ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – If you hike the Adirondack High Peaks or the Catskills, a set of public meetings about sustainable trail and wilderness management should be on your calendar. The dates are set for the DEC’s first round of discussions on how to keep the High Peaks and Kaaterskill Clove regions safe, clean, and beautiful.

Both the north- and south-of-Albany regions are being eyed in a Visitor Use Management project. The DEC is looking at the current state of public safety along trails, using data collected from both regions on the impacts of parking shortages, unsafe road conditions, crowded trailways, and other issues. Now, public input is needed to hone goals for the Catskills and Adirondacks.

“DEC’s sustainable use initiatives require public participation to be successful,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Listening to public and stakeholder perspectives about the High Peaks and Kaaterskill Clove project areas will provide DEC with the important data to support successful strategies for balancing conservation and public access in these popular Forest Preserve destinations.”

The first round of public meetings includes sessions for both regions:

  • High Peaks Wilderness, Adirondacks
    • Tuesday, May 9, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
    • Harrietstown Town Hall Auditorium, 39 Main St., Saranac Lake
  • Kaaterskill Clove, Catskills
    • Wednesday, May 10, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
    • Coppertree Restaurant, Hunter Mountain Base Lodge, 64 Klein Ave., Hunter

Feedback gathered from locals, hikers, environmentalists, and everyone else with a take on trail safety is encouraged. Further feedback will be sought in 2024. The DEC first gathered data from the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group and the Catskill Strategic Planning Advisory Group across 2019 and 2020.