You can read the entire story HERE.
WCAX reporter Rose Gomez shares this report on Hut-to-Hut efforts in the Five Towns region of the Adirondacks.
You can read the entire story HERE.
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — Maine Huts and Trails continues to expand its network. It is now 80 miles long and includes four off-the-grid eco lodges.
People are allowed to move over the trails via people power whether its hiking, skiing, mountain biking or snowshoeing.
In this episode, we hike into the Stratton Brook Hut. It's a huffy, three-mile jaunt with a big elevation gain to the hut, which is 1,900 feet above sea level.
See the entire store HERE.
Joe and Jack shared their personal views on the Boreas Ponds classification yesterday at the hearing in Albany. Here is a link to Joe's statement.
Here is Jack's:
My name is Jack Drury. I am from Saranac Lake and have been a wilderness advocate, a resident of the Park, and a licensed Adirondack guide, since 1972.
As a long-time Wilderness advocate I certainly appreciate the desire to classify the maximum amount of the Boreas tract possible, as Wilderness. I have given this issue considerable thought, and my nuanced view will probably satisfy none of my friends and colleagues along the continuum of those who desire Wilderness to those who desire motorized uses. In other words I may equally offend everyone. I hope not to.
I do not believe that Wilderness classification around the ponds is the only way, nor necessarily the best way, to protect this special place. The issues that will determine long-term protection are; types of uses that are allowed, ease of access, and, most of all, the quality of its management.
I’m against motorized access between the current parking lot at 3.5 miles and LaBierre Flow with three exceptions, those exceptions being: administrative use,-- by special permit for the disabled, --and some sort of concession operated by a local guiding/outfitting company on a limited and regulated basis, within the limits of the area’s carrying capacity.
I support Wild Forest designation for the area around the Boreas Ponds for one reason: to allow for non-motorized uses that would be illegal if classified Wilderness. I believe that we should allow for family-friendly mountain biking, as well as family-friendly cross-country skiing on certain former logging roads. If we are to maintain and expand our constituency of wild lands supporters we need more novice-friendly trails What do I mean by“family or novice friendly?” As a guide I frequently guide novices and families and they have unique recreational needs. (i.e., trails that have varied terrain but are wide - former logging roads fit the bill perfectly.)
I acknowledge that, given enough time, the existing roads would revert back to wilderness. Should we, however, waste this vast potential non-motorized recreational asset? If the state were to try to build recreational ski/bicycle trails similar to those that already exist in the Boreas tract it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Given the desire to boost the local recreation-based economy and the desire to keep from increasing taxes, it seems foolish to let these recreation assets be wasted.
Long-term protection and multiple non-motorized uses are not mutually exclusive. Let’s find a way to make it happen.
Finally, and most importantly, as passionate as we all are, we must keep this issue in perspective. While communities may, lives do not hang in the balance here. These lands have received some of the strongest protection found in the country and compared with all the problems that need addressing in the Park, much less nationally and internationally, this is a small issue. When it is all said and done, we must find a way to maintain trust and mutual respect amongst all the interest groups across the spectrum, local government, and state agencies. If we fail in this we fail overall.
Joe and Jack shared their personal views on the Boreas Ponds classification yesterday at the hearing in Albany. Here is a link to Jack's statement.
Here is Joe's:
I really like this Oscar Wilde quote: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” This quote suggests that there is much value in both moderation and the moderation of moderation, which, when you think about it, ironically supports living in the extremes occasionally.
In other words, while a lot of gray may be good, a little black and a little white every now and then is good as well.
Applying this maxim to natural resource management decision making, there should be 1) places that are a mix of the protected and the developed; 2) places that are quite developed and 3) other places that are mostly protected. And we have that here in the Adirondacks. We have our Lake Placids and our Siamese Ponds Wildernesses and places in between.
As we argue over the degree or lack of moderation that should take place in the Boreas, as we wrestle over our positions about the Boreas lands classification, I encourage us to more consider the interests that underlie our positions so that we can better explore the extent to which our interests more overlap than diverge. We should be wary of using hard line negotiating techniques in the court of public opinion that pollute the discourse over the Boreas because while rhetoric can persuade, it can also poison.
We need public participation processes that more promote conversation, not conversion.
I suggest that we need to better acknowledge the perspectives and the wants and needs of the other because by doing so, we recognize the other. The value of recognizing the other cannot be overstated. Recognizing does not mean agreeing. Recognizing means respecting.
We need to do nuance better and avoid gross generalizations. What we say, and how we say it, matters.
At the end of the day, when the dust settles and the Boreas classification decision is made, when the tug of war is over, we need to find ourselves at the same end of the rope, not its opposing ends, so that we can pull together in the same direction, to drag our collective burdens from the domain of problems to the domain of solutions. Our collective burdens consist of many challenges, including the need for places that have ecological integrity and places that provide opportunities for people to experience naturalness and solitude. These challenges also include the need to ensure the livability and viability of the communities inside the Blue Line that contribute so much to the uniqueness and character of the Adirondacks.
