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“When Benton MacKaye developed the idea for the Appalachian Trail his vision was far grander than just a footpath. He imagined the Trail would become a network of natural and cultural landscapes providing a barrier to the forces of Metropolitan development.” - Ron Tipton

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Support Ron's Passion, Protect Our Large Landscapes

At the end of 2017, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will say farewell to our President and CEO, Ron Tipton, as he retires. Throughout his conservation career, Ron has been a vigilant protector of the A.T. experience as a Trail maintainer, club member, financial supporter and most recently as our leader.  

Ron is passionate about our A.T. Landscape Conservation Initiative, a concerted effort to protect valuable natural and cultural landscapes along the length of the A.T.

They connect the Trail with surrounding geography, acreages, communities and even political jurisdictions. These special landscapes go deeply into our shared experience and need our collective financial support to protect them.

Our Motivation

Communities within the more than 80 counties that feature the A.T. corridor as part of their neighborhood share an equally strong sense of place, whether it be serving hikers through local businesses or as part of a long-term commitment to protecting the landscape.

The ATC therefore seeks to raise $625,000 for the A.T. Landscape Conservation Initiative. This initiative is designed to leverage the commitment of those who hike the Trail, the public and private partners who manage the Trail and surrounding communities to form an effective coalition to protect high-priority A.T. landscapes.

Regional Directors Discuss Large Landscapes

​Roan Highlands

While hiking along the Southern Appalachian Highlands’ spine, hikers straddle the border between eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. The Trail slips through spruce-fir forests with moss-covered floors into open meadows of the longest grassy bald area in the Appalachian range. Undulating ridges disappear into the distance like rolling waves.

​McAfee Knob ​& Catawba Valley

This landscape includes the iconic McAfee Knob along with Tinker Cliffs and Dragon's Tooth. These distinct mountains provide an enormous sense of place — when you stand on the summits and look down into the beautiful valleys and old growth forest, it is truly an important reminder of our nation’s history.

​Virginia Blue Ridge

Between Front Royal, Virginia and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, the A.T. passes through a 50-mile low-elevation, narrow corridor with few rewarding views and a punishing up-and-down section known as "The Roller Coaster."  Over the past 25 years, the ATC and the National Park Service have worked with private landowners to purchase a Trail corridor with a width of at least 1,000 feet and connect the ​A.T. to other public lands.

​High Peaks of Maine

The high peaks of Maine include an intact forest ecosystem extending from cold water brooks and lakes in the valleys to rare alpine tundra in the mountains​, providing a refuge for hundreds species of animals and plants. It provides a rare opportunity for the ATC to partner with multiple local, state and federal agencies to protect this fragile environment for generations to come.

Your donation will support the A.T. Landscape Conservation Initiative and all the great programs of the ATC including, education, outreach, conservation and overall protection of the A.T.