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Put Your Money to Work on the AT

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 over $300,000 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, over $193,000 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.

 

GATC RECEIVES MLK, JR COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

GATC has received a 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award from the Rollins School of Public Health and the Goizueta Business School of Emory University. The award ceremony was held in Atlanta at Emory on January 19. Accepting the award was GATC’s current director of Community Outreach Jay Dement. Also in attendMLK Awdance were three former Outreach directors Marianne Skeen, Frank Wright, and Tom Ottinger.

This award recognizes and celebrates people and organizations in greater Atlanta whose work exemplifies the legacy of Dr. King. Some of the criteria for the award specify that recipients should celebrate diversity and impel action in building a better future for all. Additionally, it looks for organizations that invest resources for the well being of all children, especially those who would otherwise miss out on the many opportunities a young life should offer.

The award cites GATC for conducting a youth outreach program over the last ten years that helps young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in hiking and camping on National Forest lands. The program focuses both on children in areas of concentrated poverty in the metro Atlanta area and on youth in rural north Georgia counties through which the Appalachian Trail passes. Multi-day backpack trips are arranged for the metro Atlanta kids to build their self-reliance and give them a more immersive experience in the outdoors.


The award citation noted that over 25 GATC volunteers have been involved with these outreach activities. GATC thanks all of you who have participated and were instrumental in the club’s receiving this prestigious award. The Club also encourages any other members who are interested to join in this worthwhile outreach effort.

Presidential Ponderings

Jay DOctober 2020

As summer starts to wind down it is hard to imagine that it is six months that we have been dealing with the Coronavirus.  With promises of a vaccine on the horizon maybe we can have hope of getting together soon.  I have missed our Third Saturday Work trips and will miss getting together at the annual meeting in a few weeks.  Our periodic Town Hall virtual meetings at least allows us to see each other, though it’s not the same.

Public lands have seen a rise in visitors and I expect this trend will continue into the fall. The Trail Ambassadors are getting ready for fall patrols, with social distancing and masks.  The Education Committee of PATHE is making plans for a busy thru-hiker season next spring.  While each year we see an increase of traffic through Basecamp, next spring could see exponentially greater numbers.  Of course, things could also be cancelled on a moment’s notice.

ATC Federal Policy Advocacy Issues

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) would like to coordinate with the A.T. Maintaining Clubs on federal policy advocacy issues and has submitted a list of policy objectives. These will be discussed at the 2020 Regional Partnership Committee meetings.

Ensuring proper public lands management and maintenance;

  • Addressing Climate Change
  • Improving the Cooperative Management System (CMS)
  • Attending to Public Lands Maintenance
  • Supporting Native Wildlife, Combating Invasive Species

Preserving the A.T. Landscape;

  • Protecting State Management Authority
  • Supporting A.T. Landscape LWCF Acquisitions
  • Promoting Private Conservation

Facilitating volunteerism and civic engagement;

  • Facilitating the Development of New Stewards
  • Enabling the Continued Competence of Stewards
  • Defending Public Input

Promoting rural economic development with an anchor in outdoor recreation

  • Preventing Inconsistent Energy Development
  • Increasing Access to the Trail
  • Providing for New Kinds of Appropriate Use
  • Supporting Gateway Communities

Spaceport Camden

Spaceport Camden is a proposed rocket launching facility to be located in eastern Camden County, Georgia.  This location is very close to Cumberland Island National Seashore, Little Cumberland Island and Jekyll Island.  It also presents a major threat to the ecology of the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will issue a revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on January 8, 2021, followed by a 45 day public comment period.  The final EIS should be issued by September 2021.

There was an EIS issued in March 2018 which has led to further study and clarification as they relate to certain environmental impacts.  This did not completely address the impacts that catastrophic events and launch disasters may have on the ecological integrity of nearby ecosystems, including Cumberland Island National Seashore and Wilderness area.

Meetings

If you have not already registered for the club’s annual meeting Saturday October 3 at 10:00am please do so.  It is important for all club members to plug into what’s going on in the club and with our partners.  Trail worker awards and T-shirts will be announced.  This year the criteria for shirts has been adjusted to compensate for the time the forest was closed.  Of particular importance, the nominating committee will present the slate for next year’s board, along with the election.

As always I encourage any member who wants to attend a board meeting to let me know.  We need more members to engage with club activities and this is an excellent opportunity.  For the foreseeable future these meeting will be held virtually.

Please continue to stay safe and healthy, someday we will look back on this as a memory.

 

Jay

ATC Launches LNT Video Series

In anticipation of the increase in thru-hiker traffic as a result of the upcoming release of the movie "A Walk in the Woods", ATC has released a series of videos highlighting Leave No Trace (LNT) ethics.  The short (1-2 minute) videos focus on each of the seven LNT principles, as well as the story behind the videos and a blooper/outtake reel.  Spread the word -- "Don't Be That Guy".  #ATLNT

Voluntary Thru-Hiker Registration System

Harpers Ferry, WV (Feb. 9, 2015) – In order to enhance the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) experience for thru-hikers and better manage this natural resource, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), in cooperation with its partners, has launched a new voluntary registration system for those attempting to hike the estimated 2,185-mile-long Trail in one year.  This registration system, available at www.appalachiantrail.org/thruhikeregistration, exists to ease impacts from the increased number of hikers expected after the release of two hiking related films, “Wild” and “A Walk in the Woods.”