Conservation and Trail Management Policies

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy adopts policies in order to state ATC’s position on issues affecting the Trail and to facilitate consistent management of the Trail through 8 national forests, 6 national parks,14 states and numerous state and local jurisdictions. The policy process is driven by issues that arise at the local, regional, or Trail-wide levels. For some issues, less-prescriptive guidance or suggestions, instead of formal policy, are developed.

Usually, policies are developed by the Stewardship Council and ATC staff working with the NPS, the USFS, state resource agencies, and scientific and natural resource experts. Draft versions are then shared with Regional Partnership Committees for their review and comment. Once a policy is finalized and approved by the Stewardship Council, it is recommended to the ATC Board of Directors for approval. If clubs or RPC members desire clarification or modification of existing policies or feel new polices are warranted to address Trail management issues, those concerns should be brought before the Regional Partnership Committees, which in turn forward them to the Stewardship Council for consideration and possible action. This diagram depicts the ATC Policy Development Process (pdf).

Five policies were adopted in 2012 to meet Land Trust Alliance Standards and pertain to lands acquired by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy:

ATC Policies for Land Trust Alliance Standards (2012)