Posts Tagged ‘Overuse’

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Pete Nelson: We Need Visitor Management, Not Permits

Another peak hiking season has come and gone and with it another year of concern about overuse in the High Peaks. A variety of steps have been taken by the State, Essex County, The Town of Keene, environmental groups and volunteers to deal with this use, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Now it seems that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is poised to try out a permit system in an attempt to address overuse by selectively limiting access. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

ADK’s High Peaks Volunteer Program

High Peaks Information Center volunteer host provided by Adirondack Mountain ClubAdirondack Mountain Club (ADK) has partnered with Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company, to fund the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) volunteer host program.

Located at one of the most popular trailheads in the Adirondack High Peaks, the HPIC is a major thoroughfare for hikers to get on the trail and begin their trek.  In 2017, from the beginning of July through the end of August, there were 27, 251 registered hikers at the Heart Lake Property trailheads located at the HPIC and Adirondack Loj. ADK reports that each year around 35% of these visitors are new to the area. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

2019 State of the Adirondack Park

2019 state of the parkThe Adirondack Council’s 2019-20 State of the Park report is subtitled “Challenged by Success,” noting that the success of state tourism campaigns is straining the park’s lands and waters, as record numbers of hikers climb the state’s tallest mountains and as recreational boating and off-road vehicles gain popularity.

The challenge is especially noticeable in the High Peaks Wilderness Area, but can be seen in popular locations throughout the park, the report notes. State of the Park is the organization’s annual comprehensive assessment of the actions of local, state and federal government officials. This 38th edition rates 106 separate government actions. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 12, 2019

Route 73 Top Priorities: Planning, Money, Permits

In recent years, public lands throughout the Adirondack Park and across the country are seeing dramatic increases in the number of people coming to recreate.

Increasing numbers of people has led to an increase in human impacts to our public lands, including damage to trails related to increased use during sensitive times such as mud season, more trash on trails, including human waste and toilet paper, damage to sensitive mountain plants, animals such as bears becoming habituated to human food, and a loss of a wilderness experience. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

It’s Time to Build and Staff a High Peaks Information Center

I recently visited the rest areas on Northway that have been hyped as information hubs for the Adirondack Park as a tourism destination and as locations that will guide the public about hiking in the Forest Preserve, especially the High Peaks.  These facilities are newly built and function adequately as typical rest areas with bathrooms, vending machines, and places to stretch your legs.

Unfortunately, there is scant information about hiking in the High Peaks or the Forest Preserve. As they stand now, these centers, especially the Northway northbound “High Peaks Center” between exits 29 and 30, and the major new tourism information center on the Northway northbound lane between exits 17 and 18, are major missed opportunities. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Efforts to Reduce Adirondack Rescues, Educate Hikers

Forest Rangers lead search and rescue

An effort will be underway to promote proper planning and preparation through direct conversations with hikers at trailheads and on the trails in the High Peaks Wilderness, February 16-18, the upcoming Presidents’ Day Weekend.

The organizers hope to increase engagement between hikers and experienced backcountry users to reduce the number of search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks and help to ensure the public has an enjoyable and safe outdoor experience. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Viewpoint: Don’t Overreact to High Peaks Crowds

by mike lynchAnyone who regularly drives Route 73 between the Northway and Lake Placid knows there has been a tremendous spike in activity in the High Peaks over the last few years. Parking has exploded, with vehicles sometimes lining the road for a mile between Chapel Pond and St. Huberts, dangerously crowding the trailhead at Cascade Mountain and overwhelming lots at Adirondac Loj, the Garden, Ampersand and elsewhere.

Trail use has soared correspondingly. The Cascade trail regularly sees hundreds of people on summer weekends. Many other trails are badly eroded and even remote summits can be crowded. This increase is no anomaly: the trend lines show it is the new normal. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 7, 2019

Viewpoint: Hikers Don’t Ruin Trails

erosion caused by poorly built trail From publications such as the Lake Placid News and Peeks, and from agencies such as the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Council, a dark narrative has been presented during the past few years, one that communicates the High Peaks region is facing grave peril due to increased hiker use.

