Posts Tagged ‘Overuse’

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.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

High Peaks Plans Should Respect Public Opinion

boreas ponds roadWhile casting her vote for the Boreas Ponds land classification known as Alternative 2 on February 2, 2018, one Adirondack Park Agency board member told the audience gathered at the agency’s headquarters in Ray Brook that we should “take a leap of faith,” even if the public wasn’t getting the wilderness classification it wanted. She said that we should trust the Department of Environmental Conservation to protect the Boreas Ponds in its forthcoming unit management plan (UMP) for the area, where environmental safeguards would be written into the proposals for recreational access.

Unfortunately, that faith has proven to be unwarranted. DEC has released a pair of management plans that will impact the future of not just the beautiful Boreas Ponds, but the entire High Peaks Wilderness. The scope of these two documents far exceeds the available time to read and assess everything they contain, but even with a cursory review it is abundantly clear that our state agencies are failing to meet the public’s expectations. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gibson: State Rushing Process For High Peaks, Boreas Plans

I’d like to recognize the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for its recent editorial “APA, DEC Skimp on Public Meetings.” The newspaper wrote that two public meetings, both held on the same day (Wednesday, May 23) about numerous management amendments to the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest:

“while important, are also severely wanting. These lands belong to the people of New York, and folks near New York City, in Syracuse and Buffalo, Watertown and Ithaca all deserve to have APA and DEC staff come explain what the plans mean and hear the public’s concerns. Together, the two UMP amendments run to more than 300 pages, and it would be beneficial to the public to have them explained by the people who wrote them.”

Now that the classifications are decided and amendments to the unit management plans (UMP) are underway, the process seems highly accelerated and rushed. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Big High Peaks Changes Coming Amid Crowd Concerns

High Peaks Wilderness Map May 2018As the upcoming Canadian Victoria Day holiday weekend (May 19-21) kicks-off the start of the busy season in the Adirondack High Peaks, local advocates and officials are assessing overcrowding, making plans to accommodate more visitors, and proposing new regulations and a sweeping expansion of backcountry facilities. » Continue Reading.