The Finger Lakes Trail Conference was created in 1962 as a not-for-profit membership organization to administer a foot trail across upstate New York from Allegany State Park in the west to the Catskills in the east across both public and private lands.
Volunteers, whether individual or groups, adopt sections of trail, obtain permissions to route the trail, maintain good relations with permitting landowners, and maintain the quality of the trail for hikers.
The umbrella organization ensures uniform trail marking standards statewide, publishes maps (which by now are a sophisticated product utilizing GIS programs), markets the trail to the public, performs member services, publishes a quarterly color magazine, organizes hikes and spring and fall weekend gatherings and performs all fiduciary functions pertinent to the trail.
The needs of the trail system, now grown to 1,000 miles, have grown over the years from an annual budget under $20,000 to a current one over $200,000, with paid staff in a low-rent office at the Mount Morris Dam. The once-simple footpath now includes dozens of shelters along the trail, bog bridging and many bridges over streams, used by an ever-growing number of day hikers and overnight backpackers.
Nearly 430 people have walked the whole main trail end-to-end.
FLTC partners with state host agencies as well as with the National Park Service as host to 400 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail. The Conference has also joined in several efforts with the Finger Lakes Land Trust to protect miles of trail.
Quinn Wright is executive director of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, which has three paid employees and is headquartered at 6111 Visitor Center Road in Mount Morris. The website is: fltconference.org.
Financial record Year ended Dec. 31, 2016
Contributions, gifts, grants $561,331 82
Membership due 42,900 6
Investment income 34,749 5
Other income 32,435 5
Program service revenue 11,440 2
Total revenue $682,855
Salaries $53,929 29
Trails 22,056 12
Office expenses 20,746 11
Advertising and promotion 20,463 11
Payroll taxes 16,571 9
Programs 8,728 5
Other 45,772 24
Total expenses $188,265
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses $494,590
Board of directors
Pat Monahan, president
Greg Farnham, vice president
Mike Granger, vice president
David Newman, vice president
Lynda Rummel, vice president
Charles Schutt, vice president
Paul Warrender, vice president
Christian Townes, treasurer
Roy Dando, secretary
Quinn Wright, executive director
—Researched by Bill Alden
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