Adirondacks Council Endorses Leave No Trace Recommendations

“The Center’s recommendations were extensive, specific and provided tangible ideas for addressing our challenges that we would not have discovered through in-house resources.”

—    Julia Goren, Adirondack Council Vision Project Director

In a 2020 press release, the Adirondack Council embraced the use of Leave No Trace techniques to reduce impacts and preserve  natural qualities in Adirondack Park, one of the largest and most visited natural areas in the nation. The Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park.

Working in a paid consulting role, staff from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics created a comprehensive analysis of issues related to visitor-caused impacts, resulting in specific recommendations for managing the park.

“We are very pleased that the state’s working group recommended immediate actions to curb overuse and overcrowding on the Forest Preserve, embraced the 52 ‘Leave No Trace’ recommendations, including improved human waste management at trailheads, and suggested better data collection for improved long-range planning,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.

“It’s only mid-June, but the trails are already jammed with hikers and the parking lots and woods and waters are spilling over capacity, showing new signs of wear,” Janeway said. “It is vital that we accomplish the short-term goals in this report right away, and lay the groundwork for the longer-term items that will take a little time to materialize.”

Among the plan’s chief immediate recommendations:

  • Consistent Leave No Trace visitor education
  • Improved human waste management at trailheads
  • Education and messaging
  • Shuttle and electric powered-shuttles
  • Trail assessments, maintenance and funding
  • Data collection and visitor information
  • Wilderness and trail capacity limits

Longer-term strategies include incorporating the recommendations of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics study of the park’s visitor management needs, as well as identifying the need for a planning framework that could help shape the management of the wilderness areas across the park.

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