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NewsChannel13 Investigates: High Use in the High Peaks

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  • NewsChannel13 Investigates: High Use in the High Peaks

    Local news out of Albany has a 2-part report on the High Peaks. Worth a look. Part 1 ran this morning and Part 2 will air tonight.

    Part 1... 4-minute video here... https://wnyt.com/capital-region-come...ment-/5895731/

    Part 2... tonight (10/15) at 6 pm on Channel 13 (WNYT) out of Albany for those of you who receive that channel. I will post link to video if/when the WNYT web site posts it.



  • #2
    It's also on ADK's Facebook page.
    Orono Stewie

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry folks... I gave out bad info above. It was a 3-part series.

      Here are the links...

      Part 2... https://wnyt.com/capital-region-come...95854/?cat=554

      Part 3... https://wnyt.com/capital-region-come...rmits/5895901/

      Comment


      • tcd
        tcd commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Makwa.

        I make a practice of not watching talking heads. Will there be a readable transcript at some point?

        I am curious as to Channel 13's take on the issue, considering how late they are to the party, investigating something that has been beaten to death for the last several years. When I read the transcript, I'll want to understand whether they are actually adding any value with new information, or whether they are just stoking a narrative.

      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        The story below the video in each link is pretty close to a full transcript. You can read but I think it's worth watching the three parts (~10-12 min in total) just to see/hear each person talk rather than reading your own inflections or biases into the transcript.

        I think the coverage was fair though it is a rehash of things we've been discussing forever on the forum. At the very least it's a good distillation of what has happened and what the challenges are. They gave everybody with an opinion a chance to speak. I wouldn't say WNYT came down on one side or the other really. It was decent reporting.

    • #4
      https://wnyt.com/news/digital-extra-...316/?cat=13146
      Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
      ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

      Comment


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        There was also suppose to be a LNT video posted but I couldn't find it last night.

      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        Just a few tips for any newbies who might have watched that 10 Essentials video and are now reading this thread...

        * A repair kit goes far beyond just a multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife. If you actually need to repair your pack or some other gear in the field you should bring something like paracord or other lashing material to be able to make the repair with. It's light. There isn't any way you can repair a pack with just a knife, screwdriver, or corkscrew so plan ahead as to how you might actually repair your gear in the field rather than just checking a tool off a 10 Essential Items list. Also consider carrying some duct tape in your repair kit. Wrap 10-15 feet of it around something portable (like a cardboard toilet paper roll center) rather than bringing a whole roll. A blowout with a shoe or a rip in your jacket or pack can be repaired quickly and easily with duct tape.

        * If you are concerned about carrying too much weight up the mountain then repackage items into smaller containers. In this video, the 3+ pounds of peanut butter, Nutella, and sunscreen could be easily be chopped down to under a pound without sacrificing anything. And you don't need a map of the entire Adirondacks, just one of the area you will be hiking in. There are on-line mapping resources that you can use to print out detailed topo maps for anywhere in the United States. Print a zoomed in one of the trail you will be on and print one that's a wider view encompassing the entire area and the nearest roads in each cardinal direction. That's generally enough to get you out safely. And print out extra copies. Or make photocopies of the map you have and are used to. This doesn't sound like a lot but why carry an extra 4 or 5 ounces around when 3 or 4 pieces of paper will suffice. And if you still insist on carrying the entire map that is fine, but do still bring those extra printed out copies. Maps can find ways to become wet/ unreadable, blow away in the wind, get lost, or to meet some other horrible fate that will leave you without one. Extra printed out copies stored in a ziplock bag gives you a backup.

        * As for headlamps or flashlights... bring an extra. They are the last thing you want to have crap out on you when you really need it. And bring extra batteries. Check your gear before you leave home. Recharge or replace batteries that are running low before you set out.

        * Fire kit might include some dry tinder. Matches or a lighter (or other fire starter) are great but if everything is wet then what do you do? Think/ plan ahead.

        10 essentials lists are great. They cover all the things you generally need. But think critically about the list, have backups/ redundancies, know how to use each piece of gear you carry, and plan for contingencies. That's planning ahead and being prepared.
        Last edited by Makwa; 10-16-2020, 10:36 AM.

