03.11.10

Congress Marks Long Trail’s 100th Birthday With Commemorative Resolutions, Not Candles

WASHINGTON – What birthday present do you give to a trail that has everything – drop-dead scenery, border-to-border expanse, and a rich 100-year history?

The U.S. House and U.S. Senate Thursday commemorated the Long Trail’s centenary with the introduction of resolutions recounting the trail’s heritage and significance.  Rep. Peter Welch (D) introduced the House resolution, and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) introduced the Senate one.  The commemoration comes on the 100th anniversary of the day Vermonter James P. Taylor founded the Green Mountain Club to fulfill the dream of creating a long-distance trail from Massachusetts to Canada.  In anticipation of the centennial, Senator Leahy secured funding to help the Green Mountain Club rebuild their headquarters and visitors center in 2008.

Welch spoke on the House floor about the House resolution.  Leahy said the Senate may take up and vote on the Senate resolution as early as Thursday night.

Following is the text of the Senate resolution honoring the Long Trail, introduced by Leahy and Sanders:

Title: Recognizing the importance of the Long Trail and the Green Mountain Club on the 100th anniversary of the Long Trail.

Whereas the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States;

Whereas the Long Trail stretches over 273 miles, from the Massachusetts to Canadian borders, with approximately 175 miles of side trails and more than 65 shelters;

Whereas the Long Trail has achieved the dream of founder James Taylor of creating “a high highway, a mountain footpath over the skyline of Vermont”;

Whereas the Green Mountain Club is the founder, sponsor, defender, and protector of the Long Trail;

Whereas the Green Mountain Club has delivered 100 years of conservation, community education, and outreach on local ecology;

Whereas the Long Trail has protected the habitat of many important species for future generations, including the black bear, the moose, the bobcat, and migratory songbirds;

Whereas the thousands of members and dedicated volunteers of the Green Mountain Club have worked to maintain, manage, and protect the Long Trail for the benefit of the people of the State of Vermont during the last century;

Whereas the Long Trail is a popular tourist destination for people from around the world, including Senators, a Secretary of Agriculture, and even a President;

Whereas the Long Trail allows the people of the State of Vermont and tourists to enjoy the Green Mountain State and all the beauty and history the State has to offer;

Whereas the Green Mountain Club has successfully conserved the entire corridor of the Long Trail, fought efforts to build highways or commercial developments that intersect with the Long Trail, and helped to maintain pristine Vermont forestland for future generations to enjoy; and

Whereas the Green Mountain Club has recognized members regardless of sex or race since the founding of the club: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate recognizes the 100th anniversary of the Long Trail of the State of Vermont, the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States, and applauds the Green Mountain Club and the many volunteers of the Green Mountain Club for a century of service and for creating, protecting, and enjoying the Long Trail.

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