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Department of Environmental Conservation

Office of Natural Resources - Region 5

July 1996

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


PREFACE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

NEED FOR A PLAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

MANAGEMENT GOALS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

AREA OVERVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
UNIT DESCRIPTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Ampersand Primitive Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Johns Brook Primitive Corridor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
High Peaks Wilderness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Adirondack Canoe Route . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
BOUNDARY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
PRIMARY ACCESS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

GEOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
SOILS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
TERRAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
WATER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
WETLANDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
CLIMATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
AIR QUALITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
OPEN SPACE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
VEGETATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
WILDLIFE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
FISHERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

HISTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
HISTORIC SITES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
CULTURAL RESOURCES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
ECONOMICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

INTRINSIC USES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Indirect Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Scientific Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Educational Use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Therapeutic and Personal Development . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Clean Air and Water. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
RECREATIONAL USE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Estimating Number of Users - Total Use . . . . . . . . . . 47
Distribution of Use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Group Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Types of Activities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Mode of Interior Travel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Periods of Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Length of Stay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Residence of Visitors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Characteristics of Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Day Use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Use of Trailess Peaks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Canoe Use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Horse Use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Guide and Outfitter Use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Winter Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Visitor Perceptions of Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Wildlife Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Fisheries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
RECREATIONAL FACILITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
NON-CONFORMING FACILITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Ampersand Primitive Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
High Peaks Wilderness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Johns Brook Primitive Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Trailheads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Campsite and Leanto Deterioration. . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Leantos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Horse Trails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Dams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Litter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Human Waste Disposal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Wildlife Impacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

STATE LANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Wilderness Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Wild Forest Areas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). . . . . . . 84
PRIVATE LANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Large Landowners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Subdivisions/Urban Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE (before APSLMP). . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
TRANSITION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
ADIRONDACK PARK STATE LAND MASTER PLAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
REMOVAL OF NON-CONFORMANCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
HIGH PEAKS ADVISORY COMMITTEE (1974-1977) . . . . . . . . . . . 92
NEW RULES AND REGULATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
INFORMATION AND EDUCATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
ASSISTANT FOREST RANGER PROGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
CAMPSITE DESIGNATION PROGRAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
PARKING FACILITY MANAGEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
WILD AND SCENIC RIVER MANAGEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
FISHERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
NEW YORK NATURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
NATURAL AREAS REGISTRY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
REHABILITATION OF ALPINE SUMMITS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
SUMMIT STEWARDS PROGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
ADMINISTRATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
FUNDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101

ISSUE IDENTIFICATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
PLANNING CONSTRAINTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Governmental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Ecological . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
Historical Legacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
Sociological . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
CARRYING CAPACITY CONCEPTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
STRATEGY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111

LAND ACQUISITION AND OWNERSHIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
BIOPHYSICAL RESOURCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117
Soils. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117
Air Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
Water Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
Vegetation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121
Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124
Fisheries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126
FIRE MANAGEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
SEARCH AND RESCUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136
HUMAN IMPACT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
Cultural Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
Special Events and Contests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138
LAW ENFORCEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139
RECREATION MANAGEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139
FACILITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143
Trailheads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143
Trails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
Trailless Peaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148
Signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149
Campsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150
Leantos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .152
Sanitation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154
Campfires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155
Sound Issues and Audio Devices. . . . . . . . . . . .156
Bridges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157
Dams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158
VISITOR USE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160
Party Size Limitations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160
Length of Stay Restrictions . . . . . . . . . . . . .161
Wilderness Access for Persons with Disabilities . . .162
Wilderness Permits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .164
Special Use Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . .166
AIRCRAFT USE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .167
HIGHWAY PERIMETER DE-ICING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168
SCIENTIFIC STUDY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169
PARTNERSHIPS AND VOLUNTEERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170
ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .171

AMPERSAND PRIMITIVE AREA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .176
CASCADE LAKES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177
COLD RIVER (Wild River Management). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178
COLD RIVER HORSE TRAIL SYSTEM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179
INDIAN FALLS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180
AUSABLE CLUB. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .182
MOOSE POND - NEWCOMB LAKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183
UPPER WORKS - TAHAWUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .184
LONG LAKE - EAST SHORE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .186
THE GARDEN - KEENE VALLEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187
JOHNS BROOK PRIMITIVE AREA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .188
MARCY DAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190
LAKE COLDEN - FLOWED LANDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193
LAKE COLDEN INTERIOR OUTPOST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .196
DUCK HOLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .196
AVERYVILLE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .197
WALLFACE MOUNTAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .198
SOUTH MEADOWS AND SOUTH MEADOWS ROAD. . . . . . . . . . . . . .199
SPECIAL USE AREA MAPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203


SECTION XI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .226

PLAN REVIEW AND EVALUATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .226

ACRONYMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .227

APPENDICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .229

REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .322

State lands are classified according to "their characteristics and capability to withstand
use". Those lands administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are
classified into five categories: WILDERNESS, PRIMITIVE, CANOE AREA, WILD
FOREST, and INTENSIVE USE. Each classification carries an explicit set of guidelines
which will, when implemented, provide the State lands of the Park with a unique blend of
resource protection and public use.
There are over one million acres of Adirondack forest preserve managed as wilderness.
These lands were legally designated as wilderness by the Adirondack Park State Land Master
Plan (APSLMP) in 1972. The APSLMP was legislated as part of the Adirondack Park Agency
Act and was designed to provide a unified and comprehensive mandate on how the State lands
of the Adirondack Park should be managed and used. To accomplish this objective, Section
816 of the Act directs the Department of Environmental Conservation to develop, in
consultation with the Agency, individual unit management plans (UMPS) for each unit of land
under its jurisdiction classified in the master plan. In accordance with this statutory mandate,
all plans will conform to the guidelines and criteria set forth in the master plan and cannot
amend the master plan itself. The courts have ruled that the APSLMP has the force of law.
These UMP's translate the objectives of the APSLMP and related legislation, legal codes,
rules, regulations, policies, area specific resource and visitor use information into a single
useful document. Ordinarily, these plans are based on a five year time frame so that revisions
can be made reflecting changes in resource and/or sociological conditions. Plans may also be
amended or revised sooner if warranted.
The subject of this management plan is a designated wilderness area. The APSLMP,
defines a WILDERNESS area, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works
dominate the landscape, is an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled
by man - where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. A wilderness is further defined
to mean an area of state land or water having a primeval character, without significant
improvements or permanent human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to
preserve, enhance and restore where necessary, its natural conditions, and which (1) generally
appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work
substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and
unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at least ten thousand acres of land and water or is of
sufficient size and character as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired
condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological or other features of scientific,
educational, scenic or historical value.
Members of a Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondack Park
(TSC) originally wrote this functional definition in 1970 to closely parallel the Congressional
definition of wilderness found in the Federal Wilderness Act of 1964. The commission felt
this definition appropriate for the Adirondack forest preserve with the exception of a few
minor word changes. The definition substitutes "forest preserve" for Federal land and
increased the Federal minimum size requirement for wilderness designation from five thousand
acres to ten thousand acres to be applicable for state lands (TSC Technical
Report l Volume B).
The wilderness resource is a composite of many basic biophysical and sociological
resources, but what make Wilderness unique is the setting in which they occur. The APSLMP
described this setting as:
A place not controlled by humans, where the land's primeval character and
influence are retained and natural processes are allowed to operate freely.
A place not occupied or modified by humans, where humans are visitors and
the imprint of their work is substantially unnoticeable.
A place with outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and
unconfined type of recreation.
These settings are truly special and outstanding - not only to New York State but to the
entire eastern United States as well. It is because of this uniqueness that wilderness lands were
granted the highest priority in public land management by the APSLMP.
One of the biggest challenges in wilderness management is how to keep the "wildness"
in wilderness and yet, still make it available for public use and enjoyment under today's heavy
recreational pressures. The demands on New York's wilderness resources will intensify over
time as resources like clean air and water become more precious. There will be requests for
use of wilderness that cannot even be envisioned now, but they will certainly come. When
natural resource managers decide what to approve and what to deny, their foremost goal must
be the protection of the wilderness resource itself. The wilderness resource in all its many
facets is fragile and can be lost through the effects of seemingly inconsequential decisions. NEED FOR A PLAN

One of the objectives in designating wilderness areas within the Adirondack Park was
to ensure that an increasing population does not occupy and modify all natural areas within
New York State. Wilderness lands, by law, were to be protected and preserved indefinitely
in their wild state.
Without a UMP, wilderness area management can easily become a series of
uncoordinated reactions to immediate problems. When this happens, unplanned management
actions often cause a shift in focus that is inconsistent and often in conflict with wilderness
preservations goals and objectives. A prime objective of wilderness planning is to use
environmental and social science to replace nostalgia and politics. Comprehensive planning
allows for the exchange of ideas and information before actions, that can have long-term
effects, are taken. A written plan stabilizes management despite changes in personnel or the
influences of multiple administrative units where several managers and/or disciplines have
different perceptions on how wilderness should be managed. In view of tight budgets and
competition for monetary resources, plans that clearly identify management objectives and
actions have demonstrated greater potential for securing needed funding.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, involving and introducing the public to the
planning process gives interested parties the opportunity to learn about, evaluate, provide
advice, and become directly involved in unit planing. Public participation gives a sense of
pride and ownership in the care and custody of State lands; it allows the public to experience
the problems that DEC constantly struggles to resolve. This involvement is crucial to a plan's
acceptance and implementation. MANAGEMENT GOALS

The overall intent of this management plan is to emphasize the preservation,
enhancement, and restoration of natural environmental conditions in the High Peaks
Wilderness Complex (HPWC), in perpetuity for the people of the State of New York as an
area of wilderness that is not adversely affected by human activities. This reflects a biocentric
philosophy of management as found in the introduction to the master plan which states "If
there is a unifying theme to the classification system, it is that the protection and preservation
of the natural resources of the state lands within the Park must be paramount. Human use and
enjoyment of those lands should be permitted and encouraged, so long as the resources in their
physical and biological context and their social or psychological aspects are not degraded"
(APSLMP 1987). This theme is drawn not only from the APSLMP, but from over a century
old legislative history of public attitudes towards New York state's publicly owned Adirondack
forest preserve.
The High Peaks region has helped define the Adirondack Wilderness. For more than
150 years, it has been an immense attraction for those people with a sense of adventure and
appreciation for wild places. Although it may fall short of providing the ultimate in solitude,
naturalness, and self-reliance as envisioned by the APSLMP, it has served an important role
in introducing and educating people to the concept of wilderness.
The APSLMP requires DEC to establish an acceptable level or use that is in proper
balance with its wilderness protection mandates. Both DEC managers and the public are
challenged to keep the HPWC "affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of
man's work substantially unnoticeable." Unfortunately portions of the wilderness, at least in
the eastern High Peaks, currently sustain high levels of resource degradation, diminished
opportunities for solitude, with the consequence that APSLMP wilderness standards are not
being met. The uniqueness and resulting popularity of the High Peaks embrace "people" as
part of the solution as well as part of the problem. A concerted effort by all parties is needed
to implement the following management goals:

To provide for the long-term protection and preservation of the area's wilderness
character under the principle of non-degradation "which calls for the maintenance of existing
environmental conditions if they equal or exceed minimum standards, and for the restoration
of conditions which are below minimum levels." (Hendee, 1990) The area's natural condition,
opportunities for solitude, opportunities for primitive and unconfined types of recreation, and
any ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical
value present will be managed so that they will remain unimpaired.
To manage human use in a manner that encourages an appreciation and advocacy of
wild areas.
To manage the wilderness area for the use and enjoyment of visitors in a manner that
will leave the area unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness. The wilderness
resource will be dominant in all management decisions where a choice must be made between
preservation of wilderness character and visitor use.
To manage the area using the minimum tool, equipment, action, or structure necessary
to successfully, safely, and economically accomplish the objective. The chosen tool,
equipment, action or structure shall be the one that least degrades wilderness values
temporarily or permanently. Management will seek to preserve spontaneity of use and as
much freedom from regulation as possible.
To manage and/or remove non-conforming use so as to prevent unnecessary or undue
degradation of wilderness character. Non-conforming uses are the exception rather than the
rule; therefore emphasis is placed on maintaining wilderness character.

The goals presented above are broad based that not only serve present needs, but will
also aid in future planning. This document is intended to be the first phase of a transition plan
to bring this area into compliance with the APSLMP. It initially covers a period of five years.
Some issues will require further study and evaluation, based on better understanding
of the resource and its users. These studies, in part, will include trailhead and trail
realignments, further adjustments in camping and leanto locations, a reduction in manmade
facilities, and visitor sensitivity to crowding. Further work will be needed to carry out the
goal of reducing human induced pressures in certain areas and restoring the wilderness setting.
In some instances, merely responding to the guidelines of the APSLMP will not provide all
the necessary steps.
The Unit Management Plan that follows recommends several ways management of the
HPWC can be improved. The sum of its parts does not complete the job; however, initial
restrictions and policy guidelines are designed to enhance the wilderness experience of the
visitor and to help protect resources. Much more will be required in future years.
<High Peaks Location map goes here> SECTION I


The High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC) is comprised of three distinct, but
interrelated units: (1) the Ampersand Primitive Area, (2) the High Peaks Wilderness, and (3)
the Johns Brook Primitive Corridor. Although not identified as a separate unit by the
APSLMP, the Adirondack Canoe Route coincides with the western boundary of the complex
and therefore must be considered.
The High Peaks Wilderness is the best known wilderness of the Adirondacks; it is the
state's largest wilderness and receives the most visitation. While its topography varies
considerably, the area is predominantly high mountain country, containing many of New
York's highest peaks. The primary attraction is Mount Marcy, the state's highest peak at an
elevation of 5,344 feet. The climbing of Mount Marcy is an "absolute must" for many hikers.
It is truly New York's Mecca for those interested in mountain climbing. The pilgrimage to
the summit is not an easy one, requiring a minimum round trip hike of fifteen miles. In
addition, a range trail from Keene Valley to the summit of Mt. Haystack is considered one of
the most rugged and the most scenic in New York State. The trail crosses seven mountaintops
with elevations above 4,000 feet. The eastern portion of the wilderness is heavily used by
recreationists. Western segments of the wilderness are more remote, receive substantially less
use, and offers some of the best opportunities for solitude in the northeast. The
Ampersand Primitive Area and the Johns Brook Primitive Corridor are relatively small
sections of state land affording access to private lands enclosed by the High Peaks Wilderness.


Ampersand Primitive Area
The Ampersand Primitive Area is a narrow strip of Forest Preserve land located
between the Ampersand Road and Ampersand Brook in the Town of Harrietstown, Franklin
County. The primitive area extends from the privately owned Ampersand Lake property
westward to Stony Creek, and thence northward to Stony Creek Ponds. It is enclosed by the
High Peaks Wilderness on three sides and occupies 700 acres. The Ampersand Road provides
legal access to the aforementioned private property which prevented this area from being
included in the High Peaks Wilderness.

Johns Brook Primitive Corridor
This is a long narrow piece of land in the Town of Keene, Essex County, consisting
of a right-of-way 1.3 miles long across state lands leading to 13 private parcels enclosed by
the High Peaks Wilderness on three sides. The right-of-way serves as the boundary south of
Johns Brook and the Phelps Trail, also known as the Johns Brook or Northside Trail, across
the brook, is the primitive area's northern boundary.

High Peaks Wilderness
Covering 226,435 acres (354 sq. miles), the High Peaks Wilderness is located in three
counties and six towns: the Town of Harrietstown in Franklin County, the Towns of North
Elba, North Hudson, Keene, and Newcomb in Essex County, and the Town of Long Lake in
Hamilton County. It is the largest legally designated wilderness in New York State. The unit
is bounded on the north by the Old Haybridge Road, which runs from Cold Brook to
Averyville, Adirondak Loj at Heart Lake, the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Winter Recreation
Complex, and NYS Route 73 at Cascade Lakes. Private lands west of Route 73 form the
eastern boundary. The southern boundary follows the boundaries of the Ausable Club, Finch
Pruyn and Co., NL Industries Inc., and Huntington Wildlife Forest. The wilderness is further
bounded by Long Lake and the Raquette River.

Adirondack Canoe Route
Although not a distinct land classification, the Adirondack Canoe Route is an integral
part of the HPWC. The Canoe Route parallels the western boundary of the unit for 23 miles
along the eastern shores of Long Lake and the Raquette River. This section is a major link
in the 90-mile canoe route from Old Forge to Saranac Lake.

The HPWC boundary encloses 226,435 acres. It follows public roads, water courses,
and individual property lines. Property lines, where surveyed, are blazed, painted yellow, and
marked with Forest Preserve signs. Seventeen parcels of private land are enclosed by the
wilderness boundary. Collectively, these parcels total 3,315 acres. The DEC recognizes all
historically exercised rights of access to these lands. Also enclosed within the HPWC
boundary there are 2,500 acres of state-owned, non-Forest Preserve lands on the easterly
slopes of Santanoni Mountain and the southerly slopes of Henderson Mountain. These lands
were received as a "gift" from Finch Pruyn in 1955, which by deed at the request of the donor,
were not accorded Forest Preserve status. They were to be retained for "forestry and/or
silvicultural purposes." (Van Valkenburg, 1991)
Principal adjoining landowners include: the Adirondack Mountain Club (640 acres),
the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (7,500 acres), Finch Pruyn (46,000 acres), NL Industries
(11,000 acres), and the Huntington Wildlife Forest, a component of the SUNY College of
Environmental Science and Forestry, (15,000 acres).

Access to the periphery of the HPWC is easily gained via Interstate 87, NYS Routes
3, 8, 30, and 73, and by numerous town and county roads. The interior is served by 303 miles
of trails. The Long Lake-Raquette River corridor provides important water access to the
western boundary. The entire unit lies within one day's drive of over 70 million people in the
northeast states and Canada. Nearby population centers include Albany, New York (140
miles), New York City (300 miles), and Montreal, Quebec (120 miles). SECTION II


The High Peaks region appears as part of a mountainous dome covering an area
approximately 60 miles in diameter. The region, referred to as the "Central Highlands", is
part of the Grenville Province, a large area of bedrock extending into Canada. The High
Peaks are a remnant of a mountain region existing 1000-1300 million years ago. Once flat,
the Adirondacks were covered by sedimentary rocks; the same sedimentary rocks that
surround the region today. During more recent geologic time, the region was uplifted,
creating a central dome with its sedimentary covering removed by erosion. The dome is
characterized by three prominent geologic features: (1) long straight valleys running north-northeast, (2) gently curved ridges and valleys, and (3) radial drainage patterns flowing
outward from the dome. Elevations rapidly fall north and east in the central highlands, and
decline more gradually south and west. (Isachsen, 1991).
Much of the bedrock is metanorthosite, a metamorphic rock that has been subject to
extremely high temperatures and pressures. Metanorthosite is very hard, extremely dense,
and resists weathering and erosion. It was left towering over the countryside as
sedimentary rocks wore away. Rock color ranges from white to bluish gray. Plagioclase
feldspar is its major component. The largest area of such rock is the Marcy massif which
underlies most of the High Peaks. The massif contains numerous "dikes" or intrusions of
igneous rock that penetrate the anorthosite. Chemically less stable and less resistant to
erosion than the base rock, many of these dikes eroded to form stream channels. Where
the dike rock in stream beds is fractured and broken, waterfalls and stream rapids occur.
Examples include Rainbow, Indian, Roaring Brook, Rock, and Bushnell Falls.
High Peaks rocks are also altered by folding and faulting of the crust which serves
to relieve internal pressures. Valleys form along and within the fault zones. These valleys
tend to be long and straight, and generally follow a north-northeast direction; they divide
the High Peaks into its characteristic mountain ranges. Even resistant rocks eventually
succumb to the pull of gravity and slabs are torn from craggy peaks, leaving cliffs with
piles of broken rock at their bases. (Kendall, 1987). Referred to as "mass wasting," this
down slope movement of weathered, disintegrated rock, is evident along all cliffs and steep
slopes. Rock falls and slides are encountered on the Cascades, the Gothics. Mount
Colden, Santanoni, Avalanche Lake, Nye and Wright Peak.
Despite the cumulative effects of running water, weathering, mass wasting, and
other agents of change, glacial erosion and deposition have had dramatic effects on High
Peaks landscapes. During the Pleistocene Epoch 1.6 million years ago, huge ice sheets
advanced and retreated several times across the Adirondacks. The last major ice sheet, the
Wisconsian, reached its maximum advance across the High Peaks over 21,000 years ago.
It was thick enough to bury the summit of mile high Mt. Marcy. 10,000 years later in
retreat, this glacier accomplished spectacular erosion; plucked rock fragments in its path,
scoured mountaintops, scraped away soil and loose sediments, wore away bedrock, and
gouged river valleys into deep troughs. Melting ice sheets released huge volumes of melt
As the main continental glacier retreated, smaller mountain glaciers remained in the
High Peaks. These smaller glaciers concentrated erosion within stream valleys and
sharpened the landscape. Glacial retreat accentuated steep valley walls into "U" shaped
valleys and naturally tended to form cliffs on mountaintops and on the sides of steep slopes.
This is responsible for the ramp-and-cliff pattern on Algonquin and Big Slide. Ice
movement and running melt water often followed, and straightened fault zones. Fault
zones molded by glaciation and resultant flowing water include the Cascades, the Ausable
Lakes, and Indian Pass. Where valley glaciers originated on high mountainsides, bowl-shaped cirques formed at the point of origin. Well-defined cirques on the valley heads of
Tabletop, Couchsachraga, Donaldson, Marcy, Phelps, and Algonquin attest to this
phenomenon. Retreating glaciers deposited accumulations of glacial till, a mixture of clay,
silt, sand, and stone, in their wake which dammed stream channels to form numerous
lakes, kettle ponds, and wetlands. Kettle ponds were created by huge melting blocks of
ice, covered or partially covered by glacial drift (debris). Heart Lake on the adjoining
Adirondack Loj property is a typical example of a remnant kettle pond.
Moraine lakes occurred when glacial debris blocked a river valley forming a
natural dam, and altered drainage. The wetland beyond South Meadows was once a
moraine lake, that over time, filled with vegetation and sediments. Eskers, deposits of
glacial drift (usually sand and gravels) formed by stream deposition atop, within, or
beneath a glacier, are portrayed as narrow winding ridges prominent south of Corey's and
parallel the Raquette River.

All soils are formed by the chemical and physical breakdown of bedrock. However,
in the HPWC, soil composition is vastly different from the bedrock beneath. They are
mostly derived from glacial deposits that have been moved and deposited as glaciers
advanced and retreated. Soil characteristics are quite variable and fluctuate widely from
location to location. They are basically grouped into four broad soil types; glacial tills,
glacial outwash, organically derived, and hardpan. No one general characteristic describes
them all.
Glacial tills are a mixture of clay, silt, sand, and stone. Their occurrence in the
HPWC is widespread. They dominate the lower and middle slopes but thin out and
disappear on the high slopes where the spruce/fir forest gives way to the subalpine zone of
balsam fir. The deeper and richer soils occur around the base of the mountains, especially
on terraces and those slightly elevated locations that escaped the fluvial phase in late glacial
retreat, meaning places a hundred feet or so higher than the nearby river system. In effect,
hardwoods today dominate these richer soils and mixed conifer/hardwoods the lower sites
with partially water-washed soils.
Glacial outwash soils are stratified soils deposited as eskers and moraines in areas
subject to periods of flash-flooding during the glacial retreat and from which the nutrient-bearing silts and clays have been washed away. Because the soils are so stony and thus
draughty, the fast growing and deep rooted pines out-compete the other more demanding
tree species.
Organically derived soils are rich in vegetative matter in various states of decay,
and occur in two physiographic situations: a) on the highest mountain sides, typically
above 4,000 feet elevation where the glacial tills washed down slope in early post-glacial
time and left exposed bedrock, and b) in the low wetlands where impeded drainage created
saturated soils on top of glacial outwash or bedrock and where upland forest plants could
not survive. In both situations sphagnum moss dominates the early stages of plant
succession and in the low wetlands may convert ponds into peat bogs and meandering
streams into mucky swamps. On the sloping land surfaces near the high summits, the
accumulated layers of black humus created by sphagnum and other mosses on top of the
bedrock are invaded by various herbaceous plants and in time are replaced by mountain
paper birch, the sole pioneering tree species, and by balsam fir, the sole climax species in
this drastic timberline ecosystem. The subalpine and alpine organic soils are the most
fragile and easily damaged types in the high peaks complex.
Many HPWC sites have a cement like, very dense hardpan texture, lying one to two
feet below ground surface. This causes shallow rooting of vegetation; especially tree
species, and limits their ability to absorb soil nutrients and water.
This limits height and diameter growth and makes them susceptible to wind-throw. During
period of heavy and prolonged rains, these soils are easily saturated and water may sit upon
the surface reflecting poor internal drainage. (Ketchledge, 1994).

The topography ranges from small areas of low-lying wetlands along the Raquette
River and the headwaters of the Saranac River to the highest point in New York State atop
Mount Marcy. Although there is considerable variation in terrain, the HPWC is
predominantly high mountain country.
The highest mountains are mainly grouped in the eastern High Peaks; most peaks
surpass elevations of 3,000 feet. Mount Marcy is the highest point in the unit and is also
New York State's highest peak at an elevation of 5,344 feet, followed by Algonquin Peak
at 5,114 feet. The unit has over 34 peaks with elevations above 4,000 feet.
In contrast, the western High Peaks are characterized by a more gentle topography
of rolling hills, and nearly level, wide river drainages. However, it does have a few high
points; Santanoni Peak (4,607 ft.), Seward Mountain (4,361 ft.), and Sawtooth Mountain
(3,877 ft.).
Maximum relief (change in elevation) across the unit is 4,244 feet from atop Mount
Marcy (5,344 ft.) down to the lower slopes of Owl's Head and Rooster Comb (1,100 ft.).

The HPWC includes headwater portions of the Upper Hudson, Champlain and
Raquette watersheds. Approximately 220 miles of primarily first and second order, cold
water streams are found within the unit. Many of these streams include sections of
extremely high gradient (200+ feet/mile) and some have impassable fish barriers, such as
Hanging Spear Falls on the Opalescent River.
The Raquette River watershed portion of the HPWC includes the Cold River and
Ampersand Brook. The Cold River sub-basin is also the largest stream system entirely
within the HPWC. Three headwater streams which feed the Upper Hudson drainage in the
HPWC are the Opalescent River, Calamity Brook and Indian Pass Brook. The Champlain
watershed includes the Cold Brook system (tributary to the Saranac River); the Chubb
River, South Meadow Brook, Marcy Brook and another Indian Pass Brook (tributary to the
West Branch Ausable River); and John's Brook (tributary to the East Branch Ausable
The HPWC includes 117 lakes and ponds greater than one-half acre in size which have
been enumerated by the New York State Biological Survey Unit of the DEC. The total
surface area of these waters exceeds 1700 acres. Numerous, smaller water bodies are
found in the unit, but most of these are shallow, beaver ponds which are ephemeral in
nature. Newcomb Lake, at 506 acres, is the largest water body in the HPWC, although a
portion of this water extends into the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. Other notable
ponded waters include: 218-acre Round Pond, 185-acre Moose Pond (P# 221), 61-acre
Duck Hole, 46-acre Big Pine Pond, 41-acre Lake Colden, 27-acre Rock Pond (P# 196),
28-acre Moose Pond (P# 233), 22-acre Lower Cascade Lake, 26-acre Upper Cascade Lake,
and 10-acre Avalanche Lake.
Appendix 9 lists the 117 ponded waters in the HPWC and provides some
geographical and morphometric data and the fisheries management classification for each
water. Appendix 10 gives additional data pertaining to biological and/or chemical survey
data collected on 46 waters in the HPWC.
<Hydrology Map Goes Here> WETLANDS
The wetlands of the HPWC possess great ecological, aesthetic, recreational, and
educational value. In their capacity to receive, store, and slowly release rainwater and
meltwater, wetlands protect water resources by stabilizing water flow and minimizing
erosion and sedimentation. Many natural and man-made pollutants are removed from
water entering wetland areas. Also, because they constitute one of the most productive
habitats for fish and wildlife, wetlands afford abundant opportunities for fishing, hunting,
trapping, and wildlife observation and photography. The wetlands of the unit serve as
important habitats for a number of wildlife species listed as threatened or species of special
concern which may be present in the unit, including the osprey, northern harrier, red-shouldered hawk, and spruce grouse (threatened), and the least bittern, Cooper's hawk,
Jefferson salamander, and spotted salamander (species of special concern). For the visitor,
expanses of open space wetlands provide a visual contrast to heavily forested wilderness
One hundred and eighty-five major wetlands in the unit have been identified.
Wetlands covering less than 4.5 acres (2.5 hectares) were not identified unless they
possessed significant value as fish or wildlife habitat. One hundred thirty-five of these
wetlands are located west of the Sawteeth Range and occupy the lowlands of the Raquette
and Cold River drainages.
While most of the unit's wetlands occur in low-lying areas, they can also be found
on mountain summits and anywhere soil is seasonally or perennially saturated with water.
Summit wetlands are characterized by cool, moist, shallow soil environments and resemble
the tundra of northern latitudes. Some of New York's rarest flora are encountered in these
elevated wetland communities.
The largest wetlands in the unit are found along Calkins Creek, Chubb River, Cold
River, Indian Pass Brook, Moose Creek, Pine Brook and Raquette River drainages. These
wetlands are mostly coniferous, characterized by dense stands of red spruce, black spruce
and balsam fir. Some serve as important deer wintering areas. The largest wetland
community in the HPWC lies east of South Meadows and covers 125 acres. It is largely an
alder-sedge plant association.

The region's climate, in general terms, is best described as cool and moist.
Climatic conditions vary considerably throughout the unit and are influenced by such
factors as slope aspect, elevation, distance and direction from large bodies of water,
seasonal temperatures, precipitation, prevailing winds, and the location of natural barriers.
Summers tend to be warm with cool nights. Maximum day-time temperatures
seldom exceed 90 degrees. Frost can occur any month of the year and occasional freezing
temperatures are recorded in July and August. Winters are long and extremely cold.
Temperatures of -40 degrees are common, often accompanied by high winds. Arctic-like
conditions may be encountered at high elevations. Daily temperature variations of 20-30
degrees are common between peripheral entry points and interior locations. Annual
precipitation, in rainfall, is between 40 and 60 inches per year; snowfall ranges from 100-150 inches per year.
Due to the availability of direct sunlight, southern slopes are drier than northern
slopes. The latter tend to retain more moisture. Prevailing winds are generally westerly,
but may be modified by topography. Eastern slopes, leeward of prevailing winds, tend to
be drier than western slopes. Extensive damaging winds (hurricane force) winds are rare,
but do occur when coastal storms move inland. The resulting influence of climate on local
flora and fauna, in particular, is profound.

The effects of various activities on HPWC air quality have not been sufficiently
measured nor determined. Air quality and visibility in the unit appears to be good to
excellent, rated Class II (moderately well controlled) by federal and state standards.
However, the summits are often obscured by haze caused by air pollutants when a large
number of small diameter particles exist in the air. Visibility of the mountains is reduced
considerably on high sulphate days (O'Neil 1990). Air quality may be more affected by
particulate matter blown in from outside sources rather than from activities within the unit.
The relative assimilation of outside pollutants, e.g. acid rain, by HPWC environments is
under investigation by a myriad of researchers.

The natural landscape of the HPWC is an important wilderness element. The
HPWC affords an endless variety of open space and scenic views; each dramatic and
diverse. HPWC scenery is unparalleled in New York State.
Author Lincoln Barnett summed it up best in his 1974 classic book The Ancient
Adirondacks. "...there are deep, silent forests, plunging ravines and gorges, tumbling
waterfalls, still lakes, soaring mountains, and bird haunted wetlands."
One does not necessarily need to hike great distances to enjoy the beauty of this
open space. From afar, the HPWC can best be viewed from NYS Route 73, especially
near the Cascade Lakes, and its intersection with the Adirondak Loj Road. The latter
view, looking into and through Indian Pass, is described as one of the best scenic
viewpoints in the Adirondacks. (Goodwin, 1992). An excellent panoramic view of the
High Peaks can be seen from a 60 foot fire tower atop Goodnow Mountain, south of Route
28 in the Town of Newcomb. Owned and operated as an interpretive site by the NYS
College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), it is possible to view the Sewards,
Santanoni, Indian Pass, and Mounts Algonquin, Colden, and Marcy from a single point.
(Masters 1994). Other vantage points include: NYS Route 28N, between Newcomb and
Long Lake; NYS Routes 3 & 30, looking northeast from Tupper Lake; and Whiteface
Mountain via Veterans Memorial Highway.
Favored interior viewpoints are many. A partial list would include the
summits of Marcy, Haystack, Algonquin, Ampersand, Skylight, Sawteeth, Gothics,
Wright, Phelps, and Slide Mountains; Avalanche and Ausable Lakes; Bushnell, Hanging
Spear, Indian, Raquette, Rocky, and Wanika Falls; Panther Gorge, Duck Hole and
Opalescent Flume.

The HPWC occupies a transition zone between the boreal forests to the north and
the mixed forests of the south. Its forests represent a mosaic of plant communities that
correspond to local variations in soil, temperature, moisture and elevation. Past events
such as fire, wind, land clearing, and logging have exerted a strong influence on present
day conditions.
Not much is known about the original forests of the HPWC, but they are believed to
have been a mixture of mature, old growth northern hardwoods, spruce-fir, and eastern
white pine forest types. These forests were characterized by dense shade, many cavity
trees, significant ground debris, and few natural openings. Insect outbreaks, disease, wind
and wildfire were vital parts of the natural environment and the major agents of change.
Few HPWC forests have survived to make the transition from the pioneer stage to the
theoretical climax forest stage.
Extensive softwood cutting prior to Forest Preserve acquisition, severe wildfires in
1903 and 1908, and the "great blowdown of 1950" have altered the composition of this
forest dramatically. In most cases, the softwood component has been eliminated or
significantly reduced and replaced by northern hardwoods. It is estimated that less than
five percent of the HPWC remains in its original forest condition (Ketchledge, 1967).
Historically and ecologically, these factors have contributed to a great diversity of forest
cover types which support a vast variety of animal and plant species.

