Now that the High Peaks Advisory Group’s final report is out, have you had a chance to read through it?
Me either, ha ha. But here’s the Cliff Notes rundown from the DEC about the highlights:
Many of the report’s specific recommendations support DEC efforts that are currently underway with State and local partners to improve public safety and sustainably manage use of some of the High Peaks’ busiest trailheads, including:
- Enforcing parking regulations with an increased presence of New York State Police and DEC Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers on State Route 73 and other roads;
- Educating hikers and visitors in person and via social media and other means about the seven principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) while hiking, as well as maintaining safe and responsible practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. DEC will be expanding upon these efforts this spring;
- Advising motorists about limited trailhead parking and closures using electronic variable messaging boards and additional signage on I-87 and Route 73, social media, and additional outreach;
- Continuing to partner with Essex County to implement a pilot shuttle service along Route 73, in adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and informed by the Volpe Shuttle Feasibility Study. If COVID-19 makes shuttle service not feasible for the 2021 season, DEC will work with Essex County and the town of Keene to develop the supportive infrastructure and educational components needed to operate as soon as feasible; and
- Working with area municipalities to coordinate human waste management.
So far this past week, we ran the first of a series of insights from:
- Pete Nelson, who served on the committee, writing in the Explorer
- Peter Bauer of Protect the Adirondacks, writing in the Almanack
We’ll have more in the weeks to come, but curious to hear your thoughts on what we’ve heard so far. What are you the most excited about? Which recommendation has the best chance of being put into practice?