Your Very Next Step newsletter for December 2013

Your Very Next Step newsletter for December  2013


By Ned Lundquist

“We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as ‘wild.’ Only to the white man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people.”

– Chief [Luther] Standing Bear


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

“Your Very Next Step” adventure/outdoors/conservation newsletter, published by Ned Lundquist, is a cooperative community, and everyone is invited, no…encouraged, no…urged to participate.   Share your adventures with the network today!  Send to

***  To subscribe for free: 


Send us your comments, questions, and contributions to

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*** In this issue:

***  Ned’s upcoming travel:

***  Ned’s January trip tp Sweden by way of Austria

***  Feeling insecure: Pre-Checked?  Pre-Rejected?

***  World’s Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails

***  Value of Frequent-Flyer Miles Will Soon Drop for Delta and United Travelers

***  Check out these amazing hotels:

***  Confessions of Hotel Housekeepers

***  Fodor’s Travel Names Top Destinations for 2014

***  Condé Nast’s GOLD LIST 2014 –  The World’s Best Places to Stay

***  Lonely Planet’s top destinations for 2014

***  Virginia’s Acorn Crop Very Light This Year

***  Learn to Handle Back Country Emergencies

***  Video Interlude: Take a Few Minutes to Fly with Air Tahiti Nui


*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: December 2013

The Frisco Trail – Fayetteville, Arkansas


*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:


1.)  Trail Crew openings, Shenandoah National Park, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

2.)  Bluebird Trail Monitoring, Jennings Environmental Education Center, Brady Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania

3.)  Volunteer expeditions in Madagascar, Blue Ventures, London, UK (expeditions based at Andavadoaka, Madagascar


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

1.)  Trail Crew Leader, Baxter State Park, Millinocket, ME

2.)  VP of Marketing & Communications, Trout Unlimited, Arlington, Virginia

3.)  Executive Director, JACKSON HOLE CONSERVATION ALLIANCE, Jackson, Wyoming

4.)  Marine Science Instructor Positions, Seacamp Association, Inc., Big Pine Key FL

5.)  Outdoor Education Instructor, Pali Institute, Running Springs CA

6.)  Field Project Coordinator, Montana Conservation Corps (MCC), Bozeman / Helena / Kalispell / Missoula, Montana

7.)  Associate Director for Communications, Conservation Lands Foundation, Durango, CO

8.)  Executive Director, Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Waitsfield, Vermont


…and much more…and it’s all FREE!!!

*** Do you have a travel adventure, conservation or outdoor update  to share?

Send me your stories and I’ll post in the “Your Very Next Step” and on the YVNS website (


***  Ned’s upcoming travel:


January 18-25, 2014 — Stockholm ; Karlskrona, Linkoping, Gothenberg, Sweden.


January 25-28, 2014 — Helsinki, Finland


January 28 – February 1, 2014 — Portsmouth, UK


March 17 – 20, 2014 — Accra, Ghana


March 24 –  28, 2014 — Monetery, Calif.


June 2 – 4, 2014 — Abu Dhabi, UAE


***  Ned’s January trip tp Sweden by way of Austria:


My upcoming trip to Sweden has been booked (not by me) on Austrian, with a five hour layover at Vienna.  I’ve done a little research on line and I can’t say the majority of reviews about Austrian and thweir lounge at Vienna are great.  Even thiough I have Star Alliance Gold / United MileagePlus Premier Platinum status, I can’t reserve a seat without paying (more than $100 for an exit row window), until 36 hours before departure.  But Austrian is a new carrier for me, and Vienna will be a new airpot.  So watch for my review in an upcoming issue of YVNS.


As an aside, I will also be flying two flights on Norweigian and one ion SAS on this trip, and returning from London on United.


Apart from the Norwegian miles, I’ll accumulate some miles on my UA MileagePlus account.  But new rules on United make it much more difficult to earn Priemier qualifying milede.  There ‘s a minimum dollar amount you have to spend, and tickerts must be written by UA.  This makes it doubly and triply difficult to attain elite staus starting in 2014.