In general, HPWC vegetation can be categorized into six land zones based by
elevation and topographical position on the landscape. Each land zone has plant
communities, associations of plant species that scientists recognize as belonging together
under certain circumstances and site requirements. The six land zones are:

Lowland Conifers Zone (to 1,500 feet):
Red spruce - balsam fir associations are especially common to the low lying areas of
the western High Peaks where high soil moisture and poor drainage dominate soil
conditions. Tree species common to this association include black and red spruce, balsam
fir, red maple and white and yellow birch. Infrequent associates are northern white cedar,
alder and tamarack. The forest tends to be quite dense and little sunlight reaches the forest
floor. Extreme shade and acidic soils preclude many ground plants. The forest floor is
relatively open.

Mixed Conifers and Hardwoods Zone (to 2,500 feet):
A mixed forest of conifers and hardwoods is encountered as the elevation rises
above the spruce swamps and drainage improves. Red spruce and balsam fir noticeably
fade. Increased elevation and improved drainage favor the growth of maples, birches,
eastern hemlock and eastern white pine. The dominant ground cover is viburnum,
commonly called hobble-bush. Various ferns, grasses and wild flowers are evident.

Northern Hardwoods Zone (to 2,500 feet):
Northern hardwoods are the most widespread forest association in the HPWC. It is
found on the better drained, more fertile uplands. Deep glacial soils with elevation up to
2,500 feet, favor a forest association of sugar maple, American beech and yellow birch.
Black cherry and white ash are minor associates.

Upper Spruce-Fir Zone (2500 feet to 3100 feet):
Above 2,500 feet red spruce and balsam fir forests reappear reminiscent of northern
boreal forests. Red spruce and balsam fir prevail in nearly pure stands. They reflect
cooler temperatures and increased moisture as elevations rise. Ground cover is almost non-existent due to lack of sunlight on the forest floor.
<Vegetation Sensitive Area Map Goes Here> Sub-alpine Zone (3100 feet to 4000 feet):
In this zone red spruce generally fades giving way to balsam fir. Approaching
4,000 feet the balsam fir is often stunted and misshapen, barely able to survive the
onslaught of cold, drying winds and infertile soils. Here the trees grow almost prostrate as
the "krumholz" (meaning crooked wood) forest is encountered. Slightly above the
krumholz, timberline is soon reached. Timberline is the point of elevation beyond which
climatic conditions become so harsh that tree life cannot survive.

Alpine Zone (4000 feet and above):
In the HPWC the most limiting of all environments are encountered above 4,000
feet. This zone resembles the arctic tundra of the far north. Ground cover is scant and
open areas with bare rock are frequent. The common theme among all vegetation in this
zone is to stay small and grow low to the ground in order to survive (Marchand, 1987).
Alpine zone communities include dwarf willows and birches in sheltered depressions,
heaths, mosses and lichens, alpine flowers, grasses, sedges, and rushes. Of the
Adirondack Park's six million acres, only 85 acres are home to alpine species; 81 of these
acres are located in the High Peaks (DiNunzio, 1972). This one zone contains some of
New York State's rarest and most endangered plant species (Ketchledge, 1994).

In addition to naturally occurring forests, plantations were established in the wake
of early forest fires. Plantations can be found at South Meadows, NYS Route 3 and the
Ampersand Road, and adjacent to the Cold River. Species planted included eastern white
pine, red pine, Scotch pine, Norway spruce and white spruce. These forest are gradually
losing their man-made character and giving way to natural succession.

Exemplary Vegetative Communities
The HPWC has four exemplary vegetative communities that serve as outstanding
examples of the biological diversity of the Adirondack Park (Adirondack Council, 1988):

Ampersand Mountain Old Growth Forest
COVER TYPE: Northern hardwoods; AREA: 1,400 acres
TOWN: Harrietstown; COUNTY: Franklin;
NHPC: Hemlock-Northern Hardwood Forest (National Heritage Plant Community)

Located on the northern slopes of Ampersand Mountain, south of
Route 3, west of Saranac Lake, this old-growth forest is the largest known sugar maple-yellow birch-hemlock forest in the Adirondack Park. Large diameter trees reflect a forest
community relatively undisturbed by man and wildfire.

Marcy Swamp
COVER TYPE: Coniferous swamps, bogs and fens
AREA: 220 acres; TOWN: N. Hudson; COUNTY: Essex
NHPC: Northern White Cedar Swamp.

Bisected by the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail, this community is characterized by old-growth northern white cedar more than two feet in diameter and over 40 feet tall,
intermixed with red spruce and balsam fir. The cover type extends on to private land.

Phelps Brook Old-Growth Forest
COVER TYPE: Upper spruce slope; AREA: 180 acres
TOWN: North Elba; COUNTY: Essex
NHPC: Mountain spruce-fir forest.

One of the few stands of spruce-fir timber in the HPWC that escaped early logging
and the forest fires of 1903 and 1909, it is an old-growth forest of red spruce and balsam
fir situated on an unnamed mountain (elevation 3,720 ft.), south of Phelps Brook above
Marcy Dam.

High Peaks Tundra
COVER TYPE: Alpine tundra; AREA: 40 acres
TOWNS: Keene, Newcomb and North Elba; COUNTY: Essex
NHPC: Alpine Meadow

The alpine tundra contains some of New York's rarest plants. They are found in
tundra-like habitats resembling those of the Arctic. This condition is encountered on the
State's highest peaks and the total area covered by alpine vegetation approximates 40 acres
on 19 peaks, 18 of which are in the High Peaks Wilderness.
The alpine environments are characterized by climates having cool, moist and
windy conditions throughout most of the year. Summit temperatures are usually 10-20øF
cooler than the lowlands and precipitation is greater. Winds exceeding 40 mph are
common. These factors greatly curtail the growing season, reducing it to two months or
less. This severity of climate often dictates the type and quantity of vegetation present on
any one summit.
About 50 percent of New York's alpine vegetation occurs on Marcy and Algonquin.
Significant amounts also exist on Haystack, Skylight, Iroquois, Boundary, Basin, Gothics,
Colden and Wright. Even though the Cascade and Rocky Peak Ridge are at high elevations
(4,000+ feet), no alpine vegetation has been documented on these peaks due to alterations
by fire.
Mosses and lichens are the simplest plants found on these summits, but the key to
alpine tundra ecology is sphagnum moss. The sphagnum holds water that otherwise would
be lost to cold, drying winds. It provides a seed bed for other plants and forms a matrix to
which plant roots attach. Major plant species taking hold in the sphagnum include
cottongrass, Lapland rosebay, leatherleaf, bog laurel, sheep laurel, Labrador tea, small
cranberry and alpine bilberry. The sphagnum complex is very fragile and is easily
damaged by visitor trampling. Once the sphagnum matrix is destroyed, a near irreversible
process of erosion and plant loss begins. Peaks having alpine vegetation are listed in the
Appendix on the Adirondack Alpine Zone.

Extirpated Vegetation
To date researchers have documented extirpation of the following species from the
High Peaks Alpine Zone (Adirondack Conservancy 1994): Preanthes racemosa -
rattlesnake root, salix herbacea - dwarf willow, Cassiope hypoides also known as
Harrimanella Hyponoides - moss plant, and Poa interior - inland bluegrass.

Field inventories of wildlife species have not focused specifically on the HPWC.
However, various inventory projects undertaken by DEC and others have included the
HPWC in their scope. The species included in Appendix Tables 16-19 were compiled by
combining the results of various surveys, publications, and the reports of observers.

As a result of the unit's transitional character in terms of climate and vegetation,
there is an overlapping of typically northern, eastern and southern bird species.
According to New York State Breeding Bird Atlas data, 152 species of birds are
believed to breed within the HPWC (Appendix Table 16). Some species thought to occur
occasionally within the unit are not shown in the Bird Atlas data.
Birds associated with marshes, ponds, lakes and streams are numerous and include
the common loon, pied billed grebe, great blue heron, green heron, American bittern, a
variety of ducks, the Canada goose and shore birds such as the spotted sandpiper. The
most common ducks include the black duck, mallard, wood duck, hooded merganser, and
common merganser. Birds of prey common to the unit include the barred owl, great
horned owl, red-tailed hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, and broadwinged hawk. Songbirds,
such as woodpeckers, flycatchers, wrens, thrushes, vireos, warblers, blackbirds, finches,
grosbeaks, and sparrows occupy one or more of the ten habitat types found in the unit.

Appendix Table 17 lists mammals present in the HPWC. Larger mammals known
to inhabit the HPWC include white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, coyote, lynx, bobcat,
raccoon, red fox, gray fox, fisher, marten, mink, muskrat, striped skunk, river otter,
beaver, porcupine, and varying hare.
A variety of smaller mammals reside in the unit. They include bats, shrews, moles,
and mice, along with the ermine, long-tailed weasel, eastern chipmunk, and red squirrel.
Most species are distributed relatively evenly throughout the unit, although the
populations of weasel, mink, muskrat, otter, and beaver are concentrated near water, and
the varying hare and red squirrel are mostly confined to stands of spruce and fir.
Although suitable habitats exist for the continued survival of all species presently
occurring in the HPWC, the process of forest succession set in motion by wind, insects and
disease, past logging and forest fires, continues to alter the composition of forest
communities. Large areas are presently occupied by young forest stands which became
established after disturbance. The current decline in upper-elevation stands of spruce and
fir, and the widespread dieback of beech, caused by the spread of the beech bark disease,
continually creates openings in the forest canopy of the unit. Forest succession is not static
and consequently, locally restores habitat conditions favorable to many wildlife species.
The populations of the varying hare at higher elevations may increase as young
stands of spruce and fir grow beneath older stands of white birch and northern hardwoods.
The marten thrive under habitat conditions brought about by natural forest disturbances.
However, in the absence of any future disturbances, the maturation of climax forest
communities may lead to reductions in hare and marten populations. On the other hand,
the populations of various species of birds and mammals which require tree cavities for
reproduction should increase as forest stands mature.
White-tailed deer are found throughout the HPWC. However, the habitat
conditions of the unit make it one of the least productive areas for deer in New York. The
size of the deer population is limited by severe winter, insufficient deer browse and few
suitable deer wintering areas.
Deer wintering areas usually are lowland areas covered by forests of spruce and fir
which serve as shelter when snow accumulates to depths of 20 inches or more. These same
areas are used by deer nearly every winter. Severe winter weather virtually confines deer
to wintering areas for long periods during which the depletion of available browse can lead
to high deer mortality. Severe decline in the deer population can be traced directly to
adverse winters. The carrying capacity of deer wintering areas limits the carrying capacity
of the entire annual range of the deer population.
Although relatively numerous, black bears are seldom encountered in the unit by
hikers on the trail, although some of the more popular camping areas, such as Marcy Dam,
Lake Colden, and the shore of Long Lake attract bears in search of food.

Amphibians and Reptiles
Relatively short summers and the long, cold winters of the HPWC limit the number
of species of reptiles and amphibians. Three species of turtles, eight species of snakes,
eight species of salamanders, one species of toad, and six species of frogs are believed to
be residents of the HPWC (Appendix Tables 18 and 19). Species found in marshes or
ponds and along wooded streams include the following: turtles - snapping, painted; snakes
- northern water, redbelly, common garter, eastern ribbon, brown, ringneck; toad -
American salamanders - red-spotted newt, spotted, blue-spotted, spring, two-lined,
mountain dusky; frogs - bullfrog, pickerel, green, wood, mink, gray treefrog.
A few species can be found under logs and leaf litter on the forest floor or in forest
openings. Species listed below do not require moist surroundings to survive: snakes -
ringneck, smooth green, milk, common garter; salamanders - redback; and turtle - wood.

Endangered, Threatened, Species of Special Concern and Other Unique Species
Four species which are found in the HPWC are included on the New York State
endangered species list: the bald eagle, the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon, and the
round whitefish. None of the eagle species has been confirmed as nesting in the unit.
Peregrine falcon nesting sites have recently been located (1993). The round whitefish has
been documented in biological surveys of Moose Pond (P# 221), Newcomb Lake, and
Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes.
Among the threatened species of wildlife which may be residents of the HPWC are
the osprey, northern harrier, red-shouldered hawk, and spruce grouse. Although the
osprey population in New York has declined along with other raptors in past decades, the
population now appears to be rising naturally. According to information gathered during
DEC's annual osprey surveys, no nests have been found within the HPWC, although one is
located on nearby Ampersand Lake (private), and several more are scattered not too
distant. An osprey was observed near Duck Hole by Adirondack Lakes Survey
Corporation (ALSC) field staff in 1986.
The New York State Breeding Bird Atlas shows the northern harrier as a probable
breeder in one of the 60 blocks which are wholly or partially contained in the HPWC
(Appendix W-4). The red-shouldered hawk was a probable breeder in three blocks and a
possible breeder in five. The spruce grouse was confirmed in one block and listed as
possible in two.
Species of special concern, as listed in Title 6 New York Code of Rules and
Regulations (NYCRR) Part 182, which may be present in the HPWC, include the small-footed bat, common loon, northern raven, common nighthawk, Cooper's hawk, eastern
bluebird, vesper sparrow, wood turtle, Jefferson salamander, and spotted salamander. In
an extensive project undertaken to determine the status of the common loon in New York,
DEC staff surveyed 557 lakes in the northern part of the state during 1984 and 1985. The
survey included only six lakes located within the HPWC, and of those, one or more loons
were observed only on Round Pond. Several loons were spotted on Long Lake in 1983 and
1984 by volunteers for the Adirondack Loon Preservation Project. Two loons were
observed on Brueyer Pond in 1985 by ALSC field staff, who also found a pair nesting on
Duck Hole in 1986. According to the Atlas, loons were confirmed breeders in seven of the
unit's 60 blocks, probable breeders in five, and possible breeders in 13.
The northern raven, which has not been common in the Adirondacks since the last
century, is beginning to make a comeback. Ravens have been found actively nesting within
the HPWC on cliffs near Upper Cascade Lake and Avalanche Lake, and just east of the
unit near Chapel Pond. Ravens were confirmed breeders in five of the unit's 60 Atlas
blocks, probable breeders in three, and possible breeders in 17.
The presence of the small-footed bat, wood turtle, Jefferson salamander, or spotted
salamander has not been confirmed in the unit.

Typical Adirondack Species
There are a number of wildlife species found in New York State whose habitat
requirements include extensive areas of forest cover relatively undisturbed by human
development. Often, like the yellow-nosed vole and the northern three-toed woodpecker,
these are northern species who find the habitat conditions of the central Adirondacks
similar to the boreal spruce-fir forests of Canada. A list of species whose range in New
York is generally confined to the Adirondacks and which may be found within the HPWC
Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Northern Raven
Spruce Grouse
Ring-necked Duck
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Norther Three-toed Woodpecker
Gray Jay
Boreal Chickadee
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Philadelphia Vireo
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Tennessee Warbler
Northern Parula Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Lincoln's Sparrow
Rusty Blackbird
Evening Grosbeak
Black Bear
Canada Lynx
Yellow-nosed vole
Significant Habitats
Several areas within the HPWC which have been identified as important wildlife
habitats include:

Deer Wintering Areas - Twenty-one deer wintering areas are wholly or partially
contained within the HPWC: South Meadow Brook (two locations), Haystack
Brook, Marcy Brook, Skylight Brook, Indian Pass Brook, Chubb River, Cold
Brook - Halfway Brook, McKenna Brook, Dutton Brook, Middle Saranac Lake,
Upper Saranac Lake, Stony Creek Ponds, Ampersand Brook, Palmer Brook, Cold
River - Raquette River - Calkins Brook, Boulder Brook, Cold River - Moose Creek,
Pine Brook (two locations), Long Lake - Round Pond, Newcomb Lake.
Historic Bald Eagle Nesting Sites - Ampersand Mountain, Livingston Pond.
Historic Golden Eagle Nesting Sites - Big Slide Mountain, Ampersand Lake
(private land), Santanoni Preserve, Newcomb Lake.
Historic Peregrine Falcon Nesting Sites - Wallface Mountain, Mount Colden,
Indian Pass, Panther Gorge, Cascade Lakes, Mount Clinton.
Common Loon - Round Pond, Newcomb Lake (nesting), Long Lake (edge of unit),
Brueyer Pond, Duck Hole (nesting).
Northern Raven Nesting Sites - Upper Cascade Lake; Avalanche Lake.
Great Blue Heron Nesting Sites - Chubb River Wetlands.
Spruce Grouse - Chubb River Wetlands, Ausable Lakes.
Northern Three-toed Woodpecker - Indian Falls; stand of spruce and fir near Lost
Pond, and Upper Chubb River watershed.
Round Whitefish - Moose Pond (P#2 221); Newcomb Lake; Cascade Lakes.

Extirpated Species
The elk, timber wolf, cougar and wolverine once inhabited the HPWC. All have
disappeared from the Adirondacks. The mammals disappearance was mostly a result of
unregulated harvest and habitat destruction in the nineteenth century; the birds more
recently as victims of pesticide abuse. However, the once extirpated moose population has
naturally regained a foothold in the periphery of the HPWC; whereas, projects to
reestablish the peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and Canada lynx have been conducted.
Moose occasionally have migrated from the north and east into the Adirondack
region for decades. Since 1980, they have arrived in sufficient numbers to have established
a scattered resident population, recently estimated to contain 20 or more individuals. A
few sightings have been reported in the HPWC. Although moose prefer to feed on species
of woody vegetation generally found in forests of earlier successional stages than those
occurring in the HPWC, moose in general find later-stage forest habitats more suitable than
do white-tailed deer (Garner, personal communication) and may come to occupy the unit in
greater numbers in the future.
Efforts to reintroduce the peregrine falcon and the bald eagle through "hacking"
programs began in 1981 and 1983, respectively. In a continuing program of yearly
releases, 103 falcons were "hacked" in the Adirondacks through 1988. In 1985, two falcon
nests were found, one to the north and one just to the east of the HPWC, the first
Adirondack nests since 1956. In 1989 seven nests were active in the Adirondacks,
producing 12 young. At present one nest is known to exist within the HPWC. Other
historic nesting sites within the unit may come to be occupied as the population expands.
Between 1983 and 1985, 55 bald eagles were hacked within the Adirondack region.
The first sexually mature eagles produced by the hacking program returned to nest in an
area north of the HPWC in 1988. These nests fledged a total of five young to the wild in
1989. To date 20 young have fledged from these nests. Although most of the unit does not
constitute suitable bald eagle habitat, two sites are known to have been used for nesting in
the past and may come to be used again. Bald eagles have been observed in the upper
reaches of the Chubb River (Hodgson, 1994).
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, through the
Adirondack Wildlife Program, completed an experimental project to reintroduce the
Canada lynx to the Adirondack High Peaks region. Under permit from DEC, scientists
based at the college's Huntington Forest campus in Newcomb planned to release up to 100
cats within the HPWC, the upper elevations of which support ideal lynx habitat. The first
release of five lynx took place in January 1989; and, by the winter of 1990-1991, this
number increased to 83 released animals. Several of the animals released so far have
strayed from the unit, some have remained within the HPWC. Vehicle collisions have
claimed a high percentage of the released animals. It remains to be seen whether the
reintroduction experiment will lead to the establishment of a permanent lynx population
within the HPWC. No breeding has been documented although sightings continue.


Geologic Factors
George (1980) provides a summary of geological events which influenced the
colonization of the Adirondack ecological zone by fishes. The retreat of the glaciers about
17,000 B.P. (Before Present) was closely followed by a limited number of cold-tolerant,
vagile, lacustrine species. Such species presumably had access to most Adirondack waters.
At about 13,000 B.P., glacial Lake Albany with a surface elevation of 350' a.s.l. (average
sea level), provided a colonizing route for Atlantean and eastern boreal species into the
southern drainages of the Adirondacks. Approximately 1000 years later (12,000 B.P.) a
corridor opened which allowed recolonization of several lowland fish species into the
northern half of the park via the Raquette, Oswegatchie and Black Rivers.
The extreme gradient, presence of barriers and impassible falls, and low fertility of
many streams within the HPWC undoubtedly restricted the distribution of fishes regardless
of distribution patterns in lower elevation waters. Severity of climate would act to reduce
fish diversity to a few, cold-tolerant species. Reportedly, the lakes above Hanging Spear
Falls on the Opalescent River (Upper Hudson watershed) were barren of fish prior to
stocking efforts in the 1920's. (Greeley and Bishop, 1932).

Anthropogenic Factors
Approximately 300 years ago the influence of human cultures from the Old World
initiated a period of rapid manipulation of the natural environment. Commercial activities
precipitated substantial impacts to natural ecosystems. Slightly more than 150 years ago,
canal construction opened new migration routes for fishes into the peripheral Adirondack
areas. Railroads and roads were developed to support the tanning and lumbering
industries, and in the late 1800's tourism rapidly expanded (George 1980).
This exploitation of pristine fisheries combined with anthropogenic environmental
degradation resulted in the decline of fish populations and stimulated early management
efforts consisting primarily of stocking. A variety of nonnative species were distributed
into the Adirondack uplands via stocking efforts described by George (1980) as "nearly
maniacal". He notes that many species were "...almost endlessly dumped upon the
Adirondack upland." Nonnative species were introduced and the ranges of native species,
which previously had limited distributions, were extended. The result has been a
homogenization of fish communities. Certain native species, notably brook trout and round
whitefish, have declined due to the introduction of other fishes. Other natives, brown
bullhead and creek chubs, for example, are presently much more abundant than
historically, having been spread to many waters where previously absent. Consequently,
fish populations in the majority of waters in today's Adirondack wilderness areas have been
substantially altered by the activities of mankind. Indeed, of 1,123 Adirondack ecological
zone waters surveyed by the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation (ALSC) from
1984-1987, 65% contained nonnative species (Gallagher and Baker, 1990).
Detailed documentation of the historic fish communities is not available. Extensive
fishery survey data was first collected in the 1930's, decades after the massive stockings
and introductions of the late 1800's. Reviewing work by Mathers from the 1880's and
others, George (1980) has summarized what is known. Appendix 11 presents information
on species known to be native, native-but-widely-introduced (NBWI), and nonnative. It
should be noted that the native classification does not mean those species were found in
every water nor even in a majority of waters. For example, of 1,123 waters surveyed by
the ALSC which contained fish, white suckers and northern redbelly dace were found in 51
and 19 percent of the lakes, respectively (Gallagher and Baker, 1990). The other species
listed as native were less widely distributed. Such distributions, after a century of
introductions, demonstrate that "native" does not necessarily imply a historically ubiquitous
Habitat degradation, widespread introductions of nonnative fishes, and broad
dispersal of native fishes which historically had limited distributions have drastically
altered the fish fauna of Adirondack waters. George (1980) states: "All of the above
events have impacted the fish fauna of the Adirondack Park, often in complex and
synergistic ways subverting any effort at simple explanation for changes in a particular
population". Due to a paucity in early stocking records, especially for nongame species, it
is impossible to determine if a particular species was native in a specific pond, even though
they may have been present by the time of the first fisheries survey.
The High Peaks region is one of three major areas within the Adirondack Park
which have been impacted by acid precipitation. Of the 42 ponds with chemical survey
data (Appendix 10), 14 have pH levels at or below 6.0; a point at which ponds are
considered to be acid endangered. Seven ponds are known to be too acidic to support fish
life, including the once famous brook trout fisheries of Avalanche Lake, Lake Colden, and
Upper Wallface Pond. Livingston Pond, Little Ampersand Pond, and Owl Pond are three
other well-known brook trout ponds which would be sterile of fish life except for liming
treatments undertaken by DEC. Recent chemical data indicates that alkalinity and pH
levels in Little Ampersand Pond and Owl Pond are again declining after liming treatments
in the early 1970's.

Present Day Fish Distribution (Ponded Waters)
Thirty-two of the ponded waters of the HPWC were surveyed by the Adirondack
Lake Survey Corporation (ALSC) between 1984 and 1987. DEC has additional data on 14
other waters. Appendices 9 and 10 contain data for the 46 ponded waters of the unit for
which information are available, plus a listing of the 71 waters which are numbered on
New York State Biological Survey overlays, but have not been surveyed. Many of these
unsurveyed waters are within the flood plains of the Cold River or Pine Brook. Helicopter
fly-overs of these areas during the ALSC study revealed most waters to be temporary
beaver impoundments, filled with dead wood, and impossible to land upon safely (Walt
Kretser, personal communication). The transitory nature of such ponded waters and their
remote location preclude most survey efforts.
Brook trout are the principal native salmonid within the HPWC and they exist
within 25 of the 36 waters with fish species information listed in Appendix 10. Brook
trout monocultures (i.e., brook trout are the only fish species in the water) occur in Little
Ampersand Pond, Livingston Pond, Marcy Dam Pond and Seward Pond. Anecdotal
information suggests that Calamity Pond may be a brook trout monoculture. Most brook
trout waters within the HPWC are maintained through DEC stocking. There is a lack of
naturally spawning populations of brook trout in HPWC lakes, which does not reflect
historic conditions. Introductions of nonnative and native-but-widely-introduced (NBWI)
species along with siltation have seriously impacted brook trout reproduction in HPWC
lakes. Without active fisheries management brook trout would decline precipitously within
the unit.
Lake trout are the second most important native salmonid in the HPWC. Natural
populations of lake trout occur in Newcomb Lake and Moose Pond (P# 221) on the
Santanoni Preserve. Lakers in these two waters may be an Adirondack 'heritage' strain as
there is no record of this species ever being stocked. Big Pine Pond also has a naturally
reproducing population of lake trout, but heritage status is questionable because lake trout
were stocked at least four times historically. Lake trout also are present in Dawson Pond.
Splake, brown trout and kokanee salmon are the only nonnative, historically
associated, salmonids that may be present within the HPWC. A remnant splake (a hybrid
cross between lake trout and brook trout) population found in the Cascade Lakes will soon
disappear. Brown trout are present in the Cascade Lakes and Big Pine Pond. Kokanee
salmon may remain in Big Pine Pond if there is natural reproduction.
Northern pike are present in Lower County Line Pond, Mud Pond and Pickerel
Pond. Smallmouth bass are found in good numbers in Round Pond.
Appendix 11 lists common Adirondack upland fish species as provided by George
(1980). These species are classified as either native, nonnative, or
native-but-widely-introduced (NBWI). As discussed earlier in this section, not all of the
native and NBWI species listed in Appendix 11 are necessarily endemic or common within
the HPWC. In fact, the white sucker is the only species that sustains itself in more than
40% of the waters that contain fish. Common shiner, blacknose dace, northern redbelly
dace, lake chub, longnose sucker, finescale dace, and redbreast sunfish occur in a
scattering of waters. In general, NBWI species are the most common naturally sustained
fishes within the HPWC: Brown bullhead occur in 14 lakes; pumpkinseed occur in 13
lakes; and, creek chub occur in 15 lakes of the 36 with known fish communities.
Yellow perch, a nonnative to the Adirondacks, are perhaps the most severe
competitor with brook trout. The HPWC contains four waters with yellow perch: Corner
Pond, Mud Pond, Pickerel Pond and Round Pond. None of these waters currently supports
trout, although Round Pond and Corner Pond were historically good brook trout waters. A
nonnative cyprinid species, the golden shiner, is found in 10 of 36 HPWC lakes with fish
data. Golden shiners are also serious competitors with brook trout. Golden shiner have
increased in abundance within unit waters in recent times. Prior to 1970, the species
occurred in only four waters.

Present Day Fish Distribution (Streams)
Brook trout are the dominant fish species, although smallmouth bass can be found
in the lower portion of the Cold River. About 111 miles of the 220 miles of streams within
the HPWC are small and steep with little potential for management. Fish populations in
the larger portions of streams consist largely of small, slow-growing, wild brook trout in
association with native minnows and slimy sculpins.

Endangered, Threatened, Species of Special Concern
Round whitefish is the only fish within the HPWC which is listed as endangered by
New York State. The round whitefish was historically abundant in many Adirondack
lakes, but has seriously declined in numbers and distribution. George (1980) states that the
species "...must be considered highly vulnerable to competition and predation by invading
southern forms". The HPWC includes several lakes with round whitefish populations: the
Cascade Lakes harbor a modest population of round whitefish, while Newcomb Lake and
Moose Pond (P# 221) had sparse populations when surveyed in 1972. Lower Cascade
Lake served as the brood stock water in efforts to restore the round whitefish to other lakes
in the 1970's. There are no historic or present day records of threatened or special concern
species for ponded waters in the HPWC.

Heritage Strains
Adirondack ponds are home to several "heritage" strains of brook trout believed to
be unadulterated by exposure to domestic strains. Horn Lake, Little Tupper Lake and
Windfall Pond are examples of lakes which have provided heritage strains of brook trout.
Undiscovered heritage strains of brook trout may still exist in some unsurveyed ponds.
Creation of additional populations of heritage strain brook trout helps protect their
genotype(s) from accidental contamination which may occur in the future in their natal
waters. Refugia for heritage strains must be isolated from other waters.
Competition and predation by introduced species have greatly reduced the
abundance of brook trout sustained by natural reproduction. Only about 40 of the
traditional brook trout ponds in public ownership in the Adirondack Park now support
viable, self-sustaining brook trout populations. The potential for successful natural
reproduction is greatly enhanced when interspecific competition and predation are reduced
or eliminated. Human introductions of nonnatives and natives which had limited
distributions have nearly eliminated natural brook trout monocultures in the Adirondacks.
Historic brook trout monocultures have been documented in the Adirondack Park
(Appendix 13) and the survival of even a few such unique communities through the massive
environmental disturbances and species introductions of the 19th and 20th centuries is quite
remarkable. Survey data indicates that Seward Pond in the HPWC is among the ponds that
were historic brook trout monocultures, and anecdotal evidence suggests that Calamity
Pond may also be a historic brook trout monoculture.
Brook trout populations in combination with few other native species also occurred.
The Duck Hole, Mountain Pond and Palmer Pond in the HPWC are brook trout waters
with only one other species occurring in each pond.
Brook trout were particularly successful at colonizing and thrived in the relative
absence of competing and predacious fishes. George (1980) states: "Under primeval
conditions, the brook trout was nearly ubiquitous in the Adirondacks. Its agility, great
range in size and facility in rapidly flowing water allowed it to spread widely, perhaps even
concurrently with the demise of the glaciers, thus explaining its presence in unstocked
waters above currently impassable waterfalls."
Watershed morphometry probably severely limited the diversity of fishes in the
HPWC. The HPWC is comprised mainly of first and second order streams, and fish
diversity is normally low in such headwater portions of watersheds (Hynes 1972).
Topography would have made that lack of diversity particularly prominent in the HPWC.
Individual streams draining the HPWC have extended stretches of extremely high gradients
which can exceed 200 feet/mile. While these streams have not been ground checked,
barriers are inevitable at such gradients. For example, the West Branch Ausable from the
top of Monument Falls to the downstream end of the flume has a gradient of about 115
feet/mile and includes barriers at The Flume, at a falls upstream of the Whiteface bridge
and at High Falls. Hanging Spear Falls on the Opalescent River has long been recognized
as a fish barrier (Greeley and Bishop, 1932).
In general, while the Adirondacks historically had fish communities with low
diversity, the HPWC would have had exceptionally low diversities. Brook trout have the
extreme vagility necessary to have naturally colonized the HPWC waters and, therefore,
were probably particularly abundant in the unit. Also, historic brook trout monocultures
were most likely to have occurred in such headwater areas.
The decline in brook trout associated with the introduction of other fishes is a result
of both predation and competition for food. Brook trout feed primarily on invertebrates.
Many other fishes, including white sucker, longnose sucker, redbreast sunfish,
pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, yellow perch, and the cyprinids (minnows, shiners, and
dace) also feed primarily on invertebrates (Scott and Crossman 1973). In low fertility
waters such as Adirondack ponds, competition for such forage can be intense. In addition
to competing with brook trout for food, many fishes prey directly on brook trout.
Northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and rock bass are highly piscivorous.
Species which may feed on eggs and/or fry include yellow perch, brown bullhead,
pumpkinseed, creek chub, common shiner, white sucker and longnose sucker (Scott and
Crossman 1973). The relative importance of competition versus predation in the decline of
brook trout is not known for individual waters, but the result is the same regardless of the
Natural reproduction by brook trout is also very sensitive to impacts from
sedimentation caused, for example, by logging, fires and other human activities. During
the 1800's, the High Peaks supported a logging industry. Substantial areas were denuded
and subsequently subjected to wildfires. For additional information on logging see Section
III. Due to their reproduction behavior, brook trout are among the most susceptible of all
Adirondack fauna to the impacts of sedimentation. Brook trout spawn in the fall, burying
their eggs in gravel. Flow must be maintained through the gravel, around the eggs, until
hatching occurs the following spring. Sand or fine sediments restrict flow around the eggs
resulting in an inadequate supply of oxygen.
Degradation of spawning habitat and abundance of competing fish species severely
limit brook trout natural reproduction. Therefore, brook trout populations in many ponds
are maintained by DEC's annual stocking program. Most waters (approximately 80
percent of potential trout ponds in wilderness areas), cannot be reclaimed due to technical
or logistical reasons. For instance, reclamation is precluded in ponds having extensive bog
and swamp areas which provide refugia for fishes during treatment. The need for suitable
barrier dam sites or natural waterfalls to prevent reinfestation is another constraint.
Managing trout ponds in the HPWC which cannot sustain adequate natural reproduction
serves to preserve populations of this native species and to provide opportunities for quality
wilderness fishing experiences (one akin to that which primeval explorers may have
Recently, acidic deposition has impacted the aquatic resources of the Adirondacks.
The ALSC surveyed 1,469 Adirondack waters, 24 percent of which had pH levels less than
5.0 (Kretser et al. 1989). Historic data and water chemistry analysis demonstrates that
many of those waters were historically circumneutral and able to support fishes. Although
less well studied, streams have also been impacted by acidification (Colquhoun 1984).
Avalanche Lake, Lake Colden, the Flowed Lands, and the Wallface Ponds have all become
too acidic to support fish life within the last three decades. Livingston Pond, Little
Ampersand Pond and Owl Pond have maintained adequate pH levels only through liming
efforts by the DEC. It is probable that smaller, high elevation lakes such as Lake Tear of
the Clouds and Lake Arnold are acidic. Recent chemical survey data suggests that the
Duck Hole and Marcy Dam Pond have declining pH and acid neutralizing capacity (ANC)
values. The insidious effects of acidic deposition on the aquatic ecosystems in wilderness
waters can be managed via addition of neutralizing agents to restore and/or maintain
natural water quality characteristics.

