Appalachian Trail Conservancy


B.T. Fitzgerald and Bob ProudmanLike a Ripple in a Pond

The stories of the A.T.-maintaining clubs are being shared beyond newsletters and rippling out into social media and blogs. This month, we highlight the AMC-Berkshire Chapter's A.T. Committee at Stalwart AMC volunteers work with ATC staff and agency partners to manage about 90 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, along with 5,345 acres protected by NPS that connect a half-dozen state forests.
 Below L to R, Massachusetts A.T. Committee volunteers 
Don Fairbanks, Jim Pelletier, Adam Brown (ATC staff), 
Pete Rentz, and John Sullivan
Upper Goose Pond sign
Upper Goose Pond is reportedly the only pond in the county without road access. There is boat access from Lower Goose Pond via a connecting inlet. The pond was a plum for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail when the National Park Service purchased the entire lake shore in the mid-1980s, part of the agency's A.T. land-acquisition program. It has been managed cooperatively ever since by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, NPS-Appalachian Trail Park Office, ATC, and the A.T. Committee of the AMC-Berkshire Chapter (see for more about the chapter). The current ten-year memorandum of understanding among those partners will be updated and renewed this summer.

Like a ripple in a pond, the influence of the Appalachian Trail continues to widen, as other countries seek to learn from our cooperative partnerships and volunteer-based management. In 2006, Appalachian Trail Journeys (ATJ) magazine recounted ATC's advice to sponsors of the Lebanon Mountain Trail and to trail builders in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa (see "Crossing Borders," ATJ Sept-Oct 2006).
ATC Conservation Director Laura Belleville has taken two trips to South Korea to work with the World Trail Network ( and to present ATC’s cutting-edge work with the Appalachian Trail CommunitiesTM and a Trail to Every Classroom programs. "Walking this Planet" (ATJ, May-June 2012) is about her first trip.


More recently, Julie Judkins of ATC visited Tajikistan in Asia at that country’s invitation, describing the A.T. CommunitiesTM program, as well as the core virtues of the ANST—its volunteerism and cooperative management system (see "Bridging the Global Landscape," ATJ, Jan-Feb 2013).
And, this month, Conservation Operations Director Bob Proudman travels to Beijing to make a keynote address to more than 200 park and forestry officials at China's International Forum on Mentougou National Trail.
Nations seek to replicate the successes of the Appalachian Trail that begin at the local level but grow to a vastly larger scale. We are proud to be part of the ripple that is spreading around the world.

By Bob Proudman and B.T. Fitzgerald

Bob Proudman is Director of Conservation Operations
B.T. Fitzgerald is Chair of the Stewardship Council


New Director for Central and Southwest Virginia Region

Andrew Downs
Andrew Downs has been appointed ATC regional director for central and southwest Virginia.
Andrew joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy staff in 2007 as the Trail resource manager for the southern regional office. His responsibilities included managing the S.W.E.A.T. and Rocky Top crews and other field programs. A  2002 A.T. thru-hiker, he has a masters degree in natural resource management from North Carolina State University.
A recipient of a primitive skills award for his work establishing the Wilderness Skills Institute,  Andrew is dedicated to the traditions of A.T. management and takes a volunteers-first approach in working to protect the Trail and the A.T. experience. 

Full Funding for LWCF?

President Obama's proposed FY 2014 budget includes $600 million from oil and gas revenues for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), including specific projects along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Vermont. The proposed budget would fully fund the LWCF beginning in FY 2015.
Below: Land and Water Conservation Funds helped protect
4,447 acres of land surrounding the A.T. in New Hampshire

Conserved lands in NHThe LWCF is the nation’s primary tool to conserve parks, forests, trails, and other public lands through grants, land acquisition, and conservation programs. Nearly five million acres of public lands, including A.T. lands, have been protected by the LWCF since its inception in 1965. The program is intended to provide $900 million annually for conservation, however, billions of dollars have been diverted by Congress for other purposes since the program was enacted. A bipartisan bill (S.338) has been introduced in the Senate that would ensure that LWCF funds are used as intended. The bill currently has 28 sponsors.