We need to consider our communities and our protected natural areas more as complements and less as oppositional forces.
As this decision process continues to unfold, I encourage us all to conduct ourselves in a manner that considers others’ perspectives, a manner that acknowledges and recognizes and respects the other so that when the decision is said and done, we are able to come together and get about the business of maximizing the probability of a long-standing favorable outcome for the Adirondack Experiment, whereby we realize and demonstrate that humans can in fact protect nature while living in and with nature. I want to remind us all that the ultimate outcome of the ongoing Adirondack experiment may possibly be determined less by our relationship with nature in the Park and, rather, more by our relationships with each other, person to person, group to group. Let’s not lose sight of this.
ACTLS has partnered with Paul Smith’s College Professor Kelly Cerialo and her Field Studies in Hospitality class to explore what a potential affiliate system of lodging operations associated with the hut-to-hut network could look like. We kindly ask for 10 minutes of your time and insight to fill out the survey that will help inform us of the merits and design of such a lodging affiliate system.
This survey will be open until 12:00 PM on Tuesday, November 1st.
We will share with you the results of this study when the analysis of the collected data is complete.
By “trails” we mean trails mostly for self-powered travelers (hiking, paddling, x-country skiing) as equestrian and snowmobile riders can cover greater distances more quickly and travel more easily from one community to the next. But, given that we are looking to create trails that connect communities, we are exploring all trail and user group possibilities.
By “hut” we mean a range of lodging options, of which we hope the majority will be existing lodging facilities, such as your own, found in, nearby, and between the many hamlets spread throughout the Adirondacks. This range of lodging options includes cabin tents, yurts, cabins, state-of-the-art eco-lodges, bed and breakfasts, motels, hotels and inns.
The Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System (ACTLS) project, an initiative that will develop a conceptual plan for potential trail networks with key locations for lodging facilities within the Adirondack Park, has scheduled nine Community Workshops across the Park.
These workshops are designed to inform the public of the project’s objectives and to share work completed to date regarding existing and planned trails, lodging facilities, and tourism destinations. The workshops are also designed to solicit knowledge of existing trails as well as additional input on prospective new trails and connections that would contribute to a hut-to-hut system. Community leaders, planners, economic developers, outdoor enthusiasts, lodging owners and those interested in the development of Adirondack hut-to-hut routes are encouraged to attend.
For those unable to attend meetings, a website will be available to provide input at: www.adirondacktrailsandlodging.org/wiki-map
These workshops will be held in the following locations:
Star Lake 10/11/16 Tuesday 7:00 PM Clifton-Fine School - 11 Hall Avenue,
Old Forge 10/13/16 Thursday 7:00 PM Town Building - 183 Park Avenue, Old Forge
Saranac 10/19/16 Wednesday 7:00 PM Saranac Town Hall - 3662 Route 3, Saranac
Ticonderoga 10/20/16 Thursday 7:00 PM Community Building - 132 Montcalm Street, Ticonderoga
Elizabethtown 10/24/16 Monday 7:00 PM United Church of Christ, Church Hall - 7580 Court Street, Elizabethtown
Lake George 10/26/16 Wednesday 7:00 PM Lake George Town Hall, upstairs - 20 Old Post Road, Lake George
Tupper Lake 11/1/16 Tuesday 6:00 PM Goff-Nelson Library, Community Room (rear entrance) - 41 Lake Street, Tupper Lake
Lake Placid 11/10/16 Thursday 7:00 PM The Conference Center at Lake Placid - 2608 Main Street, Lake Placid
Paul Smiths 11/15/16 Tuesday 7:00 PM Paul Smith's College: Joan Weill Student Center, Stirling Tomkins Pine Room - Intersection of Routes 30 and 86 in Paul Smiths
For more information, contact Jack Drury at 518-891-5915, 518-354-8169 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.adirondacktrailsandlodging.org.
There is an interesting article titled “HOW TO SURVIVE A WILDERNESS EMERGENCY” at 303 Magazine.com. It has some good points and resonated with me because it paralleled my philosophy that survival in a wilderness emergency situation is determined BEFORE you leave home. As my mentor, Paul Petzoldt, used to say, “If you are stupid enough to get into a survival situation how are you going to be smart enough to get out of it.” He sarcastically suggested that people carry smart pills that would help them make smart decisions after they had made the stupid decisions that got them into trouble.
I love the article’s introduction, which states, “Having the proper knowledge and equipment prior to finding yourself in a wilderness emergency is the key to overcoming it. It’s easy to talk yourself out of buying gear that (if you’re lucky) you may never use, and as tempting as it is to continue to tell yourself ‘that will never happen to me,’ it’s safer and smarter to always assume that it will happen to you. It could happen on a trail that you hike once a week and it could happen at the campsite you visit every year. Understanding that there is a chance you could end up in a life-threatening position is the first step to preparing yourself to survive it.”