Extirpated Species
There are no known extirpated fish species that were indigenous to HPWC waters. SECTION III


By 1860, prior to the Civil War, New York had become a leading industrial state,
yet the High Peaks Region of the north central Adirondacks was virtually unknown to
outsiders. Few Europeans had explored its environs, and native Americans, most notably
the Algonquins had been occasional visitors. The high mountainous terrain and
inhospitable climate discouraged most early visitors.
Both the Colonial government and the state, after the American Revolution, made
large grants or patents of its so called "wild forest lands" to promote development. The
present day bounds of the HPWC lie in three of these patents: Totten and Crossfield's
(1770), Old Military Tract (1786), and Macomb's Great Purchase (1792). Speculators
purchased these tracts and marketed them for agriculture, mining, and timbering.
Although little mining was done in the High Peaks proper, an early iron ore
industry flourished in outlying communities. As early as 1809, an iron ore forge was
erected on the Chubb River near Lake Placid. The Adirondack Iron and Steel Co. was in
full operation at the Upper Works near Newcomb in 1826. One of its successors, McIntyre
Iron Company owned all of the southern High Peaks region, including Lake Colden and
Mount Marcy.
Closely associated with this "wild" region were the exploits of early guides such as
John Cheney (Upper Works), Harvey Holt and Orson Phelps (Keene Valley), Mitchell
Sabattis (Long Lake), and a host of others who introduced the public to the region. Orson
Phelps reputedly blazed the first trail to Mt Marcy in 1861. Phelps had been preceded by
Professor Ebenezer Emmons of the Geological Survey of New York who first recorded the
ascent of Mt. Marcy in 1837. Emmons named the summit after then Governor William
Marcy. He also named Seward, Dix, McIntyre, McMartin (now named Colden), and
As timber supplies dwindled in the more accessible portion of the northern
Adirondacks, timbermen soon looked to the vast forests of the High Peaks region. From
the lowland swamps up to the highest slopes, any tree that was commercially valuable and
accessible was harvested. Scot Pond (elevation 3,000 ft.) was used as a log holding pond
and flush dam to transport logs downstream. Near the 3,700 ft. contour on Wright Peak,
cut stumps and the remains of a tote road, attest to past logging (Ketchledge, 1967).
The High Peaks region is often referred to as "Colvin Country" in tribute to
Verplanck Colvin, Superintendent of the Adirondack Survey (1872-79), who initiated the
first detailed survey of the region. Colvin's notes, records, maps, and annual reports of his
surveys, defined the region and instilled a public awareness that in part, eventually led to
the creation of the Adirondack forest preserve in 1885. Many of his original survey
monuments can still be found today on High Peaks summits.
Tourism became a major Adirondack commercial enterprise by the 1890's and local
hotels and mountain resorts were popular throughout the country. Adirondack Lodge (later
renamed Adirondak Loj) opened its doors to the public in 1880. Henry Van Hoevenberg,
its proprietor, afforded his guests with over fifty miles of hiking trails near Heart Lake.
Similar accommodations were found in Keene-Keene Valley, Lake Placid, Long Lake, St.
Huberts, and Saranac Lake. The Cascade House at Cascade Lakes served stage coach
travelers enroute to Lake Placid. Much of the present day trail system is an outgrowth of
the early "hotel trails" which followed logging roads and/or footpaths to favored
destinations, usually a lake or a mountain summit.
Adirondack guides and their sports were impressed with the quality and abundance
of brook trout available in High Peaks lakes. Big game hunters were drawn to the area in
hopes of taking a white-tail deer or bear in a pristine setting. Even into the 1930's High
Peaks' lakes such as Lake Colden, Avalanche Lake and Livingston Pond produced
memorable angling opportunities for brook trout. Engels (1978) states:
"Nowhere but in the Canadian wild or the more remote waters of Maine could you
have found such squaretail trout. ...Trout of one to one and a half pounds were common;
we occasionally caught one of two to three, and Clint West, the state's resident ranger, had
taken them to four and a half." The availability of remote hike-in trout fishing and hunting
so close to the urban centers of the East Coast has been an enduring natural feature of the
To the west, the Adirondack Canoe Route has served as a historic waterway for
centuries. First used by native peoples, the route soon became a main travel route in the
central Adirondacks by the 1840's. Long Lake Village, at the southernmost edge of the
HPWC, was settled by 1830. Many of its village craftsmen contributed to the early
development of the Adirondack guideboat.
During the summer and fall of 1903, six hundred thousand acres of forest land
burned throughout the Adirondacks. (Suter, 1904). Piles of tinder dry logging slash, a 72
day drought, and unseasonably high winds contributed to the fire storms. Fires raged over
Cascade, Dix, Porter, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Big Slide, and onto the north slopes of Mt.
Marcy. South Meadows and the area, surrounding and including Adirondak Loj,
succumbed to flames. Keene, Keene Valley, and St. Huberts were threatened by similar
engulfing fires. Fall rains and moderating temperatures finally helped to extinguish the
fires. The scenario repeated itself in 1908 and 1909 when an additional 300,000 acres
burned Park wide. Prompted by these events, the State's forest fire detection and fire
fighting force was enlarged and updated. Fire towers were erected atop Ampersand
Mountain and Kempshall Mountain 1911 and on Mount Adams in 1912. Reform of
lumbering practices, such as enactment of the "top lopping law" to reduce logging slash,
also played a significant role in reducing the spread of fires.
Hurricanes and damaging storms have also had a pronounced effect on the High
Peaks. On November 25, 1950, the most destructive storm to ever hit New York State
whipped across the Adirondacks with devastating force. The High Peaks region was not
spared. Trees lay everywhere blown down by 50 mph winds. In the HPWC, the worst
blowdown occurred along the Cold River, the west slopes of Santanoni, Panther, and
Couchsachraga, northwest through the Sewards, and down along the Raquette River to
Axton. Many trails were clogged with fallen trees, and interior travel was impeded until a
final clean up was completed in 1955.
Following World War II, as Americans became more affluent and had more leisure
time for outdoor activities, recreational use of the Adirondack forest preserve, and in
particular, the High Peaks intensified and became the focus of public attention and concern.
This concern led to several legislative studies and commissions. The High Peaks were
often mentioned due to their valuable scenic and natural resources which attracted heavy
use. One such commission, the Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the
Adirondacks, recommended a classification system which incorporated wilderness
designation and protection.
Affirmed later by the Adirondack Park Agency Act and its subsequent Adirondack
Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP), the High Peaks region was legally designated
wilderness in 1972. The Adirondack Park Agency, in consultation with DEC, and with
public support, concluded that significant portions of the High Peaks region were in a
wilderness or near wilderness condition despite past human influences. Both agencies
agreed that a new management emphasis and direction was needed.
Since the 1960's the High Peaks and several other areas in the Adirondacks have
drawn the attention of environmentalists and scientists as the insidious effects of acid
precipitation have taken their toll on the aquatic and terrestrial biota of high elevation
ecosystems. Once famous trout fisheries in Lake Colden, Avalanche Lake, the Flowed
Lands, and Upper Wallface Pond diminished and disappeared as pH levels decreased. The
HPWC is a valuable natural setting for research by many disciplines on this national and
worldwide problem.

Archaeological-historic research in the HPWC has neither been extensive nor well
Native peoples were believed to have traveled through the unit, but no evidence of their
presence has been revealed.
Historic sites are few; the most notable include:
Adirondac (McIntyre) - Upper Works: headquarters of the Adirondac Iron
Works Co., 1826. Remnants of a blast furnace can still be seen situated on private
land bordering wilderness.
Buckley Clearing: former lumber camp site on Sanford-Marcy Trail via Twin
Brook, 1880's.
Camp #4 - Santanoni: early lumber camp site.
Colden Plaque - Lake Colden: commemorates the purchase of the summits of Mt.
Marcy, McIntyre, Seward, Indian Pass, Flowed Lands, Lake Colden, and
Avalanche via a 75,400-acre land purchase with 1916 Bond Act funds.
Henderson Monument - Calamity Pond: memorial to David Henderson,
proprietor of the Adirondac Iron Works, who was accidentally killed on the site,
Long Lake - Round Pond Canal: represents an attempt to join the Hudson and
Raquette River watersheds via a canal to facilitate log driving. Approximately 0.3
miles of waterway was constructed before the project was discontinued in 1846.
Mother Johnson's Boarding House - Raquette Falls: early hotel site at the carry
around Raquette Falls, 1860-1875. Marked by a plaque to Charles W. Bryan,
author of "The Raquette".
Mount Marcy Summit: plaque commemorating the centennial of the first ascent of
the summit by Professor Ebenezer Emmons and party, 1837-1937.
Noah Rondeau's Hermitage - Cold River: campsite of the "Hermit of Cold
River". Rondeau's cabin was removed to the Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain
Lake, New York, in 1957.
Ouluska Pass Brook: early lumber camp site, 1880's-1890's.
Scotts Clearing and Lumber Dam: early lumber camp site, flush dam, and
sluiceway, 1880's.
Shattuck Clearing: early lumber camp site and a former ranger station location.
Slant Rock - Johns Brook Valley: traditional camping spot, the huge rock forms a
natural shelter, used since the early 1860's.
South Meadows: former lumber dam site and early village site; some foundations
can still be found.
Wright Peak: plaque identifies the crash site of a U.S. Air Force B-47 bomber,
serves as a memorial to its four crewmen killed there in 1962.
Historic Camp Santanoni: is located just outside the HPWC boundary in the
Vanderwhacker Wild Forest, Town of Newcomb, Essex Co.
Montgomery Clearing - Moose Pond, Santanoni: subsistence farm circa 1840;
later lumber camp 1950's.

The High Peaks Wilderness Area has been an important part of the cultural heritage
of the State. The area has a pristine beauty due to its deep forests, abundant lakes, streams
and waterfalls, majestic mountains and the rich assortment of fish, wildlife and plant
communities that abound within its borders. Although intensive use of limited areas of the
High Peaks Wilderness has been a problem, the area in general, and especially specific
areas of the High Peaks today, continue to reflect a wilderness quality. This quality
provides the unique opportunity for visitors to better appreciate the delicate ecological
balance of life. Preservation of this wilderness was a major contribution to the
conservation movement of our country. The High Peaks have also provided a spiritual
uplift for many generations of New Yorkers and countless others by allowing its visitors to
experience tranquility and solitude in such a magnificent natural setting.
Writers, philosophers, painters and government officials have been inspired by the
Adirondacks and the High Peaks. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Grover Cleveland
took solace in the natural beauty of the area. Many writers have expounded on the
importance of our natural environment to meet some of our basic human needs. Important
Adirondack painters included Charles Cromwell Ingham, Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand,
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Samuel Colman, Alexander Helwig Wyant, and Winslow Homer,
most of whom were considered part of the Hudson River School of painters. This school
was the first truly American school of painting which lasted from approximately the mid to
late 1800's. Paintings of this school characteristically contained beautiful landscapes and
showed a great reverence for nature.
Seneca Ray Stoddard was a popular figure from this era for the hundreds of
landscape photographs he took to document the majestic beauty of the Adirondacks and the
High Peaks. Although paintings, lithographs and etchings were the most popular art forms
in the 1800's, advanced technology has given more prominence to photography and other
forms of media in more recent times as used by Elliot Porter, Albert Gates, Nathan Farb
and many others. Prominent artists, photographers and painters continue to be stimulated
by the uniqueness of the area. The lack of physical development on the landscape of the
HPWC is one of its most important attributes and continues to make it the unique place it is
today. This very lack of development is a magnetic force which attracts so many to the
area's beauty. (O'Neil, 1994)

The impact of the HPWC on local and regional economies can be measured in a
variety of ways including a review of the types of industries and jobs in the Adirondacks
that are associated with the HPWC and the impact of the Forest Preserve on land values.
Although exact dollar figures do not exist for all indicators of economic activity associated
with the HPWC, a general picture can be drawn.
Tourism is on the rise and is one of the most important industries in the
Adirondacks. Much of its success depends on the backdrop the HPWC provides for this
industry. There are numerous guiding services, motels, bed and breakfasts, country inns,
camps, clubs, gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores and equipment stores that depend on
the attraction of the HPWC to draw customers. Hikers, campers, fishermen, and hunters,
especially deer hunters, who use the HPWC spend a certain amount of money on services
and lodging facilities. However, since neither public use figures nor estimates of local
expenditures are available, an overall economic impact figure associated with users of the
HPWC cannot be precisely determined.
Although precise figures for the HPWC are not available, the economic importance
of angling to Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties which surround the unit, was
estimated during a statewide angler survey conducted in 1989 by the DEC (Connelly and
Brown, 1990). In Essex county, an estimated 56,460 anglers fished 535,940 days and
generated $11,544,680 in location expenditures. Franklin county figures were 36,860
anglers fishing 399,780 days who generated $7,037,370 in location expenditures. In
Hamilton county the figures were 54,380 anglers, 403,760 days, and $9,178,590 dollars.
The total location expenditures for the three county area containing the HPWC was $27.8
million. Although the fishery resource for these counties is by no means concentrated in
the High Peaks, the unit does attract anglers via its intrinsic resources and adds
significantly to the aesthetic appeal of the whole region.
Brook trout are the primary game fish species within the HPWC. Connelly et. al.
(1988) estimated that anglers spent approximately $48.10 per day fishing for coldwater
gamefish. Within DEC's Region 5, which includes the HPWC, 1.39 million days were
expended fishing brook trout. Angling for brook trout is obviously an important economic
activity in the Adirondacks.
The proximity of private land to the HPWC is often a selling point in real estate
sales and this, coupled with road access, land availability, proximity to multiple uses and
waterfront, has a beneficial impact on land values. Land adjacent to the HPWC in Keene,
Keene Valley, Heart Lake and Lake Placid command some of the highest prices in the
Adirondacks for these reasons. A study by Cornell University also suggests that the
proximity of land to the Forest Preserve can significantly increase the value of real estate
(Kay, 1985).
There are also other less tangible economic impacts provided by the HPWC. Due
to the absence of industry and associated pollution on these lands, there are no polluting
effects on downwind or downstream areas requiring costly mitigative measures. In fact,
the HPWC enhances the quality of the environment by filtering water and transported air
pollutants and by providing oxygen to the atmosphere.
It can also be pointed out that the HPWC has a beneficial economic impact on those
who derive creative inspiration from the High Peaks for writing, painting, photography,
and other kinds of occupations when they visit the High Peaks themselves or when they
derive beneficial psychological effects by just knowing the High Peaks Wilderness exists.
No dollar value can be placed on this impact. SECTION IV


A thorough understanding of wilderness use is needed before any wilderness
management options are considered. Not only do many wilderness values stem from a
wide range of wilderness uses, but so do most threats to wilderness, and, as a result, most
management problems (Hendee and others, 1990).

Although recreation is the most obvious use of wilderness, the APSLMP describes
with equal status a variety of wilderness purposes, specifically those that have ecological,
geological or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, and historical importance.
Commonly referred to as intrinsic uses, belonging to the essential nature of wilderness,
they include the following:
Indirect Use
Millions of people who never set foot in the HPWC, or for that matter, any
wilderness, derive personal satisfaction from knowing that such areas do exist (Van
Valkenburg, 1987). These people are referred to as indirect users. Their satisfaction can
come from television, books, photos, films, lectures, or by the accounts of others who have
been there. Indirect users also include those who see the High Peaks from afar or from the
periphery and take pleasure in the natural beauty they observe or know is there. And,
there are those who value keeping open the option to visit such areas if they choose to do
so or wish that their children may have the same opportunity in the future. Whether or not
they ever actually visit a wilderness, it is worth something to them to know they could
(Hass and others, 1986).
Scientific Use
One of the major values of the HPWC is its potential for scientific use and study.
The unit is one of the best and most extensive outdoor laboratories in the Adirondacks,
particularly for the study of biological sciences and ecology. It offers relatively natural,
unmodified environments, and freely operating natural processes spread out over a large
area. As New York State becomes more developed and modified by man, the contrast
between wilderness and non-wilderness will increase and the values afforded by a
wilderness laboratory such as this are greatly enhanced. For example, High Peaks
environments are frequently used to establish scientific benchmarks and baselines to judge
and evaluate the impacts of development outside wilderness. The study of any species, as
for example an insect pest, in its natural habitat can lead to more intelligent management of
that same species in a modified environment where there may be no natural controls
HPWC wild lands are necessary for the conservation of biological diversity. The
geographical position of the HPWC creates unusual variations in elevation, climate, soils,
vegetation, and aquatic conditions have created a varied and fascinating flora and fauna.
On a broad scale, the HPWC serves as a vast genetic reservoir to those species which are
or may become rare, endangered, or threatened with extinction. Many of these species are
sensitive to human disturbance and require large blocks of undeveloped wild land for all or
part of their life histories. Research has shown that most of the alpine vegetative
communities exhibit a low tolerance to human disturbance, and that boreal fish
communities consisting of one or a few species are highly susceptible to invasion by
nonindigenous fishes as a result of mans' activities. The HPWC can provide habitats for
these species, communities, and ecosystems. Some disturbance-sensitive species of
wildlife, such as the osprey, bald eagle, great blue heron, common loon, pine marten, and
Canada lynx require vast expanses of undisturbed forest (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Introductions of nonindigenous fish species to coldwater lakes, which historically
had fish communities consisting of only a few species such as brook trout or round
whitefish, have frequently lead to the displacement of the original, self-sustaining
population. The HPWC can serve as a refugia for these simple communities and thus, on a
larger scale, serves to maintain the diversity of natural communities in New York State.
Educational Use
The HPWC is used for educational purposes - as a site for field trips, study areas,
basic research, and as a source of instructional examples. Some educational uses, based on
long-term ecological processes, may be wilderness dependent, but for many topics, other
areas outside the wilderness that are less fragile could be used as a substitute for this type
of activity.
Many educational uses are more akin to recreational use when wilderness is used to
teach woodsmanship and survival skills. Whether this use is really dependent on the
HPWC as a backdrop has been questioned. (Young and DiGregoria, 1987). What does
seem to be needed is a large, roadless area as found in nearby wild forest areas. Some
courses teach wilderness values as well as low-impact use which are more appropriate.
Therapeutic and Personal Development
The HPWC environment is sometimes used too as a setting for therapeutic
programs designed to alleviate abnormal behavior or psychological problems. Mentally
disturbed people are taken in small groups on canoe trips and backpacking trips. Some
participants seem to benefit from isolation, close contact with staff, challenge, and group
support. This use may or may not be wholly wilderness dependent, but it does occur in the
HPWC on a small scale.
Other programs, directed toward personal development combining leadership,
education, self-discovery, and therapy are aimed at more healthy clients. Working in a
wilderness setting, these programs develop leadership skills, personal confidence, social
interaction, and instill a respect for natural resources. It is difficult to say whether such
programs really depend on the HPWC or just need large roadless areas. Some uses have
religious and spiritual purposes that draw on remote wilderness settings.
Clean Air and Water
The steady build-up of green house gases in the atmosphere and their resultant
effects on global warming are a worldwide, national and state environmental issue. In the
process of seeking ways to slow the build-up of "greenhouse gases," particularly carbon
dioxide, HPWC trees and forests play an important role in enhancing New York's air
quality. Trees through photosynthesis, convert carbon dioxide into sugars, cellulose, and
oxygen. They stabilize temperatures and reduce atmospheric pollution (Weiner, 1975).
When one considers the expanse of the HPWC forest (over 226,000 acres in one block), in
conjunction with the entire Forest Preserve, this indirect use is gaining greater recognition
and importance.
The value of the HPWC for watershed protection is often overlooked. One of the
original purposes for creating the Adirondack forest preserve, was the protection of
watersheds. The early concerns that led to the Forest Preserve centered around the
dependence of the citizens, industry and commerce of the State on the tremendous water
resources of the Adirondacks and Catskills and the need for forest cover to protect both the
quantity and quality of those waters (VanValkenburg, 1985). Wilderness designation offers
long-term protection of these waters at a relatively low cost to taxpayers. The DEC is
committed to maintain State water resources in a high quality condition for human
consumption, fish and wildlife needs, and recreational use. Wilderness watersheds fulfill
an important part of this commitment.

The HPWC is often a person's first, and sometimes only, encounter with
Adirondack wilderness. It has historically attracted greater concentrations of visitors than
any other Adirondack wilderness area. For these reasons, it is important for DEC
managers to fully understand HPWC use so that visitors can be ensured a positive
wilderness experience with the least amount of impact on the environment. These two
dimensions pose many management challenges and opportunity necessary to achieve the
proper balance between wilderness protection and permitted uses as required by the
Of the 16 designated wilderness areas in the Adirondack Park, none is perhaps
better known than the High Peaks Wilderness. Its recognition is world wide. As a result,
the HPWC receives more visitors than any other wilderness in New York State and ranks
as one of the most popular in the northeast. The reasons for such a drawing power are
many. A location near dense population centers, coupled with a reputation as an easily
accessible, highly attractive natural area, offering unique experiences found nowhere else
in New York State, invites heavy use. Personalities and past associations contribute to its
recognition. Publicity in magazines, books, films, photos, etc., add to its popularity.
Wallace describes this effect in Ecotourism - A Guide for Planners and Managers (1993)
and points out "Governmental agencies have little input or control over national advertising
images about their wildlands that form visitor expectations."
Many parts of the wilderness, especially the eastern High Peaks, have areas of
concentrated use where impacts on soil, water, vegetation, and fauna have resulted in
unnatural changes to the environment. These effects can also alter the quality of the visitor
The APSLMP requires an assessment of the recreational carrying capacity of this
unit, with particular attention given to portions of the wilderness subject to overuse.
Recreational carrying capacity can mean many things, but basically it is a term used to
describe how much use an area can sustain within limits of acceptable change before
managerial controls are necessary to offset and mitigate adverse impacts. To make this
assessment, we need to know more about the dimensions of recreational use as it affects
the HPWC. This topic is discussed in detail in SECTION VII: item D. Carrying Capacity
Concepts, page 125.

Estimating Number of Users - Total Use
Wilderness recreational use in general is difficult to measure. The HPWC has 20
developed trailheads and numerous access points, especially along the many highways
forming its borders. Use is dispersed over such a wide area, it is nearly impossible to
make any sort of head count, as is done in auto-access campgrounds. Even if this were
possible, it would be prohibitively expensive to observe all entry points. Therefore, a
combination of techniques are employed to estimate HPWC use. These include: sample
observations, electronic counters, estimates based on trail registers and camping permits,
parking lot counts, staff impressions, field diaries, inventory and analysis of site
conditions, and sometimes, just educated guessing. Accuracy varies from good to very
poor across the unit; some locations yield better use data than others. But, there is a clear
trend towards increased use. Data from the following table shows HPWC use has steadily
increased over the past 13 years.

1995 131,110
1994 123,092
1993 114,067
1992 109,412
1991 100,751
1990 93,233
1989 89,647
1988 83,983
1987 84,774
1986 78,779
1985 67,354
1984 63,405
1983 57,016
*Source - Trailhead Registrations

Prior to 1983, visitation data is unreliable and not always comparable
between years. Trailhead registers, the primary data source, were added, removed or
changed locations frequently and reporting methods varied. Since 1983, register locations
have remained fixed and reporting methods have been standardized. DEC staff estimated
total visitor use exceeded 140,000 visitors in 1995, but how much higher no one knows for
sure until better data collection methods are developed. Despite its limitations, DEC
managers feel the data is satisfactory enough for management planning purposes, but
always to be used with caution. As Hendee and others (1990) point out in their classic
textbook Wilderness Management "Visitor use data need not be perfect to be useful, and
any improvement only adds to the value of the information". However, by themselves,
total wilderness use figures indicate little about the pressures sustained by the resource nor
the experiences of visitors. Other factors must be considered.

Distribution of Use
Intrawilderness use across the HPWC is largely influenced by three factors: location
and concentration of natural attractions, degree of access and development, and amount of
usable terrain suitable for recreation, especially hiking and camping. Most visitors are
attracted to the eastern High Peaks because of easy access and its concentration of high
mountains and lakes offering unique alpine settings and experiences. Use distribution is
further affected by trail and entry point densities. Some areas, like the eastern High Peaks
region are well supplied with extensive trail networks while the western High Peaks have a
sparse trail system with few entry points. Another factor often overlooked is usable
terrain. This relates to the amount of land available in the HPWC for distributing
recreational use which is severely limited by steepness of slope, rock, shallow and wet
soils, sensitive vegetation, and the area occupied by lakes, streams, and wetlands. It is not
surprising most visitors enter the HPWC through only a few trailheads. About 72 percent
of all visitors enter the unit through just five of the unit's twenty developed trailheads:
Adirondak Loj, Johns Brook, Cascade, South Meadows, and Ampersand. Distribution and
amount of visitor use is measured and analyzed by trailhead registration at selected entry
points (see following table).

Visitor Use By Trailhead


Adirondak Loj (#1)

Adirondak Loj (#2)

Indian Pass

South Meadows & Klondike

Johns Brook


AMR - High Peaks

Long Lake Boat Launch

Northville-Placid Trail - Long Lake

Northville-Placid Trail - Averyville

Santanoni Preserve (Moose Pond)

Elk Lake - High Peaks

Upper Works

East River



Stony Creek

Seward (Blueberry)


<Trail Use Pattern Chart here> The table portrays the minimum number of visitors entering through developed
trailheads that can be reasonably documented. The problem is that not everyone registers.
There is no regulation requiring registration. Registration is voluntary; it's up to the visitor
to register or not. Use is consistently understated. Forest rangers have found young adults,
large groups, sportsmen and those visitors making short trips tend to register less (Fish, 1994).
Where multiple access points exist, register location also plays an important role in the
frequency of registrations.
Compliance rates vary from trailhead to trailhead. For example, registration checks
at Ampersand Mountain, a popular day-use trail, indicate a 50 percent rate of registration,
whereas at Adirondak Loj, 96 percent of all visitors registered. It appears registration rates
drop significantly in winter, especially for day-users. Register location may be a significant
factor. For example, a register location for bare ground visitors may not be suitable for winter
visitors when approaching on skis or snowshoes. Sportsmen, especially hunters, seldom
access the HPWC via trails with registers or infrequently sign in if they do.

Group Size
People come in all types of groups -- families, friends, groups sponsored by various
organizations -- and a few travel alone. Party sizes are generally small. Approximately 75
percent of all registered groups had between two and six persons. Groups of two to three
persons are the most common party size. Large groups (ten or more) account for about 15
percent of total day and overnight use and have an average party size of 12. However, up to
300 persons have been documented on easy access trails like Ampersand and Cascade. While
large groups do not represent a significant proportion of total use, they can create substantial
adverse impact. For example, large day use groups have actually displaced smaller groups
from trails and create trailhead parking problems (Middleton, 1993).
Research in the HPWC and in Federal wilderness areas indicates that large parties add
greatly to overuse problems. Large groups of 10 or more persons visit the HPWC
predominately in summer and fall. Even though large groups represent only a small
proportion of total use, they do have a disproportionate impact on natural resources and on the
experiences of other visitors (Cole and others, 1987). Many groups are composed of teens
from camps, church organizations, schools, scouts, etc. A large portion of fall use in
September and early in October is dominated by college groups who use the area for student
orientation programs or for outing purposes. On some weekends, 30-40 of these groups may
be present in the unit at one time for day and overnight use. Often novices, these groups visit
the HPWC to learn outdoor skills, develop personal growth, or seek adventure. A study by
Young and DiGregoria (1987), entitled Patterns and Characteristics of Large Group Use in the
HPWC, suggests that many of these groups may not be wilderness dependent. That is, they
do not require a remote-designated wilderness to accomplish their objectives of teaching
outdoor skills. While many groups were cognizant of overuse problems in the HPWC, they
were unfamiliar with other lesser-used wilderness or wild forest areas.
Many wilderness managers believe that large groups may also cause excessive tent site
wear and tear, soil compaction, congestion on trails, generally a higher noise level, and a
greater visual impact (Lime 1984, Cole and others 1987).
During 1995, 706 group camping permits were issued to groups of 10 or more
individuals. Groups of 10 or more are required by regulation (Title 6 NYCRR, Part 100.4)
to obtain a group camping permit regardless of length of stay. The permits totaled 7,766
persons. Permits are issued by forest rangers.

Group Camping Permits
Permit Location # of Permits Percent
Marcy Dam 160 23
South Meadows 32 5
Johns Brook 41 6
Avalanche Camps & Marcy Brook 29 4
Long Lake 112 16
Other (14 locations) 332 47
TOTAL 706 100

Types of Activities
The HPWC offers many diverse, low-intensity land and water activities. Visitors take
all kinds of hikes -- short day hikes, long trips, and everything in between. Some ride horses,
others walk or ski. They float rivers with boats and canoes. HPWC trips are seldom single-purpose excursions; most visitors participate in two or more activities, including but not
limited to, hiking, camping, canoeing, skiing, fishing, hunting, trapping, horseback riding,
mountaineering, photography, and nature study. Those activities showing marked increases
include cross-country and telemark skiing, rock climbing, winter camping and mountaineering,
canoeing, and big game hunting.

Mode of Interior Travel
A basic tenet of wilderness philosophy requires visitors to rely solely on muscle power
by non-mechanical means as a means of transportation. Motorized use is prohibited. In doing
this, the overall carrying capacity of the unit is increased and certain protection is afforded
biological and physical resources, and a basic sense of remoteness is ensured (Fege and others,
1988). The most common method of travel is hiking. Approximately 88 percent of all visitors
travel by foot (hike), ten percent canoe, one percent or less travel by horse and the remainder
travel by other means.
The "other" category includes mountain bicycles which are permitted on the
Ampersand and South Meadows Roads currently open to motor vehicles. Otherwise, their use
is prohibited in the interior (APSLMP, 1987, DEC regulation 1994). "Other" also includes
float plane use of Corner Pond, a boundary between State and private lands at the south end
of the unit. It is one of the few places in the Adirondack Park where a wilderness boundary
can be legally accessed by aircraft (Coon, 1987).

Periods of Use
Periods of use are extremely weather dependent. Weather is everything! Most
recreational use occurs during the ice-free season -- May through October. However, fall and
winter use is more common than a decade ago and shows signs of significant increases.
The busiest periods are Memorial Day, July 1 (Canada Day), July 4th, the last two
weeks of July, the first three weeks of August, Labor Day, and Columbus/Canadian
Thanksgiving Day. Use is heaviest on weekends and usually less mid-week (Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Thursdays). In 1995 weekday and weekend peaking, i.e. full parking and
camping areas, occurred 18 weekends and 12 mid-week periods in the more accessible portions
of the wilderness due to exceptional warm and sunny weather. June and early July use is often
lower due to heavy insect activity. Fishermen frequent the trout ponds in the HPWC in the
spring and again in the fall. Hunters make use of the area in the late fall. Sportsmen, in
general, utilize the HPWC in the traditional "off-season" when hiking and camping is less.

Length of Stay
The typical HPWC visit is relatively short. Day users are the overwhelming majority.
The average length of stay for campers is two days. Long visits of one week or more are few
except during the hunting seasons. Day use fishing trips are common for waters within five
miles of access roads. Day users are the most frequent visitors to Algonquin, Ampersand,
Cascade, Johns Brook and Marcy.

Residence of Visitors
Trailhead records in 1995 indicate the majority of visitors are New York State residents
(54 percent). Canadian visitors represent 17 percent, with almost 28 percent of other visitors
coming from out of state. A small minority (less than 1 percent) come from foreign countries
other than Canada. These percentages compare closely to a 1992 HPWC hiker survey by
Albergra (1993) in the eastern High Peaks. Each year more visitors come greater distances
to the HPWC -- from the Albany-Capital District, Montreal, New York City, and especially
from neighboring states and provinces (Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, Ontario and Quebec) -- so that the percentage of non-local visitors is increasing. <Monthly Use Chart goes here>
Characteristics of Users - A General Description
Few studies have been conducted to determine the characteristics of HPWC users.
In the past DEC managers have had to rely on previous studies by Snowden (1976) of winter
HPWC users, Bomba (1983) in the Dix, Giant, and Pharaoh Wildernesses, and Wood (1987)
in the St. Regis Canoe Area. Such assessments are costly undertakings and have seldom
been conducted in the HPWC.
Recent review of published literature of wilderness users across the United States,
including eastern Federal wilderness areas, characterize users as young adults, male,
moderately to well educated, and predominantly in professional and technical occupations
(Hendee, 1990). This analysis seems to conform well to HPWC users and is supported in
part by the works of Albergra (1993) and Dawson (1994) in the Adirondacks.
Current research shows most HPWC visitors are young, generally less than age 40,
but not to the exclusion of older visitors. In fact, all age groups are represented. Visitors
tend to be approximately 60% male and 40% female with a growing trend to more female
visitors. They are from nearby population centers, slightly more likely from urban areas.
Albergra (1993) found most visitors to the HPWC reside less than one full days drive (12
hours) from the unit. Income levels fall within the Federal norm between $15,000 and
$50,000 per year for wilderness users from varied educational backgrounds.

Day Use
Day-use activities are generally preferred to overnight stays. Day hiking, picnicking
and sightseeing are the most popular activities. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
dominate the winter months. Day-use demand is almost entirely oriented to high
mountaintops or to water, on routes requiring less than a day's travel. This has created
heavy user concentrations on Algonquin, Ampersand, Cascade, Mount Marcy, Avalanche
Lake, Lake Colden, Marcy Dam and the entire length of the Johns Brook Valley. Data on
the role of day-users is sketchy, at best, as visitor use surveys and other methods of
gathering user data have not been employed to date. Available data indicates that the
preponderance of recreation activity within the HPWC will continue to be day-use oriented.

