The AT and the Government Shutdown
Statement from Suzanne Dixon, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy regarding recent government shutdown
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
“The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) welcomes visitors after a three-day government shutdown. During the shutdown, visitors were advised that emergency services would be unavailable and volunteers who maintain the Trail would be required to cease work. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) worked in collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and other partners to convey this important information.
News reports of the government shutdown have reminded the American public of how national parks and public lands are treasured and experienced year-round, and how even a few days of a government shutdown can affect places like the A.T.
Last year, more than 3 million visitors experienced the 2,190-mile A.T., which traverses through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. Over 6,000 volunteers contributed more than 250,000 hours of work. In addition, the economies of communities along the A.T. —including nearly 50 Trail towns designated as “A.T. Communities” — are greatly supported by travel and tourism associated with their proximity to the Trail.
The ongoing management of the A.T. is dependent upon informed federal decision-making that recognizes the many attributes of the Trail; appropriate funding for NPS and USFS; strong collaboration between federal, state and local entities; and generous and engaged public support. The ATC is committed to preserving and managing the A.T. —ensuring that its natural beauty, its cultural heritage, its community attributes and recreational options are shared and enjoyed for generations to come.”