Posts Tagged ‘Overuse’

Monday, September 5, 2016

Discussions Of High Peaks Overuse Are Not New

A1985 AdkCouncilFavorsPermitsAn excellent pair of articles published here recently by Mike Lynch (Beyond Peak Capacity and Group of 67 People Ticketed on Algonquin) resurrected some memories from the 1970s and ’80s, when avid (or zealous, rabid, insatiable … just pick one) hikers like me lived in constant fear that access to the mountains would soon be restricted. That anxiety was based on frequent newspaper headlines touting plans to alleviate trail damage attributed to hordes of newcomers to the Adirondacks.

Like now, the problems back then were intensified by successful efforts aimed at raising public awareness about the wonders within the mountains, and thus boost the region’s tourism-based economy. The result: more people, more spending, and greater profits, but also more boots on the ground, more worn trails, and more poop in the woods. The problems intensified so quickly that organizations and politicians offered all sorts of solutions, most of which left hikers fearful that the freedom to roam would be restricted. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Recreational Pressure: More Money, More Partners Needed For DEC

Cascade Mountain outside Lake Placid by Mike LynchReporting in the Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Almanack shows the challenges facing the state as it tries to keep up with recreational pressures in parts of the Adirondacks. It also points to strategies that can help us preserve the natural character of the region and still serve the hundreds of thousands of visitors the Park attracts each year. Driving both the problems and the innovative responses are financial constraints. Overall, the story is at once disheartening and encouraging.

Staffing at the state Department of Environmental Conservation has not recovered to adequate levels following cutbacks from 2008 through 2010. Those staff cuts led to a notorious dismissal of Commissioner Alexander Grannis in the midst of a fiscal crisis in 2010. Grannis’s offense was to tell the governor the department was “hanging by a thread.” He said budget cuts would leave the department unable to fulfill its various missions statewide. Recovery from that fiscal crisis has not brought DEC staffing back to what’s needed. In the Adirondacks, the consequence is that a corps of forest rangers and field staff is stretched thin at a time when their services are needed more than ever. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 29, 2016

As 46er Ranks Grow, Summits Take A Beating

adk 46rThe Adirondack Forty-Sixers organization has seen a record number of people joining its ranks in recent years. Started in 1925, the club now has 9,425 members—more than a third of whom joined over the last ten years.

The club is open to hikers who have climbed its list of forty-six High Peaks, most of which top four thousand feet. It has seen a record number of new members each year since 2009. Last year, 606 hikers joined. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Beyond Peak Capacity: A Boom In High Peaks Hikers

Cascade Mountain outside Lake Placid by Mike Lynch The number of hikers in the High Peaks has been steadily increasing in recent years, especially near Lake Placid and Keene Valley, raising concerns about safety and degradation of natural resources.

“I think that we’ve got a serious overuse of some of our places in the High Peaks,” said Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). “Clearly, Cascade and Pitchoff are just getting a very large number of people.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ausable River Porta-John Program Provides Some Relief

cascade trailhead porta johnsThe Ausable River Association (AsRA) has launched an expanded porta-john program throughout the Ausable River watershed to address the persistent problem of human waste disposal. Each year, over a million people visit the Ausable River watershed according to AsRA; seventy-six percent of these visitors participate in outdoor recreational activities. These large numbers pose a challenge in terms of the proper disposal of human waste. In short, the watershed has a poop problem.

The High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program has reported a 64% increase in visitation to the high summits of the Adirondacks over the past six years. This increase has coincided with a shift towards a larger percentage of day hikers versus overnight users. In many cases these visitors are not prepared to, or informed how to, properly dispose of their waste. As a result, summit stewards, forest rangers, and other backcountry professionals have reported an increased incidence of feces and toiletry products being improperly deposited on, or directly adjacent to trails. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hiker Ticketed After Keg Party Atop Adirondack High Peak

KegPartyA hiker who posted photos on Facebook of a keg party on top of Phelps Mountain over Columbus Day weekend has been ticketed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Raja Bhatt of Queens was ticketed for allegedly taking part in a “day-use group” with more than fifteen people — the legal limit for a hike in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

Bhatt, who is thirty-two, said he didn’t organize the hike or the keg party.

“I was simply on the summit with some friends, and some friend of a friend brought a keg,” he said. » Continue Reading.


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