143B-135.76. Assistance under this Part with the National Trails System Act (PL 90-543).

(a) The Department of Administration in cooperation with other appropriate State departments shall consult with the federal agencies charged with the administration of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and develop a mutually agreeable plan for the orderly and coordinated acquisition of Appalachian Trail right-of-way and the associated tracts, as needed, to provide a suitable environment for the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.

(b) The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the federal agencies charged with the responsibility of the administration of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina shall give due consideration to the conservation of the environment of the Appalachian Trail and, in accordance with the National Trails System Act, may obtain advice and assistance from local governments, Carolina Mountain Club, Nantahala Hiking Club, Piedmont Appalachian Trail Hikers, Appalachian Trail Conference, other interested organizations and individuals, landowners and land users concerned.

(c) The Board of Transportation shall cooperate and assist in carrying out the purposes of this Part and the National Trails System Act where their highway projects cross or may be adjacent to any component of the Appalachian Trail System.

(d) Lands acquired by the State of North Carolina within the 200-feet right-of-way of the Appalachian Trail and within the exterior boundaries of the Pisgah or Nantahala National Forests, will be conveyed to the United States Forest Service as the federal agency charged with the responsibility for the administration and management of the Appalachian Trail within these specific areas.

(e) Lands acquired by the State of North Carolina outside of the boundaries of the Appalachian Trail right-of-way will be administered by the appropriate State department in such a manner as to preserve and enhance the environment of the Appalachian Trail.

(f) In consultation with the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the federal agency charged with the responsibility of the administration of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina shall establish use regulations in accordance with the National Trails System Act.

(g) The use of motor vehicles on the trails of the North Carolina Appalachian Trail System may be authorized when such use is necessary to meet emergencies or to enable adjacent landowners to have reasonable access to their lands and timber rights provided that the granting of this access is in accordance with limitations and conditions of such use set forth in the National Trails System Act. (1973, c. 507, s. 5; c. 545, s. 4; 1977, c. 771, s. 4; 1989, c. 727, s. 218(62); 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 2015-241, ss. 14.30(f), (m).)