Appalachian Trail Conservation Guidebook

A Conservation Guidebook For Communities Along The Appalachian National Scenic Trail

by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

In June 2008, Governor Rendell signed Act 24 requiring 58 Pennsylvania municipalities along theAppalachian National Scenic Trail to take such action consistent with applicable law, as at least aninterim measure, to preserve the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the trail and toconserve and maintain it as a public natural resource. Such action shall include the adoption, implementation and enforcement of zoning ordinances as the governing body deems necessary to preserve thosevalues1. Act 24 also authorizes the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to assist municipalities in complying with the Act’s mandates.

In September 2008, a Task Force was established to design a program to implement the intent of Act 242.It identified an initial need for resource material to assist municipalities in developing zoning and otherconservation strategies most appropriate to their circumstances. This Guidebook, along with otherinformation available on the website (www.apptrailpa.org) was prepared for such purposes. Itsummarizes the Trail’s interesting history, the challenges facing the Trail today and the essential role oflocal communities and counties as partners with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the National ParkService, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and other nonprofits in maintaining the Trail’s landscapeexperience.

The Guidebook identifies seven characteristics of communities that are most likely to be effective inaddressing issues associated with the Trail. Those characteristics provide the basis for a suggestedchecklist for municipalities to use in making their own assessments of the Trail and it needs.

About the Author


PennDOT oversees programs and policies affecting highways, urban and rural public transportation, airports, railroads, ports, and waterways. More than three-quarters of PennDOT's annual budget is invested in Pennsylvania's approximately 120,000 miles of state and local highways and 32,000 state and local bridges. PennDOT is directly responsible for nearly 40,000 miles of highway and roughly 25,400 bridges, a system first established in 1911.

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