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  • Sad state of affairs.

    I shared this on several of the Facebook hiking groups and figured I would share it here. So sad. I was a non-supporter for permits, but I think I might be changing my mind. https://hikingforwildness.com/how-mu...nImf0dKOWJUguA

  • #2
    So sad I would hate to have a permit system but if nonsense continues there may be no choice. Do people do no research of the area they are going I assumed it was common knowledge that you couldn’t camp above 3500. Guess i am a bit naive I have much respect for these stewards that have to deal with this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Maybe we should hire Navy Seals and give them some ADK rules training and a license to kill.
      Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
      ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

      Comment


      • gebby
        gebby commented
        Editing a comment
        A sniper. Picks off the first violator to pitch a tent on alpine vegetation or dig the first cathole up high and then watch the rest scurry below 3500 feet! That'll get the message across!

    • #4
      Originally posted by Rmxfiles View Post
      Do people do no research of the area they are going I assumed it was common knowledge that you couldn't camp above 3500.
      Even if you do no research beforehand, there's a sign right on the Van Hoevenberg trail stating that camping isn't permitted above 3,500 feet. There are also signs on Marcy and Cascade (and I'm sure other high peaks) warning hikers not to step on alpine vegetation. Some people just don't care. As good of a job as the summit stewards do, I think the average dudebro who doesn't give a **** about the environment would respond more to a ranger/cop confronting him and threatening him with a hefty fine.

      Comment


      • WNY Wanderer
        WNY Wanderer commented
        Editing a comment
        Another suggestion to deter people (which wouldn't cost much at all to implement) would be to post the fine amount directly below the "No camping above 3,500 feet" sign. I once saw a $2,000 fine amount posted on a No Trespassing sign in Pennsylvania. That was a real attention-grabber!

      • WNY Wanderer
        WNY Wanderer commented
        Editing a comment
        Just one more thought before dinner: Hopefully graffiti never becomes a serious problem in the Adirondacks like it has become elsewhere in the region. God help us if any of our mountains ever resembles High Rock in Maryland or Reddish Knob in Virginia (do an image search on those places at your own risk!)

      • Eddie Fournier
        Eddie Fournier commented
        Editing a comment
        ^ I like the idea of posting a large fine. The signs are already very obvious, unambiguous and I can't believe all those people didn't see them.

    • #5
      Not on board with permits. Permits don't guarantee that people will follow the rules.
      The people in this article would've camped above 3500' regardless if there were crowds or not.

      I'm disgusted with their actions as well. Wish she would've called it in to the Rangers.

      Comment


      • gebby
        gebby commented
        Editing a comment
        Rangers were probably too busy plucking people off the Trap Dyke!

      • Old Hunter
        Old Hunter commented
        Editing a comment
        or holding someone's hand who was tired

    • #6
      Poorly thought out, despite golden-hearted intentions.

      >No one reads signs, unless they are actively seeking information. Signs will not change behavior.

      >Permits and reducing numbers accomplishes nothing. There is a certain percentage of the hiking community that is uneducated. 10 of them will do just as much damage as 20 of them.

      >There is TREMENDOUS resistance at the state level to adding educational resources (Front Country Stewards) at the trail heads. This is the ONLY solution for this problem. Summit Stewards are great, but by the time most people encounter them it's too late and the damage is done.

      Wonder why the state opposes Front Country Stewards...is there a money trail to follow?

      Comment


      • WNY Wanderer
        WNY Wanderer commented
        Editing a comment
        "No one reads signs" - Put "Violators will be fined up to $XXXX" on the sign and people will pay attention. That's not to say other measures couldn't be implemented as well...

      • WNY Wanderer
        WNY Wanderer commented
        Editing a comment
        ^^^ referring to the no camping sign at 3,500 feet that's right on the trail. People do see that and will pay attention if there's warning of a hefty fine clearly written there.

    • #7
      I know that many people on this board oppose permits, but I think they should be used with the following conditions:
      1. No charge
      2. Easy to get, either on line or at the trailhead
      3. When you sign in at the trailhead, put down your permit number and carry the permit with you.

