The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has unveiled an online resource to assist Pennsylvania municipalities in preserving the natural, historic, scenic, and aesthetic values of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). The online resource is in accordance with Act 24 of 2008, which amended the 1978 Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail Act to give municipalities adjacent to the A.T. the ability to protect the Trail through zoning ordinance adoption, implementation and enforcement. Visit www.appalachiantrail.org/PAact24 to learn more.
“The Appalachian Trail corridor is a landscape under pressure from various types of development projects. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has revived an online resource to further assist our munincipal partners in assessing the implementation of Act 24 in their communities,” said the ATC’s Environmental Planner Alicia Riegel-Kanth. “We seek to collaborate further with these valued municipal partners by offering mini-grant money to underwrite development and adoption of these tools to promote smart growth.”
The online resource includes several model ordinances, plans, assessments, and other model planning and zoning tools that local governments can adopt to protect the A.T. landscape more effectively. The municial tools offered are organized according to a checklist for community self-assessments aligned with the following seven principles:
- Local Recognition of the Trail and Its Significance
- Trail-Related Landscapes and their Susceptibility to Change
- Zoning Regulations Applicable to the Trail and Its Related Landscapes
- Mandates and Incentives for Conservation Design
- Regulating Potentially High Impact Uses
- Relationships with Key Landowners
- Municipal Capacity to Address Trail and Related Landscape Issues
The new web resource has been updated from its original form, which was originally created by consulting firm Wallace Roberts & Todd LLC in cooperation with a steering committee consisting of representatives from the ATC, the Pennsylvania Departments of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) and Community & Economic Development (DCED), county and municipal officials, and private landowners.
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 National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 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 culteral heriatage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Appalachian Trail Conservancy