Executive Order to Positively Impact A.T.
January 27, 2021
Executive Order Addresses Key Goals in Appalachian Trail Landscape Protection, Combating Climate Change
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (Jan. 27, 2021) – Earlier today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed an Executive Order to address climate change, advancing policies that will have direct impacts on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Through this action, the Biden Administration has committed to a wide range of collaborative efforts to combat climate change and includes three key goals championed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC): protecting the biodiversity of our planet; developing a Civilian Climate Corps; and committing to the “30×30 Initiative,” the goal of conserving 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by the year 2030.
“Today’s Executive Order showcases many of the shared goals between the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Biden Administration,” said Sandra Marra, president & CEO of the ATC. “We celebrate the President’s focus on environmental issues including combating climate change and conserving America’s public lands, and we look forward to working with the Administration to ensure the A.T. and its surrounding landscapes are preserved for centuries to come.”
This Executive action addresses issues championed by the ATC and could positively affect multiple ATC-led projects already in progress to better protect the A.T. landscape. A reimagined Civilian Climate Corps, in addition to revitalizing our public land agencies and supporting current volunteers, would advance a comprehensive strategy to engage the public in resource management. Additional funding for volunteer support in service of conserving and restoring public lands like the A.T., with a particular focus on carbon sequestration, protecting biodiversity and other actions to combat the effects of climate change, is an essential component of such a strategy.
Protecting biodiversity is essential not only to helping Appalachian forests and landscapes adapt to climate change, but also to preserving and connecting the unique ecosystems along the Appalachian Mountain range.
The commitment to the 30×30 Initiative is in line with the ATC’s own focus on landscape protection, which will help buffer the impacts of climate change while preserving the scenic vistas that draw millions to the A.T. each year.
The ATC works with all levels of government to help ensure public lands like the A.T. receive the support needed to advance environmental policies and increase recreational access. In 2020, the ATC worked with the Trump Administration to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, which provides billions of dollars for recreation access, landscape protection and deferred maintenance projects on public lands.
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.