Use of Trailess Peaks (The peaks without maintained trails)
Trailless peaks are those mountain summits without marked or maintained trails. The
term "trailless" is a misnomer because most of the summits have well-worn footpaths or
"herd paths". Records supplied by the Adirondack 46'ers list hiker use for 1992 (the most
current year available) as follows:



















Table Top


*Indicates incomplete records - data missing.

Canoe Use
Canoe use significantly impacts the western boundary of the HPWC along Long Lake
and the Raquette River. Use is heavy due to the popularity of the Adirondack Canoe Route
(Old Forge to Saranac Lake).
Generally, canoeing along the unit's western boundary is a group activity. Organized
groups account for over 60 percent of total canoe use. The remaining use is by family
groups, friends, or lone travelers. Parties of 12 persons, six canoes, are common. The
average length of stay is four nights. Most visitors (70 percent) are under 30 years of age.
Over 50 percent of all visitors own their own canoes while the remainder rented canoes from
local vendors or borrowed them from friends. Trail registers at Raquette Falls and the Long
Lake Boat Launch site do little to quantify total use because of the multiplicity of access
points along the waterway. However, estimates of boat and canoe use along Long Lake are
calculated at 10,000 visitors, 5,000 of which are canoeists who pass through the Raquette
Falls portage annually.
Canoes or inflatable rafts are often portaged into inland waters of the unit by
sportsmen. Small watercraft are also commonly utilized on the roadside Upper and Lower
Cascade Lakes. Statistics are not available for canoe use on inland waters of the unit, but
this a traditional wilderness activity with broad aesthetic appeal. Typically, party size for
inland canoe use by fishermen consists of one or two people who sometimes camp overnight
on destination waters, especially if the destination is more than about five miles from the
nearest road making day trips impossible.

Horse Use
Horse camping and trail riding are traditional uses of the western High Peaks. Early
roads provide the basis for the present trail system. The number of horse users is not
precisely known; however, our best estimates place the number at less than 500 visitors
annually. Although this number seems insignificant in terms of total visitor use, resource
impacts caused by horse use are proportionately high when compared to other recreation
About 60 percent of horse use is by day users (trail riders), with the remainder
camping with their horses. The average length of stay for campers is usually two or three
days dependent upon the amount of grain and/or hay transported, since natural forage is
limited. Longer stays of a week or longer are more common during the fall hunting seasons.
The most common party size is between 4 and 6 people. Much use can be attributed to guide
and outfitter use who offer both trail rides and overnight camping. Favored destinations
include Calkins Creek, Cold River, Moose Pond, and Raquette Falls.

Guide and Outfitter Use
In addition to general public use, there is commercial recreation use in the HPWC.
Although visitor use generated by guides and outfitters is relatively minor, it supports a
sizeable and growing industry. Since many guided activities are linked to fishing and
hunting, they tend (like other sportsmen) to utilize the HPWC during the "off season" for
hiking and camping. Outfitter and guides add to, as well as facilitate, the wilderness
experience of many visitors. Their use usually promotes a specialized activity satisfying
special travel requirements and equipment. Generally, their activities depend on large blocks
of roadless land such as the HPWC. For example, those outfitters offering specialized
transportation (horses, canoes, rafts, etc.) and a sense of remoteness in their activities would
be essentially eliminated by an easy access, well-roaded area.
Other types of outfitters rely solely on equipment sale and rentals outside the unit.
Almost every community near the HPWC supports this type of business dependent upon the
wild character of adjoining Forest Preserve lands.

Winter Use
Winter travel offers an entirely different wilderness experience -- somewhat greater
solitude, a pristine white scenery, the deep quiet of snow-covered landscape, and excellent
cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Winter use has almost doubled in the past ten years
and continues to increase. It now attracts 10,000 visitors or more annually. Most winter
visitors are day-users; however, more and more people are winter camping. Occupancy
rates in leantos can be quite high, especially at Lake Colden and Marcy Dam. This rapid
rise in winter use presents many challenges. Law enforcement, information and education
efforts, and maintenance must change with the season.
Lower County Line Pond, Mud Pond, Round Pond, and Pickerel Pond are nontrout
waters which contain northern pike or smallmouth bass and , therefore, remain open to
angling during the late fall. Ice fishing is permitted on Lower County Line Pond, Middle
County Line Pond, Pickerel Pond and Mud Pond.

Visitor Perceptions of Use
One objective of wilderness management is to offer a user experience that is natural
and primitive (APSLMP, 1987). The amount of enjoyment is purely a personal matter for
the individual user to decide, based on perceptions of the wilderness visit. Visitor
perceptions of HPWC use are very complex and difficult to assess. They tend to be highly
subjective, impressionistic, and always debatable, much like everyone's personal definition
of wilderness (Papero, 1994). Large differences of opinion exist.
We are just beginning to understand how HPWC visitors perceive natural conditions
and measure the effects of meeting others in remote locations. We have little information
on how visitors perceive and react to the wilderness behavior of others. Some insight may
be gained by a review of the following reports: Stankey (1971), Lime (1975), and Lucas
(1980) in federal wilderness areas, Wood (1987) in the St. Regis Canoe Area, and Snowden
(1976), Young and DiGregoria (1987), Albergra (1993) in the HPWC, and Holmes (1990)
and Dawson (1994) in the Adirondacks. Their work is comprehensive, relevant, and the
user groups studied, are comparable to those presently encountered in the HPWC. The
researchers found standards across wilderness areas are remarkably similar (Manning, 1994).
Stankey found solitude to be a desirable and important facet of the wilderness experience in
72 percent of all visitors surveyed. This figure may be lower in the HPWC because of the
lower expectation of solitude resulting from traditionally high use levels. The size of parties
encountered has also been found to affect user satisfaction. Both Stankey and Lime found
that users preferred to encounter several small parties rather than one large party. It was
determined visitor tolerances were greatest on the wilderness periphery as opposed to interior
locations. This probably does not mean that visitors enjoy meeting others on the first few
trails or mountaintops, but they can at least accept it for a while. As visitors penetrate the
interior, expectations of solitude rise and they become more sensitive to encounters. Wood
(1987) found this to be true of wilderness canoeists as well.
The location of campsites stood out as an important element in user perception of
capacity and crowding. In most of the reported studies, between 70 - 80 percent of all
visitors surveyed indicated camping near several other parties would bother them to some
extent. About half of those visitors surveyed indicated campsites should be out of sight and
sound of each other. This same suggestion is reflected in APSLMP guidelines for campsite
separation distances.
Although wilderness users were not found to clearly favor or oppose entry controls,
Stankey, Lucas and Young and DiGregoria found fairly strong agreement that controls were
preferable to overuse. Users indicated a strong desire to maintain the natural environment
by favoring a group size limit and to redistribute use by promoting a designated campsite
program in heavily used areas. These concepts were supported by the Citizens' Advisory
Committee (CAC) in 1990. Group size limits are also found in Holmes (1990).
Snowden (1976), Albergra (1993) and Dawson (1994) reported high levels of visitor
satisfaction even though many visitors reported negative resource and social aspects of their
trip. Collectively, the research shows that requirements of wilderness users and their
personal standards of acceptable wilderness conditions vary considerably, suggesting a
potential need to manage different areas within the HPWC for different user groups and
experiences providing each area is managed to meet or exceed APSLMP minimum
wilderness standards and guidelines.

Wildlife Use
The opportunity to encounter animals in the wild adds a dimension of excitement to
a wilderness experience. Visitors to the HPWC enjoy wildlife from a number of
perspectives, including observation and photography as well as hunting and trapping.
A great variety of wildlife may be observed near old meadows, beaver flows and
other wetlands, lakes, and streams. The peaks above timberline make good observation
points for a variety of birds particularly raptors.
According to reports by forest rangers, members of the Audubon Society frequently
visit the wetlands near Round Pond and along the Chubb River to observe and photograph
birds. Of 519 respondents to a 1982 High Peaks Wilderness Questionnaire, developed by
the Bureau of Wildlife, 179 (34 percent) said that they had engaged in wildlife observation
or photography while visiting the unit. Thirty-one (6 percent) said that they had entered the
unit with the specific intention of watching or photographing birds. The questionnaire was
administered mostly in the eastern zone of the unit. The survey has not been updated.
A number of mammals and birds which occupy the HPWC may be hunted or trapped
during seasons set annually by DEC. The two big game species which may be hunted in the
unit are the white-tailed deer and the black bear. Both may be taken during archery,
muzzleloading and regular seasons. In addition, there is an early season for black bear.
Several small game species may be hunted in the unit: waterfowl, woodcock, snipe,
rail, crow, ruffed grouse, coyote, bobcat, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, weasel, skunk, varying
hare, and gray squirrel. Coyote, bobcat, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, weasel and skunk may
also be trapped. In addition, beaver, otter, fisher, marten, muskrat and mink may be
Information on deer and bear harvest is collected by town, county and also by Deer
Management Unit (DMU). Harvest figures are presented in Appendix Tables 20 and 21.
No survey to determine the number of hunters entering the HPWC has been taken.
Past studies by DEC indicate that few sportsmen stop at trailhead registers. However, it can
be assumed that the HPWC in general is attractive to those hunters and trappers desiring
solitude because of its generally rough terrain, and high ratio of acres of land to miles of
road (2,240:1), in spite of relatively low densities of wildlife populations. Some areas of the
unit do sustain significant hunting activity.
Hunting pressure for big game originates principally from points around the
perimeter of the unit, such as St. Huberts, Keene Valley, Averyville, along Route 3, and
along the Ampersand Lake road. The area around Newcomb Lake and Moose Pond, South
Meadows, and the eastern shore of Long Lake are popular camping places for hunting
parties. Some hunters fly in to Corner Pond and set up camp nearby.
Although access is more difficult, hunting pressure is significant in the Calkins
Creek, Moose Creek, and Cold River drainages. Hunters who work interior reaches of the
unit either camp in the interior or gain access from adjacent private lands where they have
leased hunting rights.
The popularity of the special hunting season for muzzleloading firearms, first opened
in the 1977-78 season, has been on the increase throughout the Adirondacks. A legislative
change in 1991 allowed successful muzzleloader hunters to purchase a second tag valid for
an antlered buck during the regular season only. This legislation has significantly increased
interest in muzzleloader hunting, although use of portions of the HPWC remains relatively
The Bureau of Wildlife monitors the populations of game species partly by compiling
and analyzing harvest statistics, thereby quantifying the effects of consumptive wildlife use.
In addition to deer and bear harvest statistics, information on the harvest of small game and
furbearers is compiled by town, county, and Wildlife Management Unit (WMU). The
HPWC is totally within DMU 22 and WMU 24. Harvest statistics for the towns of Long
Lake and North Hudson, since they only contain small sections of the unit, have not been
included in this plan.
The HPWC, most of which can be considered deer range, comprises slightly less than
half of the total area of deer range contained in the four towns in which the bulk of the unit
is situated.
Since the four towns contain a total of 720 square miles of deer range, the densities
of deer harvest for each of the five years can be calculated and are found to range from 0.43
to 0.54 deer per square mile. Although it is not known how the deer harvest is distributed
within the towns, it can be assumed that, because of the unit's heavily forested condition and
relative inaccessibility to hunters, fewer deer per square mile are harvested within the
HPWC than in surrounding areas. The narrow range of variation in annual harvest densities,
along with the recognition that regulations allowing the taking of bucks only have little
impact on the reproduction capacity of a deer population, lead to the conclusion that the
populations of the four towns, and within them the HPWC, are capable of withstanding
current and anticipated levels of consumptive use.
An analysis of black bear harvest figures for the four HPWC towns (Appendix Table
20), coupled with a study of the age composition of harvested bears, has indicated that
hunting within the towns has had little impact on the reproductive capacity of the bear
population. Although it is not known how the bear harvest is distributed within the towns,
it can be assumed that, because of the relative inaccessibility of the interior of the HPWC,
fewer bear per square mile are harvested within the unit than in surrounding areas. Under
existing regulations, the unit's bear population is capable of withstanding current and
anticipated levels of consumptive use.
The Bureau of Wildlife monitors furbearer harvests by requiring trappers to tag the
pelts of beaver, bobcat, coyote, fisher, marten, and otter. Harvest figures by town are
shown in Appendix Table 22.
Beaver, fisher, and marten can be susceptible to overharvest to a degree directly
related to market demand and ease of access. Harvest regulations are changed when
necessary to protect furbearer populations.
The coyote, varying hare, and ruffed grouse are widely distributed and fairly
abundant throughout the Adirondack environment. Hunting and/or trapping pressure on
these species in the HPWC is relatively light. Under current regulations, these species
undoubtedly are capable of withstanding any amount of hunting and/or trapping pressure
likely to be brought to bear within the unit.
Despite the lack of wildlife information specific to the HPWC, no need has been
identified to obtain such information for widely distributed species. It is more practical to
study and manage populations over broader areas defined by ecological characteristics that
extend beyond Forest Preserve Units boundaries.

In general, information about the numbers of anglers who visit the waters of the
HPWC is not available. One survey which does provide concrete information about the use
of HPWC waters by anglers is the 1982 "High Peaks Wilderness Questionnaire". Although
the questionnaire was not designed specifically for the purpose of gathering information
about fishing and was administered only in the eastern part of the unit, it does give some idea
of the proportion of visitors to the unit who fish and of kinds of fishing experiences which
they seek.
Of 487 respondents, 63 (13 percent) said that they had fished during their trip. Of
these, 43 fished ponds, four fished streams, and 15 fished both ponds and streams (one did
not respond). Forty-eight of the 63 sought brook trout, one sought warmwater fish, and 13
had no preference. Eight said that they had fished Livingston Pond and 27 reported fishing
Avalanche Lake. It should be noted that, since the date of the survey, Avalanche Lake has
become too acidic to support fish life.
The precise extent to which anglers use the waters of the western part of the HPWC
is unknown. However, several ponded waters containing salmonids, such as the Duck Hole,
Little Ampersand Pond, Moose Pond, Newcomb Lake and Big Pine Pond are known to be
popular with anglers.
Several of the coldwater streams in the unit contain brook trout and are visited by
anglers. The Cold River, Calkins Creek, the Chubb River, and South Meadow Brook
sustain moderate fishing pressure. The use of streams located further into the interior of the
unit is probably light.
The relative seasonal intensity of the use of HPWC ponds by anglers can be
predicted. After the trout season opens on April 1, fishing pressure on ponded trout waters
typically peaks in intensity in May when trout can still be found near the surface of a pond.
Fishing activity declines from late spring throughout the summer when the formation of a
thermocline draws trout to deeper water. The decline of fishing activity which occurs as the
summer progresses coincides with an increase in pond visitation by hikers and campers.
Angling on brook trout ponds ceases altogether after the trout season closes on September
30. Lower County Line Pond, Mud Pond, and Pickerel Pond are nontrout waters which
contain northern pike and, therefore, could sustain angling pressure during the fall and
winter months.
Although a number of the ponded waters of the HPWC receive large numbers of
visitors during the spring and summer months, it is not known what proportion of those
visitors are anglers. Nevertheless, it is believed that many of the most heavily used
overnight facilities located near ponds and streams, such as Marcy Dam, Lake Colden,
Flowed Lands, the east shore of Long Lake, Feldspar Brook, and Marcy Brook are primarily
occupied by hikers.
DEC angling regulations are designed to preserve fish populations by preventing
overharvest. In addition to angling regulations, the relative remoteness of ponds from roads
serves to greatly limit use.
Round whitefish populations are protected under Section 11-0535 of the
Environmental Conservation Law. Taking, importation, transportation, possession or sale
of this species is prohibited except under license or permit from the DEC. Signs posted on
the Cascade Lakes warn anglers of the presence of this endangered species. Round whitefish
are not commonly caught by angling due to their small size (8-10 inches), preference for
living in deep water , and habit of feeding on small, bottom-dwelling invertebrate species.
The decline of this species in most Adirondack lakes has been linked to invasion of
nonindigenous and native-but-widely-introduced fishes and habitat degradation (George
1980). The vulnerability of round whitefish to predation and competition will require special
measures to restore this distinctive species.
Under existing regulations, trout populations are capable of withstanding current and
anticipated levels of angler use. Decades of experience on Adirondack trout ponds have
shown that the invasion of competing species is much more detrimental to trout abundance,
size, and natural reproduction than is angling. Certain very heavily fished ponds provide
insights in this regard.
Black Pond (P256 SLC) on publicly accessible Paul Smith's College property in
Franklin County is a case in point. Black Pond sustained a high quality brook trout fishery
in terms of numbers and size of fish for many years. This occurred despite extremely heavy
fishing pressure and high trout harvest rates. The fishery was sustained totally by natural
reproduction after reclamation in the 1970's.
Black Pond was, and still is, governed by special regulations (five fish per day,
artificial lures only). Even with these departures from the standard regulations (ten fish per
day, use of fish for bait prohibited) substantial harvest of trout occurred. Shortly before
1985 competing fishes became reestablished in Black Pond. Trout numbers and sizes
declined rapidly and the popularity of the fishery followed suit. Natural reproduction of
brook trout no longer occurs. Now the predominate species are the nonnative yellow perch
and golden shiner.
In certain instances, overfishing, or more accurately, overharvest, may indeed
contribute to a reduction in the numbers of large trout. However, brook trout reach sexual
maturity at very small sizes (smaller that what most anglers consider "keeping" size).
Consequently, we are not aware of the existence of any examples of waters in which
regulated harvest has led to reproductive failure. If necessary, DEC fisheries staff have the
regulatory authority to enact more restrictive harvest regulations.
Because angler use of the streams in the HPWC is generally light, the brook trout
populations which they support can sustain anticipated harvest levels without impact to their
capacity to maintain themselves naturally. Existing regulations are adequate to protect the
stream resource, as they are for the warmwater species found in several HPWC lakes.
Acid precipitation has rendered a number of lakes in the HPWC incapable of
supporting fish life and is imperiling populations in several other waters. Altering fishing
regulations in such waters will not forestall the demise of the fish community.

At the time the HPWC was created in 1972, DEC inherited a huge infrastructure of
man-made facilities, many oriented toward user convenience. The APSLMP acknowledges
the extent of facility development and calls for rigorous management guidelines to enhance
restore and protect wilderness resources in spite of those man-made facilities. The present
inventory includes the following:

HPWC Facilities Summary

Trails (miles) 303
Remote Campsites (tent sites) 318
Leantos 72
Pit Privies 107
Dams 4
Bridges 49
Road Barriers and Gates 11
Signs 300
Trailheads 20
Interior Outposts 4

* A complete listing of facilities is found in the Appendices.

Aside from preservation mandates of the constitutional amendment of 1894, early
Forest Preserve managers were directed (with little guidance) to build a political constituency
for the Forest Preserve by promoting it as a vast recreation area. If managers perceived the
public wanted some facility or a particular use, they responded by building facilities to
accommodate expected demand as well as to protect the resource.
As a consequence, foot trails were built as well to many remote locations, truck trails
were constructed to provide easy and direct access for fighting forest fires (which usually
never happened near where the fire truck trails were built, dams were constructed to create
artificial lakes, bridges were built to keep hikers feet dry and high density campsites were
developed at interior locations. Interior caretaker cabins were needed to handle ever-increasing numbers of visitors using new back country facilities (VanValkenburg 1987).
This facility and convenience orientation continued well into the mid-1960's. Thus,
managers may have inadvertently aggravated undesirable impacts by responding to every
increase in use with more and more facilities. This in turn attracted greater numbers of
people particularly those seeking such amenities. All of the above was contrary to the belief
that the Forest Preserve, and especially wilderness, was to evolve and be shaped by natural
processes "...without significant improvements" (APSLMP, 1987).
This issue is identified in the APSLMP and is addressed in its basic wilderness
guidelines which state "Construction of additional conforming structures and improvements
will be restrained to comply with wilderness standards for primitive and unconfined types
of recreation and to permit better maintenance and rehabilitation of existing structures and
improvements". It further states "All management and administrative action and interior
facilities in wilderness areas will be designed to emphasize the self-sufficiency of the user
to assume a high degree of responsibility for environmentally-sound use of such areas and
for his or her own health, safety and welfare."
The APSLMP also describes certain facilities and activities that are not allowed in
wilderness nor are essential to wilderness preservation and protection. Except as specifically
provided by the APSLMP, DEC is mandated to permanently remove the "non-conforming
uses" as soon as possible. Since wilderness designation in 1972, a substantial number of
non-conforming facilities and uses have been removed. The remainder are addressed below.


Ampersand Primitive Area
Roads 3.5 miles
Snowmobile trails 3.5 miles
Overhead telephone lines 3.5 miles

The Ampersand Road is 3.5 miles of gravel-surfaced road used to access private
property enclosed by the HPWC on four sides.
DEC acknowledges a legal right-of-way and grants entrance and exit across the
Forest Preserve by means historically used. The road is open to public motor vehicle use
including snowmobiles. A telephone line is located in the right-of-way. Maintenance costs
are borne by DEC and the private landowner. A portion of the road is closed seasonally
during snowmelt or muddy weather.

High Peaks Wilderness
Marcy Dam and Lake Colden Interior Outposts 2facilities
Lake Colden Overhead Telephone Lines 7.5 miles
Marcy Dam Leanto Clusters 2 leantos
Wild River Leantos 9 leantos
South Meadows Public Road 1 mile

Marcy Dam and Lake Colden Facilities
The Marcy Dam Interior Outpost is an administrative facility located in the most
heavily used camping area and travel corridor in the HPWC. The outpost serves as a
residence for an interior caretaker and as a work center for field crews. It is equipped with
a telephone line and a battery powered radio system. The facility is not staffed during the
winter. The APSLMP requires its removal once peripheral control is established for the
wilderness area.
Because of heavy use, particularly in winter, the Lake Colden Interior Outpost is
allowed to be retained indefinitely, but its status will be reviewed periodically to determine
if its removal is feasible (APSLMP, 1987). Its central strategic location has been a crucial
factor in many searches and rescues. It has a telephone line and a battery radio. The
APSLMP calls for the development of alternative means of communication and the removal
of the telephone line.

Marcy Dam Leanto Clusters
The Marcy Dam leanto clusters consists of two sets of closely spaced leantos at each
end of Marcy Dam Pond. The APSLMP requires the removal of one leanto at each location.
This requirement is designed to reduce adverse impacts because of long term concentrated
camping at each site. A leanto cluster, not identified by the APSLMP, is found at Lake
Colden and will be removed in conjunction with the scheduled removal of the March Dam
leanto clusters.

Wild River Leantos
According to the Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers Act (Art. 15-2707 ECL),
there are 9 non-conforming leantos situated in the Cold River Corridor. Cold River #1-4,
Calkins Creek, Northern 1 & 2, Ouluska, and Seward. Both the statutory provisions of the
Rivers Act and the APSLMP require that these leantos be phased out and not replaced within
the river zone. Extensive maintenance of these leantos is no longer performed.

South Meadows Road
The South Meadows Road is the Town of North Elba public highway leading 1.0
miles into the High Peaks Wilderness from its intersection with the Heart Lake Road. It is
currently open to motor vehicle traffic and dead ends at South Meadows. The road is
enclosed by the High Peaks Wilderness for its entire length and as such is a non-conforming
use which DEC is required to physically close to motor vehicle use. Although the road is
currently under the jurisdiction of the Town of North Elba, the Department has the legal
authority to close the road as per Section 212 of the Highway Law, Chapter 161. This law
reads in part:
"If a highway passes over or through lands owned and occupied by the State,
the location of such portion of such highway as passes through such lands
may be altered and changed, or the same may be abandoned or the use thereof
as a highway discontinued with the consent and approval of the State
authority having jurisdiction or control over such lands by an order directing
such change in location, abandonment or discontinuance. Such order shall
contain a description of that portion of the highway the location of which has
been changed, abandoned or discontinued, and a description of the new
location thereof, if any, and shall be filed in the office of the State authority
having control of such lands."

The Commissioner's authority to close such roads was upheld by the New York State
Supreme Court of Essex County in the Matter of Application of John Kelly, as Supervisor
of the Town of Schroon against Thomas C. Jorling, as Commissioner of the Department of
Environmental Conservation, March 13, 1990.

Johns Brook Primitive Area
Roads, private 1.3 miles
Johns Brook Interior Outpost 1 facility

This is a long narrow piece of land in the Town of Keene consisting of a right-of-way
1.3 miles long across state lands leading to 13 private parcels enclosed by the High Peaks
Wilderness on three sides. The right-of-way serves as the boundary south of Johns Brook
and the Phelps Trail, also known as the Northside Trail, across the brook, is the primitive
area's northern boundary. It is closed to public motor vehicle use.
The Johns Brook Interior Outpost is a non-conforming facility at the southwestern
end of the primitive area. Private lands extend beyond the Forest Preserve boundary well
up the Johns Brook Valley. Removal of this facility cannot be scheduled by a fixed deadline
until "...these holdings and/or the right of way ever be acquired by the State." (APSLMP,

As a managerial element of the HPWC, all existing facilities need to be assessed to
determine the minimum amount and type of facilities required to efficiently utilize and safely
administer the unit. This is in keeping with APSLMP guidelines and DEC policy that
requires facilities may only be allowed when needed to attain wilderness objectives, and they
should be designed and placed to minimize their intrusion upon the wilderness setting.

Recreation is just one of many wilderness values, but it has the potential to severely
compromise all other values. Its problems can be both ecologically and sociologically
oriented. Cole (1994) describes these impacts as threats or potential threats to the wilderness
resource by stating "Threats come from onsite recreational users, as well as actions to
manage that use (such as trail construction)." Even low to moderate recreation can cause
conflicts between wilderness visitors that diminish wilderness experience. This section
examines several major recreational use problems in the HPWC, relating to use of specific
facilities or to specific locations in the unit.

Trailheads accommodate visitor needs including vehicle parking and regulatory,
informational, and directional signing. Trailheads are an important factor in determining use
patterns, levels of use, and visitor impacts at any given location. The size of a parking
facility dictates to a great extent the amount of use a particular interior location will receive.
It is no coincidence that the two largest parking facilities in the unit, Adirondak Loj and
Johns Brook - the Garden, share 49 percent of all visitor entry. When parking facilities
exceed their design capacities, overuse results; both resource and social limits are broken.
Detrimental impacts include high noise levels, excessive litter, air pollution, congestion,
vandalism, theft, and security problems. Conflicts frequently arise with private landowners
who abut wilderness boundaries near these facilities. These problem locations grew out of
tradition when use levels were low.
Frequent parking problems occur at "The Garden," a parking facility at the end of
the Interbrook Road in Keene. The last 0.2 miles of this road is narrow, less than 20 feet
wide, and crosses several private parcels. This portion of the road is a "right-of-way in
common" for adjoining landowners, including the State, and, as such, is not a maintained
public road. The parking lot is a public facility and there are no reserved parking rights for
private landowners in the upper Johns Brook Valley. Its present capacity is 50 vehicles.
The parking lot is essentially full every weekend from Memorial Day through Columbus
Day. The highest number of cars reported in the area was on Memorial Day in 1974 when
141 cars were parked along the road. In 1993, 113 cars were counted on Columbus Day.
For most holiday weekends: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Columbus
Day, 90-120 cars are present. Illegal parking is a significant law enforcement problem
extending all the way to Keene Valley.
Visitors park everywhere. Emergency vehicles can't pass through the congestion.
Vehicles have no place to turn around, private driveways are blocked, and drainage ditches
are destroyed. Expansion of the present facility is limited by topography and adjoining
private lands. Furthermore, an expanded facility would contribute to, and aggravate, an
existing overuse situation present in the Johns Brook Valley.
Present administrative signing at trailheads and along boundaries is inadequate. Few
signs actually identify the unit as the "High Peaks Wilderness". Where the unit abuts wild
forest lands, the public is unaware that different regulations and restrictions may apply.
At many popular destination points and busy trail intersections, there is an
abundance of signs, more than is required.
Trail Deterioration
Deterioration of constructed trails is a common problem and large sums of money
have been invested annually to maintain, relocate, and rebuild trails. A 1988 DEC trail
inventory indicated that over 40 percent of the unit's 303 miles of trails were substandard
and required some form of relocation or reconstruction. The Adirondack Mountain Club
(ADK) placed this estimate much higher stating, "Sixty-eight per cent of the one hundred
trails in the greater High Peaks region require extensive drainage work to control further
erosion." (Medwid, 1990). The most common types of deterioration are related to gullying
and erosion, non-functioning drainage structures, muddiness, trail widening, multiple
parallel trails, and shortcuts.
Most trail problems are the result of poor trail location and improper construction and
maintenance rather than the degree of use. Some trails are now over 100 years old and were
initially located to achieve the shortest distance between two points or where construction
was easy. Their poor location often makes erosion control difficult.
On wet and muddy trails, there is a tendency for visitors to walk along the edge of
the trail rather than in the trail tread. This causes widening quagmires and/or parallel trails.
Shortcuts cause similar problems and exacerbate erosion. Trails are also more prone to
muddiness and widening when the ground is wet and water-saturated as is the case with
many high and low elevation trails. While these conditions may occur sporadically, they are
particularly prevalent at certain seasons, such as during and shortly after snowmelt.

Undesired Trails - User Created
Undesired, user-created trails, often referred to as "herd paths" are a problem that
is increasing. Trails are formed by use rather than by design. They result in unplanned trail
systems which are poorly located and contribute to greater erosion, even with low levels of
use. Illegally cut trails are also a problem when certain individuals or user groups cut trails
without DEC consent. Such an example occurred on Phelps Mountain when a ski trail, 1.8
miles long, 10-12 feet wide was cut from the summit into the Pelkey Brook basin.
User-created trails on high elevation, alpine summits, have resulted from too many
people deviating from the marked trails. The number of times any place can be stepped on
before a trail develops depends on the fragility of the ground surface and the destructive
force of the trampler. Undesired trails are more likely to develop on fragile vegetation and
ground surfaces during seasons when the ground is water-saturated (Cole, 1989).
This same dilemma is more pronounced on the so-called "trailless peaks". Although
the trailless peaks have no DEC marked and maintained trails to their summits, use levels
are now so significant that many undesired trails have been created. Summit vegetation is
being damaged and slope erosion has accelerated.

Campsite and Leanto Deterioration
Deterioration of campsites, including leanto areas, is a commonly reported problem.
Recreation activities are highly concentrated at campsites and leanto locations and frequently
result in severe ecological impacts. (Hendee and others, 1990). Some of the most
significant resource damage takes place at these locations. The problem is widespread and
not specific to any one portion of the HPWC. The nature and extent of damage is influenced
by many factors. The most important factors are how frequently the site is used, the type
of camping party, size of party, the behavior or attitude of the camping party, and the
inherent fragility of the site.
Vegetation loss and soil compaction are the most prevalent impacts, but water
pollution from human wastes is also evident in some heavily used areas. For example,
riparian vegetation along stream banks and shorelines is being damaged in the Johns Brook
Valley and on Long Lake. Other impacts include numerous fire rings, with charcoal and
partially-burned refuse strewn about, tree cutting, litter, tent trenching, and the proliferation
of undesired user-created campsites. The latter occurs at popular destinations where every
"campable spot" is used.
Enlargement of well-established camping areas is increasing site disturbance. This
factor is related primarily to party size. Unless large parties can find an existing site large
enough for their needs, they are likely to enlarge the site or create new ones.
Vegetation loss occurs on almost every site and is inevitable. Given sufficiently
frequent use, even resistant vegetation such as shrubs and grasses will ultimately be
destroyed. A 1984 inventory of 381 selected campsites revealed that 50 percent of the sites
had large core areas devoid of vegetation. Since then, visitor use has doubled in numbers.
The most common problems were exposed tree roots that contribute to tree mortality and
illegal tree cutting of both live or dead standing trees. Standing dead trees provide habitats
for many cavity nesting birds and insects. Live trees show scars from axes and knives,
pulled off limbs, and scorched bark from lanterns.
Campfires, particularly those not used with caution or restraint, cause some of the
most obtrusive impacts. Damage comes from improper firewood collection, cutting of live
and standing dead trees, runaway ground fires, burned and scorched trees, widespread
charcoal and blackened rocks, and the remains of partially burned garbage. Firewood
gathering in many locations has removed all woody debris from the forest floor, pruned
trees, and created numerous paths as visitors are forced to search larger areas for wood.
Although wood fires are prohibited in alpine and sub-alpine areas above 4,000 feet in
elevation, the practice continues. On these sites, it may take over a hundred years for trees
to grow to maturity.
In the western High Peaks, damage to campsites by packstock was found to be
increasing, despite relatively low to moderate levels of use. Field visits in 1993 indicated
resource damage in the Cold Brook, Calkins Creek and Moose Pond areas. Camping areas
at Moose Pond have barren core areas with numerous fire rings, litter, and damaged trees
as a result of horses being tied to the trees. Another problem observed was the hitching of
horses less than 100 feet from water sources. In one instance, the horses were kept in the
immediate camp area. The disturbed areas were extremely large and trees were damaged

Leantos are one of the more prominent man-made features of the HPWC. There are
more leantos in the HPWC than all of the other Adirondack wilderness areas combined. The
leanto evolved from early guides' and hunters' log camps. These were often three-sided
structures with an open front to receive the warmth of a fire. Historical record refers to
them as "open camps."
The first state-constructed leantos were built in 1919 on the southwest slopes of Mt.
Marcy near Feldspar Brook and Four Corners. The leanto program was originally designed
to promote use of the Forest Preserve, supply safe shelter, and alleviate the need for heavy,
cumbersome camping equipment. Presently, the unit has 72 leantos, 36 of which are in the
eastern High Peaks.
During periods of relatively low to moderate HPWC use, the leanto program met its
objectives. However, as visitor use soared, many environmental and sociological problems
arose with use. In many instances, leantos were poorly sited and scant attention was given
to environmental consequences. Long term concentrated camping pressures on these sites
can lead to erosion, severe sanitation problems, soil compaction, destruction of vegetation,
increased littering, and visitor conflicts.
These same problems were first identified by the Joint Legislative Committee on
Natural Resources which concluded in its 1961 annual report: "Some of the foot trails to the
more popular spots are so heavily used during the hiking season that the leanto
accommodations are inadequate. It is doubtful if enough of these structures could be built
in each location to take care of all campers. This emphasizes a problem requiring
consideration: How many of these structures can be clustered along the trails before the
wilderness character of that locality is lost?" This is still a point of controversy today.
Some of the worst sites were referred to as "back country slums" in Eleanor Brown's 1985
book, The Forest Preserve of New York State. There was also a tendency to bunch leantos
close together in certain areas or put them astride high traffic corridors. This occurred at
Avalanche Camp, Bushnell Falls, Lake Colden, Flowed Lands, Long Lake, and Marcy
It is a well established management axiom that leantos also attract substantial
peripheral tent camping in their vicinity. In this case, the leantos serve as destination points
acting as magnets to tent campers who utilize the same site. This creates an over use
situation at the site exacerbating environmental and social impacts. The normal capacity of
a leanto is six persons and combined with tent campers, many of these sites exceed 30
persons from more than one group.
Not normally in the context of the wilderness definition, the APSLMP considers
leantos as conforming structures to its wilderness standards and permits their maintenance,
rehabilitation and construction under strict guidelines in regard to elevation, spacing, and set
backs from water. Those leantos not meeting these requirements are considered non-conforming by location and the DEC is mandated to remove or relocate the structures
(APSLMP, 1987).

