This week I am getting my mountain fix in the Pacific Northwest, where Amy and I are attending a school in wilderness woodcraft. That circumstance will make this week’s Dispatch mercifully short. It will have to serve as a prelude to a more substantial missive I have been working on for a few weeks, one which will offer suggestions – some of them certain to provoke disagreement – for improving the wilderness experience in the High Peaks, better protecting the Forest Preserve in general and sensitive high mountain terrain in particular.
Regular readers know that I am a proponent of expanding the State’s wilderness holdings. I have written a number of Dispatches on this topic, so will not repeat my justification for this position here. But equal to that desire is the desire to see existing wilderness holdings become wilder and healthier over time. It should be said right at the forefront that the people of the State of New York have done extremely well with that. Tony Goodwin, commenting to me this week on a number of topics that will be part of my coming Dispatch, gave me a useful and important perspective on this when he described the conditions when he first climbed Mount Marcy, in 1957: » Continue Reading.