An N.C. License Plate Grant from the ATC has allowed MountainTrue to inventory more than 10 miles of the A.T., resulting in more than 200 trees along nearly 5 miles of the trail to be treated with chemicals that will ward off the invasive emerald ash borer.
“This is just the beginning of a long process,” said Josh Kelly of MountainTrue. “Our goal is to save over 1,000 trees to be the seed sources for the restoration of ash after the emerald ash borer moves through the Blue Ridge.”
Kelly estimates it will take at least five years and continued funding to save those 1,000 trees. Portions of the A.T. in Pennsylvania and Virginia have already been devastated by the emerald ash borer, and in addition to ecological impact, the downed trees make it harder for volunteer trail maintainers to keep the trail open.
“What we are doing in NC will not only benefit the environment and save some trees for future generations, it will reduce maintenance costs for the Appalachian Trail,” Kelly said.