Appalachian Trail Conservancy's New Five-Year Strategic Plan

Published Oct 30, 2014

ATC's Marketing & Communications Manager Javier Folgar ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

ATC's Marketing & Communications Manager Javier Folgar ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Director of Marketing and Communications Javier Folgar announced on October 29, 2014, details of the ATC's new five-year Strategic Plan. The long-range plan is expected to advance the health and long-term management of the Appalachian Trail (AT).

This new vision and strategy will build on the organization's stewardship of the Trail and is the culmination of a two-year collaborative process between the ATC and the ATC's board of directors. The detailed goals will also align with the priorities of the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

The Strategic Plan is the first to be created and implemented since the Appalachian Trail Conference became the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in 2005.

Key Goals of the ATC's Five-Year Strategic Plan

  • Proactive Protection
  • Engaged Partners
  • Effective Stewardship
  • Broader Relevancy and
  • Strengthened Capacity & Operational Excellence.

These priorities reinforce the ideas that the Trail can be enjoyed by a variety of users in multiple ways and that the AT should be accessible to all who wish to share the experience.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy CEO Ron Tipton ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Appalachian Trail Conservancy CEO Ron Tipton ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

"The Appalachian Trail, stretching from Maine to Georgia, puts a phenomenal National Park in the backyard of millions of Americans," said Ron Tipton, executive director/CEO of the ATC. "We must be a part of preserving this wonderful hiking experience for future generations."

In order to accomplish the goals set forth in the new Strategic Plan, the ATC will continue to be the leading voice with its partners in managing the AT.

Reaching younger and more diverse populations has been identified as a high priority for the Conservancy.

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that within the next 50 years white Americans will comprise just 43 percent of the U.S. population, while Asian, Hispanic and African-American populations will grow substantially, making up 45 percent of the 2060 population.

The ATC would like to see more diversity among those who hike the Appalachian Trail. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The ATC would like to see more diversity among those who hike the Appalachian Trail. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

"This new diverse majority will be responsible for ensuring the continued protection and sustainability of our environment and the national treasure of our parks, forests and waterways, including the Appalachian Trail," said Sandra Marra, chair of the ATC. "Therefore, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy believes it is critical to increase the long-term involvement of diverse youth in the work of our organization."

The ATC plans to address trail deficiencies, potentially hazardous road and water crossings, minimize visitor impacts, and meet land management standards set by the Land Trust Alliance. As threats to the AT emerge, the ATC will protect the natural and cultural resources within the Trail corridor and on adjacent land.

The organization will also engage and sustain a network of partners that reinforces its goals for the Trail. The Conservancy will continue to collaborate with the National Park Service and all primary federal, state, municipal and private partners in the protection of the AT.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters in Harpers Ferry, WV ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters in Harpers Ferry, WV ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

It will also support the 31 Trail maintaining clubs and communities surrounding the Trail, so that future programs and initiatives are supported.

The ATC will also develop strategies to build a financially strong foundation and organizational capacity to ensure long-term success.

The goal is to raise annual operating revenue from $6.6 million to $8 million by 2019 and to increase the endowment from $3.6 million to $8.3 million.

This will be accomplished by increasing funding from major donors, foundations and other private sources, as well as growing the membership base.

Click Here for More About the ATC's Strategic Plan

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 Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 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.

Click Here for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy


Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, News, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, and Conservation

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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