Raffle Update

Leki PolesThe High Peaks Alliance Raffle Drawing will be taking place at the monthly Board meeting on October 12th, 2016. We will be drawing six tickets, each ticket has the same chance of being drawn for any of the six prizes currently available through the raffle. Raffle tickets will still be available for sale until October the 11th. You can purchase raffle tickets by speaking to Dylan Cookson by phone* or e-mail or visiting participating businesses. See our previous post for locations.

Most of the prizes available have been donated by area businesses and High Peaks Alliance volunteers. We are extremely grateful for all of their support and would like to take a moment to recognize their contributions and reiterate our list of prizes.

Chandler Pond Outfitters at 108 Fairbanks Rd Farmington, ME, has donated two wonderful prizes to our raffle including a Universal Tube Fly Tying Method kit, and a 13 foot Fly Rod made by the WFTFL*Y company.

The Ecopelagicon from 7 Pond St, Rangeley, ME, has donated a pair of high-quality Leki hiking poles, of a $60 value.

River’s Edge Sports of Oquossoc, Maine, has donated a pair of books “The Rangeley and Its Region” and “A History of Rangeley Hotels & Camps,” a pair of must haves for history buff who are fond of the Rangeley Lakes and the history of outdoor sports.

One of our own members and Volunteers, John Pietroski of Strong, Maine, donated a Salt and Pepper grinder set from Fletchers’ Mill. Both grinders are shaped like little lighthouses and are Made in Maine with HPA Logo.

Our final prize is a t-shirt and hat set from the High Peaks Alliance.

Prize winners will receive phone calls the day following the drawing. We hope that you all have had as much fun as we did and wish you the best of luck.

*See our Raffle Poster for more contact information.

Rangeley Trail Town Festival

20160903_111512On Saturday, September 3rd 2016, the town of Rangeley celebrated their annual Trail Town Festival. It has been four years since Rangeley was designated an official Appalachian Trail Community in 2012.

The High Peaks Alliance joined them for their celebration. The Fest included many food vendors and several games and activities including boot-tossing and corn hole. AT hikers competed with each other in ice cream eating competitions.

Other attractions included live music by a local musician and the Friday night film festival.

Once again , Maine Conservation Corps and AmeriCorps member, Dylan Cookson setup the High Peaks Alliance tent next to Jeff McCabe of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the representatives of the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust.

During the course of the day, High Peaks Alliance board members Bud Godsoe and Betsy Squibb assisted in running the booth. Members of local radio stations went about interviewing the representatives of various organizations at their booths. At once point, Dylan was asked to speak to the assembled visitors from the microphone at Haley Pond Park gazebo.

It was a satisfying visit to Rangeley. Many people stopped near the booth to ask about the HPA and its programs.

Ribbon Cutting Perham Stream Bridge

Ribbon Cutting Perham Stream Bridge

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This past Saturday was the perfect day for a cookout. The sun was out, a slight breeze was in the air, and people came from all over Franklin County to join us in the backwoods of Madrid.

This past June, the High Peaks Alliance saw the completion of the Perham Stream Bridge ProjectThe Bridge is the final product of a three-year collaborative project between the High Peaks Alliance, North Franklin Snowmobile Club, Narrow Gauge Riders ATV club, landowner Mark Beauregard, and others. On Saturday, August the 27th, the High Peaks Alliance and clubs all came together to celebrate the bridge’s completion with a cookout and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Vehicles lined up on the Reed’s Mills’ roadside. Bicyclists, ATV riders, snowmobile riders, community members, and several local officials converged on the bridge for the cookout. The event was attended by 50 to 6o people, much more than was expected. Food and beverages were donated by area businesses including the White Elephant of Strong, Maine, Edmund’s Market of Phillips, Maine, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Farmington, Maine.

Members of the press from Franklin County Newspapers came to cover the event and some of their articles have already been published. This lovely piece was written by Lauren Abbate for the Morning Sentinal and the Kennebec Journal. Valarie Tucker, a Special Correspondent for the Franklin Sun Journal  wrote this article.