      That way, people who violate the rules can be traced and, fined if they do not have the permit.
      Mike

      ADK 46r #8003; 6W
      2nd round: 16
      SL6r #596
      Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W

      Comment


      • Learning The Trails
        Learning The Trails commented
        Editing a comment
        Cascade I can see being a tough place to steward at the trailhead. But two or three stewards at the summit intercepting groups as they get to the open rock near the summit could work. Places like the Loj, South Meadows and Upper Works have plenty of space to get front country stewarding in.

        Edit- I am by no means saying the onus of this should fall on the 46ers volunteers. The State continues to drop the ball.

      • MTVhike
        MTVhike commented
        Editing a comment
        Two days ago I was driving north from Albany and as I approached exit 30, there were flashing signs warning of trailhead closures and limited parking. On 73, there were lighted signs announcing next week's construction closure of 73, with a detour through Elizabethtown. Perhaps an information kiosk at the new, overpriced Adirondack Welcome Center south of Glens Falls and the High Peaks Information Center between exits 29 and 30 would help (at least for those dreaded tourists from NJ and NYC).

        And, my permit suggestion never said that the number of permits would be limited.
        Last edited by MTVhike; 07-31-2020, 09:27 AM. Reason: Added last line...

      • gebby
        gebby commented
        Editing a comment
        MTVhike exactly. No limit to permits and if possible no cost, or cost to cover the printing, etc., or to support ranger force and mission. The major focus of the program is strictly that the hiker is acknowledging that they are aware of certain rules and regulations, printed on the back of the permit, which is stored in their pack and if they are caught in violation of the regs on the permit, start writing tickets!

    • #8
      You'd think this would be a quiet(er) summer, given that we Canucks are isolating on our side of the line (probably until 2021).

      I haven't hiked in the High Peaks in awhile but, when I did (2 to 4 times a month) I met my share of people who didn't know the rules (or didn't care about them). The violations were as described in the linked blog post: camping above 3500 feet, illegal fires, improper disposal of human waste, flying a drone, felling standing trees, walking on alpine vegetation, cutting switchbacks, widening trails, etc.

      It was dispiriting to witness it at the limited frequency that I did and I can only imagine how it feels when you experience it day in and day out like a Summit Steward. It must be maddening to see the damage caused by a steady stream of ignorance.


      Based on the blog post, most violations were caused by obliviousness. This presents a problem for a permit system. In order for it to work, you must know that you need to get a permit and that won't happen if you're a hiker who fails to do any research prior to your trip. Mentioning it's posted at the trail-register is not likely to be effective for hikers who simply don't read them (like those who currently camp above 3500 feet, make fires, don't have bear canisters, etc).

      I wish I could say that receiving a $250 fine for each violation is sufficient deterrence but, let's be honest, that hasn't proven to be true. If you don't know there are rules, you probably don't know there are fines for breaking them. There's also the issue of limited enforcement; cheap to make rules, expensive to enforce them.

      I agree with tcd that Front Country Stewards can be part of an effective solution. However, that means staffing all major trailheads and the word "staffing" appears to be anathema to NYS. The current situation (pandemic) only makes budgetary matters worse.

      Looking for Views!

      Comment


      • tcd
        tcd commented
        Editing a comment
        You darn Canucks! I wish we had more of you - fit, well equipped, and stylish! My wife and I have always enjoyed the Canadian hikers company; it's the idiots from downstate that do the damage.

      • Trail Boss
        Trail Boss commented
        Editing a comment
        @Old_Hunter
        I also prefer fines over permits but when you say "help spread the word even if slowly" you gotta admit the word is getting out waaaay too slowly. The typical interaction is what happens in the blog post, the perpetrator gets a strong lecture from an individual who cannot enforce the law. Undoubtedly a very frustrating experience for someone who is committed to protecting wilderness on a daily basis.

