Dear AWA Supporters:
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) have enacted a pilot permit program at the AMR. This brings to the fore one of the issues for which AWA seeks input from you: dispersal. With only 70 reservations allowed per day, on a sunny summer or fall weekend day many hikers may be turned away from the AMR this year and encouraged to seek other trails. The impact of this could be massive to other trailheads in the area.
For a few years, the State has encouraged dispersal of hikers from busier trailheads to lesser-used trailheads in the High Peaks region. The DEC has done this in a variety of ways, including press releases, media announcements, postings on their website and messaging on kiosks. The thought behind it is that if there are hundreds of people planning to hike, say, Cascade Mountain on a busy day, why not encourage some of them to try other destinations, perhaps places that see less use?
However, this strategy is complex and considerations need to be made for the expected increase in resource impacts in other areas. Adaptive management is needed to look at things like impacts to wildlife, needed infrastructure, and the recreational experience being sought by the visitor to name a few.
AWA has not taken a position on dispersal, but we plan to discuss it in the near future. You can help! We want to know how our supporters feel about dispersal. We have put together a short survey, which you can take here:
We will use the results of this survey as input into our Board discussions. It will also help us to put together an advocacy plan to influence State policy. So please take the survey and lend your voice to our deliberations.