NEW HAMPSHIRE - Sen. Maggie Hassan joined representatives from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), Dartmouth Outing Club and U.S. Forest Service last week to tour the section of the world-famous Appalachian Trail (A.T.) near Etna. The Senator scheduled this visit to observe the maintenance work being performed to conserve a maintained wildlife opening along the A.T.
“Funding for the Appalachian Trail will help with maintenance and resiliency efforts. We know climate change is impacting everything, including the Appalachian Trail, and this funding will make sure that the Trail has the resources and infrastructure to remain safe and accessible to the millions of Americans who hike it each year,” said Senator Hassan. “The Appalachian Trail is a major economic driver in New Hampshire and an incredible resource for people who enjoy the great outdoors. I’m glad to be a part of the bipartisan effort to make sure the Trail gets the federal funding it needs.”
“Senator Hassan has been an active and constant advocate of the Appalachian Trail and we are grateful for her leadership in advocating for additional support,” said Hawk Metheny, ATC’s Regional Senior Director for the Northeast. “The Trail ?in New Hampshire is well-loved for its outstanding recreational opportunities and is also part of a connected and conserved linear greenway from Georgia to Maine."
The open area visited was previously agricultural land that was conserved for the A.T. as part of a multi-partner project. Through the work of the ATC and its partners, this area will be reverted to a more natural state — from pasture to meadowland. The tall grasses and wildflowers will provide habitat for pollinators and other species, and the open area will beautifully frame the White Mountain foothills rising in the near distance.
While this type of conservation work is critical to maintaining the protected values of the Trail, federal funding for much of this essential park management work does not cover the funding needed to fully conserve areas like the one near Etna. Senator Hassan recently co-led a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging the substantial increase in funding for A.T. This funding would be used to improve natural resources, as well as support law enforcement capacity and enhance the recreational experience around Hanover and along the A.T. landscape in New Hampshire.
“The natural and scenic resources of the Trail, particularly those found outside of the White Mountain National Forest, need additional attention to remain the treasured assets they are for New Hampshirites and all Americans,” said Metheny. “Senator Hassan is a leading voice for the Trail and our A.T. Communities™ such as Hanover and Gorham, as well as all the other communities along the Trail.”
For more information on the ATC’s work to conserve the A.T. and its surrounding landscapes, visit appalachiantrail.org/conservation.
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.