The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and its members, play a major role in defending the Trail by voicing support for state and federal conservation funding, and other legislation action to protect the Trail. These advocacy efforts range from obtaining funds to protect Appalachian Trail (A.T.) lands to providing a voice to protect the hiking experience from developers. New threats to the Trail arise everyday, and we are constantly at work to help advocate for the A.T.
Since 1972, over $180 million dollars of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) have been awarded to help secure a land base for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Through the ATC’s advocacy efforts and partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and multiple state agencies, funds have been secured to help protect the A.T. corridor. But despite significant efforts, important pieces of the A.T. are still not protected: nearly 10 miles of Trail remain unprotected, and over 8,000 acres originally designated as part of the targeted corridor have not been acquired. To view a list of our current projects CLICK HERE
In addition, obstacles arise everyday that threaten the hiking experience and the fragile web of life and landscapes of the Trail. These included eminent domain for National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors, the expansion of highways and roads, and planning for appropriate development around the Trail corridor. The ATC’s conservation staff works to educate local leaders about these threats to the Trail in an effort to avoid or mitigate negative impacts. We also work closely with state and federal agencies to ensure effective policies are developed to protect Trail resources.
Current Issues Hike the Hill (February 14, 2011)
- The ATC attended Hike the Hill in February, requesting a Fiscal Year 2012 appropriation from the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the amount of $10.58 million for the USDA Forest Service to acquire lands and interests in lands near the ANST in the states of Vermont, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and North Carolina. A Forest Legacy request in the amount of $8.73 million was made for lands on Maine. Staff scheduled over 40 meetings with Congressional and agency staff during the recent Washington D.C. visit.
Proposed Powerline in NH (December 16, 2010) - ATC submitted comments and filed a request to intervene in the permitting process for this proposed powerline in New Hampshire.
ATC’s position is that this project requires a full programmatic environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and related laws, including energy-conservation initiatives, evaluation of effects on scenic, cultural, and recreational resources, consideration of all routing alternatives including possible undergrounding, and full consideration of the No Action Alternative. Comments to the U.S. Forest Service on Partnerships (November 12, 2010)
- The ATC contributed to and cosigned this letter from the Partnership for the National Trails System responding to the U.S. Forest Service's request for comments on policies relating to partnerships. PATH Powerline Update (July 13, 2010)
- The National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are seeking public comment as they develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH). This new 765 kV electric transmission line will cross West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland and would cross the Appalachian Trail, three other national park units, and the Monangahela National Forest. See this scoping newsletter for information on the project and the EIS process, including a schedule of public meetings and how to submit comments. Public meetings will be held in July, and comments should be submitted by August 5.