Since USAirways is now American, Washington Reagan National goesa from being a Star Alliance hub to a One World hub.  I fly a lot of flights on US, but book my miles on UIA.  Time for a new strategy.


***  Feeling insecure: Pre-Checked?  Pre-Rejected?


Thanksgiving holiday…went to Baltimore (BWI) airport. Two security people standing at the entry to the security line waved me off to a new security line (security area C), saying that I had been pre-cleared by TSA for expedited screening, meaning I didn’t have to remove my laptop or take my shoes off. I looked at my boarding pass, printed at the office, and could see nothing special that indicated pre-clearance. But no one else was at security C, the security agent stamped an X in a circle on my boarding pass and I zoomed through.


On the way BACK to Baltimore, I printed my boarding pass at the airport. It clearly said TSA PRE at the top. I had to go through the regular line with all the other people.


This makes no sense, being backwards of what should have happened. I have no idea why the TSA selected me and then rejected me.


I have NOT paid the $100 fee to TSA for pre screening, had an interview, etc.

Anyone else have this experience?


Sue Bumpous


***  World’s Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails

From national Geographic


***  Value of Frequent-Flyer Miles Will Soon Drop for Delta and United Travelers!


***  Check out these amazing hotels:


***  Confessions of Hotel Housekeepers

by Laura Daily, AARP The Magazine


***  Fodor’s Travel Names Top Destinations for 2014


***  Condé Nast’s GOLD LIST 2014


The World’s Best Places to Stay


***  Lonely Planet’s top destinations for 2014


***  Virginia’s Acorn Crop Very Light This Year


Oaks are among the most common hardwood tree species in many parts of Virginia. Because of their importance both as a source of forest regeneration and as a mast crop for wildlife, each year’s acorn crop is the subject of much attention. Many reports from various parts of the Commonwealth indicate that the acorn crop this fall is very light, according to officials at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).


VDGIF Upland Game Bird Biologist Gary Norman noted, “Acorn production in Virginia in 2013 was low – comparable to the previous low in 2008. The white oak crop appeared to uniformly fail across the state, while some pockets (generally in eastern Virginia) of good red oak production were found. Mast production has alternated from high to low levels since 2010. The impacts of acorns on wildlife populations are extensive and complex. And they are most dramatic where there is little diversity of habitat types and few alternative food sources to acorns.”


VDGIF biologists are concerned about a light crop because acorns are a preferred food for many wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, black bear and wild turkey. Oftentimes the search for food creates situations that bring wildlife closer into residential areas to find human-related food sources resulting in unwanted interactions between animals and people.”


***  Learn to Handle Back Country Emergencies with Wilderness Medical Associates, The Chewonki Foundation, Wiscasset, ME


Two wilderness medicine courses are offered each year on the Chewonki campus in Wiscasset. Trip leaders, outdoor professionals and outdoor enthusiasts who want sound strategies for dealing with emergency medical situations in wilderness settings benefit from these thorough programs. The internationally renowned staff of Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) teaches these intensive courses. Instructors combine morning lectures with realistic simulations that are videotaped and critiqued. WMA courses are widely considered the most complete medical training for outdoor professionals.


Please note: These courses fill early. Advance registration is recommended.


***  Video Interlude: Take a Few Minutes to Fly with Air Tahiti Nui


We hope that Santa brought you exactly what you wanted this year, and if not there’s always your credit card to bring happiness in the final few days of 2013. We’re thinking some airfare is probably a good idea, and that’s especially the case if you’re headed somewhere aboard Air Tahiti Nui.

If you need further evidence that French Polynesia is a place that you need to visit just head to YouTube, as there’s a new video—shot with one of those GoPro things—that’ll quickly sell you on the idea of a visit.


