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Development Threatens Appalachian Trail

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By Bill Redlin

The National Parks Conservation Association says development threatens the Appalachian Trail, and a new report says more must be done to protect it.

The association says the threats also include quarries, wind farms, racetracks and illegal all-terrain vehicle use. It says decisions about development should consider the trail's fragile nature. But the group that maintains the trail says that is a daily challenge.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy director Dave Startzell says something that runs north-south for almost 2,200 miles is bound to get in somebody's way. He says conservationists aren't trying to be the Great Wall of China, but they do hope to influence the siting and design of projects when they can.

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