20160827_124636Among the attendees were Senator Tom Saviello of Wilton, Maine, Franklin County Commissioner Gary T. McGrane, Ralph Luce of the North Franklin Snowmobile Club, and Charlie and Kathy Gould of the Narrow Gauge Riders ATV Club. Several HPA board members were present, as well as a local Game Warden. Nancy Perlson acted as the High Peaks Alliance’s spokesperson. [Tucker 2016]

Senator Saviello, Nancy, Commissioner McGrane, and Ralph Luce all spoke in front of the assembled attendees before the ribbon cutting. Commissioner McGrane stressed how important projects like this were to Maine’s Economy. Though the effects are not always visible, non-profits contribute $10 billion to Maine’s economy and volunteers contribute 350,000 hours of their time every year. [Tucker 2016] He also made the observation that the bridge provided connectivity between sections of Franklin County that expanded the economic impact of outdoor recreation and sports. [Abbate 2016]

 

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Senator Tom Saviellio addressing the crowd.

Senator Saviello congratulated the organization and collaboration that went into the completion of the bridge, saying “That’s why this success lays out here because you did it together.” [Abbate 2016]

 

Public access is a major interest of the High Peaks Alliance. The bridge is just one of many trail connectivity, and economic development issues that the High Peaks Alliance has worked to address. As Nancy Perlson put it, “For this region, as most of you probably know, backcountry recreation is kind of the backbone of the regional economy. So it’s important to have these kinds of facilities and infrastructure that let people safely and comfortably enjoy what we have to offer.” [Abbate 2016]

The old bridge had been patched together from the remains of old riveted iron beams salvaged from the railroad and was becoming unsafe. Ralph Luce commented that when pulling trail grooming equipment over the bridge, he could feel the bridge’s failing structure reacting to the weight. [Abbate 2016]

The support girders were badly rusted and the center support was washed out by Tropical Storm Irene in 2012. The new bridge doesn’t require a support in the stream and was able to utilize the existing granite cribbing to minimize impacts on the stream which is a tributary of the Orbeton, which supports native brook trout and Atlantic salmon.

The multi-use trail which accesses the Perham Stream bridge, crosses through six thousand acres of working forest, which was recently protected by a conservation easement in partnership with the Trust for Public Land. Funding from the Forest Legacy Program, the Land For Maine’s Future program and many generous donors supported the acquisition of the conservation easement. The Linkletter family continues to own the land and harvest trees. Income from tree harvests and the easement sale support their mill operation and contribute to the region’s forest products economy. The High Peaks Alliance served as a local partner for the TPL, organizing critical local public support for the project. Public support allowed the project to successfully compete for funding and established the terms of the easement which preserves the beautiful trail for multi-use public access.

The High Peaks Alliance was grateful to meet with so many members of the Franklin County community and is especially appreciative of our collaborative partners with the North Franklin Snowmobile Club and Narrow Gauge Riders. We would like to thank those that donated food to our celebration from the White Elephant, the Coca-Cola bottling Company, and Edmund’s Market. And, an especially grateful thank-you to those who provided our funding at the Franklin County TIF Committee, the Betterment Fund, and the Maine RTP Program.

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Citations:

Tucker, V. (2016, August 28). Bridge spanning Perham Stream now open.Franklin Sun Journal. Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://www.sunjournal.com/news/franklin/2016/08/28/bridge-spanning-perham-stream-now-open/1983987

Abbate, L. (2016, August 27). Perham Stream Bridge completion touted as successful collaboration. Morning Sentinal. Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/08/27/perham-stream-bridge-completion-touted-as-successful-collaboration/

Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen Association’s Outdoor Sporting Heritage Day

Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen Association’s Outdoor Sporting Heritage Day

Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen Association threw its annual Outdoor Sporting Heritage Day on August 9th. This year’s theme was Dogs, and I could not have been happier!

20160809_115837I, Dylan Cookson, AmeriCorps member, and MCC Environmental Steward am a big fan of Dogs! And there were eager, friendly, four-legged friends everywhere.