The thing runs about five minutes in length, and it reveals views from the cockpit, the wing, the ground crew, and plenty of crystal clear water. If you don’t have time to visit before the end of the year that’s fine, as 2014 can certainly be your chance to check out Air Tahiti Nui and one of their warm weather destinations. It’s certainly on our list!


*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: December 2013


The Frisco Trail – Fayetteville, Arkansas


“Like many American communities developing their trail networks, Fayetteville is booming…”


Used railroad corridor: A portion of the trail follows the former St. Louis & San Francisco Railway, from which the trail gets its name. Another section, nearly a half-mile long, is immediately adjacent to an active railroad corridor, which is used by the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.


Getting There: Frisco Trail is a short drive east of I-540 in Fayetteville. Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (One Airport Blvd., Bentonville) lies about 30 miles north of the trail.


Access and Parking: Frisco Trail can be accessed at the intersection of West Spring Street and West Avenue. Public parking is available at that intersection. The trail can also be accessed in the 500 block where it crosses Center Street, Prairie Street, and Martin Luther King Boulevard.


To navigate the area with an interactive GIS map, visit RTC’s free trail-finder website,


Although only a relatively short rail-trail at 1.3 miles, the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has had an oversized impact on its city.


Since the entire length was opened in 2010, the Frisco Trail has provided a convenient connection right into the vibrant entertainment center of Fayetteville, and along with the Scull Creek Trail forms the spine of Fayetteville’s extensive trail network.


Interestingly, the Frisco Trail parallels, at various stages, both an active and a disused rail corridor. The northern end of the trail, from West Spring Street to West Prospect Street, runs adjacent to an active Arkansas & Missouri Railroad line, which carries freight and excursion rail traffic. This sharing of rail corridors for both motorized and non-motorized travel is a growing trend in the American rail-trail scene – today, almost 10 percent of rail-trails are actually rails-with-trails – adjacent to or within an active rail corridor right-of-way.


Like many American communities developing their trail networks, Fayetteville is booming – its population has grown 27 percent in the last decade and in the past few years it’s been ranked one of the best places to live, to go to college, to do business or to retire. It is no coincidence that this acclaim has come as the city’s long-range trails and greenways plan has started to come to fruition – all anchored by the short but powerful Frisco Trail.


The Frisco Trail is one of the many rail-with-trail projects featured in our new report, America’s Rails-with-Trails: A Resource for Planners, Agencies and Advocates on Trails Along Active Railroad Corridors.


Among the number of developers drawn to Fayetteville by its trail system is the Specialized Real Estate Group, which is building an apartment complex for more than 600 residents close to the Frisco Trail.


“The people we serve love the connectivity and health benefits of the trail,” says Specialized Real Estate Group President Seth Mims. “There are obvious environmental benefits of choosing walking or biking over using a car, and these benefits give our developments an edge over conventional apartments built on the outskirts of town. In addition to our proximity to campus, we chose to build on the trail to give residents access to the entertainment district and greenspaces.”


The realization of the Frisco Trail is a study in the challenges and opportunities common to many potential rail-with-trail projects. It took two years for the City of Fayetteville and the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad to find common ground over the railroad’s fencing and insurance requirements, and how close the trail could be to the tracks. In exchange for complying with these requirements, the railroad gave the city a 99-year lease for the corridor for free. “I think they finally signed the document because they wanted me to go away,” says Fayetteville’s Trails Coordinator Matt Mihalevich.


A big selling point for the railroad was that a trail would improve safety around the corridor. There had been a number of incidents of trespassers (often inebriated) crossing the tracks on their way to and from the downtown entertainment district. The provision of a safe and convenient pathway has now eliminated the need to dangerously cross the active tracks. Since the trail was opened, there have been no accidents involving a trail user and a train.


Besides the decrease in trespassing, the railroad has also received a functional benefit from the trail, in that they often board for their excursion train trips in Fayetteville directly from the trail.


