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Cuomo: High Peaks overuse ‘legitimate issue’

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  • Cuomo: High Peaks overuse ‘legitimate issue’

    Progress? Or just talk of thinking about maybe kinda sorta doing something at an indeterminate point in the future? I hear no plans in this nor any urgency about the issue, just an admission that something needs to be done.

    https://www.adirondackdailyenterpris...itimate-issue/


  • #2
    Reads like lip service to me. Just another politician making sure their loony base keeps voting for them.

    I'm not really sure that there is a good solution to the "problem" other than time. Eventually the fad will wear off and the woods will become a place of reasonable solitude again. The politics of this fight and the trash that the willfully uneducated leave behind have ruined the experience for me more than anything else.
    Me - 41/46
    Mrs - 17/46

    A trail without mud is like a day without sunshine.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, it's BS, you are right.

      Cuomo created this issue by whipping up tourism with his tourism advertising, and by years of underfunding the basics: Parking, bathrooms, trail maintenance, Rangers, etc..

      Now all of a sudden he's blathering about seeing a problem. Yawn.

      From Lord of the Rings. [soldier]: "Long has he foreseen this doom!" Gandalf: "Foreseen, and done NOTHING!"

      Only two things will change this situation: Cuomo either getting into or not getting into the 2024 Pres race; or a hiker getting killed on the highway and the state losing a massive resulting lawsuit.

      Barring either of those event, just get used to this. And brush up on your map and compass skills.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Fat Man Hiking View Post
        Eventually the fad will wear off and the woods will become a place of reasonable solitude again.
        I read this article a while back. The concept of fad tourism is discussed. Was waiting to share when the "overuse" topic came up again. The article starts out talking about "overtourism" in Iceland but covers a lot of ideas and concepts that can be applied to the Adirondacks. I encourage everybody to give it a read.

        An excerpt, "While traveling in Iceland this spring to talk to Icelanders about the boom and subsequent slowdown, however, I began to doubt the concept of overtourism itself. The stigma of overtourism is contingent on the sense that a place without as many tourists is more real, more authentic, than it is with them. It poses tourists as foreign entities to a place in the same way that viruses are foreign to the human body. From the visitor’s side, overtourism is also a subjective concern based on a feeling: It’s the point at which your personal narrative of unique experience is broken, the point at which there are too many people — like yourself — who don’t belong in a place."

        Full article... https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/1...orthern-lights

        Comment


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          I spent some time in Iceland back in 2005. Granted it was almost 15 years ago, but outside the Blue Lagoon and a handful of tourist trap areas, the rest of the country was about as free of tourists as the Lake Colden interior outpost is on a soggy Wednesday in November; few and far between. There's something to be said for allowing the bulk of your visitors to remain concentrated in a few areas and keeping those areas fortified to handle the crowds when they appear.

        • gebby
          gebby commented
          Editing a comment
          FlyFishingandBeer. Exactly. There have to be a few sacrificial lambs, to protect the jewels that really could be harmed!

        • tcd
          tcd commented
          Editing a comment
          Exactly right. Knowledgeable locals advocated doing exactly this with Cascade, as long ago as 30 years back. Obviously would be a smart solution, instead of the disastrous mismanagement that's now being foisted on us.

          On a larger scale, the area actually covered by trails is less than .001 of the total area. A reasonable argument can be made (and I have made this argument many times) that the trails are where the bulk of the crowds will always be, and the rest of the area, 99.9% is basically pristine.

      • #5
        I'll restrain myself from going on a political tirade, but let's just say that Cuomo's track record on implementing programs/regs is slightly worse than horrid. Now that this has his attention and "overuse" has been whispered into his ear, I wouldn't expect anything to improve in a way that protects any resource or the public land right of Johnny Outdoor Recreationist.
        My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

        Comment


        • gebby
          gebby commented
          Editing a comment
          Now that he is uttering the buzzword that you frequently see coming out of the mouths of the representatives of the Adirondack Council, prepare to have your rights infringed upon!

        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          gebby That's nothing new in this state.

      • #6
        Welp, here we go. https://www.adirondackdailyenterpris...anners-picked/

        While they have yet to release a full membership roster, we know that at least one member has made it clear that he is in no way a representative voice and will be pushing his own agenda. What's really frustrating is that regardless of what's said behind closed doors, he's always the first one to run to the media with his own version of accounts.

        Maybe somebody more level-headed like Pete Nelson was allowed into the secret squirrel society...
        If anyone didn't catch his article, here you go https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2...t-permits.html

        Hope its OK if I leave this here. I didn't see the need to start a new thread just to circle back to the same topic.
        My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

        Comment


        • #7
          There are some strong players there. Speaking as a Keene resident, I see neighbors (some right on my road), friends, and our Town leaders on the list. So I'm encouraged.