There were vendors selling dog collars and scarfs, dog treats, and dog artwork. Towards the end of the day, many of the visiting dog owners brought their dogs together for a splash competition in the clubhouse pond.

Children and teens would throw objects for dogs to fetch into the pond. The object was to get the dog to make the largest splash they could.

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20160809_111227I attended the event with board members, Kirby and Elaine Holcombe. We had many
people stop by the booth to purchase raffle tickets, and ask about our projects. We also had a visit from member Nancy Perlson and her handsome Australian Shepherd Puppy, Scout.

That’s him on the right. Isn’t he precious!

Completion of the Perham Stream Bridge

Completion of the Perham Stream Bridge

ATV riders heading North on ITS 89 through Madrid Township along the Aaron Holbrook Memorial Trail are sure to notice some changes when they approach the Perham Stream Bridge. This summer a collaborative project between the North Franklin Snowmobile Club and the High Peaks Alliance has reached completion.

The 60-foot section of the bridge crossing the Perham Stream has been completely replaced with a modern single-span girder bridge. The old bridge had been patched together from the remains of old salvaged railroad riveted iron beams and was becoming unsafe. The support girders were badly rusted and the center support was washed out by Hurricane Irene.

In 2013 the High Peaks Alliance and the North Franklin Snowmobile Club secured a TIF grant for the engineering and design of the new Perham Stream Bridge. Since then, the High Peaks Alliance has continued working with the North Franklin Snowmobile Club to secure funding and coordinate the construction of the bridge. Making use of TIF and Recreational Trail Plan grants construction of the new bridge started mid-June and was completed on Friday, June 24th.

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We would like to thank Brian Luce of N.F. Luce Inc, the North Franklin Snowmobile Club, the Franklin County TIF Committee, the Recreational Trails Program, and the Narrow Gauge Riders ATV Club who generously committed some of their own TIF funding for the project.

June 11th Workday

June 11th Workday

The Summer of 2016 has been a relatively cool one. At the High Peaks Alliance, we have taken advantage of the fair weather to maintain and improve the Fly Rod Crosby Trail. We held our second workday on June the 11th, with the help of some community volunteers.

 

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Elaine Holcombe

This workday, board members were joined by AmeriCorps and Maine Conservation Corps member Dylan Cookson, Trailmaster Bud Godsoe, and community volunteers. They started at the Madrid trailhead and carpooled up an old logging road to the Horse Hobble section of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail.

The group divided into two teams that hiked south. The first team followed behind Bud Godsoe. As Bud bucked and limbed fallen trees with a chainsaw, they cleared out the cut remains and clipped branches that had grown onto the trail.

The second team forged ahead with cutter mattocks and began work on redirecting and cutting a 30-foot section of trail that was obscured by tall grass.

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Maine Conservation Corps AmeriCorps Member, Dylan Cookson.

 

The Horse Hobbles Section of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail is a gorgeous hike. Volunteers stopped to take in the scenery as they passed curious plants, monolithic yellow birch trees, a forest floor mottled with wildflowers, and shoulder high Hobble Bush.

The crew ended its workday with lunch by the stream. In all, the crew cleared 1 mile of trail and redirected a 30-foot section of trail. It was a productive and fun day with everyone happy to have spent so much time on this gorgeous section of the mountain trail.

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Trail Master Bud Godsoe with his Chainsaw.

 

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John Pietroski working on a side hill trail.

 

 

 

Maine Calling Features ‘Fly Rod’ Crosby

Maine Calling Features ‘Fly Rod’ Crosby

‘Fly Rod’ Crosby and the trail named for her got a little positive press today thanks to MPBN Maine Calling’s Jennifer Brooks. Unfortunately, our AmeriCorps Member’s cellphone failed him when he called to talk about the trail and the High Peaks Alliance. Thankfully Sandra from West Scarborough was able to give Jennifer Brooks and her listeners a full description of the  The Fly Rod Crosby Trail to finish off the episode. Listen here to hear the full story.