Horse Trails
The present HPWC horse trail system covers 44 miles in the western High Peaks.
Much of the horse trail system was laid over old logging roads, the former truck trail
network, or simply cut through the forest, often without the benefit of a firm trail bed. This
was done in the early 1960's to access the remote Cold River basin and the Santanoni and
Seward mountain ranges prior to wilderness designation. Before the APSLMP, maintenance
was accomplished by motorized equipment including bulldozers, road graders, and dump
trucks. Concrete and steel culverts and bridges were employed to cross streams.
Because the use of motorized vehicles is prohibited, maintenance of the horse trail
system is difficult and expensive. Portions of the trail system have eroded and many culverts
have deteriorated and washed out.

The HPWC has many dams, most of which were constructed in the 1890's and early
1900's to support logging. Typically, the dams were rock-filled crib affairs less than ten feet
in height. While some have been maintained or replaced, others have been breached and
returned to natural stream flow.
The current inventory lists four maintained dams: Duck Hole (2), Lake Colden, and
Marcy Dam. A dam at Flowed Lands was breached by a spring flood in 1979 and not
replaced. Its former impoundment has reverted to the original stream bed and beavers have
returned to the stream. Remnants of former log driving dams can be found in the unit, such
as the one at Scott Pond, but these are not maintained.
According to the APSLMP, no new dams except fish barrier dams will be
constructed. However, existing dams on established impoundments may be reconstructed
or rehabilitated provided natural materials are used wherever possible in the least intrusive

Litter is still a problem in the HPWC despite an extensive campaign emphasizing
"pack it in, pack it out". There is some evidence that litter problems have diminished in the
eastern High Peaks. The problem is more persistent in the western High Peaks and at Long
Lake. This may be due, in part, to the larger quantities of durable goods (cans and bottles)
carried in by horses or transported by canoe.

Human Waste Disposal
HPWC use is primarily concentrated around lakes and streams. As this use continues
and increases, human waste disposal and its effects on water quality become more important.
Generally, human waste problems are serious in destination areas where use is
extremely high and sanitation facilities are limited. Some hikers are now contracting
parasitic diseases, such as giardiasis, from water containing pathogens that may be traced
to improper human waste disposal. Researchers suggest that management of recreation use
is likely to do little to reduce health hazards. The key is to properly inform and educate
visitors of the hazards and to dispose of wastes properly. (Cole, 1989 and Hendee and
others, 1990). The current use of pit privies on the more heavily camped areas such as Lake
Colden, Marcy Dam, Indian Falls, Slant Rock and Johns Brook, is inadequate given high use
levels. Soils are shallow and privies often are used as garbage pits.
Another problem is the improper use of soap and detergents near lakes and streams.
These can add nutrients to area waters and upset natural chemical and biological balances.
Some of the more popular lakes have soap suds and bits of leftover noodles on their

Wildlife Impacts
There is little documented information about the prevalence and significance of
recreational use impacts on wildlife in the HPWC. Disturbance of wildlife is strongly
related to user behavior and when and where disturbances occur. Decisions about where to
camp, where to cross-country ski, or how to approach an animal for wildlife viewing or
photography can stress wildlife just as much as fishing and hunting (Cole, 1989).
Wildlife are more vulnerable to disturbances at certain times of the year than others.
These may be more pronounced during the birthing season (when parents may flee at the
approach of humans and, thus, leave their young unprotected), or during the winter months
when animals are already stressed. Birds can abandon nests or large mammals (particularly
deer) can be forced to flee in winter and burn badly needed calories. While studies show the
problem exists, we do not know how serious or prevalent it has become.
Disturbance of feeding habits is also related to visitor behavior. Wild animals should
not be fed. Feeding animals at campsites, improper food storage, and improper food
disposal introduce human and domesticated animal diseases to wildlife, cause unnatural
behavior changes, and result in serious personal injury. For example, bears develop an
affinity for human food and lose all fear of man which may ultimately require destroying the
animal. Such cases have occurred at Lake Colden and Long Lake. Troublesome bears were
destroyed as a last resort following conflicts with campers.
Animal harassment is often the result of unrestrained pets in the unit. As visitor
levels rise, so does the number of pets accompanying groups. Unrestrained animals have
been a problem in the Johns Brook Valley and at Marcy Dam. Strayed pets have become
lost and frequently abandoned. Chasing deer is the most commonly stated problem.
Restraint at campsites and along trails can effectively reduce this problem and also reduces
associated visitor conflicts between those who have pets and those who do not. <High Peaks State Lands Classification map goes here> <High Peaks adjacent Private lands map goes here> SECTION V


The HPWC does not exist in a vacuum - what goes on outside of its wilderness
boundary, but adjacent to it, can have profound impacts inside the wilderness. Conversely,
DEC management of the HPWC can substantially affect or impact nearby state and private
lands. Both the Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan (APLUDP) and the
APSLMP address activities on both sides of wilderness boundaries in a manner that
recognizes different land management goals. The APSLMP by itself does not place any
restrictions on activities on private lands outside and adjacent to wilderness lands. This
interrelationship is best illustrated by examining those lands adjacent to the HPWC.

Six Forest Preserve units adjoin the HPWC. They are a mix of wilderness and wild
forest areas with a combined area of 269,431 acres. Each unit provides a different range of
conditions, settings, and experiences. Wilderness areas offer an outdoor experience free of
motorized vehicles with a sense of remoteness, whereas wild forest areas permit a
somewhat higher degree of human use than wilderness, offering a wide variety of outdoor
recreation, including limited motorized use.

Wilderness Areas
The Dix Mountain, Giant Mountain, and Sentinel Range Wildernesses adjoin the
HPWC. These wilderness areas offer similar experiences and require that any management
action taken in the HPWC be coordinated in corresponding fashion in these areas to
prevent restricted uses from spilling over to them. Area statistics are presented below.

Dix Mountain Wilderness
State Lands 50,190 acres
Bodies of Water (12) 115 acres
Elevation (maximum) 4,857 feet
Foot Trails 36.5 miles
Leantos 3
Non-conforming Uses None

Dix Mountain Wilderness lies in the Towns of Elizabethtown, Keene, and North
Hudson in central Essex County. The unit is separated from the HPWC by the lands of the
privately owned Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AuSable Club) which lie southeast of the
The terrain is of similar character to the eastern High Peaks with several
mountaintops exceeding 4,000 feet. The unit has few facilities and no non-conforming uses
or structures. Hikers and campers outnumber all other user groups, but there is also
substantial use by hunters and fisherman. Visitor use is estimated to exceed 15,000 visitors
in 1993.

Giant Mountain Wilderness
State Lands 22,104 acres
Bodies of Water (2) 6 acres
Elevation (maximum) 4,627 acres
Foot Trails 12.5 miles
Leantos 1
Non-conforming Uses None

Giant Mountain Wilderness lies in the Towns of Elizabethtown and Keene in Essex
County. The unit is east of the HPWC and is roughly bounded by Route 9N on the north,
Route 73 on the west and south, and Route 9 to the east. Area topography is steep and
rocky with a considerable number of vertical or near vertical cliffs. Numerous small
brooks cascade down from upper slopes. Summer and fall hikers are the primary users of
the area. Hunters also make considerable use of the area. Visitor use is estimated at
12,000 in 1993.

Sentinel Range Wilderness
State Lands 23,137 acres
Bodies of Water (5) 77 acres
Elevation (maximum) 2,893 acres
Foot Trails 13.8 miles
Leantos 1
Non-conforming Uses:"Jeep Trail" 3.5 miles

This area is located in the Towns of Keene, North Elba, and Wilmington of Essex
County. The unit is separated from the HPWC by Route 73, its southern boundary.
The Sentinel Mountain Range, with its characteristically steep slopes, dominates the
unit. The terrain is rugged and has many near-vertical cliffs aligned in a north-northeast
direction. Facilities development is modest. There are a few trails and one leanto. The
only non-conforming use is the Old Military Road, a former town highway 3.5 miles in
length, not generally passable by motor vehicles. Visitor use is primarily by hikers,
hunters, and fishermen. Visitor use is estimated at 3,000 visitors annually.

Wild Forest Areas
Aside from the adjoining wilderness areas which provide recreational opportunities
similar to HPWC, the greatest recreation potential lies in adjoining wild forests. These
areas, as defined by the APSLMP, permit a somewhat higher degree of human use and
management than wilderness. Yet, these areas still retain an essentially wild and primitive
Our studies and observations in the HPWC indicate that many user experiences are
not wilderness dependent and could best be served by wild forest areas. However, local
opportunities for such experiences outside of wilderness may be non-existent and many
visitors may be unaware of alternative opportunities elsewhere. Such areas in the future
could reduce the level of impact in the HPWC while meeting the needs of many users
(CAC, 1992). For example, educational, mountaineering, survival schools, large youth
groups, and outdoor competitive events could be better accommodated in non-wilderness
areas (Hendee et al. 1990).
The following wild forests are in close proximity to the HPWC and area statistics
for each unit have not been fully compiled:

Blue Mountain Wild Forest (36,000 acres)
This wild forest is located in Essex and Hamilton Counties. It is situated south of
the HPWC near Long Lake. The terrain varies from a gentle topography near easily
accessible Rock Lake to steep and rocky in the Fishing Brook Range. Facilities
development has been modest. However, the unit offers excellent recreational
opportunities for day-use and primitive camping for family groups and novice hikers. A
unit management for this area is in preparation (1994).

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest (68,000 acres)
The Saranac Lakes Wild Forest lies north and west of the HPWC and is easily
accessible from Routes 3, 30, and 86. This area in northern Essex and southern Franklin
Counties offers a broad network of streams, lakes, and ponds for water-oriented recreation.
The unit includes the northern end of the Adirondack Canoe Route and receives many
visitors. Boating access sites, camping areas, portages, and low elevation multi-purpose
trails are convenient for day-users and long-distance travelers alike.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest (70,000 acres)
Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest is one of the largest and most remote wild
forests in the Adirondacks. It lies both east and west of Route 28N in western Essex
County, south of HPWC. Primary attractions include its many lakes and ponds, the Boreas
River, Vanderwhacker Mountain, and the Santanoni Preserve. The latter is a popular
entrance way to the western High Peaks. The Boreas River is a designated "scenic" river
with numerous white water stretches.

Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA)
The Olympic Regional Development Authority operates the Olympic Sports
Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, which adjoins the north boundary of the HPWC, south
of NYS Route 73. It is classified as an intensive use area by the APSLMP. The complex
occupies 1593 acres and includes bobsled and luge runs, a cross country ski center, and a
biathlon range, mountain bike trails and horse trails. Two connecting trails, the Mr. Van
Trail and the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Trail lead into the HPWC. Hikers accessing these trails
from the Olympic facility are charged a daily parking fee.

Private lands near the HPWC boundary have the potential to both complement and
complicate DEC management. Most of the adjoining properties have stable ownerships
and few problems have arisen to date. However, all of these properties have the potential
to be developed, which may, in future years, contribute to overuse of a particular segment
of the unit by promoting access.

Large Landowners
The following discussion presents a brief overview of the principal landowners
having in-holdings or lands adjacent to the HPWC.

NL Industries, Inc.
NL Industries, Inc. borders the southern High Peaks on three sides north of
Tahawus. The property covers 11,000 acres and contains steep, rugged terrain typical of
the neighboring High Peaks. Approximately 7,100 acres of the tract is heavily forested and
is actively managed for forest products under the terms of the "Forest Tax Law" Section
480A of the Real Property Tax Law. The terrain is dotted with low mountains, steep
slopes, numerous lakes, ponds, and streams. Significant topographic features include Mt.
Adams, a former fire tower site, Mt. Andrew, Henderson Mountain, the southwestern
slopes of the MacIntyre Range, and the Upper Hudson River watershed including a portion
of Duck Hole, Henderson Lake, and Preston Ponds. The remaining one-third of the
property is an inactive titanium strip mine.
Several trailheads are located along the public highway leading to the Upper Works,
a major HPWC entry point. These include trails to Mt. Marcy, Santanoni, Duck Hole,
Cold River, Flowed Lands, and the unmarked route to Allen Mountain. The Upper Works
parking area and aforementioned trailheads are secured by deeded easement.

Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR)
The Adirondack Mountain Reserve, administered by the privately owned Ausable
Club, covers 7,000 acres along the southeast bounds of the HPWC. It separates the HPWC
from the Dix Mountain Wilderness. The entire property is managed as a game preserve;
neither Club members not the public can hunt there (Goodwin, 1994).
In 1978, the state purchased 9,128 acres from the Club. The state, as part of the
transaction, was given a conservation easement to the Club's remaining lands, generally
below 2,500 feet in elevation. The easement limited development of these lands, while
permitting public access by foot across them to nearby peaks on state land.
Public foot travel is permitted on certain designated trails. Other trails in the
reserve are not open to public use. Public camping, building of fires, mountain biking,
hunting, fishing, trapping, off-trail use, rock climbing, boating, swimming and bringing in
pets are prohibited on Club property.
The Club provides limited public parking (20 vehicles by deed) on its lands south of
the St. Huberts Road. It formerly offered a hikers shuttle bus to Lower AuSable Lake in
summer which accessed many HPWC trails including routes to Armstrong, the Gothics,
Sawteeth, and Wolfjaw. The bus service was discontinued in 1994.
Public use is strongly day use oriented. The legal and physical limitations of the
AMR easement discourage many overnight users from entering the HPWC from this
location (Albergra, 1993).

Ampersand Lake Property
This private property forms the basis of the Ampersand Primitive Area described in
Section I. The parcel consists of 3,000 acres of land completely surrounded by the HPWC
in the Town of Harrietstown. The Ampersand Road provides access to the property across
State lands. It is maintained jointly by the private owner and DEC and is open to seasonal
public use up to the private land boundary. Beyond that point, public access is not
permitted except for a short section of the Blueberry trail leading to Ward Brook.

Finch, Pruyn and Company, Inc.
Finch, Pruyn and Company, Inc. timberlands border the HPWC to the south at
several locations including a large tract west of Tahawus, a tract bordering the Opalescent
River, and a tract containing the Upper Boreas River watershed. Closed to public use,
these properties exceed 46,000 acres and are managed timberlands with an extensive
network of logging roads. Most of the lands are leased to private sportsmen's clubs.
Once many informal routes or "herd paths" crossed these lands to reach the HPWC,
but are now closed to public use due to user conflicts with the landowner and/or its lessees.
For example, routes leading to Allen and Santanoni Mountains were closed when users did
not respect private posted land, hunted illegally on these lands, strayed from designated
routes, built campfires, or camped on the property. None of the routes were ever DEC
marked and maintained trails nor secured by deeded easements.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
The Newcomb Campus of the College is the home of the Anna and Archer
Huntington Wildlife Forest and the Adirondack Ecological Center. The campus covers
15,000 acres south of the HPWC.
College lands are oriented toward research and focus on the study of Adirondack
natural resources. Ongoing projects include studies on forest management, wildlife
populations habitats, acid deposition, freshwater fisheries, and aquatic and terrestrial
Huntington Forest is also the site of a satellite Adirondack Park Visitor Interpretive
Center located on Route 28N near Rich Lake. The visitor center offers handicap access,
interpretive trails, exhibits and visitor information focusing on Adirondack natural history.
The College maintains a hiking trail to its fire tower atop Goodnow Mountain,
offering a spectacular view of the High Peaks, a self-guided nature trail, and a small
boat/canoe access site on Rich Lake (no outboard motors). Casual public use of remaining
College property is not permitted.

Adirondak Loj - Adirondack Mountain Club
The north country facilities of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) are situated
on 640 acres at Adirondak Loj near the end of the Heart Lake Road in the Town of North
Elba, Essex County. The High Peaks Wilderness borders on three sides -- east, south and
The ADK offers its facilities to both members and the public. These facilities
include lodge accommodations, a 36-site campground, 13 Adirondack style leantos,
showers, restrooms, public telephones, and an ADK operated High Peaks Information
Center, formerly named the "campers and hikers" building. The latter serves as an
education center and a store. The ADK limits trailhead parking on its lands to 200 motor
vehicles and charges a parking fee of $7.00 per vehicle per day (1995 rate). Public trail
easements to adjoining State lands were donated to New York State in 1964; however, they
did not include public parking rights.
Adirondak Loj is the best known and the most popular trailhead in the HPWC. In
1995 over 43,000 visitors entered the HPWC through this point as documented by trailhead
registrations. The ADK also maintains Johns Brook Lodge (JBL) situated on 15-acre in-holding within the Johns Brook Primitive Corridor. Accessible only by hiking trails across
Forest Preserve, this facility offers accommodations and caretaker services from June
through September. The JBL facility is further complemented by two ADK maintained
rental cabins, Grace Camp, and Camp Peggy O'Brien, and 3 leantos located on the south
side of Johns Brook. The Club maintains no parking facilities for its Johns Brook

Subdivisions/Urban Areas
In addition to large land owners, the HPWC shares its boundaries with many small
private holdings and urban-like subdivisions as found for example, near Averyville in Lake
Placid, Keene and Keene Valley. These private parcels pose many challenges. Boundary
line maintenance is more intensive and more frequent. Visitors hike and jog at the outer
edge of the wilderness as if they were in a neighborhood park or a private playground.
Domestic pets, bicycles, snowmobiles, all-terrain-vehicles (ATV's) and other vehicles often
cross the boundary without regard to wilderness designation. Since it is impractical, costly
and physically impossible to fence and patrol all boundaries, stopping these incompatible
uses will require greater public involvement and education.

In regard to both state and private lands adjoining the HPWC, there is no buffer
between individual properties or land units that absorbs impacts and helps lessen their
force. The designation of any tract of land as wilderness substantially affects the
management of all adjoining areas. To best protect the HPWC from impacts originating
from surrounding land use, these impacts must be addressed by comprehensive planning
that anticipates potential conflict before it occurs. SECTION VI


With the adoption of the APSLMP in 1972, many people assumed that wilderness
designation alone would assure the preservation of the High Peaks region. This was not
the case. Even then, it was obvious the High Peaks could not hope to accommodate large
numbers of people without sustaining significant environmental and sociological change.
Wilderness preservation could not exist without proper wilderness management; otherwise,
wilderness allocation would be meaningless. This section provides an overview of past and
present management activities in the unit.

Early management of the High Peaks began with the creation of the Forest Preserve
in 1885. Initial management activities were directed towards forest fire prevention and
control, timber trespass, and fish and wildlife enforcement. Forest Preserve lands were
afforded constitutional protection in 1894. County "tax lands" were conveyed to the State
and attempts were made to consolidate state holdings. Significant land acquisitions
occurred in the High Peaks from 1916-27, funded by the Bond Act of 1916. These
purchases secured the summits of Mt. Marcy, McIntyre, and Seward; Indian Pass, Flowed
Lands, Lake Colden, Avalanche Lake, Allen, and Redfield.
A formal Forest Preserve recreation plan was adopted by the legislature in 1919
which emphasized recreational development to promote visitor use (Temporary Study
Commission, 1970). Increases in use were met with corresponding facility development.
Forest Preserve managers were encouraged to seek ways to make the High Peaks more
accessible and more convenient for users and for themselves.
This management philosophy prevailed over the next 50 years; especially in the
attractive, eastern High Peaks sector which quickly assumed a heavily developed character;
100 miles of trails were added, 90 leantos erected, bridges were built to keep hikers' feet
dry, dams were built to create lakes, and over 40 miles of roads criss-crossed the unit to
provide easy and direct access for fighting forest fires. The roads were seldom required
for fire control purposes; in most cases, they were used to maintain interior facilities (Van
Valkenburg 1987).
As new or renewed uses appeared, they too were accommodated with expanded
facilities. For instance, formal ski trails became part of the High Peaks scene in 1932. A
cross country ski trail was cut across Nye Mountain for use in the 1932 Olympics.
Additional trails were constructed on Wright Peak, over Whale's Tail, and on the north
slope of Mt. Marcy. A 1940 Conservation Department Report described these ski trails as
"overcrowded" (NYS Conservation Department, 1941 and Brown, 1985). In a similar
context, a horse trail system was inaugurated in the 1960's that accessed the Cold River
country. Horse barns, bridges, corrals, hitching posts, and concrete culverts were placed
in the more remote regions of the unit. Heavy motorized equipment, bulldozers, dump
trucks, etc. were used to maintain the trails.
In summary, past management programs emphasized visitor numbers,
conveniences, and enhancement of scenic views rather than the wilderness experience.
Managers may have inadvertently aggravated undesirable conditions by responding to
every increase in use with more facilities to accommodate it.

The Adirondacks and especially the High Peaks region experienced a great surge in
recreational use during the 1950's and 1960's. This was due, in part, to increased leisure
time, greater publicity, rising incomes, ease of access via Interstate 87, and accompanying
population growth in nearby metropolitan areas. Public concern about the ecological and
social changes associated with this rate of growth were addressed in public hearings held
by the Joint Legislative Committee on Natural Resources. This committee issued two
reports focusing on the with High Peaks. Its 1960 report entitled: A Study of Our
Wilderness, Our Forest Preserve, and Our Forests, called for the designation of 12
wilderness areas in the Adirondack Park and four in the Catskills. The report characterized
the High Peaks as "the most extensive tract of wilderness land in the Adirondacks" (1960
Legislative Document No. 33). This was followed by a second report a year later which
expressed concerns about the extent of facility development and growing public use of the
High Peaks. It stated "From all indications the proposed High Peaks Wilderness Area will
continue to attract increasing numbers of recreationists and will probably lead in providing
the problem of how to accommodate large numbers of people without a simultaneous
destruction of the wilderness character of the area" (1961 Legislative Report No. 41).
The extent of facility development, coupled with increasing use, continued to be
issues of concern throughout the 1960's and 1970's. Wilderness enthusiasts recognized
early that too many people could easily over saturate an attractive area and spoil it for
generations. Hardin (1968) reflected this public sentiment in his paper The Tragedy of the
Commons, which describes "the loss to all caused by the natural tendency of individuals to
overuse a resource owned by all."

Following a 1967 proposal to create an Adirondack National Park from state and
private lands, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller appointed a Temporary Study Commission
of the Future of the Adirondacks to address both state and private land issues within the
Adirondack Park (VanValkenburg, 1985). It published a report in 1970 containing
numerous recommendations, the most significant of which was the call to the legislature to
create an independent bipartisan Adirondack Park Agency with general powers over the use
of private and public land.
In its Public and Private Land No. 1, Volume B the Commission proposed a
definition of wilderness applicable to the Adirondack Park, delineated 15 wilderness areas,
and outlined a detailed management plan for state Forest Preserve lands. The report
identified heavy use areas in the High Peaks particularly Marcy Dam: "heavy public use at
Marcy Dam already threatens to destroy the wilderness character of this spot if appropriate
management systems are not applied soon."
Commission recommendations led to the Adirondack Park Agency Act of 1971 and
subsequently, to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan in 1972. The APSLMP
classified state, or public lands in the Park according "to their characteristics and capacity
to withstand use." The High Peaks was accorded wilderness designation to which
emphasis is on maintaining "a primeval character without significant improvements or
permanent human habitation, where man is a visitor who does not remain." Guidelines for
use and management of wilderness were established closely paralleling those governing the
National Wilderness Preservation System established in 1964. It marked a new era in
Forest Preserve Management. Prior to the APSLMP, the response to greater use was to
merely build more facilities and increase user convenience. Since then, the trend has been
towards the reduction of user facilities and greater control over user activities in order to
preserve and restore wilderness resources and values.
In wilderness, the APSLMP imposed stricter controls than had previously existed.
With certain exceptions, structures-like fire towers, ranger cabins, telephone lines, and
permanent roads were scheduled for removal. The use of motor vehicles, powerboats, and
landing of aircraft within the wilderness were prohibited. In addition to the phase out of
these non-conforming structures and uses, DEC was directed to limit use of the eastern
portions of the High Peaks during certain periods (APSLMP, 1987).

Non-conformances are defined as those structures, facilities, or uses thereof not
compatible with the concept of wilderness. It is not a new definition or concept. An early
non-conformance pre-dating the APSLMP was the MacDonald Storm Shelter constructed in
1928 atop Mt. Marcy. The structure was later removed by the Conservation Department
(predecessor to DEC) in 1962. Its original purpose had been subverted by its de facto use
as a garbage dump and latrine. With few exceptions, the APSLMP requires DEC to
remove certain structures and facilities and terminate uses and activities of such, not
essential to wilderness management.
As funds permitted, the following non-conforming uses were removed from the
area: 2 obsolete steel fire towers, 2 observer cabins, 2 ranger cabins and 34 miles of
associated telephone lines, four tent platforms, 4 horse barns and corrals, and 10 leantos
above 4,000 feet in elevation, and one leanto cluster at Avalanche Camps, and one leanto
cluster at Marcy Dam. Twenty miles of fire truck trails (roads), and 35 miles of "jeep
type" roads were to be gated or barricaded, closed to motor vehicle use and maintenance of
such roads and trails curtailed to encourage revegetation in order to permit their conversion
to foot rails and where, appropriate, horse trails.
In addition, the APSLMP mandates the removal of 3.5 miles of overhead telephone
(South Meadows to Marcy Dam), one leanto cluster at Marcy Dam and one leanto cluster
at Lake Colden, the Marcy Dam interior outpost, and closure of the 1.0 mile South
Meadows Road. These last two items will not be removed until DEC has an approved
policy and implementation schedule for achieving a peripheral control system of its
trailheads for the South Meadows/Adirondack Loj corridor. This aspect is addressed in
Sections IX and X.

In 1974 APA requested DEC review its interior management policies and
investigate ways to best implement the APSLMP. A 15 member independent committee
was formed and met over a three year period culminating in a published report issued in
1979. The committee examined a variety of issues, but its principal focus was on
recreational overuse. The Committee, in part, concluded:
Use is excessively concentrated in the eastern High Peaks as contrasted to other
There were not enough trail maintenance funds or crews to correct trail
Summit trampling and erosion was severe due to high concentrations of hikers.
Most of the pressure on the eastern High Peaks comes from campers rather than day
Group use, e.g. groups of 10 or more, cause more impact than smaller groups.
Camping needs to be commensurate with an area's carrying capacity.
Camping should be prohibited above 4,000 feet in elevation.
Numerous public recreation alternatives exist outside the HPWC; these should be
Winter use is increasing; a high number of winter users are inexperienced and ill-equipped; the DEC should respond accordingly.

In response to the Committee's report, DEC adopted new rules and regulations
addressing their concerns. These were considered "the minimum tool" necessary to help
preserve wilderness values. Excerpted from State Land General Rules and Regulations (6
NYCRR 190), the following apply:

Visitors are required to carry out all refuse, trash, garbage, litter, or any other
offensive material.
Camping above 4,000 in elevation between April 29 and December 20 is
All open fires are prohibited above 4,000 feet elevation.
Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of any road, trail, spring, stream, pond, or
other body of water except at campsites designated by DEC.
Camping permits are required if one location is used four or more nights or in a
group of 10 or more.

Information and education programs directed towards High Peaks users emphasize
trailhead and/or interior contacts. Education has been particularly important, where the
DEC has tried to avoid regulation and where its management objective has been to seek
minimal impact. Messages are targeted to specific user groups, individual locations within
the units, and to specific seasons of the year.
Visitors who choose to enter the unit through its 20 developed access points are
greeted at trailhead stations which convey information on low-impact use techniques,
visitor safety concerns, rules, and regulations. Four of the unit's most heavily used
entrances have open front trailhead shelters with a bulletin board and register. Lesser used
trailheads may only have a register and a few signs. Messages are focused to deal with a
few critical problems and desired behavior rather than trying to overwhelm the visitor with
huge quantities of material.
Personal contact, in many cases, has been the preferred option and is often
considered the most effective means of communication. Where they exist, visitor
information centers have been effective places to deliver educational messages. DEC
currently has no such facility and has instead, had to rely on the services of the Adirondack
Mountain Club at Adirondack Loj which serves the most heavily used trailhead in the
HPWC. There, demonstrations and field programs have been employed to reach the right
audience and have the advantage of being tailored to specific groups and have provided
information during the planning and initial stages of a trip.
Aside from one assistant forest ranger stationed in the parking lot of Adirondak Loj,
most DEC contacts are made by forest rangers, assistants, and interior caretakers on a one-to-one basis in the back country. They stress appropriate wilderness behavior, minimum
impact use, and wilderness safety. Maps and brochures are available at DEC offices.
General area and low -impact use information is increasingly being added to guidebooks
and maps. DEC personnel regularly contribute to and review material for books and maps
depicting their respective districts.
Some visitors are contacted at home if they request information or are required to
obtain a camping permit.

In 1974, the Adirondack Mountain Club, with DEC support, initiated the High
Peaks Ridge Runner Program to assist DEC education program within the eastern High
Peaks. The program promoted low-impact use and provided general information to
visitors. The program began with three seasonally-employed positions. It was succeeded
by a Wilderness Ranger Program in 1975 which added two forest rangers to the High
Peaks on a full-time basis. Their duties entailed wilderness information and education,
search and rescue, and law enforcement. A regional realignment of ranger districts in 1978
reduced the program to one position. To fill this gap, in view of increasing use, seven
Park Rangers, now called assistant forest rangers, and six Park Attendants were added on a
part-time basis. The information and education effort was expanded and DEC was able to
maintain a high level of presence at trailheads and at heavily used interior locations.
Serious budget cutbacks and inflation reduced the program significantly in the
1980's. In 1995, the program had four assistant forest rangers in the eastern High Peaks
and one in the western zone.

High levels of use concentrated in the Lake Colden basin caused significant
resource and social problems in the 1970's. Commencing in 1979, DEC began a
designated campsite program there to disperse use. Visitors were required to camp at
designated sites only. No impromptu camping was permitted unless it was 150 feet or
more away from a trail, water, or designated site. This technique was used to increase the
distance between parties and to avoid concentrated use around leanto locations. Certain
sites-those poorly located or heavily damaged were closed and rehabilitated. Large group
use-parties greater than ten persons was excluded on weekends.
Similar projects were applied to Indian Falls (1983), the lower Johns Brook Valley
(1985), and the length of the Ampersand Primitive Corridor (1993). All programs were
designed to keep impacts from proliferating and to redistribute use.
Campsite designation worked well when DEC had a strong presence in those areas.
As long as there were alternative places to camp, there were few problems. With greater
numbers of campers, many of the designated sites, coupled with non-designated impromptu
sites, have coalesced into large heavily impacted sites. Large, impacted sites can be found
near the Indian Falls, Johns Brook interior outpost, Lake Colden and Marcy Dam.
Ultimately, these campsite designation programs did not work because of increasing
numbers of campers far above the designed camping capacity of each area. There was no
effective way to turn people back when the camping areas were full.

All HPWC parking facilities were designed in the 1970's to accommodate a desired
capacity commensurate with interior use and to also, alleviate off-highway parking
problems. For example capacities were set for "the Garden" (Keene Valley) at 50 vehicles,
20 vehicles at the Ausable Club (easement), and 200 vehicles at Adirondak Loj (private).
This is a passive-indirect management approach to control interior use by balancing road
access with the desired carrying capacity of the contiguous wilderness.
However, visitor demand exceeds these capacities and the problem of unrestricted
and illegal parking on adjoining state and private lands, and town, county, and state roads
continues. This has caused conflicts with adjoining owners in terms of trespass and noise.
Restricted traffic flow has caused safety problems for local municipalities. As one parking
facility fills up, the problem is transferred to the next and so-on. This "ripple effect"
follows the entire eastern boundary of the HPWC. Parking problems routinely occur at the
Garden, South Meadows, the Ausable Club, and along NYS Route 73. In each case, the
number of parked cars is often triple the desired capacity. For example, on Labor Day,
1995, 206 cars were parked on either side of the narrow Adirondack Loj Road outside of
designated parking areas. The Adirondak Loj Road is a Town of North Elba public
highway with established "No Parking" zones. Enforcement of the no parking ban is the
responsibility of the Town of North Elba. The road is patrolled by the New York State
Police. With the exception of Adirondak Loj, which control its own parking, there is no
DEC presence to control parking at any of the developed entry points.

In accordance with the Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers Act of 1972 which
designated Ouluska Pass Brook and the Opalescent and Cold Rivers as "Wild Rivers" and
Ampersand Brook and the Raquette River as "Scenic Rivers". DEC inventoried the
streams and established a « mile wide corridor on each side of the stream as a protective
measure. Within the wild river corridors, major maintenance of non-conforming structures
(i.e. leantos) has been suspended in order to phase-out incompatible facilities as required
by the Act. No direct management actions have been taken on the two aforementioned
scenic rivers.

