Appalachian Trail Conservation Banner Brent McGuirt

A Strong Future

As guardians of the Appalachian Trail, our goal is to ensure it will be enjoyed for centuries to come.

Protection and Stewardship Icon

protection and stewardship

Our conservation work is focused on the protection and stewardship of land surrounding the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). This land base, spanning the Appalachian highland region from Georgia to Maine, connects significant state and federal lands. Running primarily along the ridgelines, Trail lands protect a migratory flywayand headwater streams for major East Coast watersheds. This protected area is one of the most significant greenways in the eastern United States.

Our conservation work is focused on identifying high priority tracts for permanent protection, working collaboratively with numerous conservation partners. We advocate funding for land protection and for best management practices to effectively steward these lands in perpetuity. We also play an important role as land managers, assisting with the natural resource management of corridor lands to ensure that the integrity of protected A.T. lands is upheld for future generations to experience and enjoy. We strive to base management decisions on sound science, and we work cooperatively with partners to develop our conservation approach. 


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

Calling for Funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund

by User Not Found | Sep 09, 2015
Update: On Dec. 16, 2015, the Land and Water Conservation Fund was renewed for three additional years.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), signed into law in 1964, puts a portion of offshore drilling fees toward the protection of land and water, with money being intended for national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges and more.

Your voice is critical to ensuring that LWCF will continue to permanently open access to America’s public lands and protect the places where Americans go to enjoy the great outdoors. To add your voice to the chorus of LWCF supporters, please visit 

For more information on ​this campaign, visit


  1. 29 Claire Speredelozzi 17 Sep
    I believe the LWCF should continue because of the importance of it. Protection of land and water has should always be a first priority. Think of Teddy Roosevelt who kickstarted the national parks; we should continue helping the environment as he started it. 
  2. 28 Carrie Carter 05 Oct
    In this day and age when our children are growing up immersed in technology and staying plugged in 24/7 (and encouraged to do so through college), we are in greater need than ever to protect our natural resources to allow a chance to reconnect with the real world around us.  This is our last outlet of decompression and connection.  Through scouting we help our children learn to help preserve the last of an important resource that is dwindling at an incredible rate. 
    Through the increased prices on oil and gas the general public is actually funding this important conservation.  As large corporations continue to plunder our natural resources a portion of these proceeds must continue to support what their accidents destroy.  I urge you to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation fund.
  3. 27 pamela jenkins 17 Oct
    I'm a 60 yr old human being whose primary concern for our survival is the health of our planet. we need to do all we can with every available resource ....REAUTHORIZE THE LWCF!
  4. 26 John Morse "toe" 21 Oct
    Please, please, please,,,think of our kids and our kids kids, protect our water and while we still can
  5. 25 CC 24 Oct
    Consider, would you, waking to a world with no birds, no crickets, nothing but machines.  Feel that ache in your soul?  Do the right thing. Fund wild places. 
  6. 24 John Travis Wagner 08 Nov
    This is a important piece of American History.  It's impairitive that fun f ING continues.
  7. 23 Carter M Scheffler 13 Dec
    Please reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  America's national parks are one of the most integral part of what makes it so great.
  8. 22 Mary Moynihan 23 Dec
    Without the beauty and solace found while walking the Appalachian Trail, we would have far many more people suffering from depression, obesity and other mental illness. All issues the 2016 Campaign is trying to address. The trail is an answer and cure for many ailments. Protect the Appalachian Trail!
  9. 21 Margaret Krist 25 Dec
    Please reconsider and pass legislation to fund the LWCF.  If we, as citizens, don't protect our natural resources for our children and their children, like the very special AT, who will?
  10. 20 Allison Halgren 31 Dec
    Now, more than ever, we need to conserve our peoples habitat. Voters want conservation. The future depends on it.
  11. 19 Allison Halgren 31 Dec
    The planet, people's habitat,  depends on conservation. The voters want to preserve nature and our future depends on it. 
  12. 18 Laura Eberly 03 Jan
    Please reconsider your voting stance on the LWCF. The national parks and trails were meant to be around for future generations to enjoy. They are an important part of history and identity as a nation. My vote will support those who understand that stewardship is part of our responsibility as responsible citizens.
  13. 17 Jason Bostic 26 Jan
    What are they thinking?! The land, wildlife, parks, the wild period! is the most important national treasure that we have. Why would Congress not partake in trying to save as much of nature as they can? LWCF has to be reauthorized and mother nature needs to be protected for enjoyment by future generations, once they put their game consoles away and realize what is out there for them to cherish and discover.
  14. 16 Sonja Eady 08 Feb
     The reauthorization of the LWCF is important!
  15. 15 Timothy Couvillion 21 Feb
    i am a service provider to oil field related work in The northern part of the Gulf of Mexico. I am also intrigued by the challenges and rewards nature has to offer. I have not seen the details of the LWCF, but believe if it is financially possible, saving out natural resources in parks are worth it. 

