January 2012 Volunteer of the Month - Dave Trone


                                                       (Photo by Pete Brown)

Dave Trone has been a member of PATCs North Chapter and also its Treasurer for many years.  He became active on trail and shelter work in the 1990s.  Charlie Irvin appointed Dave to be overseer of the Big Flat to Milesburn Cabin section of the AT in 1997.  Dave also became overseer of the Birch Run Shelter.  Dave spends his “free” time section hiking the AT.  Each year he adds more sections to the parts of the AT he's hiked.

Dave spent many hours in his effort to maintain the original Birch Run shelters.  When it became evident that they were deteriorating to the point they couldn't be saved, he designed a new shelter to replace them.  He organized the construction of the new shelter and was so attentive to detail that it was evident he was a professional accountant.  The final cost of the shelter equaled the dollar amount he had estimated when it was proposed.  The shelter is a great improvement over the old ones and is well liked by hikers who leave compliments in the log book.

The Big Flat area along the AT was once an aircraft runway and was being used by snowmobilers as sort of a racetrack that crossed the AT in winter.  The North Chapter decided to plant tree seedlings across the area to discourage improper use of National Park Service land.  Dave saw that a fence would be needed to keep the trees from being run over and organized the effort to build it.  A rustic wooded post and eye fence now protects the area and the trees within it.  Dave has been active in maintaining it ever since.

The Tuscarora Trail had a closure through private land north of Carlisle, PA, that lasted over five years.  Through the efforts of many, a relocation was negotiated along the ridge of Blue Mountain just within the boundary of the Florence Jones Reineman Wildlife Sanctuary, through the Pennsylvania Audubon Hawkwatch on the ridge, and land purchased by the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy.  Dave agreed to become Assistant District Manager for Pennsylvania to supervise the construction of the trail relocation.

Dave managed to get the relocation open in two years of hard work, through challenging boulder fields.  In addition he wanted to recognize the effort Charlie Irvin made to reopen the Tuscarora Trail in Pennsylvania in the 1990s after it had mostly grown closed.  The result of Dave's effort is that a site has been designated for a shelter and overlook to honor Charlie and funds have been donated to build the shelter.

To celebrate the completion of the relocation, Dave organized a dedication ceremony that took place at the Audubon Hawkwatch this past August.  He also arranged for hikes to the Charlie Irvin Shelter site and overlook following the ceremony.

PATC salutes Dave Trone for his outstanding work, managing multiple demanding projects in Penn’s Woods.