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Help Preserve the AT in Georgia

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As a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Charitable Organization, the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club can accept your financial donation in any amount. Donations of $100 or more may be designated to one or more of the following specific purposes:

  • General Donation
  • Ridgerunner Program
  • Trail Ambassador Program
  • Outreach Programs
  • Conservation
  • Activities
  • Trail Maintenance/Repairs

Donated amounts of less than $100 will be considered a general donation. Click here to make a donation.

Sport your support when you have a Georgia AT License Plate!GATCNewPlate

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) receives $10 annually for each Georgia specialty A.T. plate purchased or renewed. Since the plate became available in 2013, Georgia license plate holders have raised almost $100,000 for ATC.

Apply for Your Georgia A.T. Plate

Apply for your plate by visiting your local Tax Commissioner’s tag office, or by choosing the “Appalachian Trail Conservancy of Georgia” specialty plate when you renew your registration online. In addition to the regular vehicle registration fees, a standard, numerical A.T. license plate costs $35. There is also a one-time manufacturing fee of $25 when you first purchase your tag.

Georgia A.T. License Plate Grant Program

Each year, the ATC uses funds from the sale of Georgia A.T. license plates to provide grants to organizations and individuals who are working to help fulfill the ATC’s mission within the state of Georgia. Since 2014, $62,195 has been awarded to grant recipients working on a wide variety of A.T.-related projects. Click here for a year-by-year summary of previous grantees and projects that received funding.

Give to the Appalachian Trail in Georgia when you shop onlineAmazon Gives

While the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club does not endorse Amazon, we appreciate their support through the Amazon Smile program. If you shop there please consider using this link. Through this program, the Club will receive a small portion of the proceeds of your shopping. Click here to shop at Amazon and help provide funds to preserve and maintain the Appalachian Trail in Georgia at no additional expense to you.


Jay DJanuary 2019

Good Bye Ben Barry

Ben Barry has announced he will be leaving the ATC Southern Regional Office later this month. He has accepted a position with the Pacific Crest Trail Association as their Southern Sierra Regional Representative, based out of Kernville, CA. The region will encompass approximately 480 miles including Yosemite and the High Sierra near where he grew up.

Ben has served as the Trail Facilities Manager and was instrumental in running the Ridge Runner program and establishing the Trails Skills Workshop here in Georgia. At this writing there is not word about his replacement. Ben leaves big shoes to fill and will be missed.

To Wilderness or Not?

In the 1940’s wolves made their way across a 15 mile ice bridge to Isle Royale, an archipelago in Lake Superior. There they became the natural predators to the moose population that had earlier swam over to the islands. This helped to maintain a sustainable balance until the wolf population started to dwindle mainly due to inbreeding.

For many years scientists have conducted extensive research into the wolf/moose dynamic. This has been the longest major predator-prey study ever conducted. As a result of climate change, no new wolves coming to the island causing the population to die out.

The National Park Service has decided to restock Isle Royale with wolves to balance the moose herds. Park Superintendent Phyllis Green has announced the plan to re-introduce 20-30 wolves over a three-to-five-year period, beginning last September 2018. Green says "Basically the moose herd is evolving on its own, it's on an increase, and our ability to put wolves back on the island will help restore that predator-prey relationship."

Isle Royale became a National Park in 1940 and was designated a Wilderness Area in 1976. It’s the Wilderness designation that creates a dichotomy. As a National Park the mandate is to preserve and protect the resources with humanities footprint apparent. The Wilderness mandate is to preserve the wild natural aspects, with free will, and untrammeled conditions.

The moose are growing in numbers and at some point could “blink out” when the forest no longer can feed them. With the re-introduction of wolves, as their main predator, the moose population will diminish to a more sustainable level. But at what cost?

When we think about managing the Wilderness we cannot consider what we as people want. Rather, the only consideration is what nature has done for many a millennium. We must respect the wild characteristics and not try to manipulate that landscape.

It should be recognized that this condition happened over time and will happen again. The island has proven incapable of supporting a healthy wolf population and probably the same is true for the moose. This would bring up the question again about manipulating the wolves and furthering trammeling the balance of the island. Certainly, if the Wilderness Area designation did not exist the question would not come up.

At this point the decision has been made and we can only hope for the best. When it comes to other Wilderness Areas, especially on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia we need to be in front of any change and keep the principles of the 1964 act primary in the way we manage.

Mid-Atlantic Region Changes

Recently Karen Lutz retired as the Regional Director of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). This is the same position Morgan Sommerville holds in the Deep South Region. The ATC is trying a “temporary” reassignment of duties to neighboring regions. As I understand the northern half of the Mid-Atlantic Region will fall under the purview of the New England Region. The southern half will be overseen by the Virginia Region.

This brings up a lot of questions about personnel, projects, communication etc. With two large clubs and a number of smaller clubs along with different states and other jurisdictions it seems a daunting task with so many balls in the air.   I am sure personnel have been moved into position to handle all these undertakings.

For the time being this does not affect us. This will be reviewed for the next six months and will probably be tweaked along the way.

Jay Dement

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APRIL 2, 2017 - At the present time the AT is not directly affected, however the Crow Mountain wildfire has closed Dicks Creek road and Waters Creek Day-Use Area.

Crews are responding to the 100+ acre #CrowMountain wildfire that began in the morning of April 2, 2017 near Turner's Corner: .

Until further notice, the U.S. Forest Service has closed Waters Creek Day-use Area and roads along Dicks Creek as a result of the wildfire.

Learn more about Fire Management at:

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Georgia Appalachian Trail (A.T.) License Plate Grants. This grant program is funded by the thousands of Georgia drivers who purchase or renew their A.T. specialty license plates. Since 2013, Georgia A.T. specialty tags have generated over $230,000.

For 2018, the grant program awarded $41,079.93 to fund projects that will help to preserve and protect the A.T. in Georgia. Grant recipients and a brief description of the projects are listed below.

Georgia Appalachian Trail Club:

  • Support for GATC’s volunteer Trail Ambassador program
  • Outreach to bring youth from Atlanta and north Georgia to hike on the A.T. or visit the Hike Inn for outdoor learning experiences
  • Wilderness First Aid training for club volunteers
  • Support for Ridgerunners along the Trail in Georgia
  • New trail maintenance tools.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy:

  • Set up a structure and support system for Spanish speaking families and groups from the Atlanta area to help them feel welcome on the A.T.
  • Pilot a NextGen Forest Ambassador program for GA youth to foster their understanding of and appreciation for public lands in their communities, including the Appalachian Trail.

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest:

  • Increase monitoring and education on the A.T. in GA through the hiring of a seasonal backcountry ranger dedicated to the A.T.
  • Purchase tools for trail rehabilitation work on the A.T. and trails in north Georgia

Len Foote Hike Inn: Support for a 2019 youth service learning trip to stay at the Hike Inn, perform trail work on the A.T. Approach Trail, and learn from GATC members.

Tom Banks and Tara Roberts: Produce educational videos that can be used to compliment ongoing Visitor Use Management efforts on the A.T. in Georgia.

Thanks to the purchasers of these license plates, this variety of efforts by multiple organizations can enhance the hiker experience and protection of the A.T. in Georgia.