Almanack Contributor Chris Maron

Chris Maron is the executive director of Champlain Area Trails (CATS) where since its start in 2009, he has worked with volunteers and staff to create and maintain 45 miles of trails, promote hiking, skiing, and tourism in the Champlain Valley, increase outdoor education, and conserve six properties totaling almost 700 acres. Before starting CATS, he worked for twenty-five years with the Nature Conservancy—the first seventeen in Indiana and then in the Adirondacks as the Champlain Valley Program Director. He holds a Bachelors degree from DePauw University and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Indiana University. Chris lives in Westport with his wife and 18-year old son.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Chris Maron of CATS: Everyone Benefits From Trails

champlain area trailsHow can everyone benefit from trails? Let’s look at the past, present, and future.

The Champlain Valley was the last part added to the Adirondack Park. It has little public land and, until recently, few hiking trails. This limited the economic benefits of outdoor recreation because people bypassed the valley on their way to trails in the High Peaks. But, that is changing.

What led to the change? First, land conservation organizations and the state purchased key properties like Split Rock Wild Forest, Coon Mountain, and Black Kettle Farm. This expanded public access to the outdoors. Next, new “local-food” farms started up attracting young people and reviving the farm community. » Continue Reading.