      • Neil
        Neil commented
        Editing a comment
        This kit weighs about 3 ounces

        -safety Pins
        -tie wraps
        -wire
        -cordelette
        -needle and thread (can use dental floss)
        -Tenacious Tape
        -duct tape (wrapped around a pencil stub_
        -inflatable sleeping pad repair kit.

    • #5
      Virtually every article, social media post, news report, etc lists toilet paper as part of a litter problem. Without turning it into a debate over sexism, genderism, biology or anything else that upsets people, how can these groups better communicate with the "drip-dry crowd"?

      That term came directly from a well-known member of the ADK MC in a publicly viewable statement. Don't yell at me for it.
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

      Comment


      • Orono Stewie
        Orono Stewie commented
        Editing a comment
        A lot of what is identified as toilet paper is facial tissue judging by where I've seen it........No genderism there!

      • Hear the Footsteps
        Hear the Footsteps commented
        Editing a comment
        I put it at the top of a category followed by (not necessarily in order) with Orange Peels, Egg Shells, Pistachio Shells, Tear Offs. Makes for the wrong kind of memorable experience.

        Plus having checked out some LNT sites....Nothing like a white paper unfortunately.
        Due to many types being scented might attract unwanted varmints. And especially if you go close to your campsite. And your pet dog might find it, wanna snuggle after that?. When not buried it will stay in dry state longer and therefore take longer to decompose.

        Don
        Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 10-16-2020, 07:49 PM.

    • #6
      Full 30-minute interview with DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. Just a snippet of it was used in the videos posted above.

      https://wnyt.com/news/digital-extra-...408/?cat=13146

      Comment


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        Worth watching. Seggos' comments are encouraging. Shuttles service and other initiatives discussed. Talks directly and without obfuscation about all the things we are concerned about.

      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        I must add that the DEC's position on a majority of the issues align pretty closely with what most of us on the forum have been lobbying for. That's good news. We (well at least me) give the DEC a hard time about the lack of progress in the region. But the whole thing comes down to political will and money. The answer Seggos gives at the 22:30 mark of the video pretty much sums it up.

      • Hear the Footsteps
        Hear the Footsteps commented
        Editing a comment
        Two Points after viewing the interview.

        By way of background. There's an article titled "Sustainable Trail Development" in the Spring 2020 Peeks that I re-read after I saw this post. I found it worthwhile. It's kind of primer or expanded glossary of trail construction. It's a little easier than plowing through the USFS trail construction guide.

        1) The author as well as Commissioner Seggos mentions trail that will last 100 years? Think it'll happen. It's a goal. Maybe there should be some results obtained from the prototyping first. In the article the Cascade Trail [and Mt Van trail] is called a pilot.

        Lets see what happens on the new trails to Mt Van and Cascade(when finished). Maybe there should be more prototypes that just one. Small sections that can get finished and start showing resutls. Hopefully these new trails will prove to be durable.

        2) In the article additions to the MtVan Olympic Complex (OSC) mentioned includes (besides parking and restrooms).

        "At the OSC there will be a hiker information center, which will provide multimedia methods to inform hikers. It will serve as an anchor point for both DEC and ORDA staff and volunteers to educate hikers. Information that is available 24 hours each day will help catch those hikers who arrive before or after the dedicated volunteers are onsite. This inviting area area will provide first-person education and outreach."

        Well, it does not even get a mention by the Commissioner when answering a visitor center question. And he seems to be informed.

        So is it happening? Did he not mention it because it's just a kiosk, which he agrees is not effective? And in my limited experience with the OSC is that it's parking lot had been gated in the past, though, I suppose early risers could still park at the Biathlon Range and walk in.

        Don

    • #7
      Like many of you I've followed this topic for years and when I hear all of the various grand solutions to this problem I keep coming back to the same basic, core question: Is it really that there are so many people out there that don't know about LNT, how to pack for a hike, parking, etc or is it just that they don't care about it and are going to do what they're going to do anyway?

