Rockfall, Connecticut (June 4, 2012)
– The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) signed a memorandum of understanding to manage Connecticut's section of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) on June 1, 2012 at the Connecticut Forest and Park Association's (CFPA) headquarters in Rockfall, CT. The multi-agency memorandum describes an agreement of duties between the ATC, National Park Service and the Appalachian Mountain Club. The signing also coincides with the 20th Anniversary of National Trails Day, held on June 2nd.
The memorandum states a renewal of commitment among the organizations to work together and manage Connecticut's 51.6 mile section of the A.T. Issues such as proper maintenance, promotion and jurisdiction of the A.T. are included in the memorandum. The agreement will be in effect for the next 10 years.
“This signing is a fantastic way for current leaders in conservation to come and meet face to face and collaborate toward a common goal,” said Mark Wenger, executive director of the ATC. “I'm glad that so many organizations are willing to support the Appalachian Trail. Together, we'll sustain the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's mission to forever keep the Trail protected for generations to come.”
Members from Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Department of Transportation, State Historic Preservation Office and State Police also signed the memorandum.
Following the signing, CFPA's National Trails Day celebration took place at its headquarters and outdoor amphitheater and included gear demonstrations from Eastern Mountain Sports and REI. Participants were encouraged to explore along the Highland Forest Trail and later received remarks from environmental leaders at the amphitheater.
Eric Hammerling, executive director of the CFPA, served as the emcee of remarks for many individuals. Speakers of the event included Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal; Greg Miller, president of the American Hiking Society; Dan Esty, Connecticut DEEP Commissioner; Mark Wenger, executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy; Dennis Reidenbach, National Park Service Regional Director; John Judge, president of the Appalachian Mountain Club; Kip Bergstrom, acting State Historic Preservation Officer, and Jon Brayshaw, Middlefield First Selectman.
Afterward, speakers and guests attended a ribbon-cutting to officially open the Highland Forest Trail as Connecticut's newest blue-blazed hiking trail.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information please visit www.appalachiantrail.org
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: (304) 535-2200 ext. 117
Email: [email protected]