Your Very Next Step newsletter for October 2010


Your Very Next Step newsletter for October 2010

www.yourverynextstep.com

“Try and fail, but don't fail to try.”

– Stephen Kaggwa

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

– Lao Tzu

“Your Very Next Step” newsletter, published by Ned Lundquist, is a cooperative community, and everyone is invited, no…encouraged, no…urged to participate.

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*** In this issue:

*** Special Groupon Offer: Join the Appalachian Mountain Club

*** Acela vs. Northeast Regional

*** Amtrak of the future

*** Find forests and parks near you!

*** Bedbug Threat Continues to Bother Travelers

*** Travel News

*** Southwest-AirTran deal

*** Wi-Fi Taking Off for Some Airlines

*** New Social Media Application to Raise Awareness of European Rail Travel

Link to article on m-Travel.com:

*** American announces it is reducing service to San Juan:

*** AirTran beefs up P.R. flights, adds Key West service

*** 2010 October Beer Festivals around the world

*** October is festival time:

Relentless Freeze Festival

Richmond Folk Festival

Wellfleet OysterFest

Festival of Cartoon Art

*** YVNS Sport Ned Has Never Heard Of: CYCLE MESSENGER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

*** NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE WEEK

*** Rail Trail of the Month – Idaho's Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and Route of the Hiawatha

*** Trail and Outdoors Volunteer opportunities:

Rocky Top Crew in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy

Keystone Trail Association, Pennsylvania

*** Travel, Outdoor and Adventure Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

1.) 2011 TRAIL CREW (2 positions), Thumb’s Cove State Marine Park, Caines Head State Recreation Area, and Decision Point Marine Park, RESURRECTION BAY AND WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND, Alaska

2.) 2011 TRAIL CREW (6 positions), KACHEMAK BAY STATE PARK, park is only accessible by boat or airplane from Homer, Alaska

3.) Field Team Leadership Program, Northwest Service Academy, Mt. Adams Center, Trout Lake, WA

4.) Lift Operator, Sunday River Ski Resort, Newry, ME

5.) Relief Captain / Cook / Apprentice – 2011, Schooner Isaac H. Evans, Rockland, ME

6.) Environmental Educators, Field Team Leaders, and Field Team Members (Summer, Winter, Fall, and Spring), Maine Conservation Corps (MCC), Work is work is throughout the state of Maine

…and more

…and much more…and it’s all FREE!!!

*** Do you have a travel adventure to share?

Send me your stories and I’ll post in the “Your Very Next Step” and on the YVNS website (http://www.yourverynextstep.com/).

*** Special Groupon Offer: Join the Appalachian Mountain Club

When civilization came into being and people took to building high walls, outdoorsmen interpreted these boundaries as Mother Nature sending humanity to its room. Escape from the millennia-long punishment with today's deal: a one-year membership to the Appalachian Mountain Club. Choose one of two membership levels:

• $25 for an individual membership (up to a $50 value)

• $37 for a family membership (up to a $75 value)

Both memberships come with an additional perk: $20 off your first stay at an AMC destination, including dinner and breakfast.

The Appalachian Mountain Club, founded in 1876, promotes the preservation and enjoyment of the Appalachian region's mountains, forests, waters, and trails through numerous programs and recreational activities. Funds collected from membership enrollments go toward the Appalachian Mountain Club's ongoing efforts for environmental education, trail caretaking, conservation, and preserving Al Gore's hair. With a one-year membership, outdoor enthusiasts will get to take part in club-sponsored and volunteer-led activities and excursions, including hiking, biking, and camping adventures. Using the AMC online Member Center, you can also explore the e-world for news and a personalized view of what AMC has to e-offer.

Members also enjoy access to more than 8,000 trips and activities every year; a subscription to AMC Outdoors, the AMC members' magazine; and the magazine's web supplement, AMC Outdoors, online edition. Even if you don't affiliate with one of the Appalachian Mountain Club's regional chapters, you'll get additional discounts on Appalachian Mountain Club lodging, books, maps, puppy kisses, and classified ads. Join the Appalachian Mountain Club and befriend likeminded nature lovers, all while doing your part to help planet Earth reach its next birthday.

After purchasing your Groupon, please wait 24 hours before registering your membership online (individual memberships here and family memberships here). Though the Appalachian Mountain Club sometimes offers special prices of $40 and $60 for the individual and family memberships, respectively, today's deal still offers a better value.

If you want to sign up for Groupon, just follow this link:

http://www.groupon.com/r/uu662904

*** Acela vs. Northeast Regional:

Is it worth paying three times as much for the Acela Express to get to Philadelphia ten minutes faster. I usually say no to that idea. The NE Regional makes pretty much the same stops (except the New Carrolton Metro stop at the Beltway, which the Acela skips). But my recent NE Regional experience on train 172 from Washington’s Union Station to Philadelphia’s 30th St. station was delayed an hour while they scrounged up some working motive power and rolling stock to make the journey. As later trains left they allowed passengers going as far as Baltimore to jump on the later trains, such as the 8:00 train, without changing tickets, but no such good deal was extended to the rest of the passengers holding tickets for the 7:20 departure. We arrived more than an hour late.

