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Advocacy

Obstacles arise every day that threaten the Appalachian Trail. We're here to protect it.

FederalSigning

protecting the a.t. experience

We care about protecting the experience we all have while hiking the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Along with our partners, we are charged under the National Trails Act to ensure that the scenic vistas and natural and cultural heritage of the Trail corridor is protected forever.

We have lobbied for dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund since 1972. Through our advocacy efforts and partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and multiple state agencies, more than $180 million dollars has been appropriated to secure a land base for the ​A.T. and to protect landscapes near the Trail.

Power lines on the Appalachian Trail

threats

Incompatible development near the A.T. threatens the intent of a national scenic trail as outlined in the National Trails Act. Such development potentially impacts the hiking experience and fragile landscapes surrounding the Trail. These developments may include expanded electric transmission corridors, new or expanded highways and roads, and poorly sited industrial wind farms and large scale natural gas pipelines, among others. 

We work 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

Columbia Gas Pipeline in Delaware Water Gap

Protecting the Appalachian Trail from Natural Gas Pipelines

Numerous gas pipelines have been proposed between southwest Virginia and Massachusetts, and they could be built across the A.T. We are concerned about the cumulative impacts.

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The Appalachian Trail Conservancy supports the Clean Air Act

Fighting for More Protective Air Standards

The ATC is partnering with the Appalachian Mountain Club and other outdoor recreation groups in a call for stronger ozone pollution protections based on science. Clean Air Act programs that reduce the emissions from tailpipes and smokestacks are essential for both clean air and addressing climate change.

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Benton Mackaye, founder of the Appalachian Trail

hike the hill

Senior conservation staff visit congressional offices and agency staff ​every year as part of the annual Hike the Hill event, a joint effort by the American Hiking Society and the Partnership for the National Trails System. Our goal: keep the A.T. on everyone’s radar and ensure that high priority land protection projects are supported. We also supported re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and full annual funding of that program.