Governor Ivey signed an agreement on August 1, 2023 to further the coordination between the USDA Forest Service, Alabama Forestry Commission, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the sustainable management of Alabama’s Pinhoti Trail System. Forest Service Regional Forester, Ken Arney, co-signed the agreement representing the Southern Region of the Forest Service.
The result of decades of successful collaboration between government, non-profit steward organizations, and volunteers, the Alabama Pinhoti Trail is one of the principal treasures of the state’s trail system – both a major asset to local communities and a driver of outdoor recreational tourism across the region. David Perry, President, Alabama Trails Foundation commented: “The Pinhoti would not be the trail it is today without the hard work and dedication of trail maintainers and volunteer groups. We will continue to support these and other stakeholders in having their voices heard as we collaborate and partner to improve and sustain the Pinhoti Trail.”
Since the Alabama Trails Foundation began working to improve the Alabama Pinhoti Trail, we have encouraged the kind of cooperation that this agreement codifies. Paul DeMarco, incoming President for the Alabama Trails Foundation commented: “This agreement is an important milestone. With our State and Federal agencies strengthening their leadership, we as partners can better engage the stakeholders and donors to bring the Alabama Pinhoti, in its entirety, to a national significance.”
The Foundation engaged stakeholders during the development of the Master Plan, and continues to do so on each of the trail improvements that we undertake.
The Alabama Trails Foundation, the Alabama Trails Commission, and its Advisory Board, were created to advance, develop, interconnect, and support the use of trails in Alabama; Collectively, we (they?) serve as the voice for Alabama Trails, advocating for safe and inclusive access for all Alabama citizens and visitors.
Above: Surrounding Gov. Kay Ivey: AFC Protection Division Director John Goff, USDA Forest Service Acting Supervisor Lee Madson, AFC State Forester Rick Oates, USDA Forest Service Forest Supervisor Cherie Hamilton, and ADCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship. Photo by Hal Yeager, Office of the Governor
Below: Dedicated volunteers working to maintain the Pinhoti Trail for future generations of hikers to enjoy for years to come.