Prior to incorporation within the HPWC, several lakes were privately owned and
managed for fisheries. Upper and Lower Cascade Lake were property of the Lake Placid
Club, while the Tahawus Club is thought to have introduced brook trout to Avalanche Lake
in the 1920's (Greeley and Bishop, 1932). The Ausable Club also controlled several
waters in the High Peaks and may have stocked fish in them historically. Newcomb Lake
and Moose Pond on the Santanoni Preserve were privately owned until the early 1970's and
Newcomb Lake was stocked at least once with brook trout prior to public ownership. It is
unfortunate that stocking records are not available from all of these private owners, as they
might satisfy questions on the genetic background of what may be heritage strains of brook
trout or lake trout in some waters.
Stocking records are also incomplete for New York State efforts prior to the first
biological surveys of the 1930's. Until those surveys, much haphazard and biologically
unwise stocking took place which introduced many nonnative species to HPWC waters and
increased the range of other native species.
Fish management in the HPWC has emphasized the native brook trout through an
active reclamation, liming and stocking program. Lake trout are native to several waters,
but are not currently stocked within the unit. Brown trout, splake and kokanee salmon are
species historically associated with some lakes. Kokanee salmon may no longer be stocked
within the HPWC in accordance with wilderness fishery management guidelines.
Lower Cascade Lake was utilized as a brood stock water for efforts to restore round
whitefish to several Adirondack lakes in the early 1970's. Round whitefish were trapnetted
during their late autumn spawning period. Fertilized eggs from the parental stock were
raised in a private facility and fry were stocked in Cat Lake (not in HPWC). Propagation
of round whitefish proved to be relatively easy and some fry were raised to adults within
the private facility. Round whitefish did become established in Cat Lake and persist in low
numbers there today (Leo Demong, personal communication). The success of hatchery
propagation efforts bodes well for restoration of round whitefish.
The use of fish as bait has been prohibited entirely in the unit in order to curtail
"bait-pail" introductions of competing and/or nonnative fish species.
Most of the named waters (about 40) within the unit have received at least one
biological survey since the 1930's. Between 1984 and 1987, the Adirondack Lakes
Survey Corporation conducted thorough biological and chemical surveys on 29 ponds
within the HPWC (Appendix 10). Section II.K. discusses present day fish distribution
within the HPWC based on the most recent ALSC and DEC surveys.
In recognition of the fact that competing fish species are detrimental to native brook
trout populations, the Conservation Department undertook a program to reclaim certain
Adirondack lakes with rotenone in the 1950's. Rotenone is a piscicide developed from the
roots of certain southern hemisphere plants (and used in raw form by the natives there for
millennia to collect food fish) which biodegrades within days in the aquatic environment at
summer temperatures. Scientific studies have demonstrated that reptiles, mammals and
birds are not harmed by rotenone applications and that the few invertebrate and amphibian
species effected by rotenone rebound quickly to original population levels. Within the
HPWC, 27-acre Rock Pond (P# 196) was reclaimed in 1951 and 13-acre Little Ampersand
Pond was reclaimed in 1954 and 15-acre Owl Pond in 1967. Brook trout still survive in
the three ponds. A 1984 ALSC survey of Rock Pond indicated that the nonnative golden
shiner was present and that other competing species are resurging in numbers and biomass.
The application of calcium based alkaline materials to mitigate acidity has been
practiced by the DEC since 1959. DEC's liming policy restricts treatments to ponded
waters with certain physical, chemical and biological characteristics. Only four waters
within the HPWC have received liming treatments: Little Ampersand Pond, Livingston
Pond, Owl Pond and Avalanche Lake.
Little Ampersand Pond was first treated with lime in 1963. A follow-up application
was made in 1967. Since that time, pH levels have decreased to 5.1-5.3. Brook trout still
survived in the pond as of a 1983 survey, but recent reports from fishermen suggest the
population is declining.
Livingston Pond was limed in 1978 and continues to maintain good pH levels near
6.5. This small, high elevation lake proves that liming is feasible in appropriate HPWC
waters despite continued high levels of acid precipitation. Livingston Pond supports a
brook trout monoculture and has been a famous fishery for generations.
Avalanche Lake was limed in 1979 and had a pH of 6.7 in the summer of 1980. By
1983, however, the pH had declined to 5.0. Calculations of the lakes flushing rate (how
many times the lake's water volume is replaced each year) indicated that further liming
treatments would be similarly short-lived and the program was terminated.
Owl Pond was treated in 1970 with 450 pounds of hydrated lime. Liming
improved the water quality sufficiently to permit over winter survival of brook trout. A
summer 1993 pH reading was 4.92. Brook trout are believed to be still surviving in Owl
Pond, but this cannot continue for much longer.

DEC encourages scientific research within the HPWC. However, individual
research projects must contribute to the existing knowledge of the unit's resource base,
have practical application to wilderness management problems, or employ the HPWC
where no viable alternatives exist. Research projects are initiated by a detailed written
proposal submitted to DEC. Following a review process, written authorization in the form
of a Revocable Permit is issued. The permit specifies the conditions upon which approval
is contingent. Researchers are required to report to DEC in writing on the findings of each
research program.
A number of restrictions are applied in order to minimize the impact of the research
project on both the resource base and other users. The collection and removal of biological
and physical specimens must be authorized by the State Science Director. The construction
of permanent structures to facilitate research projects is not permitted.

The New York Natural Heritage Program is a cooperative effort between the Nature
Conservancy and DEC to inventory and manage the occurrence of rare plants, animals,
exemplary natural communities in New York State. It is closely related in scope and
purpose to DEC's Significant Habitat Program. Natural Heritage and Significant Habitats
jointly issue reports and maps assessing resource conditions. These are used as important
management planning tools.
A concerted effort is underway to inventory and maintain those plant and animal
species indigenous to the HPWC.

In another cooperative effort, DEC is a participant in the Nature Conservancy's
Natural Areas Registry Program. This program promotes the preservation of unique
natural areas by identifying the presence of rare species and habitats on public and private
lands. Eleven HPWC sites were added to the registry in 1987. The sites include areas at
or near Moose Pond, MacIntyre Range, Indian Pass, Iroquois Peak, Lake Colden Basin,
Opalescent River, Panther Gorge, Wright Peak, Boundary Peak North and South, and
Cascade Lakes. Inventories, technical assistance, and management summaries are given to
DEC to guide preservation and protection efforts.

DEC supports independent efforts to rehabilitate its alpine summits damaged by
hiker trampling. The summits contain many of New York State's rarest plant communities.
Constant wear-and-tear by hikers' boots puts this vegetation in jeopardy of extinction.
Scientists Drs. Edwin Ketchledge, Ray Leonard, and Norman Richards devised an
approach to rehabilitate summits by seeding and fertilizing exposed soil layers. When
protected from trampling, native plant succession is encouraged. This is an on-going
program supported, largely by volunteer efforts, most notably by the Adirondack Forty-Sixers.

The program, begun in 1989, is a cooperative effort of the Adirondack Nature
Conservancy/Adirondack Land Trust, the Adirondack Mountain Club, and DEC to place
uniformed summit stewards on alpine summits. Stewards teach hikers about alpine ecology
and urge them to stay on designated trails and bare rock surfaces and off vegetation to
prevent erosion and damage. Since its inception, summit stewards have personally
contacted over 82,000 visitors on the summits. Four stewards greeted over 16,000 visitors
in 1995 on 5 High Peaks summits: Marcy, Algonquin, Wright, Colden, and Haystack.
Funding has come largely from sources outside DEC.

The HPWC is administered by DEC's Region 5, headquartered in Ray Brook. The
Divisions of Lands and Forests, Fish and Wildlife, and Operations, all have management
responsibilities in the High Peaks.
Day-to-day Lands and Forests activities are the responsibility of the Regional
Forester. Forest Preserve lands within the Ray Brook working circle (Clinton, Essex, and
Franklin Counties) are administered by a Supervising Forester and a Forest Preserve
Forester. The latter is responsible for planning and implementation of Forest Preserve
programs in the eleven units.
Two forest rangers, headquartered in Keene and St. Huberts are assigned to the
eastern High Peaks. Five other forest rangers share collateral duties in the HPWC and
adjoining Forest Preserve units. They are located in Keene Valley, Lake Placid, Long
Lake, Minerva, Keene and Tupper Lake.
Interior maintenance is performed by the Division of Operations. Work is
accomplished by paid crews within the Division, supplemented by personnel from the
Department of Corrections (DOC), contractual agreements, and volunteers. The Division
staffs the interior outposts at Marcy Dam, Johns Brook, Lake Colden, and Raquette River.
Lake Colden is the only facility manned year-round due to existing heavy use and projected
winter use in the eastern High Peaks. A significant amount of interior maintenance is
accomplished by interior caretakers at Johns Brook, Lake Colden, Marcy Dam, and
Raquette. The latter also supervise a significant amount of volunteer labor. DOC
personnel employ inmates under DEC supervision during periods of low use. Work crews
from the Gabriels and Moriah Correctional Facilities are used for trail, bridge, and leanto
repair. DEC maintains contractual agreements with the Adirondack Mountain Club and the
Adirondack Trail Improvement Society to perform trail maintenance and assist in
coordinating volunteer activities. Volunteers maintain trails and leantos, collect trash,
assist in resource inventories, dispense information to visitors, and assist forest rangers in
search and rescue, and forest fire control.
In accordance with Article 9, ECL all wildfires are suppressed in the HPWC.
There is no "let burn" policy to permit fire to take its natural course. With each fire start,
DEC managers consider the most appropriate response and tactics which result in minimum
cost and resource damage consistent with wilderness designation.
There is no administrative use of motor vehicles except in cases of "sudden, actual,
and ongoing emergencies involving the protection or preservation of human life or intrinsic
resource values--for example, search and rescue operations, forest fires, . . ." (APSLMP,
1987). The use of motorized equipment or aircraft, but not motor vehicles is confined to
"off-peak seasons" (DEC Commissioner's Directive, 1976, APSLMP, 1987). Such use is
restricted only to major administrative, maintenance, rehabilitation, or construction
projects involving conforming structures or improvements or the removal of non-conforming structures.
All DEC personnel, associates, contractors, and volunteers are required to follow
APSLMP wilderness guidelines, rules and regulations, and permit procedures as expected
of the public.

All HPWC wilderness management programs, except for fish and wildlife related
activities, are funded by the state's general fund. Fish and wildlife functions are supported
by the Conservation Fund, a dedicated fund generated by the sale of hunting, fishing, and
trapping licenses.
Under DEC's present accounting system, the total costs associated with managing
the HPWC cannot be precisely calculated. All costs are lumped into a regional account.
There is no specific wilderness management account. Only capital improvement projects
(major construction) are assigned a specific cost center.
Annual appropriations have not been sufficient to attain the initiatives set out in the
APSLMP nor for most DEC programs. Limited budgets have resulted in limited
wilderness management activities especially in priority items such as information and
education, fish and wildlife management, law enforcement and resource protection.
The chart below presents a general overview of 1995 expenditures allocated to the


Interior Caretakers (4) and trail crews $108,200
Forest Rangers (2), full time 68,000
(does not include 5 collateral positions)
Assistant Forest Rangers (5) seasonal 28,450
General Administration and Planning 42,000
DEC Trail Projects; supplies and materials 25,000
ADK/ATIS Trail contracts and volunteer programs 25,000
Summit Steward Program; DEC contribution 1,000


This section is intended to lay the foundation for DEC managers, with public
assistance, to develop specific management practices necessary to attain the wilderness
goals and objectives of the APSLMP. An important part of this discussion includes a set of
wilderness management principles largely derived from the APSLMP and the Federal
Wilderness Act of 1964 which was used, in part, as model for the original 1972 APSLMP.
These principles attempt to introduce professional wilderness management to the decision
making process, so that proposed management practices can be "fit" to the special
ecological and sociological characteristics of the HPWC.

The need for a formal plan, a road map that prescribes specific actions necessary to
meet wilderness goals and objectives, has been clearly documented in the preceding pages.
DEC recognized early in this planning process that public participation was
essential in managing the HPWC. General policy states "the public must have an
opportunity to help formulate unit management plans if these documents are to have
credibility and general acceptance". Formal public participation in the development of the
HPWC plan began in June of 1990 by the appointment of a 26 member citizens advisory
group by then DEC Commissioner Thomas C. Jorling.
The High Peaks Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC) represented a variety of
interest groups, local governments, scientists, and users. Its purpose and structure were
much like its predecessor, the High Peaks Advisory Committee, that had met 16 years
earlier. The committee elected a chairman and organized itself into ten subcommittees to
develop and analyze issues, and to present agenda items and management proposals.
Although the committee acted as an independent group outside of DEC, the group received
background and technical information from a DEC multi-discipline planning team. APA
staff was brought in to discuss APSLMP issues. From the onset, the CAC was counseled
that its role was strictly advisory; final decision making was to rest with DEC.
To initiate discussions at the CAC's first meeting, DEC posed the following
questions to the group to identify management concerns and issues:

What special features, experiences, or qualities need to be preserved; what items
need attention most?

What management problems or concerns, by priority, should be formally addressed
over the next five years?
In essence, how should the DEC best manage the HPWC as an enduring resource?

The CAC held 15 group and numerous subcommittee meetings over a two year
period ending in June of 1992. In July of that same year, the committee submitted a
detailed report to DEC. The report listed 186 recommendations to bring the HPWC into
compliance with the APSLMP, to manage visitor use, and to protect High Peaks soils,
waters, vegetation, fish and wildlife, and trail systems.

The overall issue and concern identified was: "At what level should the DEC
manage the wilderness resources of the HPWC?" Facets of this issue, examined by the
CAC, are listed below. Almost all the issues are interrelated.

Removal of Non-conforming Uses and Structures: The APSLMP mandates DEC
to remove the Marcy Dam Interior Outpost and close the South Meadows town road
to motor vehicle traffic in order to achieve peripheral control, What level of
perimeter facilities development is then required if these actions take place. What
impact will this have on adjoining private facilities?

Land Acquisition: How can the HPWC best be protected through acquisition of
interior and adjoining lands; either through fee acquisitions or conservation
easements in accordance with the Open Space Plan and Environmental Protection

Protection of Native Flora and Fauna: How can rare, threatened, and endangered
species be protected from recreational overuse?

Wildlife Management: How can quality fishing and wilderness big game hunting
be maintained? How can the frequency and variety of wildlife sightings be
increased? What is the acceptable level of impact caused by recreation, hunting and
fishing use on the wilderness wildlife resource?

Water Quality: How should DEC ensure the water quality of lakes, rivers, and
streams is protected?

Campsite Numbers and Condition: What will be an acceptable density of
campsites in the different management zones of the HPWC and what will be an
acceptable level of campsite impacts? What are the advantages and disadvantages of
a campsite designation program?

Trailhead Facilities: How can trailhead facilities be relocated to mitigate adverse
effects on adjoining private lands in the absence of adequate buffers?

Trail Conditions: Will a trails classification system be instituted to improve trails
and better protect the resource and provide a more aesthetic experience for all

Public Use: What is an acceptable group size limit for both day and overnight users
to reduce environmental and sociological impacts? Will permits be used to control
and redistribute use? How can indirect methods be used to redistribute use to avoid
excessive user concentration in the eastern High Peaks? Will seasonal use
limitations be placed on high elevation trails during prolonged periods of wet
weather to protect resources?

Information and Education: How can information and education efforts be
improved to reach potential visitors before they get to the HPWC, at the trailhead,
and while in the back country? What information is needed to promote wilderness
ethics, minimum impact techniques, and improve visitor self-sufficiency?

Administration: What is the acceptable level of administrative presence necessary
to manage the HPWC?

The issues and concerns listed above are addressed in this UMP. Where applicable,
CAC recommendations were incorporated in subsequent sections.

Section 816 of the Adirondack Park Agency Act directs DEC to develop, in
consultation with APA, individual unit management plans for each unit of land under its
jurisdiction classified in the APSLMP. The APSLMP further directs DEC to manage
wilderness as "an enduring resource" which is a fundamental directive that DEC takes as
its primary responsibility in the HPWC. The APSLMP acknowledges all Adirondack
wilderness areas are not the same. In one wilderness, human influences may be minor; in
another, human influences can cause major disturbances. In the particular case of the
HPWC, the number and intensity of these influences causes a gap between attainable legal
wilderness, as defined by the APSLMP, and current conditions. Therefore, an inherent
goal of this plan is to attain the highest level of purity of its wilderness character within the
legal constraints of the APSLMP. In addition, future management direction for the HPWC
must take into consideration the following four categories of real-world constraints:

The mix of governmental entities that share responsibilities for particular aspects of
the planning process for the HPWC includes a variety of perspectives on management
polices. DEC must operate within the framework of the APSLMP, Article XIV of the
state's Constitution, the Environmental Conservation Law, and existing rules and
regulations. It must also work with county, town, and local governments who control the
access roads leading to the HPWC before any management proposal can be implemented,
the environmental and social impacts of alternative management actions must be assessed
under the terms and conditions of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

Ecological conditions within the HPWC place natural limits on management. The
HPWC, topographically and ecologically, is one of the most diverse units in the
Adirondack Park. Its high elevation and relief help to create three ecological zones (mixed
woods, spruce-fir, and alpine). Each zone has a different physical carrying capacity for
recreational use and these differences must be considered. On the more level landscapes
(mixed wood) surrounding the peaks, standard trail-building practices are generally
appropriate because of deep, well-drained soils which can sustain heavy foot traffic. On
steeper slopes (spruce-fir) a high level of management is required. On those slopes, the
removal of running water from the trails is a major consideration where soils are thinner
and mainly organic and where few rocks are available for stabilizing trail sides. On the
fragile summits (alpine), characterized by very short growing seasons and thin, peaty soils,
all hiker traffic must be confined to maintained trails. Acceptable management practices
thus vary with elevation and steepness of slope and other ecological variables.

Historical Legacy
The HPWC is characterized by numerous historical impacts that have affected the
natural landscape. The first of the historical complications is the environmental damage
that occurred during the logging era prior to the creation of the Forest Preserve. By the
1920's most of the mountain sides had been harvested of spruce and fir, the two species
that dominate the steep slopes. Most of the original forest cover was removed and its
softwood component significantly reduced. Wild fires swept over much of the landscape in
the early part of this century consuming the logging debris. Much of the residual forest
was later struck down in the 1950 hurricane. The present day HPWC forest consists
largely of second growth that will require two centuries or more to achieve natural

A sociological complication involves the fact that the extent of facility development,
especially the trail system, has largely been inherited before wilderness designation. DEC
similarly inherited allowable use patterns and practices that were acceptable in terms of low
use, but which now require a different management approach to different degrees in the
eastern High Peaks, the western High Peaks, and along the HPWC portion of the
Adirondack Canoe Route.
The ownership patterns of private lands adjacent to, and located within the HPWC
boundary, must be accepted as they are today for many types of management
recommendations. Ownership patterns are of particular concern when considering
trailhead locations and management.
A long established DEC administrative system that includes budgetary and staffing
levels that were appropriate 40 years when use was low, has also been inherited. These
budgets and staffing levels are no longer able to cope with present levels of high use and
accompanying rates of environmental and sociological change.

The HPWC has a limited capacity to absorb the impacts of visitor use and still
retain its wilderness qualities. When use increases and damaging patterns appear at
specific locations and times, the absorptive capacity of the resource has been exceeded.
Wilderness qualities and experiences can often disappear, either gradually or swiftly in
unintended ways. These factors relate directly to the definition of carrying capacity, the
type and level of visitor use an area can sustain without unacceptable change.
The term "carrying capacity" has its roots in range and wildlife sciences. As
defined in the range sciences, carrying capacity means "the maximum number of animals
that can be grazed on a land unit for a specific period of time without inducing damage to
vegetation or related resources (Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center,
1994). The concept has been modified to address recreational uses as well; however, its
basic assumptions proved to be false.
After many years of study, basic research showed that there was no linear
relationship between the amount of use and the resultant amount of impact (Krumpe and
Stokes, 1993). For many types of impacts, most of the impact occurs with only low levels
of use. In some cases, such as trail erosion, once the soil starts to wash away, additional
foot travel on the trail does not cause the amount of impact to increase proportionately.
This research revealed that visitor behavior, site resistant/resiliency, type of use, etc. may
be more important in determining the amount of impact than the amount of use, although
the total amount use is still a factor (Hammit and Cole, 1987).
The shortcomings of the carrying capacity approach, as applied to wilderness
management, soon became apparent. It became clear that searching for one single carrying
capacity was probably next to impossible, since it is dependent on many variables as noted
above. By focusing on determining how many visitors an area could accommodate, it was
found that managers often
lost sight of basic wilderness goals and objectives - the very things they were trying to
achieve. This changed the question "How many is too many?" to "How much change is
Viewed in this context, carrying capacity can be used to prescribe what kind of
resource and social conditions are acceptable, compare them to on-the-ground conditions,
and identify the management policies and actions needed to maintain or restore the desired
wilderness condition.
Establishing appropriate conditions is dependent on clearly stated management
objectives. They are based on value judgements derived from experience, research,
inventory data, public input (dialogue with users), careful analysis, and common sense.
The objectives dictate how much change will be allowed to occur, where it occurs, and
what management actions are needed to control it. Once in place and functioning, limits of
acceptable change (LAC) are used as measuring tools to alert DEC to unacceptable changes
within the HPWC before it is too late to react.
Because the HPWC is a large diverse wilderness with many varying physical and
ecological resources, social and managerial elements, no single carrying capacity can be
applied to the unit as a whole. For example, an established carrying capacity for the
heavily used eastern High Peaks sectors may not be suitable for the lesser visited portions
of the wilderness. To fully meet plan goals and objectives, a wide range of carrying
capacities for each component, may be more appropriate.
Carrying capacity does not always require use limitations; rather use limitations are
viewed as one of many management actions that can be taken in response to a specific
problem. When past efforts have proved ineffective, a use limit may be the only option
available when standards are exceeded. Monitoring provides the feedback necessary to
periodically modify management actions, standards or objectives.
In summary, defining carrying capacity in terms of limits of acceptable change,
requires a decision on what kinds of wilderness conditions are acceptable, then prescribing
actions to protect or achieve those desired conditions. They are applied through a planning
framework that expresses management objectives based on careful considerations of
resource conditions, inherent constraints, and the needs and wants of its users. An
important objective of this management plan is to carefully document the limits of
acceptable change and improve our current inventory of existing resource and social
conditions. This is a critical step to knowing where and what future management actions
will be needed beyond the five year live of this plan.

Management of the HPWC will be always complex. Hendee and others (1990) put
it best by stating "When a problem arises, many solutions might be possible; seldom are
there single unequivocal answers at hand. Instead managers must often devise and choose
from a set of alternatives." It is important that any decision-making rationale must
conform to the APSLMP. The following principles attempt to introduce professional
wilderness management guidelines in writing long-term policy and day-to-day problem
solving for the HPWC. They only provide guidance; not direct answers. No directive
system can answer all the questions that arise in managing wilderness.


Wilderness is a distinct resource producing many societal values and benefits. One
of wilderness's distinctive features is the natural relationship between all its
component parts: geology, soil, vegetation, air, water, fish and wildlife - everything
that makes up a wilderness. In most cases, separate management plans will not be
developed for vegetation, fish, wildlife, recreation, etc. Rather, one plan must deal
simultaneously with the interrelationships between these and all other components
(APSLMP, 1987).

All proposed management actions must consider their effect on the wilderness
resource so no harm comes to it. For example, recreation should be managed and
kept within acceptable levels that maintain the HPWC's wilderness character,
including opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation
emphasizing a quality visitor experience. (APSLMP, 1987: USDA, 1972; Blodel,
This principle is derived in part from the APSLMP (1987) definition of wilderness
in dealing with the term "natural conditions." According to the APSLMP, the
primary wilderness management guideline will be to achieve and perpetuate a
natural plant and animal community where man's influence is not apparent. It
means not introducing exotic plants and animals not historically associated with the
Adirondacks nor manipulating vegetation to enhance one resource over another
(Article XIV. State Constitution, 1894; APSLMP, 1987; Blodel, 1990).

An important APSLMP wilderness goal is to retain and make where necessary,
Adirondack wilderness areas as wild and natural as possible. Examples of this
principle include efforts to rehabilitate alpine summits, closing roads to motor
vehicle use, or restoring severely eroded trails (APSLMP, 1987; Article XIV State
Constitution, 1894; and the Environmental Conservation Law.

Wilderness air and water quality bear testimony to the general health of our
environment. Federal and state laws are designed specifically to protect air and
water quality. In wilderness, internal pollution sources such as human and animal
wastes must be controlled.

Wilderness areas are not just designated to protect natural communities and
ecosystems; they are also for people. The APSLMP (1987) states "Human use and
enjoyment of those lands (meaning state lands within the Adirondack Park) should
be permitted and encouraged, so long as the resources in their physical and
biological context and their social and psychological aspects are not degraded." This
is especially true for wilderness.

This principle comes directly from the APSLMP (1987) definition of wilderness.
Levels of solitude within any given wilderness will vary; sometimes substantially.
However, each wilderness should have places and times within where visitors can
find little or no contact with others. Management strategies to protect the wilderness
resource should strive to minimize the amount of contact or control over visitors
once they are in the unit. (USDA, 1978; Hendee and others, 1990; Blodel, 1990).

When human use must be controlled to prevent misuse and overuse, it is best to do
so by education followed by minimum degree of regulation necessary to meet
management objectives. The latter option is sometimes called the minimum tool
rule - application of the minimum tools, equipment, regulations, or practices that
will bring the desired result (USDA,1978).

Wilderness is a distinct resource, and many recreational or other activities taking
place there can be enjoyed elsewhere. Not all outdoor activities need require a
wilderness setting. Examples are large group use, orienteering schools, competitive
events, and other organized events (DEC policy, 1972-present). A DEC
management goal is to refer these activities to Wild Forest Areas.

"A wilderness area is further defined to mean an area of state land or water having a
primeval character without significant improvements or permanent human
habitation...."(APSLMP, 1987). Except for those conforming structures, uses, and
administrative actions specifically
identified by the APSLMP, DEC is mandated to remove all non-conforming
structures and uses not compatible with a wilderness environment as soon as

This principle requires every management action to be scrutinized to see first if it is
necessary, then plan to do it with the "minimum tool" to accomplish the task. Its
goal is to have the least possible impact on the environment and the visitor
experience (USDA, 1978; Blodel, 1990; Hendee and others, 1990).

Working together within the constraints of the APSLMP, managers and the public
need to define acceptable levels of use and specific management practices for each
Adirondack wilderness. These need to be clearly stated in management plans
available for public review and comment. It is essential visitors and other users
understand wilderness values, and managers clearly know their management
responsibilities. (APSLMP, 1987; DEC policy 1972-present; Blodel, 1990; Hendee
and others, 1990).

Wilderness management should be coordinated with the management of adjacent
state and private lands in a manner that recognizes differing land management goals.

Because wilderness consists of complex relationships, it needs the skills of natural
resource professionals and social scientists that work as an interdisciplinary team
focusing on preserving wilderness as a distinct resource. Environmental and social
sciences are used to replace nostalgia and politics in decision-making.

The APSLMP (1987) provides for certain conforming uses and structures that differ
from the wilderness definition. These exceptions, in part, include interior outposts,
existing dams on established impoundments, existing or new fish barrier dams,
trails, bridges, signs, trail shelters (leantos), etc. Construction of additional
conforming structures and improvements will be restrained to comply with
wilderness standards, and all management and administrative actions will be
designed to emphasize the self-sufficiency of user in an environmentally sound and
safe way.


Given the diversity of wilderness environments and experiences in the HPWC, not
withstanding its real world constraints, no single planning approach is appropriate for all
issues of concern. Rather, DEC's long-term management strategy uses a combination of
three generally accepted wilderness planning methods: (1) goal-achievement method, (2) to
zoning and (3) the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) adopted by the U.S. Forest Service,
and Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (VERP) model employed by the National
Park Service.

Goal-Achievement Process
The goal achievement process method develops management by objectives that
describe the wilderness conditions (goals) outlined in the APSLMP. DEC is mandated by
law to attain these goals. Each objective item requires an assessment of the current
management situation and a list of assumptions about future trends before a management
recommendation is made.

Acceptable uses of the HPWC can be determined not only by the APSLMP and
DEC policies, but also by the specific conditions that are found across the unit. Because of
its typical diversity, uses, and conditions, it would be cumbersome to manage the HPWC
under a uniform management prescription. Although some management actions and
standards may be applied in an umbrella-like fashion for the entire wilderness, not all
sections of the HPWC need to be managed in the same way or intensity so long as the
minimum wilderness requirements of the APSLMP are met. This would suggest the
HPWC be divided into different sections or zones to provide a spectrum of resource
conditions and recreational opportunities with each zone having different degrees of
To do this, the HPWC has been divided into three zones: Zone A - the Adirondack
Canoe Route Zone B - the western High Peaks, and Zone C - the eastern High Peaks. The
particular nature of canoeing, sets the Adirondack Canoe Route apart from the other two
zones. The heavily used and severely affected areas in the eastern High Peaks need to be
managed to higher standards that will improve conditions to acceptable levels, while the
western High Peaks with high-quality wilderness conditions and experiences need a
different management approach to perpetuate these features.
The height of land immediately west of the Indian Pass Trail is used as the dividing
line between the western and High Peaks zones and a 500 feet wide strip of land east of
Long Lake and the Raquette River delineates the Adirondack Canoe Route from the
western High Peaks. Zone boundaries are portrayed on the accompanying map. General
management guidelines and policies for each zone are found in Appendix 4.
<Zone boundary map goes here> Limits of Acceptable Change and Visitor Experience and Resource Protection Models
(LAC) and (VERP)
These two formats employ carrying capacity concepts, not so much as a prescription
of the total number of people that can visit an area, but as a prescription of the desired
economical and social conditions that should be maintained to minimum wilderness
standards regardless of use. Such prescriptions, coupled with research and long-term
monitoring can give managers the necessary information and rational to make sound
management decisions.
Combined with zoning, LAC and VERP apply four factors to identify potential
management actions for each zone:
The identification of acceptable resource and social conditions as defined by
measurable indicators
An analysis of the relationship between existing conditions and those desired;
Determinations of the necessary management actions needed to achieve desired
conditions; and
A monitoring program to see if objectives are being met. Selecting appropriate
parameters for each zone is the key to measuring and evaluating acceptable change.

DEC chosen parameters include:
Diversity and distribution of plant and animal species,
Condition of vegetation on alpine summits, in camping areas, and riparian
areas near lakes and streams,
Air and water quality,
Extent of soil erosion on trails and campsites,
General campsite condition,
Campsite solitude - sight and sound spatial characteristics,
Noise on trails, in campsites, and on summits,
Conflicts between differing user groups, and
Encounters with large groups - while hiking and camping.

Ecological standards can generally be readily set based on scientific data at hand.
However, sociological standards, beyond those stated in the APSLMP, require extensive
sociological data collection and analysis which may not be available within the five year
planning window.
All three methods described above require monitoring and flexibility. Aside from
APSLMP mandates, management actions are not fixed. Knowledge gained by initial
implementation of the HPWC unit management plan will be used to refine and revise
management programs if monitoring shows that desired conditions are not attained. They
should be considered only the first step in a long-term process that extends well into
horizon planning. The five year UMP must show progress towards attainment of APSLMP
Activity and/or project identification occurred through integrated area-wide analysis
of existing conditions. The plan's Management Principles, addressed in this section,
provide the basis for reviewing and evaluating all potential management actions. When
visitor use must be controlled to prevent misuse or overuse in a particular zone, DEC
prefers a course of actions that follows an order of increasing control by: (1) education and
information in proper wilderness travel and camping; (2) indirect control methods, such as
dispersing use; and (3) the minimum degree of regulation required to meet management
objectives. Where overuse is occurring, specific steps need to be taken to reduce impacts
and retard unnatural change. Tighter, temporary or long-term constraints through permit
system in some areas may be necessary in the future. Restoration of damaged sites through
natural or active management may be justified (DEC general policy 1972 to present;
USDA, 1978; Blodel, 1990; Hendee and others, 1990; NPS, 1993). SECTION VIII


This section describes the specific management objectives, policies, and proposed
management actions for administering the HPWC, as well as an overview of the current
situation and assumptions of future trends. The objectives apply the plan's goals to a
particular management issue as identified by DEC staff, the High Peaks Citizens' Advisory
Committee, and testimony received at five public meetings held across the state and
response to over 500 pages of written public comments. The management policies and
actions are the means that will be employed to reach management objectives. When
writing management proposals, DEC managers are guided by Article XIV of the State
Constitution and the APSLMP and their respective legislative histories, the Environmental
Conservation Law (ECL) and DEC Rules and Regulations.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
A land acquisition plan, under the conceptual framework of the Open Space Plan
and the Environmental Protection Act (1993), specific to the HPWC has not been
completed. This task is commonly referred to as a "needs assessment." Assessing needs
for protection of wilderness resources, including open space are difficult to determine.
Each wilderness resource and open space view shed has its own characteristics and is
usually found in only one or a few specific locations. However, this needs assessment
must be completed before an acquisition list is developed. The High Peaks CAC (1990)
list of recommended properties to be acquired in fee and/or easement can be used as a basis
for review and determination.
For many years the State of New York has expressed an interest in acquiring all
private parcels enclosed by the HPWC. In addition, there has been a desire to purchase
deeded easements or right-of-ways to certain trails and trailheads to which there is no or
guaranteed public right of access. Places with verbal permission for access cannot be
guaranteed and are recommended for purchase. These areas include portions of the
Northville-Lake Placid Trail (Long Lake), Johns Brook, The Garden (Keene Valley), Twin
Brooks Trail (Newcomb) and the approaches to Allen and Santanoni Mountains. Few
conservation easements protect the HPWC's open space character from outside
development pressures on adjoining private lands; only the lands of the Adirondack
Mountain Reserve (AuSable Club), Elk Lake Lodge, and one 40 acres inholding (Burton)
are protected by deeded conservation easements.
Aside from public roads and riparian boundaries, the unit has 162 miles of
boundary lines that must be maintained on a regular basis. Unit designations; the High
Peaks Wilderness, Ampersand Primitive Area, and the Johns Brook Primitive Corridor, are
not well defined on the ground.

Complete land acquisition needs assessment task for the HPWC in accordance with
the Open Space Plan.

