A life member of ATC and the Natural Bridge A.T. Club, Doug DeJarnette is dependable, hardworking, experienced, and generous with his time. Club President Mike Rieley describes him as “an indefatigable worker and supporter of the A.T. His gift to the club, even more than his vast, deep knowledge of trail work and all we do in caring for the Trail, is his enthusiasm for sharing that knowledge with others.”
A former firefighter and law-enforcement officer, Doug is highly safety conscious and believes strongly that ATC and the Trail clubs should lead by example, saying “We Trail protectors need to protect ourselves, and set the standard as leaders.” He practices what he preaches by starting worktrips with tailgate safety talks, maintaining situational awareness, and wearing appropriate PPE for the work he is doing.
Doug is not only a trail maintainer, he is a skilled trail-builder and is also part of a cadre of certified chainsaw and crosscut sawyers who are called on as needed anywhere in NBATC’s Trail section. He was formerly an assistant crew leader on ATC’s Konnarock and Rocky Top Trail Crews.
According to ATC Trail Resource Manager Josh Kloehn, a highlight of working with Doug is his seemingly bottomless cooler. “Nothing hits the spot more than spending a hot summer day on the Trail and coming back to his truck at the trailhead, and being offered an ice-cold drink!”
“If you need anything, any help anywhere, let me know and I’ll be there,” Doug once told Josh. ATC has taken advantage of his offer several times, often on short notice. During the Bluff City relocation near Pearisburg a contractor was hired to complete a highly technical and challenging section and Doug answered the call for volunteers to supplement the paid crew. He worked with the contractors every day and was a big part of the success of those two weeks of work.
Doug also has moved into club leadership, serving as NBATC vice president and representing the club on the Regional Partnership Committee. The cooperative management of the Trail involves the land-managing agencies, the Trail clubs, and ATC. As Josh says, the Trail partnership is better off because of Doug’s involvement.