      I mean are there people out there that really don't realize that throwing trash on the ground is wrong or that they might need a light or an extra jacket or a hat? I personally think it's all about inconvenience. They're not bringing a jacket because it's too heavy and it's warm enough they probably won't need it, and they're consciously not bringing a light because they'll be back before dark and they don't want to bother. They know they'll get a ticket parking on Rte 73 but they're "taking the ticket" as the interview indicated because that is the hike they wanted to do. They're not spending $19 on a set of maps because there's a free app for that. All these educational initiatives, information centers, etc seem like a waste of money to me. I climbed Porter and Cascade once a few years ago (from Marcy field side) and a lasting memory I have of that summit (Cascade) is two women who threw a blanket down directly on top of some alpine grasses and fauna with their baby, set out food and stuff for a picnic, roughly 15' from a little sign to stay off the plants and 5' from a little rock "boundary" indicating the area was "off limits". There was a summit steward on the summit at the time. I spent probably 20 minutes up there and the steward never spoke with them and no "do good" hikers confronted the women about the situation. Did these women really have no clue about the impact of what they were doing? Or did they want to have their picnic in that great spot and not really care about the rules?

      Is there any data or evidence to suggest that all these steward programs and educational programs are making a difference? (I'm asking not preaching. I haven't seen any data on this). With trash, parking problems and rescues climbing steadily every year it would suggest, to me at least, that these programs do not work. How are most inexperienced hikers finding out about hiking, trails, etc? No doubt they're online, on Facebook groups, etc and all of those sources are saturated with commentary on LNT, being prepared, etc. I find it hard to believe masses of new hikers are going up there oblivious to these things. Rather than building a massive, multi-million dollar information center in Keene why not just higher some people to just clean up the park's trash and just maintain it like you would an office building or other property? I wonder if there was a LNT stewardship program in downtown Manhattan about littering if they could fix the trash problem in NYC? Maybe it's just the cynic in me but all of these "solutions" seem to have the same basic flaw: assuming this is just a question of lack of knowledge and when people are provided the knowledge they will change their behavior. I'm skeptical....

      Comment


      • gebby
        gebby commented
        Editing a comment
        DayTrip I see you referenced the clean ups that the locals were doing in the Catskills when the city folk came up and were tossing trash everywhere in the Kaaterskill Falls area. I thought they were fools to do so. Just encourages the people from the city to dump more trash, since the feeling will be "someone else will pick it up"!

      • DayTrip
        DayTrip commented
        Editing a comment
        You have to catch them in the act for that. So we're paying for tons of cops to patrol the trails now? Thought money was an issue. And the ticketing of cars on Rte 73 according to the referenced news stories doesn't seem to be working. Do they have the resources to tow hundreds of cars or should they just invest in bigger parking lots? People are just going to follow the path of least resistance so solutions that fight the inevitable are not going to do anything except waste money. And the clean up I referenced was specifically not Kaaterskill. It was in another area and on multiple trails by what IIRC was a few hikers who just decided to take action. It was several months ago so I don't remember the specifics. I am aware of the ****s how at Kaaterskill and think they'll have to limit access drastically and patrol that area hard to have any shot at fixing that problem. I've never been there and likely never will.

      • gebby
        gebby commented
        Editing a comment
        So we're paying for tons of garbage collectors that don't generate revenue DayTrip? Let me know when you're free for trail crew with the 46ers. We'll put you on garbage detail.

    • #8
      Many good posts and questions here. But unfortunately the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate.

      >The trail up Hurricane from 9N was re-routed and re-designed several years ago, at a fraction of the cost and effort being spent on Cascade, and Hurricane is holding up very well even with massive traffic (70 cars one day in September). Also, the goal for Cascade could have been accomplished with far fewer resources by upgrading the existing route. My conclusion - the Cascade trail is "for show" only, for political reasons. Why "pilot" something that you will never have the resources to implement on a large scale?

      >There is abundant evidence that signs are largely ineffective. One only has to drive the highway with other drivers to know this. The Jeep at Marcy Dam puts the final nail in the in the coffin of the idea that "We put up a bunch of signs, so we accomplished something."

      >There is ample evidence (certainly some is anecdotal) that putting people on the ground (Front Country Stewards for education; Rangers for education and enforcement) is effective. But we are not doing it. At all. A few 46er volunteers have done Front Country Steward work at Cascade; the Town of Keene managed to eke out a $90K grant from the State for Front Country Stewards. These efforts actually paid dividends. But they are so small on the overall scale that they will make no difference in the big picture. And the State refuses to hire more Rangers, even though the Ranger coverage per acre of State land is half of what it was in 1970. So with this huge, multi year, and totally predictable influx of new hikers, the State has decided it's a good idea to have half the Ranger force they used to have.