I was originally planning on returning on the 3:27 Northeast Regional but ended up taking an Acela that left a few minutes earlier because my colleague was travelling on that train. The Acela is nice, and faster. In my view, ten minutes is not a $100 faster.

This raises the question again about why the U.S. doesn’t have high speed trains. See the item below about the plan to improve the Northeast Corridor to reduce the travel time significantly between Boston, NYC and DC.

*** Amtrak of the future:

http://www.jaunted.com/story/2010/9/28/22518/6674/travel/Amtrak+Envisions+84-Minute+Trains+Between+NYC+and+Boston%2C+in+30+Years

Read the AMTRAK press release below.

*** This is cool:

Find forests and parks near you!

There are forests and parks all over the country. So no matter where you live, you won’t have to go very far to get outside. Let the adventures begin!

http://www.discovertheforest.org/where-to-go

*** Here’s the YVNS Travel News for October:

Bedbug Threat Continues to Bother Travelers

In recent months, increasing reports of bedbugs — those little critters that feed on blood and like to hide in mattresses — have unnerved hoteliers and spooked many travelers. Horror stories posted on sites such as Flyertalk.com and TripAdvisor.com, combined with a government statement this summer warning of an “alarming resurgence in the population of bedbugs” in the United States, aren't exactly reassuring for hotel managers, whose business depends on providing a hassle-free experience to business and leisure travelers alike.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/09/16/bedbugs.hotels.impact/index.html

*** Here’s a merger I didn’t see coming:

Southwest will acquire AirTran for $1.4 billion

http://atwonline.com/international-aviation-regulation/news/southwest-acquire-airtran-14-billion?cid=nl_atw_dn

Southwest-AirTran deal means more options for some

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/27/AR2010092701181.html?wpisrc=nl_buzz

*** From Bernie Wagenblast’s TCN Newsletter:

Wi-Fi Taking Off for Some Airlines

Link to article in The Denver Post:

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_16169974

New Social Media Application to Raise Awareness of European Rail Travel

Link to article on m-Travel.com:

http://www.m-travel.com/news/2010/09/new-social-media-application-to-raise-awareness-of-european-rail-travel.html

*** American announces it is reducing service to San Juan:

AA, American Eagle to cut flights from Puerto Rico to U.S., Caribbean

By The Associated Press (AP)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — American Airlines is cutting more than a dozen flights from Puerto Rico to U.S. and Caribbean destinations next year due to the economic crisis.

Spokeswoman Andrea Huguely says American will discontinue flights between San Juan and seven cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Tampa, Fla., by early April.

Meanwhile American Eagle will cut service to six international destinations including Haiti, Trinidad and several cities in the Dominican Republic.

However, the airline is adding one flight each from New York and Miami.

In all, American and American Eagle will operate an average of 41 daily flights through San Juan.

*** AirTran beefs up P.R. flights, adds Key West service

AirTran will add two daily flights between Baltimore-Washington and San Juan on April 5.

The carrier currently offers weekend-only service with one flight on Saturday and one on Sunday.

AirTran also will launch a daily nonstop from Tampa to Key West on March 10.

http://www.travelweekly.com/article3_ektid222022.aspx

*** 2010 October Beer Festivals around the world:

From Helen, GA to Munich and Stuttgart…

From Emunclaw, WA to Diksmuide, Belgium

There’s dozens to choose from…

http://www.beerfestivals.org/calendar/october.html

*** Relentless Freeze Festival:

Relentless Freeze Festival (UK) is where London, snow sports and music collide.

http://www.thefreezefestival.com/

*** From Robert Holland:

Just one week away! If you've never been to the Richmond Folk Festival, go! What it's not: hippie music, Peter Paul & Mary (not that there's anything wrong with that). What it is: the most incredible and diverse collection of world music, dance, food and crafts that you'll ever see — from Cajun to Celtic and Salsa to Rockabilly. I guarantee you'll be surprised at what a good time you have.

Richmond Folk Festival

www.richmondfolkfestival.org

*** Wellfleet OysterFest

The tenth annual Wellfleet OysterFest takes place the weekend after Columbus Day, Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17, 2010, in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Mass. This two-day street party celebrates the town's famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions and brings together locals and visitors alike for a weekend full of hometown flavor and big time fun.

http://www.wellfleetoysterfest.org/

*** Festival of Cartoon Art

The tenth triennial Festival of Cartoon Art will take place at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH October 14-17, 2010. The Festival is a unique celebration of cartoons and comics featuring exhibitions, presentations by top creators, panel discussions, an academic pre-conference, and other special programs.

http://cartoons.osu.edu/fca2010/

*** The October YVNS sport Ned has never heard of (damn, we just missed it):

CYCLE MESSENGER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

“It’s more than an adventure, it’s a job!”