On its route from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the connection with the Scull Creek Trail, the Frisco Trail passes through Frisco Park, an undeveloped section of woods. Night-time travelers need not worry, though—the trail is well-lit. This portion of trail follows an abandoned railroad bed that was originally built by the Pacific & Greater Eastern Railroad at the end of the 19th century. Later it was used by the Ozark & Cherokee Central during the early part of the 20th century before it was taken over by the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway, better known as the Frisco. The corridor was abandoned in the early 1980s but remained undeveloped until the city bought the right-of-way at the beginning of this century.


When Rails-to-Trails Conservancy caught up with Mihalevich last week, he was keen to let us know that Fayetteville is continuing to work toward its goal of making trails a key part of the city’s identity – an extension of the Frisco Trail and construction of the new Tsa La Gi Trail are currently underway and due for opening in March.

*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:


1.)  Trail Crew openings, Shenandoah National Park, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia


2.)  Bluebird Trail Monitoring, Jennings Environmental Education Center, Brady Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania


The weekly monitoring Jennings’ bluebird nest boxes during the bluebird breeding season.


3.)  Volunteer expeditions in Madagascar, Blue Ventures, London, UK (expeditions based at Andavadoaka, Madagascar


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

1.)  Trail Crew Leader, Baxter State Park, Millinocket, ME


(Length: 26 weeks)


Class Code: 9436

Range: 14

Salary: $12.27 hourly / $981.60 bi-weekly

Value of 100% State Paid Health and Dental: $377.46 biweekly

Value of 95% State Paid Health and Dental: $359.27 biweekly

Value of State’s share of Employee’s Retirement: 11.54% of base pay.


DESCRIPTION: This is maintenance and personal services work in coordinating and overseeing work crews involved in Baxter State Park trail construction and maintenance. Responsibilities include prioritizing projects, scheduling daily activities, assigning tasks, providing training, and overseeing work crews in their daily operations. Supervision is exercised over students, volunteers and laborers. Work is performed under general supervision.



…Establishes priorities for the workweek and sequence of projects in order to coordinate and

ensure efficient completion of the established project work schedule.

…Coordinates and schedules work crews’ daily activities in order to ensure trail construction

and maintenance projects are completed efficiently and in a timely manner.

…Assigns tasks on a daily basis in order to provide direction and ensure completion of


…Oversees the daily activities of work crews in order to provide direction and ensure comple-

tion of projects.

…Makes decisions regarding natural materials to be used on projects, areas to be used for

living space during projects, and methods to be used in performing tasks in order to

ensure safety and protection of the environment during construction and maintenance


…Assesses trail conditions, processes observations into written reports, and makes recom-

mendations in order to provide training and ensure protection of the environment.

…Maintains a variety of specialized hand and power tools in order to ensure and maintain

continued working order of tools.

…Communicates with laborers, volunteers, supervisors, and others in order to provide

information, training, and motivation.

…Inventories tools, equipment, camping and other gear in order to maintain records and

ensure accountability of materials, tools, and equipment.

…Plans and orders food for crews on a weekly basis in order to ensure crews have food

during long projects.

…Organizes crews, tools, and equipment to respond to search and rescue operations as well

as forest fires within the Park in order to provide assistance and direction in emergency




…Knowledge of trail construction and maintenance techniques.

…Knowledge of specialized tools and equipment used in trail construction and maintenance.

…Knowledge of specialized tools, equipment and techniques used in forest fire suppression.

…Knowledge of first-aid procedures.

…Knowledge of backpacking, camping and hiking techniques.

…Ability to plan, organize, assign, and direct crews of students, volunteers and laborers.

…Ability to motivate and supervise work crews during short and long-term projects.

…Ability to plan and implement daily activities for projects.

…Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

…Ability to safely utilize and maintain specialized tools and equipment.

…Ability to hike long distances carrying heavy packs (50+ lbs.) and perform strenuous manual labor.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Two seasons of trail work experience which includes at least one season of leading projects crews.




Questions about the application process?

