ATC News

ATC Praises Investments in Appalachian Trail Priorities in President’s FY25 Budget

March 11, 2024

HARPERS FERRY, W.V. – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) applauds President Biden’s proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget and is eager to learn more about the Biden-Harris Administration’s plans for conservation, outdoor recreation, and supporting rural economic sustainability.

As the nonprofit dedicated to protecting, managing, and advocating for every mile of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST), the ATC is excited at the requested increase in the operating budget of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which has received requests for additional support in the past four budget cycles. The ATC has strongly advocated for these and additional increases to address pressing needs from growing visitor use and visitation and from the impacts of more frequent and intense weather events Trail-wide.

The ATC will look closely at the Administration’s requests for the National Park Service (NPS) and USDA Forest Service. These agencies perform critical services for the ANST and must be supported in order to keep the Trail’s dynamic Cooperative Management System and volunteer-led maintenance operating at the appropriate level. The ATC will also closely review Administration requests relating to habitat connectivity and landscape-scale conservation to ensure communities and nature along the ANST continue to benefit from investments made through the Inflation Reduction Act and Investing in Infrastructure and Jobs Act.

Notably, the ATC is pleased to see the inclusion of a line item for $15 million for deferred maintenance needs across the New England region of the ANST, building on investments the NPS and USDA Forest Service have made through the Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) of the Great American Outdoors Act.

“The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is internationally recognized for its scenic, historic, and recreational values that define the transformational experiences of millions of visitors each year,” said Hawk Metheny, the ATC’s Vice President of Trail Management. “If passed, the President’s budget will build on significant investments made in recent years and help usher in a new chapter of the ANST. We urge Congress to support the President’s budget request and pledge to support the appropriations process to ensure a vibrant future for the Trail and its surrounding landscape. The ATC, in collaboration with our agency partners and the Trail Clubs that comprise the ANST’s Cooperative Management System, is, as always, ready to get to work.”

Established within the Great American Outdoors Act of 2020, the LRF authorizes up to $1.9 billion per year for crucial investments in units and infrastructure maintained by the NPS, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Indian Education. The ATC was closely involved in the creation of this Fund and is working with partners on Capitol Hill, in the Administration, and at partner organizations to secure improvements to the LRF and its extension.

If approved by Congress, the most recent LRF award to the ANST will allow the ATC, in collaboration with the NPS, the USDA Forest Service, and seven Trail Clubs, to better address persistent issues on the Trail in New England, such as erosion and flooding, and help fund relocation projects that will make sections safer. The ANST in New England stretches across five states and 734 miles—one-third of the total A.T. mileage—and accounts for 65% of the Trail-wide deficiencies, including substandard tread conditions, overnight sites, parking areas, bridges, and other features.

To learn more about the ATC’s work to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the lands and waters surrounding it, 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 Appalachian National Scenic Trail ranges from Maine to Georgia and is 2,197.4 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to protect, manage, and advocate for the A.T. and its conserved corridor of over 385,000 acres, ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.

Contact: Ann Simonelli, 304.885.0482‌,

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