This popular crisis narrative has us envision this region plummeting into a post-apocalyptic dystopia that rivals any scene from Mad Max. It will be a grim future, this total annihilation of the mountains, and at the end of it the purveyors of the crisis narrative will have but one smug question left for us: “Are you happy now?” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dave Gibson: Push for DEC Personnel Increases, Again

Forest Rangers lead search and rescueI listened to NCPR’s Brian Mann recent report about NYS DEC Forest Ranger staffing, and the great pressures on the static ranger staff resulting from so many emergency incidents. DEC Commissioner Seggos’ remarks appeared to be resistant to the need for additional Forest Rangers. He was quoted as saying that the entire DEC staff must rally to help to relieve the pressures on the Rangers and – I would add – on all natural resource professionals at the DEC. In other words, don’t worry members of the media, members of the public, we always do more with less.

In my experience, this Commissioner is very responsive to issues facing him and pays attention to detail. I also know he supports his people in the field. However, it was important for him to hear the support for more DEC Forest Rangers from local government representatives, like Wilmington Town Supervisor and Essex County Board of Supervisors chair Randy Preston. The supervisor was persistent because he knows what we all know: that the DEC Commissioner has no authority to increase the number of rangers, or foresters, or wildlife or fisheries, or operations or campground professionals. The urgent message that DEC natural resource and lands and forests and ranger personnel are at the breaking point must get to the Governor. Local government officials make excellent messengers. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Cascade Trailhead Closed; Shuttle Information

Cascade Parking closures mapImportant shuttle information for access to Cascade Mountain for Columbus Day Weekend

» Continue Reading.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Parking Along Rte 73 Near Roaring Brook Falls Prohibited

Roaring Brook Falls from Route 73 The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the State is prohibiting parking on the shoulders of both lanes of State Route 73 near the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead starting Friday, Sept. 21. According to an announcement by DEC: “The parking prohibition supports DEC’s multi-year, comprehensive effort to promote sustainable tourism and address public safety in the Adirondacks.”

Parking will be prohibited on the shoulder of the northbound lane from the entrance to the Roaring Brook Trailhead Parking area north to the bridge over Putnam Brook. Parking will be prohibited on the shoulder of the southbound lane between the guiderails south of Putnam Brook Bridge. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Tony Goodwin: Peaks Don’t Need Permits

hiker on Giant MountainThe July/August issue of the Explorer carried an impassioned call from Chris Amato for the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement a permit system for the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

Amato’s rationale was that the High Peaks no longer meet the definition of a “wilderness area” contained in the Adirondack State Land Master Plan (ASLMP). The ASLMP definition includes the phrases “untrammeled by man” and “outstanding opportunities for solitude.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

High Usage At Bald Mountain’s Rondaxe Fire Tower Trail

rondaxe fire towerThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding people to practice Leave No Trace Principles when visiting Bald Mountain’s Rondaxe Fire Tower in near Old Forge.

Leave No Trace Principles include: planning and being prepared for hiking; disposing of waste properly (pack it in, pack it out); leaving rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them; and respecting wildlife, flora and fauna. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Gibson: Limited Entry Systems For High Peaks Wilderness

Given ongoing evidence of recreational crowding, overuse and resource damage of the eastern High Peaks Wilderness, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve has called on our DEC to institute permit systems, sometimes called Limited Entry systems, to assure and restore Wilderness preservation, character and opportunity in the most heavily used portions of the High Peaks. Such systems are widely used around the country.

The internal debate at DEC over whether to institute permit systems for the High Peaks has gone on for more than 40 years. Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service is considering the expansion of such a system within 500,000 acres of federal Wilderness in Oregon’s Cascade Range. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Adirondack Wild Calls For Wilderness Permit Systems

adirondack wildAdirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is calling on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and NYS Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to institute wilderness permit systems for the Eastern High Peaks and the new Boreas Ponds gateway to the Wilderness “in order to reduce and prevent human recreational overuse of a highly vulnerable and limited Wilderness resource.”

A press release issued by Adirondack Wild follows: » Continue Reading.