Contact Jean Howes at  (207) 723-9616  or


Questions about the BSP Trail Maintenance Program and operations? Contact Paul Sannicandro – Trail Supervisor at


2.)  VP of Marketing & Communications, Trout Unlimited, Arlington, Virginia


Trout Unlimited is a national organization with more than 155,000 volunteers organized into about 400 chapters nationwide. This dedicated grassroots army is matched by a respected staff of organizers,


lawyers, policy experts and scientists, who work out of more than 30 offices. Our mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America’s cold-water fisheries and their watersheds.


Position Summary


This is an exciting opportunity to join Trout Unlimited preferably in their headquarters in Arlington, Virginia – as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications.  The VP of Marketing &


Communications will report directly to the CEO and is member of the Senior Staff.  The VP of Marketing & Communications will be responsible for the execution of Trout Unlimited’s communications,


marketing and branding strategies. The VP of Marketing & Communications will oversee all activities that promote, enhance, and protect the organization’s brand reputation and identify communication


goals. A key objective is to manage the development and production of Trout’s varied and integrated communications activities and tools including: supporting all events and initiatives, direct mail and


marketing, newsletters and other print publications; Website content, E-news and other online communications, social and conventional media and public relations, and marketing.


Duties and Responsibilities

-Manage the development and production of all Trout Unlimited’s communications tools, with a particular emphasis on online communications and tools such as social media.

-Develop and promote the TU brand.

-Experience in deploying community building web sites is important.

-Manage production of all marketing and promotional materials.

-Increase membership acquisition program.

-Increase Trout’s online community activity.

-Improve internal processes to improve implementation of the communications strategy.

-Expand partnerships within the outdoor, and related, industry.


Job Requirements



-10 years of relevant professional experience.

-Excellent written and oral communication skills. Demonstrated versatility in writing for all media platforms.

-Creative and strategic application of digital and social media technologies.

-Experience in planning, writing, editing, and production of newsletters, press releases, annual reports, marketing literature, and other print publications.

-Innovative thinker, with a track record for problem solving and developing action plans and managing output.

-Self-reliant, results oriented, and strong interpersonal skills with the ability to engage and collaborate and develop consensus with staff and colleagues.

-Experience managing a diverse and remote staff. ◾Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs.

-Background in policy and advocacy communications a plus.

-Passion for Trout Unlimited’s mission is essential.  A passion for fishing is helpful.

-A professional and resourceful style; flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical communication initiatives.

-Ability to work with grassroots leaders and volunteers.

-Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside of TU.

-Previous experience in conservation organization or the outdoor industry.

-Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail.


How to Apply:  Please send a letter of interest and resume to Vivie Yen at by January 24, 2014. No phone calls please.


This is not an all-inclusive list of duties and responsibilities.


TU is an Equal Employment Opportunity & Affirmative Action Employer pursuant to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act & Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistant Act.


TU hires staff without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.


3.)  Executive Director, JACKSON HOLE CONSERVATION ALLIANCE, Jackson, Wyoming


JACKSON HOLE CONSERVATION ALLIANCE seeks an Executive Director. Based in Jackson, Wyoming, the Alliance works to protect the wildlife, wild places, and community character of Jackson Hole. As the Alliance heads into its 35th year, a new ED will have the rare opportunity to lead an organization with a high profile, dedicated staff, committed supporters, and engaged Board of Directors in one of the most stunning landscapes in the country. Key factors for successful candidates include at least five to seven years in a non-profit leadership position; ability to act as the lead advocate for the Alliance with a genuine passion and concern for the mission; and a proven track record of effective staff management, strategic planning, campaign development and oversight, internal and external relations, fundraising, and budget management. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply (by January 10), please visit the jobs section of our website:


4.)  Marine Science Instructor Positions, Seacamp Association, Inc., Big Pine Key FL


Company Description: A non-profit, residential, environmental educational organization offering marine science programs for 10-17 year olds in a summer camp setting and to visiting elementary, middle, secondary, college, and adult groups throughout the school year.


