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Jinkerson receives hikers chapter award

MARQUETTE – Over the years as president of the North Country Trail Hikers chapter of the North Country Trail Association, Lorana Jinkerson has written a children’s book about the trail, maintains its Facebook page, oversees the chapter newsletter “Footnotes” and is a major advocate for the trail.

At the NCT Hikers general membership meeting Thursday night at the Peter White Public Library, Jinkerson – who no doubt has received many intrinsic rewards from being involved with the trail – received tangible recognition in the form of the 2015 NCT Hikers Chapter Honor Award.

“It’s nice to have people recognize what you do,” Jinkerson said.

Jinkerson, who wrote the book “Nettie Does the NCT: North Country Trail,” has been instrumental in Marquette becoming a Trail Town and spearheads many chapter activities.

The North Country Trail at 4,600 miles is the longest of the national scenic trails, stretching from New York to North Dakota. A section of the trail runs through the Upper Peninsula, including Marquette.

Cliff Stammer, NCT Hikers vice president, presented the award to Jinkerson, who was chosen by the chapter board. The award, he said, goes to someone who demonstrates loyalty and commitment, among other attributes, to the local organization.

Jinkerson, he said, joined the chapter in 2005, becoming active almost immediately. Her activities included developing the chapter website and becoming a trail crew member and adopter as well as a chapter board member and NCTA board member.

In 2009, she self-published the children’s NCT book.

“She sent a copy of her book to every elementary school where the North Country Trail travels throughout the school district, from the east side of New York all the way to North Dakota,” Stammer said.

That’s about 600 books, Jinkerson pointed out.

Stammer said her work with the NCT ranges from working with grants and serving on committees to being on the trail as a crew member.

The North Country Trail Hikers chapter also was presented with the DNR Partners in Conservation Award from Doug Barry, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation unit supervisor.

The DNR first honored the chapter, along with the timber company Plum Creek, at the Oct. 8 meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Cedarville. The awards are given six times annually to individuals or organizations for exemplary contributions to Michigan conservation.

“I can’t believe how hard you guys work,” said Barry, who nominated the group. “I’ve never seen a crew that works so hard, especially volunteers. I wish I could hire you all.”

The DNR honored the chapter for its efforts to build, maintain, promote and protect more than an 80-mile portion of the trail.

The chapter, founded in 1989, works with the National Park Service to maintain the trail from Rock River Road in Alger County, across Marquette County and to the Long Lake outlet in Baraga County, including almost 40 miles of the new Iron Belle Trail.

Plum Creek was honored in October for its work with the DNR to create and maintain important deer wintering habitat. Since 2009, Plum Creek has worked with the DNR on the Huron Mountains deer wintering complex in Marquette and Baraga counties and the complex at Menge Creek in Baraga County.

Over several years that project has evolved into an operational working forest doctrine for nearly 17,000 acres of Plum Creek land. That land, enrolled in the Commercial Forest Act, is committed to sustainable habitat management.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.