Leave No Trace team will keep monitoring High Peaks Wilderness

LAKE PLACID — The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is returning to the High Peaks to study what steps can be taken to mitigate the impact of recreation on wilderness areas.

The High Peaks Wilderness area has been identified as a Leave No Trace “Hot Spot,” a designation that signals a significant increase in recreational impacts such as trail erosion and improper human waste that may be mitigated by LNT solutions, according to Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

The LNT Center for Outdoor Ethics will conduct site visits and surveys to assess current recreation-related impacts and existing educational initiatives with respect to LNT practices. The organization will provide a suite of recommendations and resources, including elements for signage, training, and an integrated education and outreach program plan. This work is expected to continue through this winter and into next spring.

In addition to some public service projects such as trail work, the LNTCOE, Adirondack Mountain Club and state Department of Environmental Conservation hosted public events earlier this month to educate visitors on LNT practices. That eight-day program also included guided hikes up Mount Jo, education tables at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peaks Information Center, and stakeholder meetings with Subaru LNT traveling trainers.