Advocacy for the NCNST

Establishing the North Country National Scenic Trail had to be done in the U.S. Congress. Someone—actually LOTS of people—had to advocate that the NCNST was important enough that Congress act to authorize it under the National Trails System Act of 1968, which it did in 1980.

But we’re not done yet! Each year there’s funding and appropriations bills in Congress that benefit the trail. There’s other legislation, like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, that’s important to us, our other trails partners and sometimes the entire conservation community. It is vital that NCTA have a presence in Washington DC, to advocate on these and other issues of concern.

Advocacy is the art of informing policy makers (legislators, agency administrators) about issues and persuading them to act in your interests. NCTA’s advocacy works to educate policy-makers about the importance of what we do and its value to America and its citizens. We work to build relationships with legislators and agency administrators in order to positively influence legislation and management to benefit the NCNST and our trail users.

Advocacy Committee

NCTA maintains an Advocacy Committee composed of volunteers who communicate with legislators and build relationships with them and their staffs. Each of NCTA’s 7 states has a volunteer state advocacy chair, and the Advocacy Committee coordinates efforts to reach out to Congress as well as state governments as needed. We’ve learned over the years that even a few members of our community contacting their elected official can make a huge difference. Contact HQ to learn how you can help!

Current Issues

The Arrowhead Re-route and Vermont Extension (a.k.a. The NCNST Route Adjustment)

The NCTA is seeking to change the official route of the NCT in northeastern Minnesota and extend the NCT into Vermont to meet up with the Appalachian Trail.

For more information, visit the Arrowhead Re-route page, or read the FAQ.

Re-authorization and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

Created by Congress in 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans.

It was a simple idea: use revenues from the depletion of one natural resource – offshore oil and gas – to support the conservation of another precious resource – our land and water. Every year, $900 million in royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are put into this fund to conserve and protect national parks, forests and wildlife refuges and to provide matching grants for state and local parks and recreation projects.

We seek to permanently authorize the LWCF and ensure full funding at the $900m level. Learn more at the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition’s website:

Check out these advocacy resources:

header photo by Zach Josephson courtesy Unsplash