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Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Routine A.T. Maintenance on NPS-APPA Lands

The National Park Service has drafted a "Programmatic Categorical Exclusion" (PCE) for work on NPS-APPA lands. Those are lands that were acquired by the NPS for the A.T. They are managed by APPA, as opposed to other park units through which the Trail passes, such as Delaware Water Gap, Shenandoah, Harpers Ferry, Great Smoky Mountains, or Blue Ridge.

The PCE would apply to routine and cyclic maintenance, upkeep, and repairs designed to keep existing trail and trail facilities in good working order. The work at any location should not take substantial resources or time, or change the “character” of the existing trail or facility. 

Covered activities would not be exempt from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy. Act, but would generally not require preparation of an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement. Other proposed activities would still be required to be submitted to APPA for compliance review using the standard process. 

Review and comments on the draft PCE and activities covered under it are encouraged. The document and instructions for submitting comments are found here.

Important dates:
  • 05/01/17 (12:00 noon–1:00 pm): APPA will host a one-hour Q&A Webinar to relay information and take questions from volunteers and ATC staff. Contact Leanna Joyner at for information.
  • 05/31/17: Comment period closes.
  • 06/30/17 (Time TBD): APPA will host a roll-out Webinar to inform volunteers and ATC staff what is in the final document.

Be Tick Aware

Working on the Appalachian Trail and Trail lands means working in wooded, brushy, and grassy areas, where ticks are likely to be found. Although ticks can become active any time the temperature remains above freezing, spring and summer are when most people become infected with Lyme disease. 
(Enlarged image of adult female deer tick)

The highest concentration of reported cases of Lyme disease on the A.T. occur from Virginia to Massachusetts, especially at elevations less than 2,000 feet. Deer (black-legged) ticks transmit Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses on the A.T. Deer tick nymphs, about the size of a poppy seed, pose the most risk as they are difficult to see.

Other tick species may be encountered at lower elevations along the Trail and may transmit serious or even fatal illnesses. A single tick bite can transmit more than one disease. 

  • Wear light-colored clothing; ticks can most easily be spotted against a lighter color.
  • Wear clothing treated with permethrin, which can kill ticks on contact. You can purchase pretreated clothing, spray clothing with permethrin, or have your own clothing treated commercially.
  • Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are recommended. Tuck pant legs into socks or shoes, and tuck shirts into pants. Wear shoes that cover the entire foot.
  • In warm, humid weather, bug-net clothing allows for ventilation and bug-net pants over shorts are effective. These also can be treated with permethrin.
  • Use insect repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin, following manufacturer's instructions.
  • Check for ticks frequently in the field and do a careful body check for ticks after a work trip.Removing an embedded tick within 24 hours reduces risk of illness. Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick key to lift under the mouth parts in a slow, steady pull.
  • Put clothing worn in the field in the dryer on high heat for 60 minutes to kill any remaining ticks.
  • Seek medical treatment if symptoms develop, even if you are unaware of being bitten by a tick.
Centers for Disease Control:

National Institute for Arthritis and Infectious Diseases:

Boundary Blurb 

We are looking forward to having six seasonal staff working on corridor stewardship in central New England this field season.
In an effort to introduce new folks to the boundary program—and get some much needed maintenance work done—the corridor stewardship technicians will work closely with the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) and will lead Saturday morning volunteer opportunities for area corporate and school groups throughout the summer along the boundary around Hanover and Lyme, New Hampshire. 
We also are excited to be able to offer two separate volunteer opportunities for a few current thru-hikers. And, thanks to the DOC and the Norwich Trail Angels Network, they will receive food and lodging for their service.
From July 24–28, they will have the opportunity to join the techs and DOC on the boundary line in the Hanover area.

From October 9–13, DOC will host a second hiker work week at the newly renovated Moosilauke Ravine Lodge in Warren, NH.
We are looking forward to getting hikers and community members out on the boundary. If you are part of a group in the Upper Valley region that would enjoy giving back to the Appalachian Trail this summer, please get in touch.
Alison Scheiderer
Land Protection Associate
ATC New England Regional Office

June 3 is National Trails Day

Want to get people in your community involved in your Trail club? Help hikers discover your organization by hosting a hike on National Trails Day®, Saturday, June 3. 

Planning a group hike is simple, and it's a great way to cultivate new members and trail advocates. You can register your hike for free on the National Trails Day® database so people can find your event.

National Trails Day is organized and coordinated by the American Hiking Society.

Effects of 2016 Wildfires 

"When people think of forest fires, they tend to imagine blackened death-like scenes with scorched earth and wildlife frantically fleeing from roaring flames. They envision a chaos of downed trees and a thick carpet of ashes, all of it there to ruin their outdoor experiences and even the trails themselves.

"The effects of forest fires are generally less than imagined. Regardless, fire means more than charred land and trees. Fire also touches hikers themselves and the hiking-related businesses that support them."

Read Jim Fetig's blog, "More than Fire: The Effects of  the Southeastern Wildfires on the Appalachian Trail Community" here.

Tickborne Disease Symptoms

Symptoms that may indicate Lyme or other tick-borne 
illnesses and a need to seek medical attention include:

o  Rash: The characteristic "bulls-eye" rash depicted above may occur with Lyme disease, although some people do not develop a rash, and a rash does not always look like this. Rashes may disappear and recur, sometimes in different locations. Lone Star ticks may transmit STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness), with symptoms similar to Lyme disease, including a rash.
o  Fever
o  Joint and muscle pains
o  Headache
o  Chills
o  Fatigue
o  Swollen lymph nodes
o A swollen knee or other large joint may develop days to months after infection with Lyme disease.
(Above: Black Mountain 
project, NY-NJTC photo)

NY-NJ Trail Conference
Outdoor Safety Guidelines

A link to the NY-NJTC Outdoor Activity Safety Guidelines is posted in ATC's Trail Maintainer Reference Library, along with other safety documents, including job hazard analyses for various tasks:

Share the Wealth...

...of information found in The Register. 

The Register is intended for Trail volunteers and managers. It began as a printed newsletter, then moved online, and is now emailed monthly. The image above is from the April 1978 inaugural issue. Email issues are posted in the Trail Club Toolkit and can be found here.

Please forward this issue to Trail maintainers and anyone interested in the stewardship of the Trail and encourage them to subscribe by sending their first and last names and email address to

Toolkit for Trail Clubs

A.T. club managers and volunteers - this web page is for you! 

From back issues of The Register  to a maintainer reference library, ATC policies, local management planning, information on managing volunteers, and more—the Toolkit is the best place to find resources quickly.
Volunteer of the Month

An activist for environmental justice, Fred Tutman believes that "Deeper respect for the environmental context held dear by people of all walks and ethnicities is the only way environmental movements will ever reach their full inclusive potential.” 

Fred was appointed to ATC’s Stewardship Council in 2013 and serves on the Council’s Youth and Diversity committee.

(Read more about Fred here

2017 ATC Meetings

ATC Stewardship Council
May 4-5
Shepherdstown, WV

ATC Board of Directors
May 10-12
Dawsonville, GA

Maine 2017 Biennial Conference
August 4-11
Waterville, ME

ATC Board of Directors
November 9-11
Adamstown, MD

ATC Stewardship Council
November 9-10
Adamstown, MD
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

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