The Adirondack 46ers have increased their support of critical stewardship programs in the High Peaks Wilderness after another busy year in the Adirondacks. Last week they announced a $41,000 commitment to the ADK’s (The Adirondack Mountain Club’s) professional trail crew. This pledge was the second from the 46ers, announced shortly after a pledge of $75,000 to be distributed over three years from 46ers, effectively doubling down on their efforts to support the ADK Mountain Club’s stewardship program. The Stewardship Program is managed in partnership with the NYS DEC, and the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.
Over the last 20 years, the 46ers have donated nearly $350,000 to the ADK’s trails program, $298,000 of which in the last 8 years alone, when visitor use has reached its peak.
“As visitor use has increased in the High Peaks Wilderness, so has the 46ers’ investment into stewardship programming,” said Andrew Hamlin, ADK Trails Coordinator. “This support has been crucial to the success of a number of trail projects over the years.”
The Adirondack 46ers have also played an important roll in the recovery and protection of alpine vegetation in the High Peaks, with over $100,000 invested in supporting the Summit Stewardship Program during the same period of heightened visitor use.
“Despite increases in visitor use, we have not recorded a decline in alpine vegetation on summits with a stewarding presence,” said Kayla White, Summit Steward Coordinator. “The 46ers have been tremendously supportive of the program and its mission since its inception, and their backing has helped us achieve this result.”
“As an all-volunteer organization made up of thousands of members who love and respect our beloved Adirondacks, the 46ers take great pride in contributing to meaningful projects that directly benefit conservation and education efforts and help to preserve our wilderness experience for generations to come,” said Siobhan Carney-Nesbitt, President of the Adirondack 46ers.
In the future, the ADK’s stewardship programs will play a critical roll in combating high use issues within the High Peaks Wilderness. Thanks to the 46ers the professional trail crew can continue rerouting the Avalanche Lake – Lake Colden Connector Trail, and work on a severely damaged section of the Phelps Trail between Bushnell Falls and Mountain Haystack. The funding will also support the professional trail crew’s annual spring training. Summit stewards will return to the high peaks starting Victoria Day Weekend, where they will continue their work to protect and study New York’s fragile alpine vegetation.
“As we continue to reconcile promoting responsible outdoor recreation with the challenges presented by high use, this ongoing partnership between ADK and the 46ers is one reason to be optimistic,” said Michael Barrett, ADK Executive Director.
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