April 29, 2019 (Lake Placid, NY) The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and its Subaru Traveling Trainer team are partnering with ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club), the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC), and other regional organizations to host community programs and education activities from August 7 to 14. Focusing on the heavily visited Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, including the Van Hoevenberg Trailhead located at the Adirondak Loj and Heart Lake Program Center, the Hot Spot seeks to address the challenges associated with high concentrations of visitors to the region, including damage to alpine plants, trail erosion, human waste, and negative human/wildlife interactions.

The Hot Spot program is designed to support locations that experience high levels of recreational use and impacts. As a major part of the Leave No Trace In Every Park initiative, it seeks to raise community awareness about recreational use issues in these areas, while also presenting solutions and preventative measures. ADK nominated the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness as a Hot Spot for 2019, which was selected as one of 19 finalists, out of a pool of over 100 applicant locations.

“Hot Spot areas are damaged but can recover again with a motivated community and a week-long, comprehensive infusion of Leave No Trace. Centered around training, these efforts include a series of special workshops for local officials, land managers, and volunteers, as well as advocacy events for the general public conducted by expert Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers,” said Dana Watts, Executive Director of Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. “By identifying and working with Hot Spots and their communities across the country, Leave No Trace can rapidly move toward recovering and protecting the places we all cherish for generations.”

During the eight-day program, there will be opportunities to speak with ADK volunteers at trailheads about Leave No Trace specific information, to participate in workshops about Leave No Trace practices, and to engage with other programs that will educate visitors about how they can help preserve the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness going forward. Between ADK, DEC, and the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, educators will be stationed all across the region, particularly at major trailheads and hiking thoroughfares.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and DEC to promote responsible recreation.  Leave No Trace education is a critical part to protecting the High Peaks Wilderness in the future. We are excited to work with many area stakeholders during this event to talk about how we can continue to protect this valuable resource,” said Neil Woodworth, Executive Director of ADK.

“New York State DEC is pleased to partner with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the Adirondack Mountain Club, and others to educate visitors to the High Peaks Wilderness and raise their awareness for the future enjoyment and preservation of this beautiful landscape,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “These efforts support DEC’s ongoing work to promote sustainable tourism in the Adirondacks and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors while protecting these natural resources and ensuring the beauty of these lands endure for future generations.”

ADK is excited to have the opportunity to work alongside the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers in a region. This is an occasion for all of us to promote education as a constructive measure for addressing recreational impacts. To learn more about Leave No Trace and the Hot Spot program, visit www.LNT.org. For information regarding ADK’s involvement in the Hot Spot, contact Seth Jones, Education Director of ADK, at seth@dev.adk.org.

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About ADK

ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and advocating for New York State’s wild lands and waters while also teaching people how to enjoy natural places responsibly. Since 1922, the organization has offered people opportunities to stay and play in as well as protect, discover, and explore the outdoors. Today, ADK has 30,000 members in 27 chapters statewide and is served by a professional, year-round staff. The organization is recognized as a vital voice in the commitment to environmental stewardship and ethical outdoor recreation in New York State. For more information on membership or making a difference, head to ADK.org or follow ADK on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

About Leave No Trace
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national nonprofit organization that protects the outdoors by teaching people how to enjoy it responsibly. Their Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers are mobile teams of educators that visit 48 states every year delivering Leave No Trace programs such as Hot Spots to over 15 million people. For more information, visit: www.LNT.org.

About DEC

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was created on July 1, 1970 to combine in a single agency all state programs designed to protect and enhance the environment. Their mission is to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being. For more information, visit www.dec.ny.gov.

Media Contact:

ADK, Neil Woodworth Executive Director and Counsel, neil@dev.adk.org, (518) 449-3870

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Region 5, Communications Office Contact: David Winchell, david.winchell@dec.ny.gov, 518-897-1248

Kate Lessman, Think Big Media PR/ Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, kate@thinkbigmediapr.com, (303)325-3036