Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

High Peaks Advisory Group

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • High Peaks Advisory Group

    FYI for those who may not have seen this: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/s...mmers-visitors


  • #2
    More directed at the Explorer
    - The picture of that muddy spot with branches thrown across. Not there. HURRAH.
    - The picture of people crowded on Big Slide. Not there. HURRAH.

    Agree that the summaries DEC puts out are vague.

    Don

    Comment


    • #3
      The problem is not everyone is against the crowds. The hikers could make things more difficult on themselves if they/we all wanted less company.

      Just like the herd paths forming. It doesn't matter that some of us don't want the herd paths forming. The gridders have gotten what they wanted. Easy hikes in the summer, going once a month, more or less, without turning ankles. Not sure why month to month is important, but it is, and its got to be easy. The aggressive rule (rule as a verb) for everyone.
      I might be kidding...

      Comment


      • #4
        Update

        Adirondack advisory group conducting closed-door meetings

        By Gwendolyn Craig Adirondack Explorer

        Twenty-two people handpicked by the state have been meeting behind closed doors to propose short- and long-term solutions to manage crowds in the Adirondack High Peaks. Members of this High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group meet about twice a month at the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Warrensburg office and spend hours talking over the conundrum and reviewing public feedback. They will deliver proposals to the state by June. The group’s formation is a positive step for many who see it as the state’s acknowledgement of a problem ignored for too long. But with the No. 1 stakeholder — the public — not at the table, others are left to wonder and wait. While members of the group say there is tension about whether the meetings should be open or closed, none have left the table over it and nearly all think the conversations have been productive. Most are not convinced they’ll have a long-term solution by June, but they do believe they’ll have short-term recommendations that could be implemented as soon as this summer. Driving down Route 73 in Keene, one can see the problem firsthand: Cars line the roads on either side, causing a traffic nightmare and safety hazard. Probably no one knows this better than Keene Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson and Town Board members. They have, oftentimes, expanded their governmental duties to parking enforcement. But it’s not just parking that’s a problem. There are the unprepared hikers who show up in flip-flops who need rescuing. There is a lack of public bathrooms. A shuttle system and front-country stewards that the town hires are helping, but Keene’s approximately 1,000 residents cannot manage a tourist destination that attracts about 10 million on their own. Adirondack Explorer talked to a majority of the advisory group members who are not state employees. Most believed the group was a good representation of all the stakeholders involved. Some environmental groups in particular, like Protect the Adirondacks and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, were not happy to be excluded. A member of the Adirondack 46ers also wrote in an email addressed to the group that he thought that organization should be at the table. “It must be acknowledged that a significant portion of backcountry visitors are pursuing the goal of becoming 46ers,” wrote Jae Burke, an Essex County resident. Bob Stegemann, DEC’s retiring Region 5 director, said it was DEC’s planners who decided the advisory group would be closed to the public, but staff would post meeting summaries online. The summaries do not attribute who said what. “There’ll be an opportunity for people to comment throughout on what’s going on about this,” Stegemann added. According to the state Committee on Open Government, an advisory group does not need to have open meetings if it is not created by the Legislature and is only providing recommendations. But the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team organized by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, is holding public meetings and soliciting public feedback online. It, too, was not created by the Legislature and is only providing recommendations. Wilson said that while generally he is in support of open meetings, he thinks more frank discussions, more partnerships and more legal matters are getting covered in the current vacuum. Pete Nelson, of Adirondack Wilderness Advocates, said he thought the advisory group meetings should be open because, “the opportunities for things to get misinterpreted goes down.” But, as an advisory group member, he also sees the meeting summaries and solicitation of public feedback as a medium ground. “DEC is fully committed to this in a way I’ve never seen before,” Nelson added. Panel member Theresa Cheetham-Palen, of Rock and River Guide Co., said she knew of people who wanted to be part of the meetings and she tries to speak up for them. Shaun Gillilland, chair of the Essex County Board of Supervisors, said he is against the advisory group’s meetings being open to the public. “The ongoing success that I see happening there is the fact that people can speak freely and can work on solutions and stuff without being worried that they’re necessarily making somebody in their constituency upset,” Gillilland said. While members of the advisory group have the freedom to brainstorm ideas without their names attached to them, those who submit public comments do not. Adirondack Explorer filed a Freedom of Information request for all public comments submitted to the advisory group so far, and received more than 70 files. Many of the comments center on whether the state should issue permits to keep hiker traffic down. So far, the feedback is fairly split between those against permits and those for them. Most in favor suggested a tiered-cost approach with Adirondack Park residents paying less than out-of-state residents. The costs of such permits would be put back into trail maintenance. James Appleton, creator of the Lake Placid 9’er challenge, wrote to say permits were “nonsense.” He created the 9’er challenge, he said, for the very same problem the advisory group is considering. Tom Fairhurst, another commenter, suggested the state needs to create more marketed challenges similar to Appleton’s, the fire tower challenge and the Lake George 12ster, to help spread people out. Several comments suggested the state have hiker insurance in case someone needs to be rescued, or to require the state to charge unprepared hikers for a rescue. So far, most of the advisory group members Adirondack Explorer talked to said they are not in favor of permits, yet. Cheetham-Palen said she is hoping the group can address “low-hanging fruit” in its recommendations and, specifically, making parking safer in Keene along Route 73. The state and Essex County will try out a shuttle pilot program this summer. There will be more front-country stewards to help visitors with parking and education. A long-term plan should look beyond the High Peaks, Gillilland said, and encompass the whole park. “I’m confident our recommendations will be taken to heart by the state,” Nelson said. “It’s beyond a quick-fix and beyond our knowledge collectively.”

        Comment


        • #5
          The Corona Virus May just solve those problems.
          Nothing like being in the woods.

          http://www.gerardsadirondackpics.shutterfly.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gerard01 View Post
            The Corona Virus May just solve those problems.
            If visitors from Canada decline (which appears likely) then you are 100% correct.

            I can't wait for these ninnies to start crying when all their tax revenue from tourists go with it.
            ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 275/552
            Photos & Stuff

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by waltonbrook View Post
              FYI for those who may not have seen this: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/s...mmers-visitors
              If tcd isn't in the group, it's not going to reach the right decision.
              ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 275/552
              Photos & Stuff

              Comment


              • tcd
                tcd commented
                Editing a comment
                Well, thanks for the vote of confidence!

                I certainly have tried to have an influence; but I am only one voice. More people need to try to influence our decision makers.
            Working...
            X