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2019 Georgia AT Tag Winners Announced

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 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 $300,000. Of that amount, the volunteer members of ATC’s GA Tag Grant Committee have awarded $193,274 in Georgia A.T. License Plate Grants. We are grateful to our partners who have participated in this grant program, helping to make the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and the countryside it traverses the best it can be. 

For 2019, the grant program awarded $60,000 to fund 18 projects totaling $240,000 (400% leverage) 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 received $35,500 for 11 projects:  • Support for Save the Hemlocks initiative on the A.T. in Georgia • Support for GATC’s volunteer Trail Ambassador program • Outreach to bring youth from Atlanta and north Georgia to hike on the A.T. • Wilderness First Aid training for club volunteers • Support for ATC Ridgerunners along the Trail in Georgia • Tools for new A.T. Section Maintainers • Rock tools for A.T. projects • Spring Break Volunteer appreciation items • Sawyer Certification Class for club volunteers

Appalachian Trail Conservancy:  • LatinX Partnership and Training – set up a support systems for Spanish speaking families and groups to feel welcome in the outdoors; host a Leave No Trace and How to Hike the A.T. workshop for Latino Outdoors Coordinators (on the east coast) and Latinx Hikers. • Support the NextGen Forest Ambassador program for GA youth to foster their understanding of and appreciation for public lands in their communities, including the Appalachian Trail.

Blairsville-Union County A.T. Community:  Repair and restore the “History of the A.T. in Georgia” display at Neel Gap

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest:  • Increase monitoring and education on the A.T. in GA through the hiring of a peak season backcountry ranger dedicated to the A.T.  • Purchase tools for trail rehabilitation work on the A.T.

Len Foote Hike Inn: Support for a 2020 youth service learning trip to stay at the Hike Inn, perform trail work on the A.T. Approach Trail, and learn from GATC members.

Blowdown Reporting System now available in Georgia

Is there a blowdown on the trail in Georgia? If you're carying a GPS enabled phone, you can let us know if you follow the steps below:

• Be sure LOCATION is ENABLED on phone.
• Phone camera access to GPS Location is ENABLED.
• Be sure your phone is NOT in AIRPLANE MODE while taking picture.
• Make sure GPS has good fix by having it out of pack or pocket for a few minutes before taking pictures.
• Send images from phone as attachments to email, not inserted in email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more details about the reporting system, check out this article.

Fires Creek Trail Conservation Plan

NantahalaMtns Tusquitee 1001Many GATC members have been hoping for a good solution to a proposed private development on an inholding in the Tusquittee Mountains along the Fires Creek Rim Trail system in the Nantahala National Forest. This is a very remote area with steep slopes, trout streams, and the location of numerous GATC hikes over the years. The Rim Trail had to be rerouted to skirt the property. The owners had successfully petitioned for vehicular access via Forest Service lands and proposed to construct several houses on the property, but now they are willing to sell this land to the Mainspring Conservation Trust. If Mainspring can raise the funds to purchase this property, they will eventually transfer it to the Nantahala National Forest and the land will remain undeveloped in this pristine area.

Mainspring is in a campaign to raise $525,000 to close on the project before the end of the year. An article about this and a link to donate to this project is at:

http://www.mainspringconserves.org/press-room/conservation-purchase-end-controversy-fires-creek-property/