In anticipation of a busy hiking season, State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos visited the Adirondacks last week to recap all the visitor management initiatives the CED and its partners have implemented.
“It’s heaven,” Seggos said. “It’s New York’s Yellowstone, and New Yorkers have discovered it.”
The state is hiring 19 assistant rangers to help in the Adirondacks this summer. An education campaign in partnership with the State Parks Department will continue, and state education assistants will be dispersed to pop-up locations around the Adirondacks to provide hiking information.
Julia Goren, assistant manager of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), said frontcountry stewards will also be stationed at the club’s new visitor center in the former Cascade Ski Lodge.
The shuttles will run again. Mobile toilets will be deployed. The Adirondack Mountain Reserve reservation system is back in business. The State Department of Transportation is widening Route 73 along Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes to provide a safer ride for cyclists.
You can read the full list of actions happening now and throughout the summer here.
The Adirondack Explorer did not attend this press conference because the DEC press office sent out the press release 20 minutes before the start of the conference only after I inquired about a tweet posted by Seggos from the Adirondacks. DEC press officers said the release was supposed to go out the morning before, but their distribution system never sent it. So I watched a video that was sent to me after the fact, of Seggos, Keene Joe Supervisor Pete Wilson, Adirondack Mountain Reserve General Manager John Schuler, ADK Assistant Manager Julia Goren, Essex County Chairman Shaun Gililland and Department of Transportation Assistant Commissioner Thomas McIntyre.
I couldn’t see who else was at Marcy Field in Keene, but hopefully we’ll be there and have a personal invite the next time such a gathering takes place. I’m going to invite you to our July 20 event at the new ADK Welcome Center, the former Cascade Ski Center. I will be interviewing a panel of experts on education and visitor data collection at popular hiking destinations, from our local High Peaks region to other popular locations across the country. You can get more information and RSVP here.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly Adirondack Report. Click here to join.