      I know people would like to try to put a pretty face on this pig. But I'm sorry; land management in the High Peaks is currently a clown show. I think only MAJOR political change in Albany will make any difference at all.




      Comment


      • DayTrip
        DayTrip commented
        Editing a comment
        Has NY pulled backed the reins on advertising dollars at all? Seems like a no-brainer to throttle back the cash pumping tourists into the state and spend some of it getting up to speed on infrastructure to support all those tourists.

      • tcd
        tcd commented
        Editing a comment
        You know, I don't know if NY has reduced any of their advertising.

        But even if they have, it's too late. The people are going to continue visiting. (Which is actually a good thing, if you are not stupid, and you manage it well.)

        And to really fix things right in the High Peaks region is going to take 100-150 Million dollars. Even if the State actually decided to do things right, which seems unlikely, I don't see that money on the horizon. NY was already grotesquely bankrupt, even before Covid, despite the highest taxes in the nation. Now? Forget about it.

        And even if a bunch of money materialized out of nowhere, I doubt the right things would get done. To date, everything they have done is wrong, and the exact opposite of what was needed. It's almost surreal.

      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        DayTrip I don't think they have, and I'm not even sure that it matters at this point. I've personally encountered 3 professional travel bloggers in the past year. All from the NYC area, and one with well over a million followers across her combined platforms (yes, some could be individuals subscribing on all platforms, but lets not split hairs). Her and I got into a discussion which nearly turned heated at a couple of points but she did eventually come around to what I was explaining re: geotagging, LNT, and threatened spaces. I guess my point is that NYS doesn't even really need to advertise anymore because there's companies out there doing a far better job than the state ever did.

    • #9
      News articles like this one, as well as the green groups are helping to create "last chance" tourism. Every Tweet, Instagram, and Facebook post calling for permits and saying that the situation has gotten out of control brings more people who want to experience it while they still can. This is phenomenon is happening all over the world and now its happening here. Even the stewards and rangers, who are designated to preserve the region can't seem to help themselves when it comes to posting beautiful vistas accompanied by some message about protecting the resource and reaching a critical point. This doesn't stop people from visiting, especially when there's still no live music, unrestricted bars/breweries, movie theatres, sports events, or many of the other things that people would normally spend a weekend doing. Its time to embrace the influx of visitors by improving the region's ability to accommodate people, with safer parking, sustainable trails, and consistent front country education. Its time to put talking moose at trailheads.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ-vDhQmTaI
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

      Comment


      • #10
        [QUOTE=FlyFishingandBeer;n509393]Its time to put talking moose at trailheads.
        ]/QUOTE]That's almost not funny. I was driving through Old Forge a couple of weeks ago when traffic stopped in both directions, probably holding up nearly 75 cars all together as a doe and fawn used the painted crosswalk to head over to the Municipal Building, likely to pick up their paycheck. It is a common local knowledge joke that the deer so commonly seen walking boldly on the streets of town are on the payroll of the Chamber of Commerce for the benefit of the city tourists to ogle, ooh and ahh over. Before I left town that day I had to stop three more times for deer walking in the road.
        Last edited by Nessmuk; 10-19-2020, 01:34 PM.
        "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell

        Comment


        • #11
          For anyone who is interested. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/regi...=1603111519038

          I unfortunately cannot attend, virtually or otherwise, on the 22nd, but hopefully some of you are able to.
          My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

          Comment


          • #12
            Wanted to comment on the link Makwa posted. It got buried in a series of comments above.

            "DEC leaves public in the dark on High Peaks meetings
            October 15, 2020"


            I read many of the meeting minutes. They were at the stratospheric elevation. Not much more than an outline. For sure no insight.

            Don

            Comment


            • #13
              Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post
              For anyone who is interested. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/regi...=1603111519038

              I unfortunately cannot attend, virtually or otherwise, on the 22nd, but hopefully some of you are able to.
              Wondering if anyone else listened in? I did. I didn't get much new out of it.

              Don

              Comment

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