PANAJACHEL, GUATEMALA – SEPTEMBER 3 TO 13, 2010

http://www.cmwcguatemala.com/

*** By unanimous consent of the United States Senate, the week of October 10th is NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE WEEK:

Whereas, in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Florida's Pelican Island;

Whereas, in 2010, the National Wildlife Refuge System is the premier system of lands and waters to conserve wildlife in the world, and has grown to more than 150 million acres, 552 national wildlife refuges, and 38 wetland management districts in every State and territory of the United States;

Whereas national wildlife refuges are important recreational and tourism destinations in communities across the Nation, and these protected lands offer a variety of recreational opportunities, including 6 wildlife-dependent uses that the National Wildlife Refuge System manages: hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation;

Whereas hunting is permitted on more than 320 national wildlife refuges and fishing is permitted on 272 national wildlife refuges, welcoming more than 2,500,000 hunters and more than 7,000,000 anglers;

Whereas national wildlife refuges are important to local businesses and gateway communities;

Whereas, for every $1 appropriated, national wildlife refuges generate $4 in economic activity;

Whereas approximately 41,000,000 people visit national wildlife refuges every year, generating nearly $1,700,000,000 and 27,000 jobs in local economies;

Whereas the National Wildlife Refuge System encompasses every kind of ecosystem in the United States, including temperate, tropical, and boreal forests, wetlands, deserts, grasslands, arctic tundras, and remote islands, and spans 12 time zones from the Virgin Islands to Guam;

Whereas national wildlife refuges are home to more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 species of reptiles and amphibians, and more than 1,000 species of fish;

Whereas 59 refuges were established specifically to protect imperiled species and of the more than 1,200 federally listed threatened and endangered species in the United States, 280 species are found on units of the National Wildlife Refuge System;

Whereas national wildlife refuges are cores of conservation for larger landscapes and resources for other agencies of the Federal Government and State governments, private landowners, and organizations in their efforts to secure the wildlife heritage of the United States;

Whereas 39,000 volunteers and more than 220 national wildlife refuge “Friends'' organizations contribute nearly 1,400,000 hours annually, the equivalent of 665 full-time employees, and provide an important link with local communities;

Whereas national wildlife refuges provide an important opportunity for children to connect with nature and discover the natural world;

Whereas, because there are national wildlife refuges located in several urban and suburban areas and 1 refuge located within an hour's drive of every metropolitan area in the United States, national wildlife refuges employ, educate, and engage young people from all backgrounds in exploring, connecting with, and preserving the natural heritage of the Nation;

Whereas, since 1995, refuges across the Nation have held festivals, educational programs, guided tours, and other events to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week during the second full week of October;

Whereas the week beginning on October 10, 2010, has been designated as “National Wildlife Refuge Week'' by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service;

Whereas, in 2010, the designation of National Wildlife Refuge Week would recognize more than a century of conservation in the United States and would serve to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge System and to celebrate the myriad recreational opportunities available to enjoy this network of protected lands: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate–

(1) designates the week beginning on October 10, 2010, as “National Wildlife Refuge Week'';

(2) supports the goals and ideals of National Wildlife Refuge Week;

(3) acknowledges the importance of national wildlife refuges for their recreational opportunities and contribution to local economies across the United States;

(4) pronounces that national wildlife refuges play a vital role in securing the hunting and fishing heritage of the United States for future generations;

(5) recognizes the importance of national wildlife refuges to wildlife conservation and the protection of imperiled species and ecosystems;

(6) applauds the work of refuge “Friends'' groups, national and community organizations, and public partners that promote awareness, compatible use, protection, and restoration of national wildlife refuges;

(7) reaffirms the support of the Senate for wildlife conservation and the National Wildlife Refuge System; and

(8) expresses the intent of the Senate–

(A) to continue working to conserve wildlife; and

(B) to manage the National Wildlife Refuge System for current and future generations.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r111:FLD001:S57453

*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: October 2010

Idaho's Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and Route of the Hiawatha

For trail lovers around the country, these two Idaho rail-trails hardly need an introduction: the 73-mile Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and the 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha. They've been featured multiple times in Rails to Trails magazine, and in countless “Tell Us” responses, letters and summer remembrances. We receive gorgeous trail photos from family trips—some capturing the high-wire trestles of the Hiawatha, deep in the Bitterroot Mountains; others catching moose and expansive lake views along the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.

No matter how we promote or hear about this pair of trails, the verdict is the same: they offer two of the most distinct and memorable rail-trail experiences in the country. It's no wonder that both have just been named to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

Sweetening the pot is that recent trail developments are making it possible to ride between and beyond these two pathways, setting up the potential for an unprecedented trail loop across northern Idaho and parts of Montana.

The paved Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes begins in Plummer, a few miles shy of the Washington border, and heads northeast along Coeur d'Alene Lake and the Coeur d'Alene River until Mullan, scratching at the Montana state line. The first 15 miles are managed by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe; the rest by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

Mullan used to be the end of the road, so to speak. But the nonprofit Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails has helped extend the pathway from Mullan roughly 11 miles to Lookout Pass on the Idaho-Montana border, says Leo Hennessy, non-motorized trails coordinator for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. This extension, known as the NorPac Trail, uses a Northern Pacific right-of-way that has become an open Forest Service road. It is marked and signed as a trail, with a packed-gravel surface. Yet people can still drive on it, often to access other nearby hiking trails in the Bitterroots, and you may pass an ATV or vehicle every couple hours.