Acquire private lands which lie within the wilderness through negotiated sale with
willing sellers.

Acquire permanent rights-of ways or easements to private trails and trailheads that
serve the HPWC for which no recorded easements exist.

Locate and post all boundary lines on a scheduled basis.

Physically identify wilderness, primitive area, and corridor unit designations on the
ground for administrative and public use.

Management Policies and Actions:
Develop a wilderness-wide fee and conservation easement acquisition priority list.
Determine if landowners express selling an interest in their properties. Acquire
properties through negotiated sale with willing sellers under established guidelines,
as opportunities arise.

Physically inspect the boundary to determine resurvey and maintenance needs;
assign a priority to each. Brush, paint, and sign all boundary lines at least once
every five years or sooner. Especially mark boundaries where they cross a trail,
road, or stream. Monitor boundaries for unauthorized activities, such as illegal
motor vehicle and mountain bike entry and timber trespass.

Sign unit boundaries and entrances to the High Peaks Wilderness, Ampersand
Primitive Area, and the Johns Brook Primitive Corridor so that both DEC personnel
and the public know individual unit designations; especially where and when
different rules, regulations, and recommendations apply.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
Detailed soil maps are not available for the wilderness. Broad soil types (accurate to
an area about 40 acres in size) were delineated on aerial photographs, but interpretations
have not been completed for each soil type. Little information has been documented on
wide-spread soil loss, except that there are many sites where soil disturbances on trails,
summits, stream sides, and campsites require rehabilitative actions. Trail widening, trail
use during wet weather, camping too close to sensitive riparian areas, and summit
trampling are contributing factors. The so-called "trailless peaks" have multiple unmarked
herd paths to their summits; none of which are receiving maintenance or erosion control.
The lack of trail maintenance funds complicates erosion control efforts.

Keep soil erosion caused by recreation use within acceptable limits that closely
approximates the natural erosion process.

Prevent soil compaction resulting from human activity where natural plant
establishment is precluded (except at trailheads and on developed trails).

Management Policies and Actions:
Inventory, map, and monitor soil conditions affected by recreation use.

Correct undesirable conditions by rehabilitating the area and/or relocating use to
more durable sites.

Relocate trails, designated campsites, and leanto locations that are less than 100 feet
from water to reduce sedimentation and/or contamination of water resources.

Continue to target trail maintenance to heavily eroded trails; develop a priority list
based on resource need rather than on user convenience. Include trailless peaks as

Request voluntary compliance in seasonal closures of high elevation trails and
certain low elevation trails during period of wet weather; usually November 1-
December 15 and April 1- May 15, or at appropriate times set by the area manager.

Any future recreation site developments should include a site specific soil survey
which will require information on soil capability, characteristic plant communities,
and wildlife habitat.
Air Resources
Current Situation and Assumptions:
One of the most important features of the Adirondacks and the HPWC is clean air.
Federal Clean Act Standards rate Adirondack air Class II (ratings are from Class I to IV,
with I being the cleanest). DEC is currently developing a classification schedule for air
quality protection that, when enacted, will be more stringent than Federal standards. It
should be noted New York State has had a consistent bipartisan policy regarding impacts of
the Clean Air Act on the Adirondack Park. Air quality problems tend to originate outside
Adirondack Park boundaries. No known pollution activities within the Adirondack Park
have affected HPWC line of sight visibility to mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, and open
space in general. However, interior caretakers at Lake Colden have reported periods of
dense smoke, close to the ground, related to campfire use during summer and fall
temperature inversions.
Achieve Federal Class II air standards.

Management Policy and Actions:
Cooperate with other air-related agencies and scientific researchers in developing
baseline data to identify the effects of potential air pollutants on HPWC wilderness

State-wide and regional air quality objectives will be presented for consideration in
external land-use decisions that may potentially have an impact on HPWC air

Research and monitor air quality at interior locations.

Water Resources
Current Situation and Assumptions:
Water quality studies have been conducted by the Adirondack Lakes Survey
Corporation (ALSC), researching the effects of acid deposition, and the Bureau of
Fisheries routinely conducts biological surveys of area waters. No studies have been
conducted to determine the effects of recreation use on water quality. As focal points for
visitation, streams, springs, lakes, ponds, and wetlands will be on the receiving end of
more human disturbance. With continued high levels of use, the potential for deterioration
of water quality, from a biological standpoint, must be anticipated. And, at the minimum,
visitors must be advised that HPWC water ought not to be considered potable and must be
properly treated before consumption.
The HPWC has four functional and maintained dams (Duck Hole - 2 dams, Marcy
Dam, and Lake Colden) that have long standing established water levels. Two legally
designated "Wild Rivers" are found in the unit, portions of the Opalescent and the entire
length of the Cold River. Inventories of these rivers were conducted in 1976 and 1978 to
determine non-conforming uses and structures as directed by the APSLMP.

Maintain and improve water quality.

Inventory all riparian areas, including wild river corridors, within the unit to
identify potential impacts on water resources.

Reduce the potential for pathogenic contamination (especially giardiasis) from all
water sources.

Allow lakes with maintained dams to stay at existing water levels.

Management Policy and Actions:
Aquatic and riparian habitats will be maintained and/or improved. Any use which
could prove damaging to the pristine character of riparian vegetation will not be
allowed to occur.

Relocate leantos, pit privies, and non-designated campsites away from water.
Leantos must be set back at least 100 feet, minimum setbacks for non-designated
campsites and pit privies are 150 feet. All leantos located in Wild River Corridors
will be phased out (removed) when their useful life has ceased (APSLMP, 1987).
The latter may be replaced by designated campsites.

Close and rehabilitate lakeshore and streamside areas that have been impacted by
bank erosion caused by recreation use.

ALSC and biological survey work will be incorporated in all planning activities.

Continue to monitor activities on adjacent lands; especially timber harvesting and
road building, that have the potential to impact HPWC waters.

The public will be advised through DEC education and information programs to
treat all water for protozoan parasitic bacteria (i.e. giardia and naegleria) prior to
consumptive use.
Inspect functional water control dams regularly and repair when necessary.

Allow all nonfunctional dams to deteriorate naturally.

Seek outside funding or encourage research from academic institutions to determine
the effects of recreational use on water quality. Such research will strengthen
assessments of the limits of acceptable change on area waters.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
Much of the HPWC's vegetated landscape has been altered by wind, fire, insects
and disease, pre-Forest Preserve logging, and recreational use. Despite these influences,
the unit has several unique ecosystems requiring special management attention. These
areas include the rare flora and tundra vegetation found atop alpine summits, small portions
of old growth forest, wetland complexes, and many areas not yet identified.
The High Peaks area is known world-wide for harboring an unusually large
number of rare, threatened, and endangered species protected by federal and state law.
Vegetation has been severely impacted by concentrated human activity in areas such as trail
corridors, riparian areas, lakeshores, mountain summits, and camping areas. In the special
case of the alpine summits, trampling by people and pets is a major cause of the problem.
Continued winter camping above 4,000 feet elevations, atop thin wind-blown snowpacks, is
an added stress on alpine environments. Recreation during wet weather (late fall and early
spring), at high elevations and on some low lying trails, exacerbate impacts. Vegetation on
some severely disturbed sites is not sufficient to naturally revegetate them.
Despite special designation, protective mechanisms and programs, such as the
Nature Conservancy's Natural Area Registry, New York Natural Heritage Program, and
the Summit Stewards, many species remain in jeopardy; some near extinction due to heavy
and sustained visitor use. The Summit Stewards' education program contacted over 82,000
summit visitors since its inception in 1989. The extent of exotic, non-native, or weedy
species introductions that may compete with indigenous vegetation are not known. Plant
inventories and ecological mapping are on-going; however, not all areas have been
Ground cover loss and the illegal cutting of standing live and dead trees is excessive
in many heavily visited areas, including Lake Colden and Marcy Dam. Dead and down
vegetative material in the vicinity of traditionally used camp areas is fast disappearing, and
annual natural accumulation is not keeping pace with utilization by visitors for firewood.
Annual trail maintenance has focused on visitor safety and resource protection
rather than on user convenience. Trees are cut, by permit, for construction and
maintenance of authorized improvements when suitable materials cannot be brought in from
outside the wilderness.

Allow natural processes to play out their roles to insure that the succession of plant
communities is not altered by man.

Maintain existing diversity of species and age composition in areas where natural
plant associations are relatively undisturbed by man.

Preserve and protect known locations of sensitive, rare, threatened, and endangered

Continue and enhance programs to identify and map sensitive, rare, threatened, and
endangered species.

Assist natural forces in restoring natural plant associations and communities where
they have been severely altered by man.

Management Policy and Actions:
All vegetation protection and restoration programs will emphasize information and
education as the primary means to reduce impacts and slow unnatural change.

Maintain a new designation system for areas meeting criteria based upon the rarity
and ecological significance of species and natural communities that warrant special
management attention.

Conduct botanical examinations to produce a more complete inventory of rare,
threatened, and endangered species.

The current citizen-sponsored alpine education and information, summit steward
stewardship, and vegetation restoration efforts will continue and be enhanced as
funds permit.

All proposed scientific research projects in special ecological zones must be covered
by a standard revocable permit issued by DEC.

Ecological inventories and maps will be correlated with recreation, and fish and
wildlife project plans to prevent unintended and undesirable impacts to sensitive,
rare, threatened, and endangered species.

A marker or unobtrusive sign may be developed and placed on the approaches and
outer bounds of sensitive areas to inform the public of such significance and advise
them of special precautions. For example, the public needs to know where the 3.500
feet in elevation contour is encountered and that camping is only permitted in
designated sites above that elevation up to 4,000 feet as per APSLMP guidelines.

Camping above 4,000 feet will be prohibited all times. This action, more restrictive
than the APSLMP, is necessary to protect senstive upper spruce-fir ecotypes,
subalpine and rare summit vegetation.. This will require a regulation change in
section (d) Part 190.3 of Title 6 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
governoring the use of state lands. It will also eliminate camping on high exposed
ridge areas prone to thunderstorms.

Seasonal voluntary trail closures, to protect vegetation and reduce erosion, may be
employed on all trails, when the ground is wet; November 1- December 15 (frost-in) and April 1- May 15 (frost-out). Time frames may be altered at the discretion of
the area manager. A list of alternative trails on drier sites will be provided. If
voluntary seasonal trail closures are ineffective in reducing damage to soils and
vegetation during these seasons, mandatory restrictions may be emplaced.

There will be no cutting of summit vegetation to improve scenic vistas in keeping
with wilderness policy which allows natural processes of succession to operate
freely in wilderness.

Minimum impact techniques will be used to revegetate sites where structures or
concentrated use has destroyed natural vegetation. Native seedlings, trees, shrubs,
and grasses will be planted to accelerate the return to natural conditions when

Visitors will be encouraged to use portable cook stoves and refrain from building
campfires. Such messages will be contained in the wilderness education and
information program. Seasonal or year-round campfire prohibitions will be
considered in specified areas where fuel wood use has outstripped natural
accumulations of dead and down material.

To further protect summit vegetation, no person shall ignite or maintain a fire at an
elevation of 4,000 feet or higher, at any time, in the eastern and western High
Peaks zones.

Vegetation will be monitored annually or more frequently as required so that
changes can be detected before unacceptable conditions arise.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
A number of changes have occurred over the past several decades that have
impacted a variety of wildlife species within the HPWC. Such changes have included
habitat degradation through excessive logging, wildfires, acid precipitation, and excessive
use by people, natural succession, protection of the forest and wildlife species through
legislation, reintroduction of extirpated species of wildlife and immigration of extirpated
species to the area. These factors tend to place HPWC wildlife into three categories: (1)
wilderness-dependent wildlife, (2) wilderness-associated wildlife, and (3) common wildlife
found in the unit. Most wildlife management activities within the HPWC have been limited
to improving knowledge of the wildlife found in the three categories.
One of the original attractions to the Adirondacks in general was the vast array of
hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities. The APSLMP specifies these uses as being
legitimate and compatible with wilderness. DEC policy encourages these activities as part
of a larger wilderness experience, not just a quest for game (Doig, 1976).
The number of people/wildlife conflicts has risen proportionately to the number of
visitors in the HPWC. Habitat areas heavily used by wildlife are often also choice
locations for human trails and campsites. (Hendee and others, 1990) Where people
habitually camp, such as at Lake Colden and Marcy Dam, bears often scrounge for food
and garbage. Domestic pets, mainly dogs, may harass the wildlife.

Re-establish self-sustaining wildlife populations of species that are extirpated,
endangered, threatened or of special concern in habitats where their existence will
be compatible with other elements of the ecosystem and human use of the area.

Monitor and afford extra protection, where warranted, to species which are
endangered threatened or of special concern that are currently using the HPWC.

Maintain and perpetuate annual hunting and trapping seasons as legitimate uses of
the wildlife resources compatible with wilderness recreation.

Provide information, advice and assistance to individuals, groups, organizations and
agencies interested in wildlife on whose activities and actions may affect, or are
affected by, the wildlife resources or the users of wildlife.

Develop and implement protocols, procedures and philosophies designed to
minimize, alleviate and respond to nuisance wildlife complaints in wilderness areas.

Management Policies and Actions:

Study the feasibility of reintroducing spruce grouse into historical range and if
habitat conditions are favorable and a suitable source for birds is found, commence
with a reintroduction and monitoring program.

Continue to monitor peregrine falcons and bald eagles for nesting activity. Produce
informational leaflets and signs to educate rock climbers that nesting is occurring in
certain sites and that climbing will be prohibited at these sites during nesting.

Continue to monitor osprey nesting to assess success and production.

Monitor moose that enter the area through visual observation, reports from the
public and by radio collaring moose whenever the opportunity presents.

Continue pelt sealing of species to determine level of harvest, guarding against
overharvest for species especially vulnerable to trapping (marten and fisher).

Stress the wilderness aspect of hunting in the HPWC by refraining from developing
programs that would attract additional hunters to high use areas.

Continue education efforts according to High Peaks CAC recommendation stressing
multiple use and hunting seasons that are concurrent with other anticipated uses of
the area.

Advise visitors to the HPWC that the potential for conflict with wildlife exists and
suggest means of avoiding conflicts.

Distribute information regarding avoidance of wildlife conflicts.
Inform interior staff of nuisance avoidance procedures so that they may
inform HPWC visitors.
Provide advice to operations unit if needed regarding water control
structures used to handle beaver conflicts.
Require wilderness users to store their food properly in order to minimize
attracting wildlife, ensure a high quality wilderness experience for visitors,
and prevent personal injury and property damage.

Develop plan and protocol for addressing nuisance bear problems and conflicts in
the HPWC.

Fisheries objectives and activities in this plan conform to the 1993 DEC document
titled "Fishery Management in Wilderness, Primitive and Canoe Areas - Amended
11/02/93." These guidelines were to assist with interpreting the intent of APSLMP
language on this topic. Numerous citizen groups provided input (see Appendix 14).

Brook Trout
Current Situation
Wild populations of brook trout exist in Beaver Pond, Brueyer Pond, Moose Pond
(R-P 221), Newcomb Lake, Seward Pond, Little Pine Pond, Unnamed Pond (R-P 5163),
and in an unknown number of the small, unnamed, beaver ponds in the Cold River and
Calkins Brook watersheds. Wild brook trout are also common in small streams of the
area. Historically, brook trout were indigenous to most of the unit's waters. Wild
populations began to decline in the late-1800's, which spurred widespread stocking efforts
by the state and private sector. Due to these stocking efforts, it is uncertain whether any
wild trout populations in the HPWC can be regarded as unadulterated native strains.
Nonnative fish species introductions have contributed to the elimination of
historical brook trout populations from Round Pond, Corner Pond, Big Pine Pond, and
Little Ampersand Pond. Long Lake was once famous for its brightly-colored, large brook
trout. The introduction of yellow perch, smallmouth bass and northern pike to Long Lake
resulted in a notable decline of brook trout by 1880 (Engels, 1978). It is likely that
Pickerel Pond, Rock Pond (R-P 196), Lower County Line Pond, Mud Pond and the other
small ponds in the Raquette River watershed (downstream of Long Lake) supported native
populations of brook trout. However, these waters were also invaded by nonnative species
in the late 1800's and no record exists of their prior fish community.
Nonnative species introductions continue to jeopardize populations of brook trout in
the HPWC. The wild trout population in Brueyer Pond is threatened by the recent
establishment of nonnative golden shiner in Upper Brueyer Pond. Competition from
nonnative species and native but widely-introduced (NBWI) species has reduced the
abundance of wild brook trout in Little Pine Pond. Recent anecdotal accounts suggest that
poachers have introduced nonnative species to Palmer Pond.
Brook trout populations in many ponds now depend upon annual stocking.
Siltation, beaver activity, interspecific competition and predation reduces spawning success
in these waters. It is not technically feasible to reclaim many of these ponds due to the
presence of large wetlands, long tributary systems, numerous springs and/or lack of a fish
barrier dam site. Nevertheless, stocked brook trout survive and such waters contribute to
maintaining the tradition of angling for brook trout in remote Adirondack ponds. Stocking,
therefore, helps preserve the ecological integrity of the unit and can provide excellent
angling that reduces pressure on native populations.
Angler harvest does not threaten brook trout. Season and bag limit regulations
restrict harvest to levels commensurate with maintaining adequate population levels. Use
of fish as bait is prohibited in trout waters, which slows the spread of undesirable bait
Acid precipitation has extirpated brook trout from Avalanche Lake, Lake Colden,
Upper Wallface Pond and the Flowed Lands. Liming has helped preserve trout populations
in Owl Pond, Livingston Pond and Little Ampersand Pond. See Appendix 15 for detailed
discussions concerning all these waters.
Wild brook trout populations in ponds have declined drastically from their historical
status throughout the Adirondacks. This decline is apparent in the High Peaks, but is not
as severe as most other units. As compared to more accessible ponds at lower elevations,
the rate of nonnative species introductions has been moderately low. The remoteness of
many HPWC ponds contributes to the reduced rate of undesirable species introductions.
Remoteness also enhances the chances that management actions specified in this UMP will
reduce the frequency of future actions needed to restore wild trout populations.

Without proactive management actions nonnative and NBWI fish species will
continue to accrue within the unit, to the detriment of wild brook trout populations.
As usage of the HPWC increases, and as usage is directed away from the core area
around Mt. Marcy, more people will utilize remote brook trout ponds. Awareness of the
wild trout resource will increase via distribution of this UMP and other informational
Degradation of spawning habitat, and an abundance of competing and predacious
fish species, severely limit natural brook trout reproduction. Therefore, the populations of
many of the unit's brook trout ponds require maintenance by an annual stocking program.
Pond fishing for brook trout is the main angling activity in the HPWC.
Maintenance of as many ponds as is practical as quality, wilderness fisheries will distribute
angling pressure and reduce chances of anglers focusing on a few "blue ribbon" fisheries.

To preserve, enhance and restore populations of native brook trout in the area.
Management Policies and Actions:
Efforts will be made to increase the abundance of the depressed native brook trout,
through reduction in the distribution of nonnative and NBWI species, while
maintaining the security of all other native fishes. Such efforts also may include
special fishing regulations, prohibition on the use of bait fish, stocking, liming, and
reclamation. Although it is known that beaver activity can inhibit brook trout
spawning success, active beaver control measures will not be attempted on HPWC

Heritage strains of brook trout will be stocked initially in HPWC ponds that are
reclaimed or newly limed.

Fish barrier dams will be constructed, as necessary, to prevent the spread of
undesirable fish species from downstream waters to reclaimed ponds.

Rock Pond (R-P 196) will be reclaimed to eliminate the nonnative golden shiner and
to greatly reduce or eliminate the abundant NBWI populations of brown bullhead,
creek chub, and pumpkinseed. There is no need to reintroduce other native
species, as any species that may be eliminated from Rock Pond is common
throughout the unit.

Brook trout were eliminated in Corner Pond (UH-P 686) and its adjacent, unnamed
pond (UH-P 686A) when the nonnative yellow perch were introduced. Reclamation
is contingent upon the presence of a natural barrier or a suitable site for barrier dam
construction. Permission to reclaim these ponds must be obtained from SUNY
ESF. Longnose dace, captured in a 1963 survey of Corner Pond, prefer flowing
water habitats. The species probably occurs in many unit streams. The one-time
capture of longnose dace in Corner Pond is considered an anomaly and the species
would not be reintroduced after reclamation.

The brook trout population in Brueyer Pond is jeopardized by the presence of the
nonnative golden shiner. A barrier survey will determine whether reclamation is
technically possible. If these ponds are reclaimed, northern redbelly dace would be
reintroduced along with brook trout.

Brook trout populations in Latham Pond and Little Pine Pond are reduced due to
high levels of interspecific competition from NBWI species. Barrier site surveys
will determine whether reclamation is technically possible. If Little Pine Pond is
reclaimed, northern redbelly dace would be reintroduced along with brook trout
(see section on Native Fish Communities). Finescale dace would be stocked along
with brook trout in Latham Pond in order to maintain the population of that species
within the unit.

Brook trout and lake chub populations in Palmer Pond were threatened by the
activity of poachers during the winter of 1993/94. If future survey work confirms
suspicions that nonnative or NBWI species are now present, Palmer Pond will be
reclaimed. Brook trout and lake chub will be reintroduced after the reclamation.

Liming will be conducted on Upper Wallface Pond, provided that water body meets
all the criteria specified by DEC's FEIS on liming. Liming will improve water
chemistry conditions sufficiently to permit stocking of brook trout. Thereafter,
routine water chemistry monitoring will determine when maintenance liming will be
necessary to sustain adequate pH levels.

Liming will be conducted on Livingston, Owl and Little Ampersand Ponds to
maintain current populations of brook trout. Owl Pond will be limed provided that
it meets all the criteria specified in DEC's FEIS on liming. Livingston Pond and
Little Ampersand Pond are listed on page 6 of DEC's FEIS as being exceptions to
the flushing rate criterion of 2 times/year or less. These two ponds will be limed
provided they meet other DEC liming criteria. Water chemistry monitoring will be
conducted periodically to determine when pH levels drop below 6.0 and
maintenance liming will be required. None of these ponds should be allowed to
purposefully reacidify to the point where fish life is extirpated. Such an action
would jeopardize other aquatic animal and vegetative species in the pond and is
contrary to guidelines within the FEIS on liming.

Trailhead signage will be posted to advise anglers of the prohibition of the use of
fish as bait in unit trout waters. Bait fish signs will also be posted at the Cascade
Lakes, Newcomb Lake and Moose Pond (R-P 221).

Round Whitefish
Current Situation
Round whitefish are listed as an endangered fish species by New York State. They
are known to occur in only six waters statewide, four of which are located in the High
Peaks Wilderness. The largest known population in the unit occurs in Lower Cascade
Lake, with minor populations occurring in Upper Cascade Lake, Newcomb Lake and
Moose Pond. Round whitefish were historically widespread in the Adirondacks,
particularly in larger, deeper lakes. Known as "frostfish", the species was widely stocked
around the turn of the century as natural populations began to disappear. The decline of
the species is most likely attributable to nonnative species introductions and habitat
degradation. Round whitefish are a common, holarctic species. They coexist with lake
trout and brook trout in northern Canadian waters. New York state is part of the extreme
southern range of this species.

The four remaining round whitefish populations in the High Peaks are vulnerable to
continued introductions of nonnative and NBWI species.
It is known that the species is relatively easy to propagate in hatcheries and can be
successfully introduced into other water bodies (see Appendix 15, Lower Cascade Lake).
Subspecies or distinct strains of round whitefish have not been described or
mentioned in the technical literature. Given the above, and the fact that there were
widespread stocking efforts around 1900, it is unlikely that genetically distinct populations
of this species exist in New York.

To preserve, enhance and restore round whitefish to selected High Peaks ponds.

Management Policies and Actions:
Round whitefish are protected under New York State law and cannot be harvested
by fishermen. This regulation will remain in effect until the species is delisted by
New York.

Where practical, round whitefish populations will be enhanced and restored in
suitable waters in the HPWC. In waters where enhancement or restoration is not
feasible, preservation efforts will focus on maintaining current population levels.

Survey work will be conducted on Upper Cascade Lake to assess the current status
of the round whitefish population. If this population is now extirpated or exists
only in low numbers, Upper Cascade Lake will be reclaimed with rotenone and
round whitefish will be reintroduced. The source of the round whitefish will be fish
captured or propagated from Upper Cascade Lake or from Lower Cascade Lake.
When round whitefish have re-established in sufficient numbers, native strains of
brook trout, lake trout and lake chub will also be reintroduced.

The round whitefish population in Lower Cascade Lake will be utilized as an egg
source for other waters. Trapnetting of spawning fish in December 1992
established that the species is thriving in Lower Cascade Lake. At this time,
reclamation or other management actions are not required to enhance or restore this

Newcomb Lake and Moose Pond will be periodically monitored to assess the status
of native species. These lakes are too large to reclaim in the event a deleterious
species becomes established. Management efforts will focus on preserving adequate
population levels of round whitefish. The regulation prohibiting use of fish as bait
will be continued.

Big Pine Pond will be considered as a possible round whitefish refugia in the event
that management efforts fail in the Cascade Lakes, round whitefish would be
stocked in an effort to establish a new population. Big Pine Pond is not a
reclamation candidate because it is desirable to maintain the native lake trout

Another candidate refugia for round whitefish is Heart Lake. This lake is located
on property owned by the Adirondack Mountain Club near their Adirondak Loj
adjacent to the HPWC. Heart Lake was surveyed by the ALSC in 1985. It's
maximum depth is 55 feet, dissolved oxygen and pH are suitable for fish at all
depths, and the substrate varies from boulder to sand. Heart Lake's native fish
community consists of brook trout, brown bullhead, white sucker and lake chub.
Permission to stock round whitefish will be sought from the Adirondack Mountain

Signage warning anglers that it is illegal to harvest round whitefish will be posted
on area waters with the species. These signs will be informative in nature and
include a picture of the species.

Lake Trout
Current Situation
Native lake trout populations currently exist in Big Pine Pond, Moose Pond (R-P
221) and Newcomb Lake. Apparently, lake trout were introduced into Dawson Pond
sometime after 1931 from an unknown source. Lake trout were present in Upper Cascade
Lake in 1951, but have not been caught in subsequent survey efforts. The four waters
which now contain lake trout appear to have stable populations. Big Pine Pond is a popular
fishery for the species. Other than the lakes already mentioned, no other HPWC waters
appear to have suitable habitat for this species.
Historically, lake trout were found throughout the Adirondacks in the larger, deep
water lakes. The species has suffered some declines due to chemical contaminants and
deleterious trends in water quality. Lake trout are not as threatened by the introduction of
nonnative species as brook trout. However, the introduction of warmwater predators such
as smallmouth bass and northern pike into some waters around the turn of the century
resulted in a diminishment of the average size and number of lake trout (or their
extirpation). This may have occurred due to predation on young lake trout and/or the
elimination of native forage minnows (Plosila, 1977).

Lake trout population levels will remain stable in HPWC waters due to wilderness
restrictions which will maintain suitable water quality.
Angling pressure on lake trout will remain at or near present day levels.
Unanticipated increases in fishing pressure can be managed via regulation changes.

To preserve and enhance indigenous populations of lake trout.

Management Policies and Actions:
Lake trout will be managed to preserve current population levels in unit waters.

Lake trout will be restored to a water where the species has been extirpated.
Reintroduced lake trout will be propagated from a native Adirondack strain.

Lake trout will be reintroduced to Upper Cascade Lake, if that waterbody is
reclaimed to restore a round whitefish population. Lake trout would be stocked
after the round whitefish have established a stable population.

Lake trout populations in other unit waters will be monitored during routine fishery
survey efforts.

Fishless Ponds
Current Situation
Lake Arnold, Lake Tear of the Clouds, Lost Pond, Rock Pond (R-P 231), Scott
Pond, unnamed pond (CH-P 263), and unnamed pond (CH-P 5138) are examples of
naturally barren waters in the HPWC. These seven waters (totalling about 18 acres) are
remote, high altitude, shallow ponds with natural barriers on their outlets. Such
waterbodies are prone to winterkill and most are acidic. None of these waters has a
stocking history, all have been surveyed or are known to be historically fishless. It is
likely that other ponds in the HPWC (including Moss Pond, Black Pond (UH-P 696) and
several unnamed ponds) also fall in this category, but have never been surveyed to confirm
that assumption.

Naturally barren waters may support populations of invertebrates or amphibians
which are suppressed or extirpated in ponds with fish communities. Maintaining examples
of these communities enhances the diversity of the High Peaks Wilderness.
Naturally barren waters were historically uncommon in the Adirondacks.
Chemical/physical characteristics and remoteness continue to sustain such waters despite
the natural dispersal behavior of fishes and the long history of deliberate or unintentional
introductions by man.

To preserve waters found to be naturally barren of fish species. These are
historically fishless waters that have no known stocking history.

Management Policies and Actions:
Naturally barren waters will not be stocked with brook trout nor with other
depressed native fish species.

Unit-wide prohibitions on the use of fish as bait will guard against inadvertent
introductions of baitfish species.

The seven known fishless waters will continue to be managed to preserve the ponds
as naturally barren waters.

Native Fish Communities
Current Situation
The High Peaks, as compared to most other wilderness and wild forest areas in the
Adirondacks, has a high proportion of native fish communities. Of 36 ponds with known
fish communities, 22 (61%) are comprised solely of native species. It is likely that many
of the 71 unknown ponds in the unit contain native fish assemblages. Native species found
in the unit are brook trout, lake trout, round whitefish, white sucker, lake chub, blacknose
dace, northern redbelly dace, common shiner, redbreast sunfish, longnose dace, longnose
sucker, finescale dace, creek chub, pumpkinseed and brown bullhead. The latter three
species have been labelled as native-but-widely-introduced or NBWI. Creek chub and
pumpkinseed have been commonly introduced via the baitpail to many ponds. The brown
bullhead is popular with anglers and is particularly hardy and prolific. Besides brook
trout, the NBWI species and white sucker are the most widely distributed native fish in the
HPWC. The latter four species are found in 13 to 15 waters apiece. Other native species
mentioned above occur within 1 to 5 waters in the unit. A detailed ecological analysis for
each species will appear in Appendix 12. In general, NBWI species continue to accrue
within unit waters. The number of waters with NBWI species has increased by roughly
50% since 1970. White sucker are also more common than historically, pre-1970 data
indicates the species was found in 14 waters, while today it is present in 16 waters. Other
native species have remained stable within the unit.
Nonnative species occur in 14 of 36 known fish communities in the HPWC (39%).
Native cyprinid populations are depressed or extirpated in many of the communities
containing nonnatives. As with native communities, however, the NBWI species continue
to accrue within such mixed communities. Reclamation activities listed in the section on
brook trout could severely reduce the abundance of northern redbelly dace and finescale
dace within the unit unless mitigative actions are taken. Reclamation of Upper Cascade
Lake (for round whitefish) and Palmer Pond would cause a moderate reduction in the
abundance of lake chub (from 4 lakes to 3) in the unit. Reclamation would also reduce the
abundance of NBWI species within the unit to levels commensurate with their historical
occurrence. Successful reclamations and limings would also increase the number of native
fish communities within the unit from 22 to 27 by elimination of nonnative species and/or
establishment of native species in acidified waters.

Nonnative and NBWI species will continue to accrue within unit waters to the
detriment of native cyprinids, brook trout and round whitefish.
Proactive management actions are required to slow the spread of undesirable species
to additional native fish communities and to rehabilitate a limited number of waters which
possess attributes necessary for successful reclamation.
Selected native cyprinid species can be stocked in conjunction with brook trout
without adverse effect on either species.

To maintain the native fishes within the unit. There should be no net loss of native
species to the entire unit, although fish community composition in individual waters
may vary from no fish to polycultures.

Management Policies and Actions:
Reclamation and liming activities listed in the section on brook trout and round
whitefish can serve the dual purpose of maintaining selected native species.
Finescale dace, northern redbelly dace and lake chub will be reintroduced in some
waters after reclamation.

Northern redbelly dace will be reintroduced to Brueyer Pond and Little Pine Pond if
these waters are reclaimed.

Finescale dace will be reintroduced to Latham Pond if that pond is reclaimed.

A native fish community consisting of round whitefish, lake chub, brook trout and
lake trout would be reintroduced to Upper Cascade Lake after reclamation.

Lake chub will be reintroduced to Palmer Pond if that pond is reclaimed.


Current Situation and Assumptions:
DEC is required by law (Article 9 ECL) to suppress all human-caused or natural
fires. There is no "let burn" wildfire policy in effect. The law, as written over 75 years
ago, does not recognize that fire is a natural process necessary to perpetuate certain plant
and animal communities in the HPWC. Consequently, managers are required to suppress
all fires, natural or man-caused, regardless of location. Fire activity in the HPWC has
been historically low since the wildfires of 1903 and 1908 which were partially fueled by
several thousand acres of pre-Forest Preserve logging debris. Precipitation is abundant
throughout the unit, although short-term droughts do occur. Thunderstorms are frequent
with rain, and forest fuels decompose rapidly. The high elevation vegetative types are not
conducive to frequent fire activity. However, there are charred charcoal logs, stumps, and
scars on trees which attest to past fires. A significant change in forest composition from a
predominately coniferous forest to a hardwood forest has lessened the likelihood of major
fires. Unattended and improperly located campfires pose some problems.

Detect and suppress all fires in the HPWC as required by law.

Reduce, to acceptable levels, the risks and consequences of fires escaping from the
HPWC on to adjacent lands.

Adopt light handed fire suppression tactics and methods consistent with wilderness

Management Policies and Actions:
Aerial detection patrols will be flown on days of very high and extreme fire danger.

During period of very high or extreme fire danger, the Governor or his designee
may close all or portions of the wilderness to public use.

Suppression strategy and tactics employed for all fires shall contain strong
consideration for impacts on wilderness.

Helicopter and fixed wing aircraft, chain saws, portable pumps, and other necessary
equipment are appropriate for fire suppression by the authority and approval of the
Commissioner or his designee.

Fire suppression and mop-up tactics will be commensurate with the fire's potential
or existing behavior, yet leaves minimal environmental impact.