        @gebby
        Flashing billboards might help. All the other stuff about social media, etc is where all the existing "no fires, do the rock walk, don't camp illegally, etc" currently lives yet has difficulty finding its way between the ears of many hikers.

        @tcd
        Meh, we Canucks have done our fair share of contributing to the problem. I recall the incident with the couple from Quebec who hiked Marcy in winter without snowshoes then blundered down the wrong side, post-holing all the way down into Panther Gorge, then being rescued the next morning. No amount of information about the mandatory "possession and use" of snowshoes managed to register with them. Nor did the illegal campers from Quebec I met at Lake Arnold. When cautioned a "Ranger may come by" they dismissed it with "What are the chances of that?" (delivered with a smirk). I can't recall if they were fit and stylish but they did impress me as being a-holes. Yeah, you don't always get "our best" either.

      • Hear the Footsteps
        Hear the Footsteps commented
        Editing a comment
        Trail Boss. For awhile it actually was more quite. Last couple of weeks there's been a step change.

    • #9
      Trail Boss not saying I expect social media to correct these problems just saying that is how to get the word out that there is a new game in town(permits) and that you need one and on the back would be printed the top five or ten rules you are expected to follow while out there. Could be printed at home, obtained at EMS, REI, Mountaineer and other outdoor stores as well. Produced on demand or if violating rules and graded penalties for not possessing it, possessing it but violating and the worst financial penalty for not possessing and committing violations. What I would do if I was king

      Comment


      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        So walking papers, essentially. Very 1984. What would this accomplish, given the fact that there isn't enough enforcement to catch the clear and obvious rule breakers? The state can't even place anyone with any authority on the very summits where these offenses happen multiple times per weekend, even though having a Ranger anywhere between the falls and Marcy's summit all weekend would appear to be a cash cow. Where are we procuring the LEOs who are going to patrol the high peaks checking for proper walking credentials when they can't even catch people committing the nearly daily offense of camping on Mt. Marcy's summit?

        Here's a fun fact that I learned during my sunset round, for anyone who would like to try a little experiment: Bring a pair of good binos up to any summit with a view of Mt. Marcy... lots of options. You can see people having fires or camping on almost any given summer evening, even (especially) the ones where practically nobody is in the park. These people still aren't being caught. There is no quantifiable numbers problem; there is not "overcrowding." Only a very small percentage of people engage in this behavior. Its a matter of that .01% not knowing or not caring, while our backcountry LEOs are fully aware that its happening and either can't/won't stop it.

    • #10
      I think I understood you the first time that it was a means to "get the word out". My point is that, despite the ubiquity of social media, it didn't get the word out to the people described in the blog post. For whatever reason, they're not reading the places where the information is posted. That would require them to do some research and, it would appear, that's not something they do.

      By all means social media should continue to be used to disseminate information but it should be understood that it only reaches those who seek it. The big question is how does one compel hikers to do research like "Will I need a permit to hike/camp in the High Peaks?"
      Looking for Views!

      Comment


      • #11
        As with many things, proper funding is a major problem. About fee permits - I expect many would complain they are already paying taxes, and that New York is a high tax state. New York, or any bureaucracy, is hardly going to become ultra efficient, resolve funding, and have what is necessary for every constituent issue.

        I happen to support fee permits if it was done in conjunction with some type of education and all monies went towards the forest preserve. I have fully accepted the required fishing license I get annually. And I happen to read the associated book of regulations.

        Nothing is a silver bullet. So I would also support fines. Of course they need to be enforced. Of course funding is needed to initiate that enforcement.

        I don't expect anything would resolve the issues that have been discussed. Many things need to be done. And even then, these issues will occur. But I do expect they would be minimized.

        Gebby, thanks for posting that disheartening link.

        Comment


        • gebby
          gebby commented
          Editing a comment
          It's very well written and you can feel the pain in every word. :(

      • #12
        Originally posted by Learning The Trails View Post
        Not on board with permits. Permits don't guarantee that people will follow the rules.
        The people in this article would've camped above 3500' regardless if there were crowds or not.

