Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 82

G Protecting the Appalachian Trail
Ron Tipton

Guest
Column

RON TIPTON IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO OF
THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL CONSERVANCY.

Thru-hiker Ron Tipton now oversees the
Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia.

Since 1978 Ron Tipton has been in
advocacy/management with four
national conservation organizations: The Wilderness Society,
National Audubon Society, World
Wildlife Fund and National Parks
conservation Association. He is past
President of Samaritan Ministry of
Greater Washington.
ON THE MORNING OF April 9, 1978 I
started my 2,100-mile hike from
Springer Mountain, Georgia to the
very dramatic northern terminus of
82 | BlueRidgeCountry.com

the Appalachian National
Scenic Trail at Mt.
Katahdin in northern
Maine. Part of my mission
was to give the National
Park Service and the U.S.
Forest Service a report on
high priority areas for land
acquisition to address
threats from land development directly adjacent to
the trail. I completed my
end-to-end trek in early
September and submitted
my ideas for land protection the following month
to the two federal
agencies.
This unique assignment
came to me right after
President Jimmy Carter
signed new legislation giving the Park Service a clear
mandate to buy lands
within the Appalachian
Trail corridor in order to
assure permanent protection of the scenic vistas
and the immediate landscape surrounding the
Trail. Ninety million dollars
was authorized for this
purpose, and funds
became available almost immediately
and on an annual basis.
As it turned out, the Appalachian
Trail has been one of the most successful such efforts in the history of
our country. Greater than 99 percent
of the now-2,180 mile- A.T. is in
public ownership, with more than
280,000 acres of trail lands managed
by the Park Service, Forest Service
and a variety of state agencies. The
last major section of the trail corridor
to be protected - several miles of the
A.T. in southwestern Virginia (the
southern end of the Central Virginia
section of the trail) from the New

River north to Pearisburg - was
acquired this year by the Forest
Service. This is a fantastic
achievement!
Every year more than 2.5 million
people hike a section of the A.T.,
which is protected for future generations of long distance hikers and for
those who simply want to do a short
walk and experience the beauty of
the Appalachian mountains and forests. Now we have an opportunity to
extend that protection and enhance
the trail experience. The
Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)
proposes to launch a new and ambitious program to preserve the viewshed and the natural and cultural
heritage within an expanded A.T.
landscape.
The landscape conservation idea
has been endorsed by many scientists and academics, conservation
groups, local communities, and federal and state government agencies.
Protecting high-priority landscapes is
a central feature of the Obama
administration's "America's Great
Outdoors" conservation initiative.
The A.T. is a perfect candidate for
landscape level protection: It is the
most famous long-distance foot trail
in the world; and its management
and protection is coordinated by the
National Park Service in partnership
with other public agencies, 31 local
trail maintaining clubs and the ATC.
Benton MacKaye, who first promoted the idea of an Appalachian
Trail, had a vision that this trail
would link Appalachian communities
with the natural world and their cultural heritage. We have an opportunity to fulfill his vision and to
proactively protect the A.T. for
future generations. Local communities, trail advocates and land conservation agencies can work together
to achieve this worthy goal. 


http://www.BlueRidgeCountry.com

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014
Table of Contents
Print to Mobile
From the Editor
From the Farm
Festivals & Events
The Hike
Creature Feature
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Potomac Highlands Adventures
Get Up Early! Great Farm Vacations
Saving Mabry Mill
Photo Essay: Mountain Skies
Signature Mountain Dishes
Waterfront Living
Mountain Garden
Cabin in the Woods: Canaan Resort
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Print to Mobile
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Potomac Highlands Adventures
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Get Up Early! Great Farm Vacations
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Saving Mabry Mill
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Photo Essay: Mountain Skies
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Signature Mountain Dishes
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Waterfront Living
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 63
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 75
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 76
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 77
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: Canaan Resort
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 79
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 80
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 81
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover4
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