The Adirondack High Peaks are a must-see attraction for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, but they’re also an important natural treasure that needs to be protected for future generations. Striking a balance between conservation and public use can be difficult, but the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has just announced a new strategic planning initiative that may make it a little easier.
The members of the DEC’s newly-formed High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group come from diverse backgrounds and will work together to make policy recommendations that protect the natural resources of the High Peaks, as well as benefit Adirondack residents and visitors.
“DEC and our partners are working hard to address impacts associated with increased use of the High Peaks,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos in a statement, “because we all recognize the tremendous opportunities that will be created when we ensure this majestic region is sustainably managed for the enjoyment of both current and future generations.”
The Advisory Group consists of over a dozen local stakeholders, including representatives from local county and town governments, as well as from several state organizations such as the DEC, the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Also part of the new group are representatives from local businesses and tourism, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and environmental organizations such as the Adirondack Council and Adirondack Wilderness Advocates.
“DEC has assembled a team of talented and committed people to work together to provide advice on a strategic approach that will support the Adirondacks’ local economies, protect the environment, and provide safe, quality recreational experiences for visitors,” said Commissioner Seggos in a statement.
The DEC has also determined 5 important components and goals that will be considered as the group advises on the High Peaks:
- preserving natural resources and recreation infrastructure
- managing public safety
- protecting the local economy
- ensuring positive recreation experiences
- using accurate scientific data to make decisions
What do you think about the DEC’s new initiative to balance public use and conservation?