The non-profit Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve applauds the announcement by Commissioner Basil Seggos of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation of a pilot reservation system for accessing selected trails from the privately-owned Adirondack Mountain Reserve located off State Rte. 73 in the Town of Keene.
“This pilot program for the upcoming High Peaks Wilderness hiking season is part of a critically needed set of user management tools for both the DEC, the Town of Keene, and the adjacent, cooperating private landowner, the AMR,” said Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson.
“We have been calling for a pilot reservation system for a number of years to reduce Wilderness congestion, restore wilder conditions, and increase both hiker education and public safety. Now, we wish to thank the High Peaks Strategic Advisory Group, the DEC, the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, the Town of Keene, and other stakeholders involved for their study of the problems, and for their upcoming cooperation and commitment to initiate this pilot beginning on May 1.”
“We have no doubt that the pilot will contribute to improved management of hiking pressures off of Rt. 73,” Gibson continued. “It will help protect this limited Wilderness resource, enhance opportunities to experience more wilderness solitude and naturalness, respect the private landowner providing access since 1978, and increase public safety in the Town of Keene along this heavily traveled corridor.”
“We look forward to cooperating in any way we can to make this a successful pilot reservation project and to participate in its evaluation. Our expectation is that traffic and hiker congestion at this particular hiking hub will begin to ease and the hiking public come appreciate even more the wilderness values they are there to experience while minimizing public health and safety risks for the entire community.”