Craig Dickstein’s inspiration to become a Maine Appalachian Trail Club volunteer came, oddly enough, in Virginia during his 2005 A.T. thru-hike. A fellow hiker turned out to be an MATC board member who encouraged Craig to become involved with the club. After his hike, Craig first became a board member, then took on a maintenance section, and recently was appointed Kennebec District overseer.
Challenges in the district range from beaver activity (and the resulting bog bridging projects) to responding to severe weather events. A recent freak windstorm in his district left 16 blowdowns in its wake, giving Craig— a certified A.T. sawyer— plenty of work to do.
Craig chairs MATC’s training and education committee and handles the registration and paperwork for the club’s sawyer certification program, which ATC sponsors. In 2012, 18 new MATC sawyers were certified and 8 people were recertified through the program. The club currently has 80 certified sawyers, and Craig acts as liaison between maintainers needing assistance and sawyers ready to help when their skills are needed.
ATC Conservation Resources Manager Matt Stevens says, “ATC appreciates Craig’s work on the certification program and organizing MATC’s spring and fall workshops. He is THE go-to guy for sawyer workshops in Maine!”
When he’s not working as a health-care data-management consultant, Craig enjoys fishing and hiking—and canoeing, which he even does on the A.T.! For the past several years, he has operated the canoe ferry across the Kennebec River, the officially designated route of the Trail, on the regular operator’s days off.