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For Release: Friday, June 2, 2017

DEC Dedicates Five-Person Trail Crew to High Peak Wilderness to Celebrate National Trails Day

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the creation of a five-person trail crew dedicated to improving the High Peaks Wilderness in the Adirondack Park to celebrate National Trails Day.

"The Adirondack Park is turning 125 years old this year, and what better way to pay tribute to this momentous milestone than to bolster DEC's efforts to protect, preserve, and promote its vast beauty," Commissioner Seggos said. "These planned projects will improve existing facilities to enhance the outdoor experience and ensure the safety of visitors to the High Peaks."

The High Peaks Wilderness is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the state and continues to see the number of users increase every year. Dedicating a trail crew to maintain and improve these areas will protect this spectacular natural resource, improve public safety, and enhance outdoor experiences for tens of thousands of New Yorkers to enjoy.

National Trails Day is organized by the American Hiking Society and is the only nationally coordinated event that unites muscle-powered trail activities with the goal of connecting more people to trails.

This crew will complete the following projects in the High Peaks Wilderness:

  1. Avalanche Pass Trail and Bridge/Ladder Replacement
    Trail Hardening (Turnpiking), Drainage Replacement, Replacement of ~15 ladders, ~10 small bridges and various Bog Bridges along the length of trail from Avalanche Camp to Lake Colden.
  2. Lake Colden- Flowed Lands Campsite Relocations
    Permanent relocation of ~9 campsites in the Lake Colden/Flowed Lands area. Sites will be established with earthen tent pads, signage and new privies. Old sites will be fully restored, brushed in and planted.
  3. Marcy Dam Campsite Relocations
    Permanent relocation of ~4 campsites in the Marcy Dam. Sites will be established with earthen tent pads, signage and new privies. Old sites will be fully restored, brushed in and planted.

"The long-term stewardship of trails in the High Peaks Wilderness is critical to the preservation of wilderness values, the protection of natural resources, and the enjoyment of the recreating public. The new DEC Trail Crew will add great value to the work being done by volunteer and professional trail crews from Barkeater Trails Alliance, Adirondack Mountain Club and other organizations in the greater High Peaks region. This is truly great news for all of us who share a common interest in Adirondack trails," said Josh Wilson, Executive Director of the Barkeater Trails Alliance.

DEC is responsible for the management of more than four million acres of state land and conservation easements and numerous facilities under its jurisdiction. DEC maintains hiking trails on many areas of Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks as well as on State Forests, Wildlife Management Areas and Unique Areas.

Initiatives like our five-person summer trail crews provide invaluable support to our stewardship of this incredible land. DEC is currently accepting applications from individuals interested in becoming a member of a trail crew. To learn more on how you can get involved, visit DEC's website.

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