Protection of land along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) has been a priority for Trail managers ever since the Trail was established, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has worked with state and federal agencies since 1982 to protect the lands surrounding the A.T., resulting in one of the most significant and successful land acquisition programs in the United States. Today there is a 250,000 acre greenway around the Trail that connects significant public lands in the eastern United States.
Land protection for the treadway is almost complete, but trail clubs and the ATC remain vigilant of development in the viewshed, especially at some of the most stunning overlooks on the trail. The ATC continues to work with federal, state and multiple private partners to acquire additional lands that complete the protection of the corridor, and safeguard the picturesque vistas, wildlife habitat, farmlands and valuable historic sites that are all part of the Trail experience.
Land protection is accomplished through active monitoring of the protected Trail corridor boundary, management of land held by the ATC’s land trust, and supporting a network of volunteers who monitor proposals for incompatible development in the A.T. viewshed. The ATC’s advocacy work is focused on mitigating the impacts of such proposals by educating local and national officials and responding to information requests related to potential trail impacts. Our advocacy work also includes supporting funding requests for funds for priority land acquisition projects.