I take issue with the implication that wilderness is inherently dangerous. While many bad things can happen in the wilderness, it is when people make bad decisions before they arrive, and then compound them by continuing to make them while trekking through the wild outdoors, that things become dangerous. The article has wonderful advice, such as, “Tell someone” (where you are going), although, depending on your trailhead, I’m not sure it is a good idea to leave a note on the dashboard of your car, perhaps letting thieves know you won’t be around.
I think the article’s emphasis on pre-planning is great. While I love spontaneity, being spontaneous in the wilderness, as the author points out, can be the first decision that gets you into trouble. The advice about researching your journey, building an emergency kit, and being familiar with your gear is excellent.
The article also has great advice on clothing. It rightfully recommends NO COTTON and provides lots of alternatives.
Everyone has their own list of top essentials, as do I, but I question putting “Means of protection” number 1. While I do have a knife on my list of essentials, using it for protection is pretty low on my list. It’s primary emergency uses might include cutting nylon cord and creating some sort of shelter by cutting branches, and of course the most important non-emergency use, cutting your stick of pepperoni. Thinking of my knife as a means of protection is not even a consideration for me; if you need protection, pepper spray (which the author suggests) is a better option.
There is an interesting recommendation to bring a cell phone. A decade ago I would have said you were crazy to carry your cell phone; however, today, as cell coverage is much more extensive, it makes sense to bring a cell phone. The challenge is to have them work for you and not to fail functionally when you need them most. Here are my suggestions for cell phones:
The author suggests building an emergency kit weighing no more than ten pounds. My day pack has two ditty bags with just such gear. I rarely leave home without it. It contains a basic first aid kit (I have a more sophisticated one for longer trips), a flashlight, water bottle, snack food, a whistle, fire starter, extra clothing, and rain gear. I have my map and compass readily available as well.
I do not carry an emergency shelter on day trips. Paul Petzoldt, founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School and the Wilderness Education Association, once wrote, “The important rule governing what should be in your pack is that a party be able to survive one night in the outdoors in case of injury, becoming lost, or other emergency!” You don’t have to necessarily be comfortable, but you need to survive.
One last nitpick is the recommendation to stay put. It generally is good advice, but it should not be a hard and fast rule. There is an unfortunate story about a gentleman named David Boomhower who, in 1991, got lost in the Adirondacks, followed the rule of staying put, despite being less than two hours from the nearest road and being able to hear vehicles from the tentsite he created. He left a diary telling his harrowing tale of starving to death so close to civilization. Staying put was not in his best interest.
The article is well worth a read, but don’t forget that ultimately your brain is going to be the best tool to have and use in an emergency situation.
This is the last of six installments on Peter Roland, Associate Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Paul Smith's College's recent report on his sabbatical trip to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. With his permission we will be providing a series of the following installments of his report.
The objectives of this study were twofold: To better prepare Paul Smith’s College students for participation in the tourism system and provide information that will allow Adirondack destinations to better compete for the adventure traveler. As a world leader in adventure tourism New Zealand offers good examples of best practices with respect to marketing and management for this segment of the tourism industry.
The experience of developing a six week itinerary including a number of adventure tourism activities involved a considerable amount of research followed by executing the itinerary upon arrival at the destination. Put simply, New Zealand makes it easy. The information available online was extensive and user friendly. Planning for transportation, accommodations, activities and attractions could be done seamlessly. The availability of sample itineraries, packages and links to tour operators and other businesses and organizations made planning an efficient process. Upon arrival expectations were met with nearly every aspect of what was planned.
Tourism is a complex system that includes government agencies, destination marketing organizations, not for profits and businesses that provide information, amenities and activities for visitors. Tourism is now the largest industry in New Zealand and has achieved this over the last 30 years due to the successful integration of all the elements of the tourism system. They do this well and much can be learned from a study of their system.
The research applies directly to the Recreation and Resort Marketing and Management and Destination Dynamics and the Tourism System courses taught at Paul Smith’s College. The information acquired with respect to the New Zealand tourism system will help students with an understanding of not only adventure tourism but many other aspects of marketing and managing recreation, resorts and tourism destinations.
The activities that first brought visitors to the Adirondacks in the 19th century are still important to the tourism economy of the region today. However the nature of these activities has evolved along with how they can be marketed and managed. Better information and better infrastructure supporting these activities will enhance the visitor experience and when combined with marketing could result in an increase in visitors and businesses supporting these activities. Increasingly tourism destinations are competing globally as well as within their traditional regions. In order to remain competitive in the 21st century and take advantage of the economic stimulus that tourism can provide all the participants in the tourism system need to work together to create an exceptional experience for the visitor.