2023 Federal Spending Bill Scores Multiple Wins for the Appalachian Trail

January 6, 2023

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (January 6, 2023) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and its partners in trail and environmental stewardship commend the passing in late December of the 2023 federal spending bill, which includes multiple wins for public lands like the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). The allocated funds will benefit the protection and conservation of lands directly on the Trail, as well as provide much-needed financial support for the National Park Service (NPS).

“The benefits the Appalachian Trail will receive as part of this omnibus bill are the result of multi-year efforts by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and its partners in environmental conservation,” said Sandra Marra, ATC President and CEO. “The ATC applauds the Members of Congress who championed these initiatives and understand the importance of protecting our public lands for recreation, economic development, environmental health, and so much more.”

Some of the most significant benefits include the following:

  • Conservation of the highland regions of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
    This newly reauthorized and improved program protects water sources flowing from these sections of the Appalachian Mountains, which provide clean drinking water for both major metropolitan areas and rural (but quickly developing) exurban areas in these four states.
  • Additional funding for the National Park Service.
    NPS will receive an overall funding increase of 6.4%, which will help the agency to meet the needs of growing visitor numbers and additional public lands created by Congress.
  • Increased funds for National Scenic and Historic Trails.
    The NPS-administered National Scenic and Historic Trails received a minimum funding boost of $2.5 million. The ATC has advocated for this much-needed increase for several years.
  • Protection of the South Bog and Beaver Mountain Forest in Maine.
    Advanced by our partners at the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, the $3.6m appropriation for this conservation effort will reinforce the A.T. landscape in Rangeley, Maine, significantly lessening threats of development while securing exceptional views and resource integrity.
  • Establishment of the Housatonic National Scenic River on the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.
    Flowing alongside the Trail for many miles in New England, the Housatonic River will receive additional protections that will directly benefit the A.T. and its surrounding corridor of lands. Protections like these are vital where the Trail corridor is relatively thin, as it is through much of the New England section.

As the nonprofit organization tasked with overseeing the management and protection of the A.T., ATC staff continually work with Members of Congress, agency and administration officials, partner organizations and clubs, and the public to ensure policies that protect the Trail are advocated for and ultimately enshrined in legislation. For more information about this important work, visit

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,194 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail — ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Jordan Bowman
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.885.0794