The American Hiking Society (AHS), which is hosting a hike in Washington, D.C. in February (http://bit.ly/6rUFvf), is a group that shares many of our sensibilities as Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.
Besides having a killer logo (I wish I had designed it), I admire this group because they are, again, like FSPW, moderate in their approach, focused (on our national trail system) and ultimately concerned about conservation. Their focus is a lot larger than ours geographically, but we share a passion for non-intrusive outdoor recreation and the preservation of wild places.
On February 22, AHS is having a hike in Washington, D.C. that will begin at the Lincoln Memorial and end at the Capitol. It’s not a very long hike, only about 2.25 miles, but it will be a significant hike, in that it is the first of its kind. AHS bills it as the “first annual” Hike on the National Mall, so they plan to do it again next year.
From their e-mail announcement of the hike: “The goal of the Hike on the National Mall is to celebrate (1) the contributions and commitment of our national community of trails and hiking enthusiasts and their conservation partners who work tirelessly to promote, protect and maintain our national system of trails; and (2) the countless benefits trails provide to conservation of our treasured landscapes, to our community and individual health (economic and otherwise), and to the development of a new generation of engaged, educated and enthusiastic youth stewards and volunteers.”
They will also undertake issues and advocacy training of their members during this event, as we did January 16th on a smaller scale at a wilderness workshop at the Bighorn Lodge.
As large as AHS is, their mission statement is not much longer than ours: It reads, in part, “America Hiking represents . . . members who are committed to beautiful places to hike and believe that the preservation of hiking trails and their environments is important and a worthwhile legacy to leave future generations.”
You who have hiked in the Scotchmans know that we don’t exactly have an overwhelming number of trails in the proposed wilderness, but an interest in trails is not the only thing that we share with AHS.
Most of our Friends will not be going on that hike in Washington, D.C., although we do have Friends who live within a reasonable distance of the Mall (We have Friends all over the country). We can be there in spirit, though. And, if any of our Friends do go, send us some photos and a report and we’ll post them on our site.