    Timothy Couvillion
  16. 14 Christian Osmond 02 Mar
    Nature has been a huge part of who we are and who I am, and without help to maintain this land and it's resources, life will not be sustainable. 
  17. 13 Matthew 05 Mar
    Funding for National Treasures is beneficial for everyone.
  18. 12 Anne Murray 21 Mar
    Preserving our national treasures is a must.  The AT is an epic natural adventure that is needed to help humanity have an means to connect with nature. 
  19. 11 Lauren Brewer 28 Mar
    As we move into the future as a nation, we need to look at what we have done right and what we have done wrong within our past. One thing I know we have done correctly is to protect our natural resources and conserve a wilderness that is appreciated by many in our country. This wilderness  is a part of what makes this land so great. By taking away the Land and  Water Conservation Fund, we are putting beautiful and pristine places at risk. As someone who frequents and loves the outdoors of her nation, I implore you to bring this funding back. Not only for me, but for the future generations to enjoy. 
  20. 10 Frank Wyatt 30 Mar
    The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), signed into law in 1964 must be reauthorized!


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​land protection

Protecting land along the A.T. has been a priority for Trail managers ever since the Trail was established. We have 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.

Boundary Corridor Lands by Brent McQuirt Appalachian Trail Conservancy 

​Boundary and Corridor Lands

Our Boundary Program protects the public's investment in the lands that surround the A.T. Volunteers from A.T. Maintaining Clubs work with us to monitor and maintain more than 1,500 miles of the Trail corridor's exterior boundary.

Natural and Cultural Resource Management Appalachian Trail Conservancy 

​Natural and Cultural Resource Management

The A.T. is about more than hiking. Trail lands protect headwater streams for major East Coast watersheds and also host hundreds of rare species. We work cooperatively with our partners to understand and monitor these resources.

trail management

Trail management encompasses the on–the-ground stewardship performed by volunteers and agency partners to maintain the Trail, its structures, and its natural and cultural resources. Management includes keeping the footpath clear of natural overgrowth and blowdowns; building and relocating sections of the footpath; building and repairing shelters and other structures; and caring for overnight sites. We coordinate this work, provide training, help set policy parameters, supply funding and other assistance to 31 Trail maintaining clubs, and recruit and manage volunteer Trail crews.

Appalachian Trail Crew Flexing Muscles

​Trail Crews

Our Trail Crews tackle large-scale projects like relocations and rehabilitation as well as bridge and shelter construction. The work is hard, but it's a great way to give back to the Trail that changed your life.

RidgeRunners and Caretakers by Laurie Potteiger

​Ridgerunners & Caretakers

More than 30 ridgerunners and caretakers help us promote a quality A.T. experience by educating hikers on how to minimize impact on the Trail.

Trail Management Policies AT Boundary Marker by Vincent Juarez

​Trail Management Policies

If you're an A.T. manager, here are links to Trail policies, planning guidance, and other volunteer management resources.

AT Community Program Logo

the appalachian trail community program

The Appalachian Trail Community™ program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).  Towns, counties, and communities along the A.T.’s corridor are considered assets by all that use the A.T. and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. The program serves to assist communities with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the A.T.

Youth and Community Engagement Appalachian Trail Conservancy

​​youth engagement

The Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) program is a professional development program for K-12 teachers that provides educators with the tools and training for place-based education and service-learning on the A.T. Launched in 2006 in partnership with the National Park Service, the program offers educators the resources needed to engage their students in their local community, all while growing academically and professionally.

The program was developed to:

  • Engage youth in volunteer activities
  • Encourage a love of learning
  • Promote healthy lifestyles
  • Create a conservation ethic 
  • Form a respect for the A.T.