Over a cup of coffee in the USFS building at Hermit Lake, the soon-to-be founding fathers of the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, Al Risch and Brad Ray, were discussing government budget cuts and the potential devastating results these cutbacks would have on the maintenance and stewardship of the fragile Tuckerman Ravine region.
Brad mentioned that similar Friends groups had started up in other parts of the country and wondered whether we could find someone in the Mount Washington Valley to start a local group whose mission would be to solicit private sector funding and raise an awareness about the struggle to keep and maintain a program of stewardship over the Tuckerman Ravine area.
A committee consisting of Don Muse, Brad Ray, Bruce Jackson (of the USFS) and Al Risch was formed to explore the feasibility of creating a Friends-type organization whose mission would be to help with maintaining and protecting the greater ravine environment. Bruce Jackson took on the task of gathering information from other Friends groups and after this research was done, the committee decided that the Friends of Acadia group run by former AMC member Kent Olsen could serve as an appropriate model for the newly planned organization.
After a meeting with Kent and the Acadia Park supervisor, the committee set out to emulate their success by forming the official Friends of Tuckerman Ravine non-profit organization and the rest is history. Al Risch accepted the task of promoting the idea in the Mount Washington Valley and developed a Charter Lifetime Membership appeal to kick things off. The Friends of Tuckerman Ravine has been adding members and working with volunteers ever since and has completed many successful projects to the benefit of all who enjoy this special region. The annual Tuckerman Inferno race has become a well-known and established charity event for endurance athletes, friends and families that want to support the mission of the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine.