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NPCA Official Selected To Lead The Appalachian Trail Conservancy


Ron Tipton, the senior vice president for policy of the National Parks Conservation Association, is leaving that position to take over as executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. ATC photo.

Ron Tipton, whose resume reflects a career spent on advocating for the outdoors, has been chosen to lead the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as its executive director.

Mr. Tipton most recently has worked as the senior vice president for policy for the National Parks Conservation Association. He will leave that job next month to join the Conservancy.

Mr. Tipton has spent most of the past 30+ years as an advocate for public land preservation and national park protection. A graduate of George Washington University with an undergraduate degree in American Studies and a law degree from GW’s National Law Center, he first worked as a program officer at the National Academy of Sciences and on the oversight/investigative staff of the House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee.

Since 1978 he has been a part of the advocacy and/or management team of four non-profit national conservation organizations: The Wilderness Society, National Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund, and National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).

Mr. Tipton was the senior vice president for programs for NPCA from 2000-2008, when he became the senior vice president for policy. Currently, he is focused on expanding the number of national park units to increase the natural and cultural diversity of the park system as the country approaches the 2016 centennial celebration of the National Park Service.

“Ron has the passion, management experience, and advocacy skills that the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is looking for, plus a strong connection to the Appalachian Trail and the Trail community. His high standards and experience will help move the organization forward to serve the next generation of Trail users," said Bob Almand, who chairs the Conservancy's board of directors.

Mr. Tipton has been a member of the board or governing council of numerous recreation and trails organizations, including the ATC, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Benton MacKaye Trail Association.

“I feel incredibly privileged and honored to be asked to be Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s executive director/CEO. Since I hiked the Trail I have served as a volunteer for more than 25 years with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and helped found the Appalachian Long Distance Hiker’s Association," said Mr. Tipton.

Mr. Tipton enters the ATC at a time of growth and an expanding agenda for preserving the rich natural and cultural resources along the Trail corridor. The ATC currently has more than 43,000 members, a vast network of more than 6,000 volunteers, and an operating budget of $7.3 million.

The ATC is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting and promoting the world’s most famous long-distance hiking Trail, providing outdoor recreation and educational opportunities for Trail visitors.

Founded in 1925, the ATC is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and has regional offices in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. The ATC is both a confederation of 31 local Trail-maintaining clubs, with assignments to maintain the Trail, and a membership organization with support from all 50 states and more than 15 foreign countries. Under agreements that date back to the 1930s, buttressed by federal legislation, the ATC leads a cooperative management system for the Trail in close cooperation with federal, state and local agencies and Trail-maintaining clubs.

Given the Trail’s historic legacy of volunteerism, many of the ATC’s programs are focused on supporting and encouraging volunteers. Some of the key activities and initiatives include Trail management and support, conservation, advocacy, and environmental monitoring and research. Some of the ATC’s new initiatives include the Trail to Every Classroom and the Appalachian Trail Community™ program.

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is a unit of the National Park System, stretching from Georgia to Maine, at approximately 2,180 miles in length. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours of their time doing trail-related work each year, and about 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.


Can't be - the science is settled. Looks like no one told the earth.

Didn't think you could drive 2500 miles on a flat earth.

Great job Michael of attacking the sources rather than the arguments. Typical of the mythological AGW folks. Hide the decline, manipulate the date, suppress the dissenters, but don't explain the disconnect (as noted by the New York Times) of warming and CO2 emissions. Maybe it is Rick's snorts that are causing the warming.

Oh - and BTW - I just did a 2500 mile road trip, much of it through Federal Land including National Forest. I did not see a single example of any of such lands being ruined by extractive industries or grazing.

And if Forbes Op-ed pieces are definitive - try this one:

Again, we won't come to a consensus on AGW here - but to declare the "science decided" is a massive misrepresentation of the facts.

Thanks, Michael. Well done. I just snorted in derision and decided not to feed the troll.


Thanks. Just thought people deserved the facts, so they could make their own judgement.


Michael Kellett, Thank you for your links. I read both sides and you "thoroughly debunked" ec's arguement.


Are you serious? You're citing the letter by 16 climate denying "scientists" published in Wall Street Journal as credible evidence? You could not have picked anything that is more tainted with bias and has been more thoroughly debunked.

This notorious letter was signed by such eminent climate "experts" as ExxonMobil executive Roger Cohen and former astronaut and "expert" at the right-wing, Koch Brothers-funded, Heartland Institute, Harrison Schmitt, as well as perhaps the only actual climatologist who still denies climate change, MIT professor Richard Lindzen — who is also a tobacco denier, oil industry fan, and another Heartland Institute "expert." In addition to the WSJ, this letter was prominently featured by Rupert Murdoch's other scientifically respected media outlet, FOX News.

The 16 climate deniers' letter letter was so embarrassingly biased that the radical, left-wing, anti-business publication, Forbes, published an op-ed by a real climate scientist that tore it to shreds. However, while it chose to publish a lame letter by 16 sketchy climate deniers, the WSJ refused to run a letter from 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences, which warned that climate change is a real and growing threat. Fortunately, that far-left, radical journal, Science, stepped up to the plate and published the letter.

Yeah, you and Rupert really got me on that one.

Regarding the New York Times article, maybe you didn't read it very carefully. The article does not "concede" any "disconnect." It points out the tricks used by climate deniers to justify their discredited claims:

"As you might imagine, those dismissive of climate-change concerns have made much of this warming plateau. They typically argue that “global warming stopped 15 years ago” or some similar statement, and then assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming.

"Rarely do they mention that most of the warmest years in the historical record have occurred recently. Moreover, their claim depends on careful selection of the starting and ending points. The starting point is almost always 1998, a particularly warm year because of a strong El Niño weather pattern."

The environmental law and policy blog at UC-Berkeley and UCLA explains why this "plateau" does not disprove climate change.

I agree that wind and solar development can cause ecological damage when poorly sited. I generally oppose it on public lands for that reason. However, it is not logical for you to oppose relatively benign wind and solar while supporting massively destructive logging, grazing, mining, and drilling on public lands. This is another example of how your climate change denial is undermining your arguments on national parks and public lands.

I imagine Smokies backcountry fees and climate change will not be high on Mr. Lipton's to-do list as new ATC ED. Can anyone comment on why his predecessor's tenure at ATC was so short? Is ATC the largest non-profit partner (and with the most complicated organizational structure?) of any NPS unit?

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