Chairman Column Fourth Quarter 2001

[Published in Apex to Zenith #55 – Fourth Quarter 2001]
By: Roger Rowlett

With the events of Sept. 11, the Highpointers Club Board hasn’t voted on a lot of business since last quarter. But that doesn’t mean that things haven’t been happening.

Perhaps the most exciting prospect is that initiatives have begun to hold informal Highpointer togethers over the winter in Northeast, Southeast and Arizona over the winter. I was personally inspired to pursue a Northeast together after hearing about John Mitchler’s famous potluck dinner in the early 1990s in Colorado in which he made lifelong friends setting the groundwork for highpointing history. Plans for these get togethers are not formalized at press time, but you can read about them on the Forum. Or better yet why not organize one for your area. That’s the whole point of why the membership is distributed, right?

The Highpointers Board election is coming up next quarter. Sadly, two of our incumbents are stepping down. Paul Zumwalt, who received the Highpointer cum Laude Award, is stepping down as is Barbara Gurtler. Paul with his kindly demeanor is arguably the most popular member of the Club and will be sorely missed. We sang his praises in the last issue of Apex to Zenith. We of course will also miss the services of Barb who always speaks her mind. Both Barb and Paul are from Illinois and I will miss their Midwest perspective on things. The other incumbents up for re-election are Jack Longacre, Craig Noland, and George Vandersluis.

The Board is not a sexy job, but there’s lot of issues about the direction of the Club (e.g., non-profit, private property issues, stance on quotas and other public regulations, trail maintenance, museum, etc.). If you want to shape the future of the Club this is the most effective way to do it. The by-laws currently require that you attend two out of three conventions during your term. However, most of the business is now done over the Internet so you are also required to have an email account.

We are sorry to hear that Club Founder Jack Longacre was hospitalized for extensive stints from September to November with lymphoma. Jack has begun chemo treatment for this (which is usually treatable). It would mean a great deal if you wrote him.

Jack Longacre
PO Box 70
Arcadia, MO 63621

The State of Maryland still has not closed on Backbone Mountain. Sharon Rogers who wowed us at the convention has stepped down. The focus on Backbone may have assumed a backburner when all the post-Sept. 11 events. Gene and Lillian Elliott urge you to write the current Secretary of DNR supporting state purchase of Backbone.

Charles Fox
Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Tawes State Office Building,
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis MD 21401

The Club has rejoined the American Hiking Society which is the premier organization consisting of almost all major hiking clubs. The AHS focuses extensively on the trail building, trail maintenance and trail legislation. Jack Longacre had always pushed the membership but it had slipped. Many thanks to Joe Howard who reminded us about the slippage during the convention. When I called to discuss joining I was told that Joe is a big helper for the AHS as he lets interns stay at his and Mary’s house in Silver Spring. If you would like to join the AHS you get a $5 discount on membership (discounted membership is $20) if you mention that you are a Highpointer Club member.

Finally many thanks to Diane Winger on her efforts on compiling the Survey to gauge interest in whether Club is support is enough to justify the aggravation of filling out (and maintaining) the paperwork to form a non-profit foundation for trail good works. If you haven’t filled out the survey, please do so.

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