Outdoor Updates: ATC, The Conservation Fund, and MVP enter into stewardship agreement

Appalachian Trail Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, and Mountain Valley Pipeline enter into stewardship agreement

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has entered into a voluntary stewardship agreement with The Conservation Fund and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), the non-profit announced in a news release. The Conservancy says the agreement will advance their mission to manage, protect and advocate for the Appalachian Trail.

As part of the agreement, MVP has committed up to $19.5 million for use by the ATC to conserve land along the trail corridor and support outdoor recreation-based economies in southeastern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia. It is the largest funding package in the Conservancy’s history to advance conservation efforts in a single geography.

New Watauga River put in opens

The paddling community is celebrating a new put in on the Watauga River. The new Guy Ford River Access Area near Bethel, NC now offers permanent public access to North Carolina’s Watauga River Gorge. The new put in provides a paved parking lot for 27 cars, fencing, handrails, signage and a concrete ramp to a beachy area.

The area is a popular swimming hole and fishing spot and provides access to the world-class whitewater and Class V rapids that run through the Watauga River Gorge. 

65 Tennessee counties quarantined due to tree-destroying beetle

Sixty-five counties in eastern and central Tennessee are quarantined because of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a destructive beetle that can kill an ash tree within just three years of infestation. According to a report on WCYB 5 News, the state Division of Forestry estimates 5 billion urban ash trees in Tennessee could be at risk from EAB.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber and other material that may spread EAB. “Firewood is especially troublesome to spreading EAB,” State Forester David Arnold told WCYB 5. “We ask that people don’t move firewood since EAB larvae can survive hidden in the bark. Outdoor enthusiasts hauling firewood unknowingly give the pest a free ride to establish new infestations at their destination.”

Photo: Autumn Along the Appalachian Trail – courtesy of Getty Images by Joshua Moore

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