Boundary Blurb
Corridor Boundary Report Form Q and A
The boundary form for providing monitoring and maintenance information is now available on the boundary resources page of ATC’s website. While the form has some basic instructions embedded in it, corridor monitors may have questions about how, when, and why to fill it out. This Q and A document will answer many of those questions, as well as describe in detail how—and why—to fill out the form. It is not a comprehensive guide, so please e-mail me if you have any questions.
(below, ANST monument damaged by mower) 
Monument damaged by mowerSample question and answer:
Q:  Why should I list all of the monuments, especially if nothing has changed since last time I was out?
A:   It is important that the form is completed in full to reflect all of the monitoring and/or maintenance work that you did. If an encroachment were to occur after your monitoring visit, it would be essential for us to have a recent record of the state of the boundary line and the monuments on that line. If we know that the monument was in “good” condition a month before a road crew mows it over, it is much easier to hold the offending road crew accountable for the monument’s replacement, for instance.  
Alison ScheidererATC Land Protection Associate Alison Scheiderer
Land Protection Associate   
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
P.O. Box 807
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 

Points of Light Celebrate Service logo

Thank You!

It's National Volunteer Week and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy wants to thank all of the volunteers who work to maintain, protect, preserve, and manage the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which  is used by more than two million people every year. 

Last year, 6,033 volunteers donated a record amount of their time—more than 240,000 hours—to work with the 31 Trail-maintaining clubs, ATC, agency partners, local communities and other organizations.

This is unprecedented and goes to show the level of commitment the Appalachian Trail attracts, and why we cannot thank our volunteers enough.

Mark Wenger
    ATC Executive Director

ATC Biennial Conference - Registration Open

Registration for the ATC membership conference has begun. To register, find out more, or volunteer, go to

The conference, hosted by the southern region A.T. clubs, will be held July 19-26 at Western Carolina University, in Cullowhee.

Protect the Trail - Become a Boundary Volunteer

Lands acquired to protect the Trail require vigilant monitoring and maintenance of the boundary line that separates those lands from adjacent properties. Without clearly marked boundaries, Trail lands are more vulnerable to dumping, tree harvesting, hunting, and.other encroachments.  If your A.T. club's Trail section includes protected corridor lands, you can help monitor them and keep the boundary clear and well-marked. Check with your club's corridor monitoring coordinator.

Resources for boundary volunteers are posted in ATC's Volunteer Toolkit - just click on the Boundary Resources button. 

Appalachian Trail Crews - Hard Work, Great People

Recruiting is underway  for seasonal Trail crews!

ATC sponsored crews tackle projects from Maine to Georgia, including Trail relocations, erosion control, rock work, bridge construction, and more. The crews work in cooperation with A.T. maintaining clubs and agency partners. Join a crew and improve the Trail while you enjoy the comaraderie of people from across the country and overseas.

For information and to apply, go to

Celebrate National Trails Day - June 1

The American Hiking Society has promoted the first Saturday in June as National Trails Day® since 1991.

Events can be found at A.T. clubs can register events that are open to the public there.

It's a great way to promote, hiking, the Appalachian Trail, and your club! 
Dave driving dowels at the Rausch Gap Shelter (Photo by Brian Swisher)

Volunteer of the Month

Dave Crosby, shelters chair of the Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club, says his work is a way to thank "the volunteers who went before me and to 'pay it forward' to the next generation of Trail users and maintainers. I've met some wonderful folks on the Trail—some of the most selfless have been the volunteers with whom I've had the privilege to work."  (Read more here)

2013 Meetings

Mid-Atlantic Regional Partnership Committee
March 2-3, 2013
Bangor, PA

Southern Partnership Meeting
March 15-17, 2013
Henderson, NC

New England Regional Partnership Committee
March 23, 2013
Hanover, NH 

ATC Stewardship Council
May 16-17
Shepherdstown, WV

ATC Board of Directors
May 17-18
Shepherdstown, WV

ATC Biennial Conference
July 19-26
Cullowhee, NC

ATC Stewardship Council
November 7-8
Shepherdstown, WV

ATC Board of Directors
November 8-9
Shepherdstown, WV
The Register  is published by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for the volunteers of the Appalachian Trail, their agency partners, and others interested in the stewardship of the Trail.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trailensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. To become a member, volunteer, or learn more, visit
Our mailing address is:
ATC Headquarters
799 Washington St, PO Box 807
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Copyright © 2013  |  All rights reserved.