ATC Statement on the “America the Beautiful” Initiative Report
May 6, 2021
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
In Response to the Biden-Harris Administration Report on the “America the Beautiful” Initiative
Statement from Sandra Marra, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) applauds the initial findings of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ‘America the Beautiful’ report, which underscores the important role protected lands like the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) have in reinforcing climate resiliency, strengthening recreation economies and conserving the natural resources on which all life depends. This report reflects what we have long known: the best way to conserve our natural and cultural resources is through collaborative, community-driven and pragmatic approaches. Under the guidelines outlined today, the A.T. will continue to be a connecting force for public lands and recreation along the East Coast, as it has been for almost a century.”
This morning, the Biden-Harris Administration released the initial findings of its “America the Beautiful” report, which outlines how the new administration will approach the 30×30 Initiative. This ambitious initiative establishes the goal of conserving 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030.
Through the reframing of the initiative provided by this report, the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership (ATLP) — co-convened by the ATC and the National Park Service — stands to further advance its goal of conserving the natural, scenic and cultural resources of the Trail’s fourteen states. Launched in 2015, the ATLP includes over 100 local, state and federal agencies, land conservation organizations, and land trusts along the A.T. This partnership is committed to a bold vision of greater A.T. conservation in the face of existential natural threats like climate change and in service to equitable access and inclusivity. The mission of the ATLP is to connect the wild, scenic and cultural wonders of the A.T. and its surrounding landscape. The partnership centers its work around a guiding truth: that all life depends on conserved and connected lands. To learn more about the ATLP, visit appalachiantrail.org/landscape.
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 2,193.1 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 Appalachian National Scenic Trail. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Lead image courtesy of Ken May