To reach the NorPac Trail from the eastern end of the Coeur d'Alenes, users can follow signs to take a paved, low-traffic road for about three miles to detour around the Lucky Friday mine, which still operates in Mullan along the rail corridor. At the three-mile mark, you'll reacquire the railroad grade and begin climbing nearly 1,500 feet up to Lookout Pass, elevation 4,680, at the Montana state line. “It's a major grade,” says Hennessy. “You'll be crankin' in low gear at times.”

The trail doesn't end at the Montana line, but the signage does. You can continue on the Forest Service road—still on the railroad right-of-way—another ten miles down to Taft, Mont., and the turn-off to reach the 1.6-mile St. Paul Pass tunnel at the eastern end of the Route of the Hiawatha. Again, this last 2.5-mile stretch south of Interstate 90 to the Hiawatha shares a corridor with motorized traffic on Rainy Creek Road; it also involves a fairly steep climb. So the connection isn't without challenges in surface and shared use, but riders can now move continuously from one Hall of Fame trail to the other.

At that same trailhead at St. Paul Pass, you'll soon have a couple options. A proposed rail-trail is in the works to extend 30 miles into Montana to the town of Regis, all still along the Milwaukee Road corridor. Known as the Route of the Olympian for a train that once serviced the route, this pathway would cut through Lolo National Forest and feature its own dizzying trestles to rival those on the Hiawatha.

Until that offshoot trail opens, you can begin making the return trip on the loop by taking the well-traveled Route of the Hiawatha, managed by the U.S. Forest Service. First, you'll duck through 1.6 miles of cool, impossibly dark tunnel. Proper lighting is absolutely required to make this plunge! Once you emerge into the light, you'll be treated to a series of high trestles and shorter tunnels as you weave through the Bitterroots.

At the western end of the Hiawatha, you can now continue west on the loop with the 53-mile Pearson-to-St. Maries grade. With a less-finished surface of crushed stone, gravel and grass, this unofficial rail-trail now cuts more than halfway back across Idaho. From St Maries, it would only be another 18 miles on an active line to Plummer, Idaho, which is the starting point of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, and thus the potential completion point of the loop.

The railroad bed for that final stretch is still mostly intact, though not acquired yet for trail development, says Hennessy. But the vision of creating a 190-mile rail-trail loop through northern Idaho and Montana is becoming a whole lot clearer. Some of the remaining obstacles include negotiating routes with motorized use and piecing together the missing links in the overall chain. But the basic roadmap is in place.

“The corridors are generally there and haven't been lost yet,” he says. “There are groups of people working toward it. I have [the idea] in my head, and it's in a lot of other heads right now, and we gotta keep it that way.”

In the meantime, visitors to these iconic rail-trails no longer have to consider them completely separate entities. It may take a little extra effort to pump your legs over Lookout Pass, and there isn't a single official, non-motorized trail connecting the two corridors. Yet the potential to head from Plummer all the way through and past the end of the Hiawatha is now on the table. How far these Hall of Fame rail-trails grow from there is a feeding frenzy for any trail lover's imagination.

http://www.railstotrails.org/news/recurringFeatures/trailMonth/index.html

*** Trail and Outdoors Volunteer opportunities:

Rocky Top Crew (September 5 – October 30, 2010) The Rocky Top crew works exclusively on 70 miles of the A.T. through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park following the ridge crest from Davenport Gap to Fontana Dam. The crew is sponsored jointly by the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, the National Park Service, and ATC.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.mqLTIYOwGlF/b.4805837/k.8F79/Rocky_Top_Crew.htm

*** Volunteer with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy

Looking for opportunities to get out doors? Like to grow native plants? Would you like to become a leader of our popular monthly Nature Walks? Want to help with special events? Have other skills or interests you'd like to share?

http://www.pvplc.org/volunteering.shtml

*** Trail Care and Trail Crew, Keystone Trail Association, Pennsylvania

One of the most important and rewarding aspects of involvement with KTA is maintaining Pennsylvania's trails. Each year on nine or ten weekends between March and November, trail care volunteers spend the weekend armed with shovels, paintbrushes and hatchets. Come to camp on Friday evening and stay until Sunday afternoon. Saturday's the day we really get down to business!

A weekend's work not enough? Then a Trail Crew week is for you! On three separate weeks each Summer, the crews tackle the big projects.

Trail care is for all ages and you don't have to be a lumberjack or know how to use chainsaws and pickaxes to participate. If you can handle a pair of garden pruners or loppers, pick up a bag of trash or paint blazes on a tree, you're qualified. And if you can't make it for an entire week or weekend, two or three hours of work is needed and appreciated.

Some trips have cabin facilities available or you can make your own arrangements to stay at a local motel. (Ask the trip leader for information.)

