Jim Haggett has been a volunteer maintainer with the Ralph’s Peak Hikers (RPH) cluband the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference since the early 1980s. In 1983, he became the representative to the Dutchess County [NY] A.T. Management Committee for RPH, which was taking over maintenance of the Appalachian Trail from I-84 to NY Route 55.
The boundaries of lands acquired by the NPS for the Trail need to be regularly monitored and maintained to protect the public investment in those lands, and in 1995, Jim began monitoring a corridor section. By the fall of 1997, he was corridor manager from the Dutchess County line to Interstate 84. By 2001, his responsibilities had increased to become corridor monitor supervisor from Route 301 in Putnam County to Interstate 84. In the photo above, Jim is shown leading a monitor training session at the RPH shelter.
When boundary incursions and a timber-cutting incident occurred on public lands in that section, Jim was instrumental in reporting those violations and following up so damage could be mitigated.
Jim also spearheaded the subcommittee of the merged Dutchess and Putnam A.T. Management Committee (DPATMC) that dealt with safety issues at the RPH cabin and organized the crew that converted the cabin into a shelter. In 1995, he took on the job of arranging a contract to dig deep wells at the Morgan Stewart Shelter and the Wiley Shelter. Jim also worked closely with the N.Y. State Department of Transportation in a 1998 project to remove a grade-level crossing of Miller Hill Road at the Taconic Parkway.
On September 20, 2004, at the 186th DPATMC meeting, Jim took over from Ron Rosen as the chair and has been its leader ever since. As chair, Jim has managed a number of major projects, the most ambitious being the building of a 1,600-foot-long helical pier boardwalk over the Swamp River in Pawling. That two-and-a-half year project, involving 75 volunteers, was dedicated on July 1, 2012.
In addition to his volunteer work on the Trail, its shelters, and corridor boundary, Jim works closely with the newly-formed Harlem Valley A.T. Community (dedicated summer 2013), to provide support and active coordination with the DPATMC and the NY-NJ Trail Conference.
On the occasion of the 250th meeting of the DPATMC on July 13, 2015, we take this opportunity to thank Jim for all he has done for the Committee, the NY-NJ Trail Conference, and the Appalachian Trail.