Year Round Position: Full time Marine Science Instructor positions available.


Description: Staff lead interpretive programs in tropical marine science for campers/visiting schools and participate in hospitality services required to run a residential facility. Extensive training: science seminars; American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding, Oxygen Administration, First Aid, and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer; skin diving leadership and Rescue Diver (for currently certified divers only); seamanship and boat handling leading to a Limited license by the USCG; camp life; and teaching techniques.


Qualifications:  College graduate with a degree in marine science, the biological sciences, or a related field.  All applicants must be strong swimmers.  Prefer one year of teaching experience and SCUBA certification.


Benefits: Salary, housing, meals when participants are in residence, training, worker’s compensation insurance, and staff boat use during time off.


To apply: Send resume with complete work history and cover letter to We will contact you to complete your employment packet.  The process will include an application, official college transcripts, and references. Applicants will be required to submit a Level II fingerprint background check and drug screening prior to employment


Seacamp Association, Inc.

1300 Big Pine Avenue

Big Pine Key, FL 33043



5.)  Outdoor Education Instructor, Pali Institute, Running Springs CA


6.)  Field Project Coordinator, Montana Conservation Corps (MCC), Bozeman / Helena / Kalispell / Missoula, Montana


The Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) is hiring the position of Field Project Coordinator, one position in Bozeman, Helena and Kalispell and two positions based in Missoula, Montana.


MCC is a crew based program whose mission is to inspire young people through hands-on conservation service to be leaders, stewards of the land, and engaged citizens who improve their communities.   MCC has an annual $5 million budget and receives funding from AmeriCorps, project sponsors, grants and private donations.  Statewide each year, the MCC has over 200 AmeriCorps young adult members and 100 youth corps members who perform natural resource work across the region with a variety of land use agencies and non-profit partners.


The Field Project Coordinator is a seasonal staff position whose primary duties include technical and logistical support for MCC crews in the field, coordination of crew projects and communication between the MCC and project partners.  Activities will include field visitation to help insure the successful and safe completion of MCC projects, technical guidance, logistical support, tool/gear maintenance and inventory, and oversight to insure compliance with MCC policies and procedures.


Primary duties include:

•Provide technical and logistical support for conservation, natural resource and other service projects.

•Visit crews in the field to provide guidance, support and assistance to Crew Leaders.

•Work with leaders to ensure quality field work performance; write performance evaluations of crew leaders.

•Oversee compliance with field safety procedures; support the creation of a ‘culture of professionalism’ within the each crew.

•Ensure field work and activities are in compliance with MCC policies and regulations.

•Be in the field for multiple days to work alongside crews.

•Submit required reports and documentation of field visit and other activity.

•Collect written and photographic documentation of projects.

•Monitor projects to assure that pre, during and post-site visits are performed and documented.



•At least two years of college or equivalent work experience.

•Previous leadership and corps experience.

•Relevant technical skills and experience with a wide range of power and hand tools.

•Effective communication skills.

•A valid driver’s license. Able and willing to travel extensively and work a variable schedule.

•Advanced first aid certification desirable.


Salary is $1,043 biweekly.  MCC is accepting applications now.  Start date is early April, 2014; end date October 31, 2014.


To apply for Bozeman submit resume and cover letter to


To apply for Helena submit resume and cover letter to


To apply for Kalispell submit resume and cover letter to


To apply for Missoula submit resume and cover letter to


7.)  Associate Director for Communications, Conservation Lands Foundation, Durango, CO


The Associate Director for Communications will work with staff to develop a communications platform for the Conservation Lands Foundation, inform targeted audiences about the National Conservation Lands, conduct communications trainings and engage the public through traditional and non-traditional media.


