Next Gen Advice for the Trail

NGAC pic
Be a Stewardship Hero   *  Build Community     *   Inspire Future Adventures

Next Generation Advisory Council

The world-famous Appalachian Trail (A.T.), with its unparalleled scenic beauty and opportunities for adventure, can’t take care of itself. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the National Park Service are charged with protecting the Trail, now and for future generations. We need YOU to advise us on how to reach the next generation of Trail guardians and engage them in protecting this wondrous Trail.  Become a member of the Next Generation Advisory Council and help us build a powerful voice for the People’s Path: The Appalachian Trail!

What is the Next Generation Advisory Council?
The Next Generation Advisory Council, under the tutelage of the ATC Stewardship Council, helps to shape policies, campaigns, and strategies in order to safeguard the Appalachian Trail’s future as a recreational, environmental, historical, and wellness asset for the world.

The Next Generation Advisory Council will create a mission, vision, governance structure, and descriptive role for current and future Council members to follow.

To support the goal of broader relevancy, a facet of ATC’s new Strategic Plan, the 10-member Council will:

  • Find pathways to increase youth involvement within ATC and on the Trail
  • Add and strengthen diverse participation in ATC’s management structure
  • Provide opportunities for youth to contribute to, experience, and learn from Trail managers and partners
  • Advise and inform ATC on partnership opportunities
  • Be ambassadors and leaders for A.T. stewardship in their communities
  • Infuse a younger and more diverse voice into ATC programs and policies designed to encourage membership, advocacy, and leadership


  • Council members will participate in a Training and Orientation workshop weekend which will include:
    • An introduction to the Cooperative Management System
    • Workshops on the conservation and stewardship concerns of the A.T.
    • Leave No Trace education and trail maintenance stewardship

Commitment and Qualifications

  • One year term commitment
  • Communicate quarterly via Skype meetings
  • Must be between the ages of 18-30
  • Attend training meeting (tentatively May 5-6), and -if funding allows- the Volunteer Leadership Meeting August 26-28.


Next Generation Advisory Council members will join an organization that has worked cooperatively for more than 90 years with land managers and agencies, non-profits, communities, and thousands of volunteers. Professional development includes the opportunity to learn from ATC staff, as well as members of ATC’s Stewardship Council, Regional Partnership Committees, 31 Trail Maintaining Clubs, leaders in designated AT Communities, and agency partners.  Questions? Contact Julie Judkins

Preview application here
Apply here


ATC Hiring a VISTA in Maine!


Position Title Appalachian Trail Community VISTA
Location Millinocket, Maine
Supervisors ATC Community Program Manager – Project SupervisorSite Supervisor – Maine Community Committee

All interested Candidates must send cover letter and resume including references to ASAP.


Permanent protection and sensitive stewardship of the Appalachian Trail footpath and associated resources through effective implementation of a cooperative management system involving ATC, Trail maintaining clubs, and public-agency partners.

More information on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy:

Project Goal

The Appalachian Trail Community VISTA in Millinocket will develop programs to bring Appalachian Trail Communities together by fostering a regional identity around outdoor recreation based tourism, and promoting sustainable economic development. With a more deliberate and wider reach promoting the outdoor recreation opportunities, supporting local volunteer organizations through building capacity and volunteer opportunities around those recreation assets, the community can build on the economic advantage of the growing trend and get more youth to experience the community.

Focused VISTA Goals

  • Create opportunities for underserved populations, particularly at-risk youth to participate in experiential outdoor learning on public lands.  These educational opportunities will raise awareness of the economic opportunity presented by continued study, employment, and careers in conservation related fields.
  • Resource Development Grant Writing and Fundraising Strategies
  • Research, Strategic Planning, Community Engagement and Partnership Development

Job requirements

Bachelors degree, good communication skills, familiarity with computers, ability to work in a challenging and changing environment, flexibility and adaptability, self-motivation and a willingness to live in a rural Appalachian community.

GIS, environmental monitoring, community organizing, economic development and experience with the A.T. are desired.

Duration: VISTA is a year of service
Start Date:  Pre-Service Orientation training starts August 11; onsite in mid-August
Hours: Full Time (no external employment is permitted)

This position is not a staff position and does not include a salary; rather, it provides a living allowance of approximately $900 a month.  It includes health insurance, child care assistance, and an education award valued at or $5,645 or a cash stipend of $1,500 at the end of service.  Candidates relocating more than 50 miles for service are eligible for $550 relocation/settling in allowance.

DOI/VISTA – Department of the Interior Volunteer in Service to America. The VISTA program was started by President Johnson as the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps.  VISTA seeks to alleviate poverty and build the capacity of those trying to do so.

Training – There are two trainings per year to advance the professional development of its VISTA members and their supervisors.  These trainings help VISTA’s to utilize the Conservation Legacy network by meeting fellow VISTAs in person.  The spring training is for VISTAs only and the fall training brings Supervisors and VISTA Members together. DOI/VISTA sites will be expected to participate in training and all expenses are covered.

VISTA volunteers are placed in communities to build capacity, empower citizens and community volunteers, and create a network of support that otherwise would not exist among isolated, rural communities. We use national service as a local solution and bring measurable results to the communities we serve. VISTAs have been developing ad hoc committees and local collaborative groups with participation from concerned citizens, local businesses and political decision-makers, and agencies regionally and statewide to identify economic and environmental problems and their sources. Through these grassroots engagements, communities implement successful projects and develop citizen-driven solutions by working with leaders in the community who will support these projects in the long-term future. Striving for sustainability, the Teams build capacity by recruiting and training community volunteers who are invested locally and able to continue addressing recovery and revitalization in their own communities. To guide the Volunteers in their service, the Teams have developed 5 core goals:

  •  Build Local Capacity
  • Engage Economic Redevelopment
  • Promote Environmental Stewardship
  • Enhance Outreach and Education
  • Promote Professional Development


Stewardship Opportunity in GA

In honor of the 50th Wilderness Anniversary, the USFS is inviting the public to come and help keep our wilderness wild and pristine. Join Taylor Hamilton and David Kuykendall next Saturday in cleaning up our forest and breaking up fire rings along the AT on Blood Mtn.  in Georgia.

Blood Mountain Wilderness Clean-Up and Non-Native Invasive Species Removal

May 10, 2014

Meet at Lark Gap, across from Helton Creek Falls on Highway 129. Lark Gap is 19.8 miles north of Cleveland, GA and 11.4 miles south of Blairsville, GA.

Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

For more information, contact Taylor Hamilton at or (706) 745-6928 ext. 131.

This wilderness clean-up is held in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Members of the public and local community are invited to participate in various activities focused on stewardship and appreciation of the surrounding Congressionally Designated Wildernesses in Georgia. Future events and activities will be posted as we get closer to their dates and complete details are available.