Last week Pennsylvania’s State Senate passed a bill that requires towns that border the Appalachian Trail to enact strict zoning ordinances to protect and preserve the natural surroundings around the trail. The bill passed the House back in December. If approved by Gov. Ed Rendell, it will amend the commonwealth’s 1978 Appalachian Trail Act doesn’t require municipalities to enforce land use ordinances around the trail. Controversy stirred up a few years ago when the Appalachian Trail Conservancy filed a suit to overturn the approved construction of the Alpine Rose automobile racing club near the trail in Monroe County. An appellate court ruled against the ATC. If Rendell gets on board with 1281, hikers won’t have to worry about huffing exhaust. In a story in the Philadelphia Enquirer, his spokesperson Chuck Ardo said, “He (Rendell) sees the benefit of protecting the trail and providing a recreational and educational experience. He certainly doesn’t believe we should pave it and turn it into a go-cart track.”
Blue Ridge Outdoors is your guide to fly fishing, the Appalachian Trail, biking, travel, and more in the Blue Ridge and beyond.