          I still don't know if common sense will have a seat at the table, though. My initial instinct is that this is just another politically driven cover game, and this group will be allowed to talk, but not to make any actual changes. But I am a natural cynic, as most of you I am sure realize. There is actually some reason for hope here. I will certainly take the opportunity to once again make my ideas known to my representatives on this committee.

          Comment


          • Makwa
            Makwa commented
            Editing a comment
            I have been saying all along in the various threads on this topic that somebody needs to get off their duffs do something. Namely, NYS and the agencies tasked with managing the area. Finally, somebody is doing something. Kinda. It's strange that a panel of people is needed for recommendations to be made to those folks whose job it is to manage the area but I'll play along for now. The cynic in me says that NYS will take the recommendations, implement most or all of them, then if/when they don't work as intended or people continue to complain, that the state will sit back and tell everybody that this is what they asked for. Sounds to me like the state is giving stakeholders the rope to hang themselves with.

            I cannot believe that somebody inside the state cannot figure out some simple real world solutions for this problem in the short term (a problem that only rears its head 50-60 days out of the year). Solve the parking issues now, or at least put a band-aid on them with a temporary solution other than no parking signs going up for miles on Rte 73, then put a finer point on a broader, more comprehensive, plan later. I fear that this panel and the process to approve recommendations will be paralysis by analysis and all of 2020 will go by without any solutions being implemented.

            Finally, the question remains of how high a priority this is to NYS. Panels and recommendations are one thing. Money to implement and timing/roll-out of solutions is a whole other animal. I'll believe it when I see it, and if the end result is more restrictive access to the region than today then I will be disappointed.

          • waltonbrook
            waltonbrook commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree with tcd. There are meaningful voices on this committee and while it may just be a “listening campaign” with little impact, there is s chance that something helpful may come out of it Let’s give it a chance.

        • #8
          Editorial on the topic from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise... https://www.adirondackdailyenterpris...not-just-them/

          Comment


          • #9
            The ADE editorial is spot on. I have seen a couple similar articles recently in various local publications. It has taken a long time, but it's nice to see people gradually realizing the truth about what's actually needed to address the issues in our area, and also about how wrong-headed and ham-handed Albany's actions have been.

            Here are excerpts from my January 2018 letter to ADK magazine. I provided the same input to DEC, and to my local and state representatives at the time (almost two years ago now):

            "The mismatch between increased use and decreased management needs to be addressed. But the discussion cannot start until we move away from the one-sided position that “overuse” is the problem, and that the solution is to “chase all these terrible people away.” In any event, the increased use is here to stay because the State continues to heavily promote tourism in the area. Further, hard working people in the local economy rely on hiker visitation to make a living. So rather than trying to figure out how to chase people away, we should focus on how to manage the increased use."

            "In my opinion, there are four issues to be addressed: Hiker Education; Ranger Coverage; Trail Maintenance; and Parking."

            "To address these challenges professionally, the State needs to allocate about $100 million to support the High Peaks region. One third should go to restore the Ranger force; one third should go to trail redesign and maintenance; and one third should go to adequate parking, bathrooms, and full- time educators at the major trailheads. Of course, this sounds like a lot of money. But remember, NY State spends that much every six hours, all year long. The State has mismanaged the High Peaks area for years. Admirably, many small organizations, including ADK, have been trying to cover the shortfall in management. But a few volunteers and a few thousand dollars cannot cover a gap this large."

            All this was backed up by data, and was obvious to me two years ago. And I certainly don't pretend to be a "public policy expert." In the intervening two years, Albany has run as hard as it can in the opposite direction. And now, very predictably, we have a disaster on our hands. So it's gratifying to see more voices finally saying what has been obvious for years.

            So now everyone can see that regarding management of this resource, "the emperor has no clothes." It remains to be seen, as the ADE editorial rightly points out, whether there will be any action in Albany, or whether this is just another ploy to placate the people.


            Comment


            • #10
              The commissioner weighs in: https://www.adirondackdailyenterpris...ng-high-peaks/

              Comment


              • Makwa
                Makwa commented
                Editing a comment
                Well that is just plain hilarious. Dragging their feet for decades, and more recently doing nothing but actively trying to keep people away for the past few summers, is somehow considered "longstanding and targeted efforts to manage the growing number of visitors to the High Peaks"?!?! Their efforts have been ridiculously inadequate to date. He must know that, right? Otherwise, they wouldn't have formed this advisory panel. I read this statement as being defensive about their lack of progress.

