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[at-l] ALDHA Companion/Endorsements



Anyone who thinks the inclusion of a business in the ALDHA Companion is an
endorsement needs to re-think their positon.  The Board discussed this
question a couple months ago because of a problem with one of those
businesses.  The bottom line is that inclusion in the Companion was never
intended to be an endorsement, there is no intent to make it so, and it is
specifically stated in the Copmpanion that it's NOT so.  And that means
"exactly" what it says.

The Companion is, has been and will continue to be a simple listing of those
businesses along the Trail which provide hiker-related services. It makes no
pretension to list ALL the business, nor does it intentionally leave anyone
out unless they've proved to be a real problem for hikers.  Nor does it
"rate" those businesses.  ALDHA has no way to monitor the quality of those
services except through hiker feedback - and we get little enough of that
except when someone's really unhappy.

ALDHA is a VOLUNTEER organization - and has yet to find anyone who's willing
to put in the time, effort and money  to "rate" the services along the
Trail.  It's tough enough to just find enough people to keep the publication
viable without laying that kind of burden on them.

The Companion is NOT a Fodor's Guide to the Appalachian Trail.  If you want
that kind of publication, I'm afraid you'll have to publish it yourself.
And we'll cheer you on as you do it.

To answer another point - ALDHA doesn't "make money" from the Companion
either.  The organization gets a fixed stipend from ATC for producing it.
That money is used to defray some of the expenses involved with gathering
the information. But it doesn't nearly cover ALL the expenses - a lot of
people (the Field Editors) spend a lot of their own money to provide the
information so y'all can have a relatively reliable source of information
and enjoy hiking the Trail. They don't get anything out of it except
satisfaction.

As for quality - a lot of time and energy has gone into improving it in some
way every year. If you have complaints, we'll gladly listen to them, and if
they have merit, try to do something about them.

Y'all have a good night -
Walk soflty,
Jim



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