide. Tracts vary in size and width. NPS, BSP, BPL and others own the A.T. corridor in Maine. The Maine Appalachian Trail Club looks after the corridor lands and the trail.
Are corridor monitoring sections and trail maintenance sections the same?
When the A.T. corridor was laid out across Maine, the tract and corridor sections did not coincide with trail maintenance sections. Some MATC designated corridor monitoring sections nearly coincide with trail maintenance sections, others don’t. This is why there are 70 corridor monitoring sections and 90 trail maintenance sections on the A.T. in Maine.
Is maintaining a section of trail the same as monitoring a section of corridor
The two are very different jobs. Maintaining the A.T. is about assessing, planning and responding to conditions right on and immediately along the trail. The scope of trail maintenance is trail focused, period.
Monitoring is tract and corridor focused. Corridor monitors assess and respond to conditions beyond the immediate trail, all the way out to the boundary line of the corridor tract. It includes assessing activities that may be occurring just outside the corridor, or activities that may be intruding across the boundary line into the interior of the corridor.
Some examples are timber trespass, off-road vehicles, dumping, and other alterations of the tract from human activity. Changes in the natural environment from insects, disease, or forest fires can also be a part of the scope of corridor monitoring.
Can I be a corridor monitor, but not maintain a section of trail?
Certainly. While some trail maintainers also monitor the immediate corridor, others don’t. If corridor monitoring appeals to your interests, there are plenty of corridor monitoring sections along the A.T. in Maine that are available for your care and contribution.
Corridor Monitoring activity means contracting to:
- Get off the trail with map and compass and go out across the tract.
- Walk on out to the boundary lines of the corridor section.
- Look for signs of intrusion into the corridor tract.
- Walk the boundary lines more often when activity is occurring next door.
- Report incidents and your annual activity in a timely fashion.
- Revisit and check up when adjacent activities or corridor incidents occur.
- Communicate with your A.T. District Overseer and Overseer of Lands
Who do I contact to become an MATC Corridor Monitor?
MATC Overseer of Lands
191 Emerson Mill Road
Hampden, Maine 04444