If you are a hiker and want to give back to the trails of Pennsylvania for your hiking enjoyment, there is no better way than by volunteering to work on KTA's Trail Care. No experience is necessary and everyone is welcome.

http://www.kta-hike.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=19&Itemid=37

*** AMTRAK ENVISIONS WORLD CLASS HIGH-SPEED RAIL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 28, 2010

ATK-10-130

Contact: Media Relations

202 906.3860

AMTRAK ENVISIONS WORLD CLASS HIGH-SPEED RAIL

Washington to Boston in about three hours at up to 220 mph (354 kph)

PHILADELPHIA – A Next-Generation High-Speed Rail service could be successfully developed in the Northeast with trains operating up to 220 mph (354 kph) on a new two-track corridor resulting in a trip time of about three hours between Washington and Boston cutting in half or better the current schedules, according to a concept plan released today by Amtrak.

At an average speed of 137 mph (220 kph), a trip between Washington and New York would take just 96 minutes, about one hour faster than today. For the trip between New York and Boston, the average speed would be 148 mph (238 kph) and take just 84 minutes, or a time savings of more than two hours.

“Amtrak is putting forward a bold vision of a realistic and attainable future that can revolutionize transportation, travel patterns and economic development in the Northeast for generations,” said President and CEO Joseph Boardman.

The Amtrak concept plan, A Vision for High-Speed Rail in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), shows a financially viable route could be developed. Upon its full build-out in 2040, high-speed train ridership would approach 18 million passengers with room to accommodate up to 80 million annually as demand increases in the years and decades that follow. Departures of high-speed trains would expand from an average of one to four per hour in each direction, with additional service in the peak periods, and total daily high-speed rail departures would increase from 42 today to as many as 148 in 2040.

The service would generate an annual operating surplus of approximately $900 million and its construction would create more than 40,000 full-time jobs annually over a 25-year construction period to build the new track, tunnels, bridges, stations, and other infrastructure.

More than 120,000 permanent jobs in improved economic productivity along the corridor and in rail operations are predicted by 2040.

In addition to significant travel time savings between major cities, tremendous mobility improvements would come with environmental, energy and congestion mitigation benefits. The new transportation capacity obtained with this investment will allow a larger share of the intercity travel market to be via high-speed rail, strengthening sustainable, energy-efficient development in the corridor’s metropolitan areas.

“Amtrak’s plan to modernize the Northeast Corridor and make it a truly high speed rail line is the type of innovative thinking we need to get cars off the road, decrease pollution and put people to work improving America’s infrastructure,” stated Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). “I applaud the plan and pledge to work with Amtrak to improve the Northeast Corridor and make a America a leader in high speed rail.”

“Amtrak’s High Speed Rail plan will create jobs, cut pollution and help us move towards a modern and reliable transportation system network in the Northeast,” said Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.). “As countries around the world continue to build out their transportation systems, we cannot afford to fall further behind. This is an important down payment on the massive commitment necessary to bridge our infrastructure gap.”

With an investment of $4.7 billion annually over 25 years, a major national transportation asset would be built to support the growth and competitive position of the Northeast region. Its population, economic densities and growing intercity travel demand make it one of the premier “mega-regions” of the world, and an ideal market for world-class high-speed passenger rail service.

“The results show the concept of a world-class high-speed rail service would help relieve congestion across all modes of transportation, spur jobs creation and economic productivity, reduce carbon emissions and improve the quality of the environment,” said Al Engel, incoming Amtrak Vice President for High-Speed Rail.

The specific high-speed alignment, stations, maintenance yards and other facilities that were analyzed in the report represent only one of a wide range of possible network and service configurations that could be developed. The analyzed concepts reflect the study’s underlying goals (i.e., aggressive travel time savings, station locations in downtown areas) and detailed preliminary planning and engineering assessments. These concepts would undergo numerous revisions, refinements and changes under more detailed study, and other concepts with different alignments would likely be further reviewed at that time.

As America’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its only high-speed rail operator, Amtrak has a vital, leading and necessary role to play in expanding and operating high-speed rail service. Just as leading countries throughout Europe and Asia are expanding existing high-speed rail networks and developing new systems, Next-Generation High-Speed Rail must be part of a balanced transportation future in major travel corridors across the U.S.

An NEC Infrastructure Master Plan issued earlier this year predicted that the capacity gains achieved within the current NEC “footprint” would be maxed out by 2030. The Next-Generation High-Speed Rail system will provide the necessary new capacity to meet growing demand well beyond 2030. By operating the highest-speed trains on the new infrastructure, capacity on the existing NEC would become available for additional commuter and conventional intercity passenger trains as well as for freight operations.

A copy of the report is available on Amtrak.com.

About Amtrak

As the nation’s intercity passenger rail operator, Amtrak connects America in safer, greener healthier ways. Last fiscal year (FY 2009), the railroad carried 27.2 million passengers, making it the second-best year in the company’s history. With 21,000 route miles in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day—at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph)—to more than 500 destinations. Amtrak also is the partner of choice for state-supported corridor services in 15 states and for several commuter rail agencies. Visit Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information.

