A new mapping analysis shows 56% of the trails in the Adirondack Park’s central High Peaks Wilderness Area are too steep and eroding away.
The Adirondack Council, an environmental nonprofit organization, funded the study.
“It’s well known that Adirondack foot trails are in crisis with overuse and huge crowds of people hiking on these too-steep slopes,” said William Janeway, executive director of the organization, in a news release. “We are seeing wider paths, deeper ruts, trampled plants plus loss of wildlife habitat. Too much soil is moving downhill into streams and lakes.”
The Adirondack Council identified 167 miles of trails out of 300 miles that exceed slopes of 8%. That means the trails climb more than 8 feet in elevation for every 100 feet of distance, Janeway continued.
The Adirondack Council wants the state Department of Environmental Conservation to engage in six best practices to better the High Peaks trails including: comprehensive planning; education and outreach; more infrastructure including parking, bathrooms and informational signs; more limits on use in some locations; and more personnel including planners, land managers, trail crews and rangers.
To check out the map analysis, go to adirondackatlas.org/trail_slopes.
Where to ‘pump out’
A new mobile application helps boaters on Lake George and Lake Champlain find the proper places to dump their sewage.
The app was originally created by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership. The New York lakes are the first to be included in the app, outside of California.
Called “Pumpout Nav,” the app identifies sewage pump-out stations, along with their costs, hours and location within a marina. It is available for download from Android Play and iOS Apple stores, according to a news release.
The app was made possible on the local waterbodies through the Lake Champlain Sea Grant, the University of Vermont Extension, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the San Francisco Estuary Partnership.
Water projects tour
The public is invited to a tour of various water quality projects around Warren County, to be held from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on July 10.
The tour is organized by the Warren County Water Quality Strategy Committee and the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The strategy committee is a group of local environmental groups, lake groups and state and local officials, who meet on a quarterly basis to discuss water-quality initiatives and concerns. It sprung from the 1987 federal Water Quality Act, formed in the early 1990s.
The organization discusses things like stormwater runoff, invasive species, erosion, failing wastewater infrastructure, septic systems, winter road maintenance and harmful algal blooms.
The group plans to tour projects mostly in the Queensbury area that are examples of green infrastructure, habitat improvement and stormwater improvement.
The meeting will kick off at Gurney Lane Park. The public should RSVP by July 3 by responding to the online poll doodle.com/poll/y5ykt7qu6apmprmu. For questions or more information call 518-623-3119.
Science fair fun
The public is invited to a free science fair called, “Whiz, Bang, Pop: Adventures in Science Fair” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 17 at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga and in the community room of the Saratoga Springs Public Library.
The event is sponsored by the library, the museum and Sustainable Saratoga.
The exhibits are interactive and allow children to learn what it’s like to be a wildlife biologist, an engineer, a rocket scientist and work in other science-related careers. Visitors can also see how a wind tunnel works, build and launch a rocket and view other experiments.
The Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund also helped make the fair possible. For more information go to sustainablesaratoga.org/childrensfair2019.