        I'm disgusted with their actions as well. Wish she would've called it in to the Rangers.
        Yes. She should have called the rangers immediately and all the violators should have been ticketed. I imagine that kind of news would travel more quickly than social media reminders about the rules.

        Comment


        • #13
          Originally posted by Gregory Karl View Post
          Yes. She should have called the rangers immediately and all the violators should have been ticketed. I imagine that kind of news would travel more quickly than social media reminders about the rules.
          This seems like the most practical way to start fighting this issue.
          Hikers should be able to help enforcing these rules.
          Can somebody talk to their friends Amy or Pappa to pin Gregory's suggestion with rangers phone numbers to the top of Facebook ADK groups?

          Comment


          • #14
            If you support a fee-based permit system or any other restricted access permit system, you do not support racial/ethnic/economic diversity in a region that is already perceived as hard to access and unwelcoming to certain demographics, and there's no argument to be made against it. Choose your side, but you can't pick both.

            If you support a fee-based permit system then you are standing against the principals of state public lands. The mere suggestion to relinquish our access to our own public land spaces and place them under government controlled lock and key, with the option to temporarily purchase your Rights back as long as the Rights quota isn't full for that day is shocking.
            My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

            Comment


            • MTVhike
              MTVhike commented
              Editing a comment
              The permit system I proposed earlier in this thread had no fees, for many of the reasons FF&B lists.

          • #15
            Does anybody have any idea what percentage of the tickets issued by the DEC are ever paid? Handing out tickets does no good if nobody pays them. And paid or unpaid it probably drives away any tourist who receives one. Even if they are totally in the wrong people don't want to feel like they are being treated like criminals or are unwelcome someplace. Nor do they want to feel like NYS is levying a fine on what they consider to be a minor offense just to extract money from them. Odds are many won't come back. I know many will say good riddance but between the parking restrictions and overcrowding at popular trailheads do we need another reason for people to not visit? I think the best way to really get the message across is through face-to-face education. A stern talking to by a Ranger will do more good than a ticket. Front Country Stewards are certainly a great way to do that education as well.

            As far as signage... nobody read signs! More specifically, nobody reads the jumble of signs and other crap that NYS throws up at trailheads. There is no consistent message or theme whatsoever. The information is poorly displayed and even harder to read. There's too much at some trailheads where the most important stuff gets lost amid the chaos, and then at most of the smaller trailheads there is nothing at all. It doesn't make much sense. If we could all agree on some bullet points that need to be communicated to every visitor and design signage that displays that in a concise manner with a consistent theme then maybe, MAYBE, we have a fighting chance of people reading it. Like 20 seconds worth of reading of something in large letters that is plain to see for all hikers and impossible to walk by without looking at. Whatever we put out there has to be easily digestible and make an impression. And it has to look the same at all trailheads. Think about directional trail signs at trailheads/junctions and trail markers. They are basically all the same throughout the ADKs. Materials, design, fonts, colors, etc are all the same. You instantly know when you see one what it is and what information it will convey. It is important information that is presented the same way everywhere and people pay attention to it. So why is everything else that needs to be communicated an inconsistent mess without any common design elements? We need a rebranding of trailhead signage so that when people see the design of the sign they know immediately what it is, that what is on it is important to see, and that it won't take more than a few seconds to read. I have seen trail registers, bulletin boards, kiosks, gatehouses, signs in parking lots, signs nailed to trees too high for people to notice, and a host of other ways for information to be disseminated and it's mostly all junk. The ADKs need a consistent look and approach at every trailhead. Simplify, redesign, and rebrand. Then maybe, just maybe, people will read the signage.

            Comment


            • FlyFishingandBeer
              FlyFishingandBeer commented
              Editing a comment
              At this point why not just have a metal bar stretch across the trail during the non-snow months that people have to step over or under, with a big sign on it the simply says "no campfires in the eastern (central, whatever they are this week) high peaks and NO CAMPING BEYOND THIS POINT.

              No permits will ever stop people from breaking the rules, but making "the rules" a literal obstacle to overcome might help.
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