Volunteers carrying the duty of maintaining the Appalachian Trail have a new leader for the organization that oversees the maintenance and preservation of one of North America’s most cherished hiking routes. Ronald J. Tipton was recently announced to be new executive director and CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), starting in late August. The ATC is an organization whose mission is “to preserve and manage the Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come”.
Tipton has a long history of exemplifying his advocacy for not only the Appalachian Trail but wild places everywhere. His experience dates back over 30 years, contributing his time and effort to The Wilderness Society, National Audobon Society, World Wildlife Fund, and National Parks Conservation Association. He has also worked for the government at the National Academy of Sciences and on the oversight/investigative staff with the House Environment, Energy, and Natual Resources Subcommittee.
Tipton’s passion for helping people as well as the environment is evident in his recent position as president of Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington. The organization aims to provide counseling support to people looking to improve their lives.
All of this experience is in addition to his intimate relationship with the Appalachian Trail. In 1978 he hiked the entire trail, and since then has volunteered with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, and also helped found the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association.
The job description involves overseeing a membership of 43,000 and a $7.3 million budget. With Tipton at the helm, the future for the ATC is in good hands. The combination of advocacy experience and personal affinity for the Appalachian Trail will ensure the organization can grow it’s reach and influence to bring the entire length of the trail under public ownership. They will also strive for the future growth of the organization, getting more people aware and involved to ensure the trail always receives a bit of love from the community.