October 1, 2016
Red Sandstone Trail The official passing of the shovel for coordination of the RSSTrail occurred in mid-August. Blair Madore of Potsdam is taking over with his ample organizing and engineering skills. I will remain as a side-kick on his work parties. Our near-term project is constructing a tool shed on Stone Valley coordinator Mark Simon’s property, to hold the many tools the chapter has acquired to care for these trails.
Overcrowding in the mountains After a slump in visitation in the early 21st century, usually attributed to increasing regulations on hikers and campers, recreationists are flooding back into the High Peaks. AdirondackAlmanac.org reports that popular trailheads have doubled the visitors over ten years ago. A third of the 9,000 46er club members completed their peaks in the last ten years; last year, 606 new members were inducted. Perhaps Governor Cuomo’s promotion of the park has inspired visitors. It’s good for the tourist business. But Neil Woodworth, our club’s executive director, has expressed concern that mobs in the eastern High Peaks will diminish each other’s “wilderness” experience and erode the trails more quickly. Visitors need to be informed about other great places to hike besides the four or five most popular trailheads. The Saranac Six and Tupper Triad, as well as the fire tower challenges, are examples of efforts to re-direct.
VP for Conservation post My second term as Vice President for Conservation ends in December, so I’ll only be writing one more column here. Over the last four years I’ve tried to focus my energies on local, county issues such as Stone Valley Cooperative Recreation Area partners, unit management plans, hiking trails, and invasive species. Each VP tailors the post to his or her interests. Perhaps it should be you?! You’ll work with great colleagues, you’ll learn alot, and the pay is awesome.