High Peaks Alliance seeks to expand mission, membership

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PHILLIPS – The High Peaks Alliance is a volunteer, grass roots, non-profit organization made up of local hunters, hikers, birders, loggers, fishermen, snowmobile and ATV riders, Maine Guides, cross-country skiers and mountain bikers, working together since 2007. Its mission says it all: To ensure and enhance public recreational access and opportunities in Maine’s High Peaks. As it celebrates its 10th year, the organization recognizes it is in a position to expand its interests while maintaining that mission.

Since the inception of HPA, the organization has participated in many projects benefiting this region like the Saddleback Connector that allowed the legal crossing of the AT for ATV’s near Eddie Pond on ITS 84/89. HPA was a local partner with the Trust for Public Land and the Maine AT Land Trust in creating a working forest/public access conservation easement covering approximately 5800 acres, owned by the Linkletter family along the Orbeton Stream. Thank you Senator Susan Collins for your hard work leading up to the celebration of this project in Phillips.

HPA, through approved grant applications, contributed largely to the rebuilding of the Perham Stream Bridge, a bridge used by snowmobilers, ATVers, hikers, snow-shoers, etc., which was damaged in Hurricane Irene. Thank you Franklin County Commissioners for the tax increment financing funds that allowed this project to get completed. HPA has also garnered dollars from grants for recreational trail work and is responsible for the building and maintaining of a 40 mile trail honoring Maine’s first registered guide, “Fly Rod” (Cornelia) “Crosby.” With the MATLT’s help there is also a new connecting “Berry Pickers” Trail up the south side of Saddleback Mountain, connecting the Fly Rod Crosby Trail to the AT.

Recently, and for a variety of reasons, the board of directors has seen some of its members retiring. At the same time HPA aspires to expand its mission by adding Land Trust and/or Community Forest to its resumé. An ambitious undertaking like this needs people-power; people who appreciate and support the mission of the organization. People who take advantage of the recreational opportunities this area affords, who recognize the Maine High Peaks region is too important to let it be gradually posted, subdivided, gated and eventually lost for its forest production and traditional backcountry recreation uses.

As the organization grows in its mission, it recognizes the need for a part time person who is familiar with the region; someone’s whose duties would include (but not be limited to) outreach coordinator (the ‘face’ of HPA), the website, communications and membership. Pay to be commensurate with experience.

If you have a passion for this region, and all of its recreational opportunities, and feel you would be a good fit, either as a volunteer, a board member, or a paid employee, please contact highpeaksallianceinfo@gmail.com or visit our web site highpeaksalliance.org.

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