Interesting article, in that they want something science-based to see how to re-open the trail.

As a side note, I was hiking on Tunxis Trail in Connecticut yesterday, and hiked past a shelter with signs from the State's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection clearly stating the shelter was closed, and still there was a fire going, and a hammock stretched out. I don't have a sense if anyone is thru-hiking the AT right now, but I suspect more than a few are and are just doing it on the down-low.