*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:

1.) 2011 TRAIL CREW (2 positions), Thumb’s Cove State Marine Park, Caines Head State Recreation Area, and Decision Point Marine Park, RESURRECTION BAY AND WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND, Alaska

Work will be located in Thumb’s Cove State Marine Park, Caines Head State Recreation Area, and Decision Point Marine Park. Park facilities include coastal campsites and five public use cabins. Resurrection Bay is located on the Kenai Peninsula the southern end of a coastal rain forest with glaciers, lakes, and fjords. Access to the park facilities is by boat or by foot.

Main Tasks: Provide maintenance on public use cabins, trails, and latrines. Assist park staff in acquiring visitor counts and serve as a field contact for the public. Will be trained and instructed in the use of trail construction tools, boating skills/safety, and construction skills.

Required Skills: Possess a valid driver’s license; must possess good work ethics and maintain a strong sense of crew morale; be in good physical condition; able to live and work in a remote location cooperatively with others; able to work in adverse weather and rugged terrain; able to lift and carry heavy items; possess working knowledge of basic hand tools; possess good public relation skills.

Desired Skills:Working towards, or possession, of a degree in a natural resource related field; experience or training with power tools, brush cutters, etc.; carpentry skills; knowledge of marine environment; backcountry travel/survival skills; emergency first aid skills.

Allowance/Housing: Monthly food subsistence payment of $500/month. Live in remote ranger station cabin (7 miles from Seward) with no running water and Lowell Point volunteer housing which has a limited water resource. Should bring sleeping bags and pads, plus own towels, etc.

Uniforms: No uniform required. Provide own leather work-boots. Raingear, rubber boots, work gloves, and other safety equipment provided.

Time Commitment: Minimum of 8 weeks from June – August.

Send Application to: Ranger Tom Kain

Alaska State Park

Kenai/Prince William Sound District

P.O. Box 1247

Soldotna, AK 99669

phone: (907) 262-5581

Cell: (907) 398-2581

fax: (907) 262-3717

email: thomas.kain@alaska.gov

2.) 2011 TRAIL CREW (6 positions), KACHEMAK BAY STATE PARK, park is only accessible by boat or airplane from Homer, Alaska

The first State Park adjoining the only Wilderness Park in Alaska, both combined include nearly 400,000 acres of rugged coastal mountains, high peaks, glaciers, river valleys, rain forest, large salt water lagoons, long stretches of remote beaches, deep bays and fjords and clear mountain lakes. They also have nearly 150 miles of coastline along two separate water bodies. Kachemak Bay and the Gulf of Alaska (Pacific Ocean). The park’s abundant wildlife includes moose, black bear, mountain goat, wolves, coyote, salmon, Bald Eagles, porpoises, whales and many species of sea and shorebirds. The nearly 90 miles of trail provide access to alpine areas, river valleys, lakes and glaciers throughout the park. Alpine areas provide nearly unlimited hiking without the need for trails. The park is only accessible by boat or airplane from Homer, Alaska. Crew is transported via Park’s 26ft. patrol boat or 28’ landing craft.

Main Tasks: Maintain park trails, campsites, and trailheads. Trail maintenance includes chainsaw and brush cutter operation, erosion control, tread work, campsite inspection and maintenance, and trailhead maintenance. Crews will be working and camping in remote settings up to 5 days at a time. Other duties may include public contact and assistance, assist with foot and boat patrols, assistance with construction and/or repair to any old or new facilities. Training will be provided in all special skill areas.

Special Projects: May be involved with visitor use surveys, inspecting and surveying high use public use areas for visitor impacts, trail reconstruction, and bridge construction.

Required Skills: Must possess a valid (current) driver's license; must possess a strong work ethic; able to live and work together with others in a remote setting; be in good physical condition and able to lift and carry tools and packs up to 45 lbs. in weight; working knowledge of basic hand and power tools.

Desired Skills: Experience and/or training in powerboat operation, prior trail-crew experience and/or training. Training experience in backcountry travel, camping and survival. First-aid/CPR or higher level certification (current). Experience with basic carpentry, public relations, photography, statistics, and chainsaws.

Internship: Preference given to applicants seeking internship through college, working towards degree in park management, resource management, or program designed for careers in outdoor recreation such as Park Ranger or Technician.

Allowance/Housing: Subsistence payment. Majority of the time will be spent out in the field living in tents and occasionally at the Halibut Cove Lagoon Ranger Station. Field equipment will be available for use during the work week. Shared bunk/living space will be provided in Homer on days off. Bring own sheets, sleeping bag, towels and personal items, etc.

Transportation: Must provide transportation to Alaska. Arrangements will be made to pick you up in Anchorage around May 15-16. Otherwise applicants must provide transportation to Homer. Volunteers will have group use of state vehicle while in Homer on restricted and limited basis for shopping and state business.

Time Commitment: Preference to applicants who can start approximately Monday, May 16th (arrive Anchorage by noon May 15th) and work until August 15th. Some VIP’s may work until September 1 or later depending on weather.

Note: Must receive application by March 15. No applications accepted after March 15th. Selected applicants will be notified by April 15th. Application should include the following: 1) completed state parks volunteer application form, 2) letter of application, 3) resume, and 4) letters of reference.

Preference given to internships.

Fun: Those hired are expected to work hard and play, have fun and be safe. Kayaks, fishing poles, smaller skiff, and bicycles are available for recreation.

