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 trails organization, and encouraged Gabe to seize the opportunity. He took over as Executive Director in 2014, and has been instrumental in growing the orga- nization to add staff, establish more trails, and work collaboratively to benefit Western Maine communi- ties on many fronts.
For instance, take the Oxford County Conservation Corps (OC3), a partnership effort with the University of Maine 4-H Camp at Bryant Pond. The program trained area students in modern, sustainable trail- building techniques, and developed leadership and team-building skills. The students worked on trail stewardship and development for several weeks during the summer, providing a first job for many students. Over five years, forty-five OC3 participants logged 11,000 hours of trail work at 20 locations across Ox- ford County.
In November of 2016, Perkins helped to band Ma- hoosuc Pathways together with the Bethel Outing Club and the Bethel Inn Resort to form Bethel Vil- lage Trails. This collaboration took over operation of the Nordic skiing trails at the resort, grooming and maintaining 20 kilometers of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat bike riding, plus provid-
Above: Gabe Perkins has been working hard to establish a com- munity forest in Bethel with key collaborators Betsy Cook (from the Trust For Public Land) and Julie Renaud Evans (from the Northern Forest Center).
Below:The Bethel Community Forest will support year-round recreational opportunities, including Nordic skiing on wide trails.
 Courtesy The Northern Forest Center
 Gabe Perkins

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