ATC 2018 ACTION PLAN
ATC and the National Park Service (NPS) continued to advance the work of the A.T. Landscape Partnership in 2017. Last year members of the partnership secured 11 projects along the A.T. These projects conserved more than 5000 acres important to the Trail and the A.T. experience. A diversity of funding sources allowed for these acquisitions to be completed – Land and Water Conservation Funds, Forest Legacy, State Open Space programs, private foundations, and individual contributions. ATC and NPS hosted and organized the 3rd Annual Meeting of the A.T. Landscape Partnership
Our focus in 2018 is to build a more comprehensive and active communication system that amplifies the work of ATC and our A.T. Landscape partners. Our coalition continues to strengthen and grow. More effective and efficient internal and external communication will position the campaign to secure additional funding and champion major land protection projects.
We will also implement projects and work with conservation partners to ensure that the A.T. landscape provides ecosystem function and represents the rich cultural history of the Appalachian region. Multiple threats from invasive species and forest pests, incompatible development, and climate change, challenge the integrity of protected lands. In 2018 we will implement projects to curtail the spread of the emerald ash borer, an invasive forest pest that is decimating populations of ash trees, and focus on expanding habitat for the golden-winged warbler and pollinators such as monarch butterflies and bees. Much of our resource management work takes place in early successional areas where natural ecosystem processes (fire, grazing) have been lost.
We also intend to strengthen management partnerships across the A.T. landscape by co-hosting a science and stewardship symposium with NPS in 2019.
As a functional land trust, ATC will continue to comply with Land Trust Alliance standards for the 60 easements and 27 fee tracts we hold.
Knowing that we need greater Congressional awareness of and support for A.T. landscape issues, we worked with House leadership to launch an A.T. caucus in 2017. This year we will focus on growing that caucus to at least 30 members and use the caucus to strategically support the landscape initiative for land protection funding and supportive policies. Our staff will continue to work with many D.C. based conservation partners to identify and address policy issues that threaten landscape conservation, while also identifying opportunities such as the Pipeline Fairness and Transparency Act. This legislation was introduced by Senators Kaine and Warner, with a parallel bill in the House introduced by Congressmen Griffith and Goodlatte after working closely with ATC. (See: Pipeline Fairness and Transparency Act).
- Hire a contract employee to coordinate A.T. landscape related communications and improve communications products – website, email, social media, and coordination with communication partners.
- ATC and landscape partners protect at least 2000 acres and expand capacity for conservation across all landscape focus areas.
- Manage at least 250 acres of early-successional habitat for target species.
- Develop agenda for 2019 Science and Stewardship Symposium
- Expand A.T. House caucus to at least 30 members.
- Complete current condition reports and any necessary baseline documentation reports for at least 10 easements.
- Sell the Kellogg Conservation Center to a conservation partner.