Send Application to: Ranger Roger MacCampbell

Alaska State Parks

Kachemak Bay District

P.O. Box 1247

Soldotna, AK 99669

phone: (907) 262-5581

or 235-7024

fax: (907) 262-3717

email: dnr.pkskenai@alaska.gov

3.) Field Team Leadership Program, Northwest Service Academy, Mt. Adams Center, Trout Lake, WA

The hardest job you will ever love!

It takes a special person to be a Field Team Leader. While there is no single leader archetype, there are some qualities and skills that all MAC leaders share prior to entering the program:

• A demonstrated ability and/or history of leading people

• Practical experience living and working in the outdoors

• Proven communication and organizational skills for a professional environment

• A willingness and aptitude for learning from people and experiences

• An enthusiasm for community service

Field Team Leaders participate in an intense sixteen week training program that prepares them to co-lead a team of six. They learn both technical restoration skills (Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Trail building, Chainsaw and more) and team management concepts. Most of the training occurs in the field, including a seven week stint on the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern California.

Upon successful completion of the training program, Field Team Leaders train their crew members for two weeks before embarking on a season of service throughout the mountains of Washington and Oregon. During these five months, Field Team Leaders are busy handling project logistics, coordinating residential responsibilities, maintaining communication with staff and sponsors and shaping a life changing experience for their crew.

Field Team Leaders leave the program poised and prepared to take the next step in their lives. Some return to school. Others find professional employment. All leave as better people ready to positively impact their communities.

Term of Service: February 7, 2011 – December 16, 2011

Recruitment Begins: October 2010

Minimum Age: 21

Housing: Team dependent and variable – possibilities include Forest Service bunkhouse, Forest Service house, front-country campsite, and backcountry primitive campsite

Living Allowance: $11,800.00, divided into 10 monthly

payments of $1,180 (before taxes and program fee). Each month a program fee of $476.00 is deducted from this amount to cover program expenses such as food, training, certifications, and the Natural History Service Training.

Education Award: $5,350.00. Payment on qualified student loans may also be deferred during the term of service, and accrued interest will be reimbursed upon completion of the term of service.

Health Insurance: Basic coverage at 80% after $100 deductible. Reimbursement of prescriptions at 80% after $100 deductible.

http://www.mtadamscenter.org/field-team-leader.cfm

4.) Lift Operator, Sunday River Ski Resort, Newry, ME

Are you an energetic, outgoing, self motivated individual? Do you enjoy talking and interacting with people? Do you like to works outside in all kinds of weather conditions? Then you may be a perfect fit for Sunday River's Lift Operations Department.

Full time seasonal, part time seasonal positions available winter season of 2010-2011. Responsibilities include but are not limited to; safe preparation, start up and operation of aerial and surface lifts, inside and outside duties including lift operation, crowd control, ticket checking, mechanical and procedural checks of lift.

Must have desire to work outside, good customer service skills and train for lift operations repsonsibilities. Maine Law states that all Lift Operators must be 18 years of age.

This position includes seasonal benefits.

Contact Us

Sunday River Ski Resort

Human Resources

PO Box 4500

Newry, ME 04261

(207)-824-5160

jobs@sundayriver.com

Toll Free Job Hotline: 1-877-4-SNOW-JOB

http://www.sundayriver.com/Corporate/Employment.html

5.) Relief Captain / Cook / Apprentice – 2011, Schooner Isaac H. Evans, Rockland, ME

Working aboard a windjammer is rewarding and fun. Ideal applicants are available for the entire season, April through October, unless otherwise indicated. All positions on the Evans require hard work. Applicants should be organized, efficient, hard working, friendly, and versatile with the ability to work with little supervision. Strength, agility, ability to work aloft, leadership skills and an outgoing personality are more important than years of sailing experience. The ability to play a musical instrument, sing, or other special talent, is always an added plus. All on board crew members are drug tested prior to employment and are subject to random testing through out the sailing season. The reservationist and bunkie are not subject to drug testing.

When you contact us to inquire about any position, we want to hear about your work experience but we are also interested in who you are. Please include information about your interests, hobbies, talents, and travels.

Also:

Do you swim? Row? Smoke? Drink coffee? Take any medications? Play an instrument? Sing? Own a car?

Have you ever lived in a dorm situation? Do you have siblings?

Are you afraid of heights?

Do you have CPR/First Aid certification?

Do you like kids? babies?

Are you a vegetarian?

Relief Captain

The Relief Captain is expected to run trips aboard the Evans during the 2011 season. This relief captain will also learn to run our second excursion boat, M/V Rendezvous. A 100-ton Merchant Mariner's License with sail endorsement, TWIC, 1st Aid, CPR, and AED certification, and FCC Radio Operator's Permit are necessary. Windjammer or charter boat experience is a definite plus. Familiarity with or ability to learn systems (plumbing, electrical, mechanical) is necessary.

Full time work begins in April 2011, when spring outfitting starts. Outfitting tasks include sanding, painting, varnishing, rigging, and general preparation of the schooner and the excursion boat for the season. Full time work is available through mid-to-late October.

