GSMA pledges $1.9 Million to Smokies in 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I just received my copy of the Great Smoky Mountains Association quarterly newsletter this past weekend. In this issue, which includes the GSMA Annual Report, they outlined how their $1.9 million pledge for 2009 will aid the park this year. Here are a few ways some of those funds will be distributed which will benefit hikers in the Smokies this year:

* $154,000 will go to 40 Student Conservation Association interns to repair trails, including rehabilitation of sections of the Forney Ridge Trail.

* $50,000 will fund hemlock tree treatments that will protect thousands of the endangered trees from the hemlock wooly adelgid.

* $41,000 will go towards two additional wildlife technicians. These technicians will be responsible for repairing backcountry cable systems that allow campers to store their food out of the reach of bears.

* $30,000 will help fund the Ridge Runner program.

The $1.9 Million the GSMA has pledged for 2009 represents an $80,000 increase over last year, making this year another record year. Currently, the association has 9600 members. Its goal is to have 25,000 members by the end of 2013.

If you would like more information on this wonderful organization, please click here.

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