Please click on link for full job description, salary, benefit package and how to apply:


Conservationist II $4115 – $5110 Full Time – Permanent, CCC Ukiah, California Conservation Corps, Ukiah, CA


8.)  Executive Director, Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Waitsfield, Vermont


The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) seeks an experienced, energetic, and passionate Executive Director to lead a dynamic, multi-state organization. Under the leadership of a collaborative Executive Director, with the help of an experienced staff, NFCT will continue strengthening Trail stewardship, catalyzing rural community vitality, introducing future generations to this resource, and envisioning and implementing new ideas which will have a positive impact along the Trail. The Executive Director will have primary responsibility for leading and securing funding for NFCT’s 2020 Strategic Plan in close partnership with partners, volunteers, funders, and Board of Directors. We seek a leader with a demonstrated ability to uphold and communicate a strong and compelling vision, and to deploy innovative thinking to move the organization to the next level.


The Organization: NFCT is a leader in water trail stewardship and management, inspiring public access, outdoor experience, and community vitality along our 740-mile corridor that traverses New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire, and Maine.  Founded in 2000, NFCT established our route based on traditional Native American travel routes across the Northern Forest Region.  In our first decade plus, we have developed a suite of tools and programs to support our mission of leveraging the corridor for public recreation and health benefits, conservation efforts, and rural economic development. Current resources include navigational maps, a guidebook, online tools, and several programs to develop and support recreational access for paddlers.  We have maintained a small, highly skilled staff (total of five currently) and an extensive network of partners to enable us to be effective across a large geography.  NFCT is highly regarded as a regional leader, exceptionally skilled as a collaborator, and consistently diligent with a commitment to attaining outcomes.


While NFCT is by some measures a small organization, it has firmly established itself as a leader with and among partners in the region.  The brand of the organization and its leadership has been important and refreshing across the four-state territory in creating real results.  The culture and strategy of the organization is inclusive across a range of sectors including environmental, economic and rural development, recreation, outdoor industry, and state and federal agency, all with a focus on convening and leading efforts to maximize shared outcomes. NFCT is committed to continuing this approach, and seeks an Executive Director with the requisite leadership skills and commitment to this collaborative approach.


Duties of the Position:  The Executive Director will lead and manage NFCT staff, and work with the board of directors, partners, and volunteers to achieve strategic goals.  The Executive Director will also work to strengthen the capacity of NFCT to pursue its mission, including fundraising, staff development, administrative systems, financial management, and board development.  Specific duties include but are not limited to:

•Leading and managing a talented, dynamic staff, some of whom work remotely

•Developing and leading an engaged Board of Directors

•Leading organizational fundraising efforts, both private and public

•Leading and coordinating partnerships that are core to mission delivery

•Managing organization’s finances

•Coordinating overall organizational strategy and program plans

•Writing and speaking to a wide variety of audiences

•Forecasting and addressing obstacles

•Creating and maintaining a fun and healthy culture of engagement and accomplishment



•Strong and proven leadership, management, and fundraising experience

•Specific experience in both collaborative and public leadership

•Strong fundraising capability, including direct cultivation and solicitation of individuals, foundations, and other funding entities

•Preference for 5–7 years of experience in a non-profit leadership role, or comparable evidence of experience leading and managing a complex enterprise

•Excellent writing and public speaking skills

•Experience with financial management, including budgeting and financial reporting

•Experience / comfort managing remotely located staff

•Familiarity with Northern Forest Region and/or recreation field a plus, but not required.


Compensation:  Robust compensation package including competitive salary and health benefits, sick leave, comp time, and paid vacation.  NFCT offices are based in Vermont’s beautiful Mad River Valley.  Remote work location within region would be considered.


To Apply:  Please email your resume and cover letter as one document in PDF format to, addressed to Warren Cook and Betsy Paine, Co-Chairs NFCT Search Committee. The position will remain open until an outstanding candidate is found. The search committee will begin reviewing the applicants’ statements of interest and qualifications beginning December 15, 2013. It is the NFCT Board of Director’s desire to have an Executive Director hired by February 2014.


No phone calls to the office, please.


The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



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