                This part tells you all you need to know... "In addition, there are steps that High Peaks visitors can take right now — following Leave No Trace principles or taking one of the lesser-used but equally stunning hikes just outside of the main High Peaks region, among others." Translation... go someplace else! Stay Away! My god... it's not up to the hikers to solve the problem. That's just a basic misunderstanding of the issue. People want to hike in the High Peaks - not someplace else. Again blaming the hikers and not admitting their own failures in the region for ages. I am growing ever more tired of this narrative. This is not an overuse issue!!! It's an infrastructure and trail maintenance issue. Which ultimately is a budgetary issue at the state level. This statement alone leads me to believe that nothing good will come of the panel's recommendations... unless they recommend a permit system which is exactly where this sounds like its going. Stay Away! Go someplace else! Hikers at Fault! Not gonna put any money in the region!

                BTW... the panel is set to present recommendations in 2020. Anybody know when? Q1? Q4? Sometime in between? Do any of their ideas have a chance to be implemented in 2020? Or is this going to be a multi-year bureaucratic nightmare where no changes/improvements will be made until 2021 and beyond?

              • Hear the Footsteps
                Hear the Footsteps commented
                Editing a comment
                My opinion (no proof) is that Commissioner Seggos' was told to establish the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group as a defensive measure against the focused activities of the green groups. That is to buy time to make it look as if DEC is taking action. Also, DEC has been under scrutiny by the green groups since issuing the 2018 UMP amendment for the High Peaks. Most notably to the greens, the lack of even a mention of a reservation system pilot. And for me after browsing the UMP amendment recently I see lots of actions but no schedule of start or finish dates.

                Down Albany way the Albany paper has published three times in the past two weeks. A front page story on the Adirondacks, the follow-up on the Advisory Group and most recently an editorial which echos talking points from Janeway and Bauer. Clearly in the greens court. It'll be interesting if they pick up on the Daily Enterprise Story.

                Link to editorial
                https://www.timesunion.com/opinion/a...s-14827029.php

            • #11
              I agree that this "response" from the Commissioner looks like a clown show. And it would be funny, if I were not paying his salary.

              Makwa covered most of the points very succinctly.

              Basically, everything DEC has done themselves, has been the opposite of what is needed.

              And when he's trying to take credit for the positive things that have been done, such as Shuttles and Front Country Stewards, unfortunately he's just straight up lying. DEC did not do any of those things. The Shuttle is run (at considerable cost) by the Town of Keene, and the Front Country Stewards are provided by the Town (in Keene Valley) and the 46ers (at Cascade). And per acre of state land, the Ranger force is actually the smallest in state history, not the largest.

              It's controversial, and not fun, to point out when someone is straight up lying. I'm sure he is saying what he has to, and he's probably stuck in a difficult political position. But this most recent statement REALLY lays bare the complete failure in Albany to manage this situation.

              Again, I urge everyone to make your opinions known to the new Advisory Group. If you happen to know anyone on the group, write to them personally. Otherwise, write to your elected State Representatives in the Senate and the Assembly.

              I enjoy promulgating my opinions here on the forum (obviously! ). But it only makes a difference when we write to our elected representatives.
              Last edited by tcd; 11-12-2019, 03:21 PM.

              Comment


              • #12
                Keeps getting better /s

                "The bad news is the tourism increase is actually creating issues: parking issues, traffic issues. There's a real question, what is the maximum use of the resource without damaging the resources."

                What he seems to be saying is that people recreating in the High Peaks might be damaging its resources. And yet its almost as if somebody who couldn't provide any data to back this up just told him that's what is happening and he's just cautiously repeating it. Hmmm...

                "The top goal of the process is public safety, the DEC says." Well that's complete BS. "Overuse" isn't a public safety concern. As was previously pointed out, how many people have died in the peaks as opposed to the public roads that access them over the last 20 years? Two fatalities of hikers/climbers along the roadway IIRC, and one of them wasn't in a busy area and didn't actually occur on the road.


                https://www.northcountrypublicradio....ack-high-peaks
                My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post
                  Keeps getting better /s

                  "The bad news is the tourism increase is actually creating issues: parking issues, traffic issues. There's a real question, what is the maximum use of the resource without damaging the resources."

                  What he seems to be saying is that people recreating in the High Peaks might be damaging its resources. And yet its almost as if somebody who couldn't provide any data to back this up just told him that's what is happening and he's just cautiously repeating it. Hmmm...

                  "The top goal of the process is public safety, the DEC says." Well that's complete BS. "Overuse" isn't a public safety concern. As was previously pointed out, how many people have died in the peaks as opposed to the public roads that access them over the last 20 years? Two fatalities of hikers/climbers along the roadway IIRC, and one of them wasn't in a busy area and didn't actually occur on the road.


                  https://www.northcountrypublicradio....ack-high-peaks
                  Not necessarily completely in step with the green's.
                  'The DEC is forming a task force to try to come up with ……[a]“strategic approach that will support the Adirondacks local economies” while protecting the environment.'

                  Comment

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