October 1, 2016
The agenda packet for the September board meeting includes several items of note. It has been a busy summer for the club, including busy Education and Field programs. The Education staff led 2 Leave No Trace trainer programs, and conducted wilderness trips and a new teen backpacking program. The Pro Trails crew worked in Regions 5 and 6 in the Adirondacks and 3 and 4 in the Catskills. This includes five weeks of trail work on Mt. Colden, sponsored by the Adirondack 46ers. As a result, the club income and expenses are running very close to the budgeted levels.
The busy summer has raised some issues. In his executive director report, Neil Woodworth reports on both the condition of the Adirondak Loj Road and on overuse and large party issues in the High Peaks. The Adirondak Loj Road is a Town of North Elba Road, and a full repaving of the road is beyond the capability of the Town at this point. The Town would like the state to take over the road, due to high volume on the road. Recently, the town removed the no parking signs between the bridge and the Loj, creating significant congestion and safety issues. After discussion between ADK and the town, the signs have now been removed. The ongoing discussion on road maintenance is continuing.
This summer has been one of the busiest on record in the High Peaks. Quoting Neil’s report, “Crowding on the summits, inappropriate behavior and poor human waste disposal has resulted in disappointing summit experiences for many visitors.” The club was also involved in addressing a situation where a large group arrived at the Loj before the entry booth was staffed, and began hiking despite warnings that the group size was illegal. An ADK Summit Steward identified the group as they began arriving on Algonquin, and DEC Rangers located the group and issued tickets.
As many of you may have heard, Deputy Executive Director John Million has resigned his post effective at the end of 2016. John has been a key staff member for a number of years, and has been wearing quite a number of hats. He will be missed. A search for John’s replacement is underway, and the President and Executive Director are evaluating the overall staff structure and looking at opportunities for career advancement. Best wishes to John and his wife Katie in their new endeavors.