Cook

The cook is responsible for management of all galley operations from menu planning to purchasing, stowing, preparation and presentation. As such, organizational skills are crucial. The cook is also involved in on deck responsibilities including raising sails, raising anchor and running the yawl boat. Experience in a restaurant setting is helpful. All meals are prepared on a woodstove with no electrical food processing devices.

Apprentice

An apprentice is usually a young teen that is interested in exploring the possibility of being a crew member for the entire season when they get older. Apprentices help in every aspect of running the schooner from washing dishes and other galley tasks to raising sails, cleaning, and polishing. This is an unpaid position and apprentices are usually on board for a couple weeks. Preference is given to teens that have sailed with us before as a guest.

Schooner Isaac H. Evans

Captain Brenda and Brian Thomas

PO Box 791

Rockland, ME 04841

toll free 1-877-238-1325

evans@midcoast.com

http://www.midcoast.com/evans/jobs.html

6.) Environmental Educators, Field Team Leaders, and Field Team Members (Summer, Winter, Fall, and Spring), Maine Conservation Corps (MCC), Work is work is throughout the state of Maine

Field Team Program

Come build great trails with great people! The Maine Conservation Corps' Field Team Program is composed of trail crews (3-6 people) serving to construct and improve recreational trails in the mountains, along the beautiful coastline and in communities all over the state of Maine. Projects include remote backcountry hiking trails, local nature and walking paths, multi-use trails, as well as accessible pathways for wheelchair use. Some of the trail structures the MCC builds are stone staircases, timber bridges, boardwalks, bog bridging, and rock water bars, with a focus on the traditional trail skills that the MCC is famous for.

Field Team Positions

•Trail Training Academy- late February to mid-August or mid-Novembe

•Field Team Leader – early May to mid-August or mid-November

•Field Team Member – late May to mid-August and mid-August to mid-November

Application deadlines are generally two month prior to the start date.

Environmental Educator Program

Environmental Educators serve either 900 hours (approximately 6 months) or 1,700 hours (approximately 10 months) as AmeriCorps members with a nonprofit organization or state agency in the state of Maine. While community education and outreach are the primary goals, each position has unique responsibilities and activities such as biological monitoring, leading classroom activities in local schools, managing volunteers, trail maintenance & planning, logistics for an educational summer camp, or leading local watershed surveys, just to name a few.

Environmental Educator Positions

Positions begin in January and April/May with varied opportunities available each year. Application deadlines are generally two months prior to the start date. For further information please view the Environmental Educator section of our website .

Sleep and Eat

Field Team Program

MCC provides a living allowance sufficient to cover food and basic living expenses while you are serving with the Corps. Housing (which is usually a tent) is provided to all corps members while they are serving at their project sites. Some locations include tent sites during days off. Many corps members need to find their own accommodations when on days off. Most local corps members simply go home on their time off. All members enjoy the privilege of camping at Maine State Parks for free.

Environmental Educator ProgramEnvironmental Educators are responsible for securing their own housing. Some Environmental Educator Host Sites provide housing as an added benefit. Specific housing information is emailed to individuals upon application.

Other Perks

•Have fun and make new friends!

•Explore the mountains and coast of Maine and everywhere in between!

• Living allowance/stipend ranging from $240 to $425 per week

•Immediate health insurance, with Cobra option when service is completed

•CPR/First Aid certification

•Maine State Parks Pass

•AmeriCorps education award ranging from $1,000 to $4,725 (if eligible)

•Child care reimbursement (if eligible)

•Student loan forbearance (if eligible)

•Pro-deals and gear discounts

•Unlimited networking, training and experiential learning opportunities

•A great sense of satisfaction from taking on responsibilities that directly affect the environment and the people of Maine

Getting Here and Getting Around

Travel to Maine is the responsibility of each corps member. Air and bus routes connect to Augusta, Maine through Portland and Boston.

MCC Field Teams are provided with transportation to and from all service sites from central locations – Most often, Hallowell, Maine. Corps members must be able to join their teams by their own means.

Keep in mind that Maine is a rural area, with very little public transportation. It is difficult to participate in MCC if you do not have a car.

For Fun

Maine is regarded as one of the premier vacation regions in the Northeastern United States. With over 3000 lakes and 5000 streams, opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and white water boating are everywhere. The Coast of Maine approaches 3000 miles in length and offers exceptional scenery and salt-water boating and fishing. Hiking trails lace through the state and include pleasant day hikes and multi-day trips on the Appalachian Trail. Your project will be located on one of these sites -and others will not be far away. Maine has several small cities and resort centers where theaters, restaurants and other recreations opportunities can be found.

Please Learn more at our website and apply online. If you have any questions, please contact:

Brenda Webber, Recruitment Associate

Email: corps.conservation@maine.gov

Qualifications

•At minimum applicants must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and pass a criminal and sex offender background check.

•Trail Training Academy and Field Team Leader applicants must be at least 20 years of age.

•A bachelor's degree is required for the Environmental Educator Program.

•Various positions may require additional qualifications.

http://www.coolworks.com/profile/maine-conservation-corps/

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