Fires will be suppressed using natural control features (ridges, rivers, vegetation
changes) whenever possible.

After-fire measures should include rehabilitation of fire lines with native species,
water bars on steep slopes, removal of flagging, equipment, litter, and obliteration
of fire camps and staging areas.

Continue to emphasize fire prevention in education and information programs and
explain the role of natural fire as it relates to past fires and present day HPWC

Current Situation and Assumptions:
DEC's forest rangers have back country search and rescue responsibilities as
prescribed by law. Search and rescue operations occur frequently. There is no
characteristic pattern or time frame of occurrence; however, many take place during
periods of cool-wet weather when visitors are prone to hypothermia. Search and rescue
operations are very expensive. Most unpleasant situations can be avoided if visitors take
personal responsibility for their own safety. Established policy commensurate with the
APSLMP, states conditions under which motorized use, equipment, and mechanical
transport may be used in cases of sudden, actual, and ongoing emergencies involving the
protection or preservation of human life or intrinsic resource values. These conditions lists
emergencies where the situation involves inescapable injury, need for speed beyond that
available by foot. Categories include health and safety, removal of injured or deceased
persons. Department policy will determine what uses of equipment or motor vehicles are
suitable to accomplish the mission with the least lasting impact on wilderness resources on
a case by case basis. Much staff time is devoted to rescue prevention through contact with

Recognize the legitimate need for search and rescue activities in wilderness.

Increase back country safety education and awareness to prevent rescues.

Reduce or eliminate impacts to the wilderness from search and rescue operations.

Develop a "light-handed" approach to search and rescue operations; do the
minimum necessary to effectively complete the mission.

Management Policies and Actions:
Pursuant to the APSLMP (1987) present policy on wilderness intrusion during
search and rescue operations is acceptable and shall continue.

DEC will maintain its present level of preparedness for search and rescue.

After search efforts should include removal of plastic flagging, string, or other
evidence from search areas following termination of the search in order to reduce
visual and physical impacts. Consider using biodegradable string and flagging.

Safety precautions will be included in all DEC information and educational
materials. All DEC staff will communicate back country safety practices to visitors
in order to prevent rescues. The emphasis will be on greater visitor preparedness
and awareness.


Cultural Resources
Current Situation and Assumptions:
No large scale inventories of historical sites have been completed. Few of these
cultural resources have been identified to date.

Preserve cultural resources.

Locate and inventory known historical sites.

Cooperate with other agencies that may have cultural resource interests in the

Educate users about the significance of HPWC cultural resources by means outside
the HPWC.

Management Policy and Actions:
Initiate inventories of known and potential cultural sites. Survey and document
known locations. Establish and maintain a cultural resource information data base.

There will be no interior signage depicting cultural sites. No new plaques or
markers will be placed in the wilderness.

With the exception of on-site interpretation by forest rangers and staff,
interpretation of cultural resources shall be done outside of the wilderness.

Coordinate all activities affecting these cultural resources through the regional
office, DEC's principal archeologist, the State Museum, and the NYS Office of
Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Special Events and Contests
Current Situation and Assumptions:
Many segments of the HPWC have been used for foot, ski, and snowshoe races,
orienteering contests, survival contests, large gatherings, Olympic training exercises, and
other activities of this nature. No military exercises are permitted in the unit. Such events
and activities are not compatible with APSLMP direction to preserve natural conditions and
wilderness character. These activities do not depend on a wilderness setting, and may
cause impacts that degrade wilderness character, thus adversely affecting wilderness-dependent uses and users.
Refer non-dependent wilderness activities to suitable wild forest areas outside the

Management Policies and Actions:
No permits will be issued for organized or large group contests, training programs,
or events in the wilderness.

Suggest alternatives in suitable wild forest areas through the Revocable Permit

Continue prohibition on military exercises in wilderness.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
DEC attempts to control and reduce the adverse physical and social impacts of
human use in the HPWC through education and minimum regulation. If the latter approach
does not achieve desired user behavior results, direct restrictive law enforcement measures
are employed. The most common violations deal with illegal motor vehicle use (ATV's),
tree cutting, littering, camping too close (less than 150 ft.) to water, trails, or roads except
in designated sites, failure to obtain required permits. Most infractions are due to
ignorance rather than maliciousness.

Provide for wilderness resource protection through law enforcement activities when
education and information efforts fail.

Provide law enforcement at a level commensurate with wilderness objectives and
situations, as directed by this plan.

Management Policies and Actions:
Promote greater education and information to reduce violations and improve visitor
behavior and understanding.

If indirect educational management techniques do not achieve desired results, use
more direct restrictive measures.

Provide enforcement as needed to comply with wilderness management objectives.

Wilderness Education and Information
Current Situation and Assumptions:
Many of the foregoing resource and social impacts listed in this plan suggest
wilderness education and information programs can be used as a key management tool in
the long-term preservation of the HPWC. Regardless of the message or messenger, they
strive for a more informed, aware, cautious, and concerned user. By themselves,
education and information programs are not a panacea for all wilderness ills; instead they
become a foundation on which all other programs are built.
Demand for information on the High Peaks is great. A majority of inquiries about
the Adirondacks in general are directed towards the HPWC. This is because the High
Peaks region has become synonymous with the Adirondacks for many potential and first-time visitors. Aside from international attention given to the 1932 and 1980 Olympics ,
nearby Lake Placid was a popular resort by 1900, and the first hiking guides to the
Adirondacks by the Marshalls, O'Kane, and of course the Adirondack Mountain Club
focused only on the High Peaks when describing "Adirondack Trails" (Goodwin, 1994).
DEC Staff members have found that the majority of HPWC visitors did not receive
necessary wilderness information prior to a planned trip. Instead, many visitors after they
have arrived on the doorsteps of the HPWC, had to rely on trailhead information bulletin
boards, private sources, and chance interior contacts with other hikers or roving DEC staff
on patrol. This is a critical issue because compliance with rules and regulations and safety
requirements is often better if potential visitors are properly informed BEFORE entering
the HPWC.
Many of today's visitors lack a basic understanding of DEC rules and regulations or
are unaware of minimum impact procedures. Thus, they do not realize what effects their
activities are having and what traces of their visit are left behind. At this point in time, a
more active visitor education program is needed to minimize impacts, not just on the
resource, but also on other visitors. Users need to understand why they should be camping
at least 150 feet or more from water, roads, or trails, except at DEC designated sites, or
why they should not build wood fires above 4,000 feet in the alpine zone, or why they need
to travel in small groups. People need to know what happens when they pollute a stream
and how to prevent it. The success of the "pack it in - pack it out" litter control program is
a good case in point (Hendee, 1990). Definitely, wilderness education and information
lessens the impact on the resource and saves tax dollars (United States Forest Service
(USFS) - Wilderness Ranger Field Guide, 1993). Thinking "wilderness" - leaving it as it
is, takes a knack and with current trends in fostering no trace/minimum impact wilderness
use, education and information needs greater emphasis to change old habits and shape new
ones (Hansen, 1993). Regulations are most often used as the tool of last resort when
education has failed or users choose to ignore the rules.
To meet these challenges in the past, DEC has relied primarily on personal contacts
by staff while "on-site", trailhead bulletin boards, signage, and a limited number of maps
and brochures. Overwhelmed by demands for information, DEC has also relied on the
many education and information services afforded by cooperating state agencies such as the
Adirondack Park Visitor Information Centers, organizations like the Adirondack Mountain
Club, guidebook authors, and a multitude of private individuals. This has been done
without the benefit of a formal wilderness education and information plan targeting the
incredible gamut of High Peaks visitors ranging from first timers to repeat visitors. As a
preliminary step in education and information, DEC has prepared a draft Adirondack forest
preserve Public Use and Information Plan (May, 1994) that when finalized will address
many of these issues.
Visitors who do request information often face many challenges. Since DEC offices
are only open weekdays during normal business hours, it is difficult to get information on
weekends or after hours. There is no central telephone number to get up-to-date accurate
travel and safety information. Information that can be easily referenced is not always
available to DEC support staff who greet and talk to visitors on a regular basis. Trailhead
information bulletin boards which many staff consider the best avenue to reach someone
short of personal contact, vary in design and in the type and quality of information
presented. A growing number of French-speaking and Hispanic visitors, who represent
almost one-fifth of all visitors, have requested DEC communicate wilderness information
and education materials in French and Spanish. Chambers of Commerce, travel agents,
and local businesses frequently request High Peaks information and a listing of alternative
areas to direct their clients.
Maps, brochures, bulletin boards, etc. (written information) should only be
considered complementary to the existing personal educational programs now in effect and
must not replace the need for interactive field and outreach programs performed by DEC

Emphasize educating the public before they enter the HPWC

Reduce impacts on the HPWC through proper education and information.

Promote wilderness ethics, minimum use techniques, and gain acceptance and
understanding of wilderness management rules and programs.

Help visitors decide how their needs are best met by a trip to the HPWC or
elsewhere in the Adirondacks.

Divert non-dependent wilderness activities and users to alternative areas through
better information and education materials that explain the range of opportunities
and experiences afforded by the Forest Preserve.

Coordinate education and information efforts with outside groups, organizations,
resorts, outfitters, Chambers of Commerce and other state agencies.

Management Policy and Actions:
Develop a strategic education and information plan for the HPWC in coordination
with the Adirondack forest preserve Public Use and Information Plan.

Fully inform the public of pending rule and regulation changes relative to High
Peaks use at least one year in advance of enactment.

Create information systems that allow visitors to easily receive all of the
information needed prior to a planned trip. As part of this system, establish a
central DEC clearinghouse for HPWC information connected by a "1-800" or self-sustaining "1-900" telephone system and expand DEC's Internet Connection:

Provide the public with a general location map. The reverse side of the map should
provide travel tips, minimum impact techniques, and essential regulatory and safety
information. Persons seeking more detailed information will be referred to
appropriate USGS maps and guidebooks.

Standardize trailhead information shelters to the minimum necessary to include all
of the pertinent information without being so small that the presentation of the
information is cluttered. Shelter design will be commensurate with the access
point's degree of development.

Shelter design will be flexible enough to allow information materials to be changed
and updated seasonally.

Shelters will not dispense large quantities of pamphlets or other materials that will
pose a litter problem; they should provide a list of available literature and contact
source for that information.

Visitor educational and information programs, signs, and poster boards will
normally be located outside or near the wilderness boundary. An exception to this
general rule is that informational and/or regulatory signs may be temporarily placed
at interior locations as a management tool to correct site specific problems. These
signs will meet the "minimum tool" standard.

Train front desk personnel, assistant forest rangers, interior caretakers, summit
stewards, and trail crews to provide accurate and consistent information responsive
to public needs. In conjunction with this, develop a basic wilderness
education/information sheet and individual supplemental sheets which address
specific user groups, such as day hikers, campers, rock climbers, etc. This will
provide easily referenced information.

All information materials, including maps, should have accompanying French and
Spanish translations.

A pocket size HPWC information card will be printed for "carry-in, hand

Information packets will be presented with all required permits.

Meet with and coordinate delivery of education and information materials through
partnerships with cooperating state agencies; especially the Adirondack Park Visitor
Interpretive Centers, chambers of commerce, organizations, and the private sector.

Set up semi-annual meetings with State and private providers to discuss
effectiveness of education and information programs. Determine if the right
message is getting across to the right audience.


Current Situation and Assumptions:
The HPWC is served by 20 entry points, 8 of these are situated on private land. A
trailhead is defined as the starting or termination point of one or more designated trails at a
point of entrance to state land which may contain some or all of the following: vehicle
parking, trail signs, and peripheral registration structures (Van Valkenburg, 1986). A
trailhead classification system was adopted in 1986 to provide for consistency in their
location and development. Class I trailheads are the most developed and are found at the
major entrances to the HPWC such as at Adirondak Loj and The Garden. Class II and
Class III are encountered at lesser used trails with correspondingly less facilities.
Trailheads located at Adirondak Loj, Ausable Club, Elk Lake Lodge, and National Lead
Industries are protected by deeded easements. The trailhead at Adirondak Loj is a special
exception in that the State's easement only addresses public trail access; it does not grant
deeded public parking rights. Its associated parking facilities are under the complete
control of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK/DEC, 1964 easement) and the public is
charged a daily parking fee during certain times of the year. The remaining private
trailheads are a legacy of earlier times when the former Conservation Department had some
temporary easements or verbal agreements for access.
Controlling parking at trailheads has been a long-standing problem particularly at
popular trailheads on peak weekends, weekdays and holidays. When parking lots reach
capacity, visitors take to roadsides, trespass on private lands, restrict rights-of-ways, and
cause traffic jams and hazards. Illegal, improper and unsafe parking is a problem shared
by DEC, the Department of Transportation (DOT), town governments, State Police, and
adjoining landowners. Proper parking and road control is essential to assure access for
emergency vehicles. Changes to these facilities or control procedures must be coordinated
with all affected parties. Both the Towns of Keene and North Elba have established "No
Parking" zones on town highways leading to popular trailheads such as at the Ausable Club
and "The Garden in Keene and on the Adirondak Loj Road in North Elba.
Attempts were made to balance trailhead parking with the carrying capacity of the
High Peaks Wilderness (DEC, 1973). However, increased visitation and the absence of
any parking controls on many trailhead access roads, has contributed to undesirable user
concentrations at many entry points. This has happened on the highways leading to
Adirondak Loj, Ausable Club, the Cascades, The Garden, and South Meadows. These
trailheads serve about 70% of all HPWC users and by their geographic location direct
many users to the same interior locations. It has become necessary to begin making
adjustments and/or restrict entry through some trailheads due to present overcrowding.
Litter is picked up by volunteers and DEC personnel. Adjunct facilities, such as pit
privies, trailhead shelters, and signs are provided at the more popular trailheads.

Provide and manage adequate trailhead facilities to protect resource values and to
accommodate visitor needs.

Indirectly control interior use by balancing parking lot capacities to interior visitor

Prohibit parking on access roads adjacent to parking facilities.

Mitigate parking problems with affected parties.

Management Policies and Actions:
Obtain deeded easements to all private trailheads; include provisions for adequate
and safe parking.

Revisit, analyze, and update existing easements to determine improvement needs.

Develop individual special parking plans for South Meadows, The Garden,
Adirondak Loj, and the Ausable Club that incorporate the issues and concerns of all
affected parties. Foster cooperation between same. Access roads to these facilities
need to be carefully managed if analysis show overuse to be a continuing problem.

Establish a DEC presence at all popular entry points oduring peak use periods.

Schedule routine maintenance of trailheads and litter removal to provide safe access.

Encourage partnerships with local governments and outside volunteers to maintain
and snowplow roadside trailhead parking facilities.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The facilities inventory lists over 303 miles of wilderness trails that have been
developed during the past 150 years. It is a complex ribbon-like network that traverses
three ecological zones and three management zones. Stewardship of trails across this
matrix requires a management approach with distinct maintenance polices and practices
applicable to each zone. In this context, trails are viewed as a recreational opportunity
spectrum providing different visual settings and experiences for visitors through all
seasons. Trail management involves not just the trail itself, but also the corridor it
occupies. Trails are not self-sustaining. Once developed, all trails must receive degree of
management; otherwise unmanaged trails will deteriorate and continually cause resource
problems, they do not self heal.
An inventory of HPWC trails was completed in 1984 and 1990 and is being
incorporated into a trails classification system, patterned after the U.S. Forest Service's
Nationwide Trails Program as endorsed by the U.S. General Accounting Offices, 1989.
DEC has incorporated this system into its HPWC trails program and each trail has been
assigned a classification number based on its present condition and level of use. Five trail
classifications are used in the HPWC ranging from unmarked footpaths (Class I) on
through to intensively maintained trunk trails (Class V), such as the Van Hoevenberg trail
to Mount Marcy. Trail standards and maintenance prescriptions, reflecting different types
and levels of use, are defined for each class in the Appendices. The trails classification
system acknowledges the fact that all trails do not require the same degree nor frequency of
Several sections of the HPWC trail network are poorly located, with long stretches
of grade three to four times steeper than present acceptable design standards. As grades
approach 50 percent, the point of being able to control erosion is passed. Summit trails,
with these long steep grades, tend to channel water and create gullies accelerating erosion
(Trapp and others, 1994). These are "weak links" in the system and require extensive
work and investment. On some summits such as Ampersand, attempts to find a better
route have shown that even if starting with a "clean slate," it's not always possible to find
an ideal route (Goodwin, 1994).
Cables, ladders, and other devices have been used to assist users over difficult
routes when trail relocations were not possible. These same devices also afforded some
degree of resource protection to curtail trail widening. Several questions have been raised
concerning liability, high maintenance requirements, and their legitimacy in wilderness.
Despite significant improvements in the HPWC trail system over the past 20 years,
DEC still faces a backlog of unmet trail maintenance and reconstruction on approximately
40% of the unit's 303 miles of trails. Insufficient funding and a lack of trained personnel
are cited by DEC supervisors as the primary causes of this backlog. To deal with this
backlog, DEC has used volunteers and trail contractors to close the gap. For years, user
groups, clubs, and other organizations have raised monies for trail work. Contributions
come in terms of labor, materials, and planning assistance. Other programs, such as cost-sharing and "Adopt-A-Trail" also help. The use of volunteers and contractors, though
effective, has associated costs and other limitations. For example in many instances, DEC
personnel must train, supervise, and equip volunteers, and the quality of work often varies.
According to DEC officials, not enough DEC personnel are available to train and supervise
all volunteers. As a result, some volunteer offers have to be turned down or the number of
volunteers limited. Trail planning is conducted semi-annually between staff, trail
contractors, and volunteer organizations.
The National Park Service has proposed a 3200 mile North Country Scenic Trail be
built, with individual states' support, connecting the Lewis and Clark Trail (North Dakota)
with the Appalachian Trail in Maine. One proposal is to route this trail through the High
Peaks Wilderness, across the Adirondacks to connector links in the Finger Lakes. Both the
APA and DEC have opposed locating this trail in the HPWC given the unit's present high
level of visitor use.
One-way trails have been suggested as a means to reduce visitor encounters and
ease trailbed burden on the unit's heavily used trunk trails. Field staff concur this would
not significantly reduce congestion nor ease trail maintenance and would require additional
signage and administration.
Large areas of the western zone remain trailless, for example the Sawtooth Range
covers an extensive area with no developed trails or facilities. Its remoteness and high
degree of solitude could be lost if major trail development occurs.

Provide visitors with a trail system that offers a range of wilderness recreational
opportunities in a manner that keeps physical and visual trail and resource impacts
to a minimum.

Maintain and reconstruct trails using appropriate wilderness standards.

Identify need for trail relocations and/or need for new trails.

Identify potential "trailless" areas to preserve a sense of remoteness and solitude.

Management Policies and Actions:
Formally adopt, as a matter of regional policy, the trails classification and standards
system proposed in the Appendices for all trail management activities. Under this
system, all developed trails will be maintained, relocated, or reconstructed to
specified standards. Wilderness trail maintenance will emphasize resource
protection and visitor safety rather than user convenience or comfort.

Present trail planning and follow-up activities will continue and be expanded.

Trail construction, relocation, or reconstruction activities will not be undertaken in
the absence of an approved trail project plan.

Trail maintenance will include removal of downed trees, ditching, clearing of
brush, water bar construction and cleaning, bridge repairs and reconstruction in
accordance with annual work plans and availability of funds. Bridge repair and
construction will occur only in cases where public safety and/or resource protection
is jeopardized.

Trail sections vulnerable to excessive damage which can be relocated, will be
designated and closed during wet seasons. Postings will be done at trailheads and
through the media. Voluntary compliance will be the first strategy employed;
mandatory regulation and enforcement will be the actions of last resort.

Ladders may be used to assist users over trails on certain slopes in order to protect
soils and vegetation. Devices such as cable and ropes are non-conforming
improvements (APSLMP, 1987) and will not be added to the HPWC. Howver, the
existing Cable on Gothics Mountain will remain in place for resource protection to
prevent trail widening and provide hiker safety. A ladder is not suitable there due
to rock structure and steepness.

Contractual and volunteer trail maintenance agreements, approved by DEC, will be
renewed annually and additional volunteer agreements will be sought.

The North Country National Scenic Trail will not be routed through the High Peaks
Wilderness. The NYS Office of Parks and Recreation, as lead agency, has
suggested it be routed through less congested routes in the southeastern

Designation of one-way trails will not be used to reduce visitor congestion on
popular routes.

Marking informal trails with plastic ribbons, paint, or blazes or other devices
without DEC approval will be prohibited.

Trailless Peaks

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The High Peaks Wilderness has 16 trailless peaks with elevations of 4,000 feet or
more. None of these peaks have a DEC designated marked trail to their summit nor do
they receive any scheduled maintenance. The peaks have special significance to the
Adirondack 46'ers, an association of climbers who have ascended all Adirondack Peaks
above 4,000 feet. The 46'ers have placed canisters with sign-in registration forms on top
of many summits to verify ascents. These are illegal under DEC Rules and Regulations,
Part 190.8, and non- conforming to the APSLMP. Heightened recreation use and the
popularity of being an aspiring Adirondack 46'er has increased visitations to the summits
and led to a proliferation of "herd paths" up and down the mountains. The term trailless
peak has actually become a misnomer due to today's heavy use. More information is
needed on actual use of trailless peaks. Despite good intentions and informational and
education programs to keep routes, camping areas, and summits as free as possible of
human presence, the number of herd paths is multiplying and has caused changes in summit
stability through erosion.

Continue to provide for a unique recreational experience distinctive to the back
country of the High Peaks, yet keeps physical and visual trail and resource impacts
to a minimum.

Management Policies and Actions:
Working cooperatively with the Adirondack Forty-Sixers, designate the most
environmentally durable route up each peak and close all others to public use.

Designated routes will be assigned Class II trails classification status, a marked foot
path, with intermittent marking and due consideration given to appropriate layout
based on drainage, and occasional blowdown removal to define the route. Remedial
maintenance will be employed as required to stem erosion and vegetation loss.

Closed routes will be barred with brush to obliterate unwanted paths and erosion
control devices will be put in place where necessary.

Collect better use data and monitor site conditions by working more closely with the
Adirondack Forty-Sixer's.

Remove summit canisters to comply with ECL and the APSLMP as trails are
upgraded to Class II standard trails.

Continue information and education efforts to promote safety and reduce impacts.

Volunteer maintenance agreements and projects with the Adirondack Forty-Sixer's
will be renewed on an annual basis and/or similar volunteer agreements with other
organizations will be sought.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
Signs are provided to mark trails, minimize impacts, and provide safety
information. Signing is kept to a minimum to avoid interfering with wilderness values and
guidelines. A sign inventory is maintained for the HPWC; it is updated annually.
Currently, Lands and Forests, Operations, Fish and Wildlife all use signs in the unit.
Entrance signs identifying major access points exist at the Adirondak Loj Road, Johns
Brook, Upper Works, and Corey's Roads; however, less developed trailheads and much of
the wilderness boundary is not well identified. Trailhead signing includes bulletin boards
at Adirondak Loj, South Meadows, Long Lake, and The Garden (Keene Valley). The
bulletin boards portray topographic maps detailing trail systems, use regulations, minimum
impact suggestions, and other pertinent visitor information. Efforts are underway to
coordinate trailhead bulletin board signing so it is consistent and relevant (draft Adirondack
forest preserve Public Use and Information Plan, 1993). Less developed entrances have
register boxes which provide minimal information. Interior signing is limited to trail
junctions and special information and regulatory signs.
Progress has been made in reducing overall signing and a smaller sign board (6"x
16") has been adopted. Sign theft and vandalism are a major problem near wilderness

Provide for the minimal use of signs necessary to manage and protect the wilderness

Bring current signing into compliance with wilderness standards.

Management Policies and Actions:
Update and maintain sign inventory annually.

Coordinate and review all sign needs through a single area manager.

Signs will be provided for visitor safety and resource protection, not for the
convenience of the user.

Signs may be erected at trail junctions, showing directions with arrows; wording
will be reduced.

No new memorial trail signs or plaques of any kind will be placed in the unit.
However, existing ones may remain in place. It will not be the responsibility of
DEC to maintain these signs or plaques.

Minimize regulatory signs at interior locations in favor of signs posted at trailheads
or access points and published, where feasible on brochures and maps or otherwise
made available to users prior to entry into the unit.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
Prior to wilderness designation in 1972, areas were cleared for campsites and
leantos. Many sites had accompanying pit privies, picnic tables and stone fireplaces.
Often facilities were clustered together and put adjacent to trails to facilitate access and
maintenance. As visitation rose, there was a corresponding rise in campsite construction.
Despite the HPWC's huge size, the area for environmentally suitable camping is
quite small. High elevation eco-types, steep mountains, rock outcrops, wetlands, poorly
drained soils, etc., severely restrict camping and intensify the demand for available
In some areas, particularly in the eastern High Peaks zone, site density has reached
the point where crowding effects are eroding the quality of user experience. Many sites,
both designated and impromptu have been located in areas not capable of sustaining
repeated and heavy use. Inexperienced campers have damaged many sites by digging
trenches, building rock walls, constructing numerous fire rings, tables, bough beds, and
even dammed small creeks near the campsites. Ground vegetation has been cleared and
standing trees have been cut for firewood. Several camping areas, such as in the lower
Johns Brook Valley, Lake Colden, and Marcy Dam, are the same areas used by day hikers
- where main travel corridors run through heavily used camping areas.
Demand often exceeds the availability of environmentally suitable sites. When all
the designated sites are full, visitors tend to create new sites. When this happens
designated and user created sites coalesce into large heavily impacted areas. Such areas
can be found at Lake Colden, Marcy Dam, the Johns Brook valley, and near popular leanto
locations where significant resource change has occurred.
Few restrictions exist to control interior camping. Generally these regulations limit
camping to designated sites or in locations at least 150 feet or more from a road, trail or
water. Currently camping is prohibited on sites above 4,000 feet from April 30 to
December 15 of each year to protect sensitive alpine environments. There are no
regulations to restrict tent camping at or near leantos which further concentrates use on
these sites.

Reduce, eliminate, or mitigate the adverse effects on HPWC resources that result
from improperly located campsites.

Comply with APSLMP campsite standards to disperse use.

Management Policies and Actions:
An on-going campsite and leanto inventory and evaluation study in the eastern High
Peaks will continue and be expanded to cover all management zones. This study,
which looks at existing and potential sites will be used to derive a figure for the
total campsite capacity of the HPWC. Estimates of total campsite capacity will not
be based solely on physical criteria, but also will consider the tolerance of users
based on the assumption that sight and sound contacts between adjacent campsites
are undesirable (APSLMP, 1987).

All camping will be limited to designated sites or at-large as defined by section (b)
Part 190.3 Title 6 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations governing the
use of state lands which states "Camping is prohibited within 150 feeet of any road,
trail, spring, stream, pond or other body of water except at camping areas
designated by the department".

A designated campsite is one identified by a DEC permissive sign or disk and
campers may not camp in excess of 25 feet of such signs or disks in that particular
area. Campsites are designated to keep intensive use to previously used disturbed
areas, to define proper camp locations, to disperse use, or limit adverse impacts to
resources and other campers.

At-large camping refers to areas where campers may choose their own campsites in
accordance with section (b) Part 190.3 mentioned above. At-large camping is not
permitted above 3,500 feet in elevation. The APSLMP requires all camping above
that elevation to be in designated sites only.

Where terrain permits, designated campsites should be properly screened and a
minimum of 150 feet from water and trails. In no case should they be less than 50
feet from such features regardless of durability.

All closed sites will be restored. Fire rings, tree stumps and other evidence of past
use will be obliterated and/or removed.

Annual work plans shall emphasize greater campsite maintenance and rehabilitation.

Sample campsites in popular areas will be monitored annually; all campsites will be
monitored and reinventoried every 5 years.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The Conservation Department erected its first official leanto in the High Peaks near
Feldspar Brook during the summer of 1919. Prior to the advent of light weight backpack
tents, leantos were erected for user convenience and to provide shelter from inclement
weather. Over the next 50 years, 93 leantos were added to the High Peaks region. The
current inventory lists 73 leantos. Most of the unit's leantos are in the eastern High Peaks,
since that area receives the most visitation. The structures were often built immediately
adjacent to trails and close to water and firewood sources. They were clustered in scenic
areas to accommodate increased visitor demand and to facilitate maintenance. Many were
afforded stone and concrete fireplaces, pit privies, and picnic tables.
Leanto use is heaviest in a range of 1-4 miles from trailheads and declines towards
the interior. During the summer season, these sites are generally dominated by novice
users and/or large groups. Many do not bring tents nor possess adequate camping gear.
This lack of proper equipment and personal shelter has caused serious safety problems
when all the leantos are full and visitors are forced to seek shelter elsewhere. Leantos
located close to roads and/or having easy access tend to be the focal point of parties and
bonfires. Since many leantos are situated in clearings or at destination points, they attract
tent camping in their immediate vicinity which leads to undesirable user concentrations.
The APSLMP of 1972 acknowledges leantos as conforming structures, provided
they meet minimum setback distances (100 ft.) from water and have proper sight and sound
separation distances from adjoining campsites or other leantos. The APSLMP defines
leanto clusters as non-conforming when more than two closely spaced leantos are located
within sight and sound of each other and generally separated by less than ¬ mile. The
Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers Act deems leantos as non-conforming structures in
wild river corridors and mandates their eventual removal. Most replacement leantos now
require air drops of materials which has raised concerns about increased intrusions into the
wilderness by aircraft.
From a philosophical perspective, many argue that leantos, as a work of man, do
not have a place in wilderness. They contend that the variety of light weight backpack
tents now available provide reasonable alternatives to leantos, afford sufficient protection,
and encourage campers to disperse and not to concentrate use in one spot. Others argue
that leantos represent a cultural legacy and are needed for safety.

Limit existing leantos to appropriate locations as prescribed by the APSLMP.

Prohibit the erection of additional leantos to comply with wilderness standards for
primitive and unconfined types of recreation and to permit better maintenance and
rehabilitation of existing structures.

Management Policies and Actions:
Schedule the phased removal of all mandated leantos as required by the APSLMP
and the Rivers Act.

Inventory and evaluate all other leantos on a case by case basis as to whether they
should be maintained in place, relocated, or eliminated. These decisions will be
based on prescribed management criteria and will include consideration of the
following: distance from water and trails, soils and drainage, topography, existing
use patterns - especially in relation to sight and sound separation distances from
other campsites and/or leantos, distance from roads and/or trailheads, and strategic
locations for safety protection based on past histories of search and rescue efforts in
a particular geographic location. If a leanto cannot be relocated to a legally
acceptable site within 1/4 mile of its present location, it will be removed and not

Relocated leantos will be set back a minimum distance of 100 feet or more from the
water as required by the APSLMP. This same minimum setback will also apply to
trails where feasible.

The maximum capacity of any leanto site (including associated tent camping) shall
not exceed 12 persons in the eastern and western High Peaks zone and shall not
exceed 12 along the Adirondack Canoe Route.

Communicate facility changes to the public through the media, the unit's
information and education programs, trailhead messages, and personal contact.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
Improper waste disposal can affect the environment and the health and safety of
wilderness visitors. Water quality protection of area waters is a major concern. Most
HPWC use is concentrated around headwater lakes and streams. As this use increases,
water quality protection becomes increasingly important. Some hikers have reported
contraction of protozoan parasitic diseases, such as giardiasis from contaminated drinking
water sources. Improper disposal of human waste in the back country, coupled with high
concentrations of users, compounds this problem. Soaps, shampoos, and other wastes
affect the delicate chemical/biological balance of area waters. Soap suds and leftover food
scraps can be found on the shores of many lakes and streams.
The "pack it out" policy for litter removal has helped considerably due to public
cooperation. However, litter still remains a problem in some areas, i.e. trailhead parking
facilities, popular campsite and leanto locations, shorelines, and in most fire rings. Broken
glass and unburned refuse take much expense and time to clean-up.
Proper human waste disposal is of critical importance in regularly visited places.
DEC uses pit privies (outhouses) in areas where use levels are usually very high and
adequate dispersal of "catholes" - buried wastes - is difficult. The APSLMP requires that
all pit privies be located a minimum distance of 150 feet from water. Aside from high
elevation sites (above 3,500 feet) having cool, wet, and shallow soils inhibiting
decomposition, pit privies can be effective in minimizing health risks and water
contamination if they are properly located and maintained. Chemical, vault and
composting toilets have not been used in the wilderness. The appropriateness of these
toilets in wilderness is questioned (Cole, 1989). Decisions about appropriateness involves
tradeoffs about increasing the number and extent of toilet facilities or reducing levels of use
in problem areas.

Prevent or mitigate the adverse chemical/biological and visual effects that result
from the improper disposal of human waste.

Management Policies and Actions:
Information and education efforts will stress proper treatment of drinking water and
the need for proper human waste disposal.

Areas where human waste problems occur will be identified. Use of pit privies in
these areas will be reviewed. The alternative of reduced levels of use will be

The "pack it out" policy for litter will be given renewed emphasis. All litter will be
bagged and packed out. Users will be encouraged not to burn garbage in fire rings.

Use of any soap or detergent, or the disposal of food scraps in any waters will be

Locate campsites where waste disposal will not be a problem (for example, where
soil is deep).

Current Situation and Assumptions:
Even though the number of visitors using portable gas stoves is increasing, there are
hundreds of campfire rings in existence throughout the HPWC. The proliferation of fire
blackened rocks, charcoal, and partially burned garbage, melted and broken glass, and
litter has scarred many campsites. With the exception of the alpine and subalpine zones
where fires are prohibited above 4,000 feet, campfires can be built almost anywhere. They
are built in parking lots, in the middle of trails, inside leantos and trailhead registration
shelters, along the immediate shorelines of rivers, lakes and ponds. "There is no question
that camp fires have substantial environmental impacts" (Cole and Dalle-Moll, 1982).
Although actual fire sites are quite small, a more serious aspect involves firewood
gathering which by itself causes widespread and often severe impacts. This activity greatly
increases the area of disturbance around campsites. The disturbed areas can be 10-20 times
greater in size than the actual devegetated zone around the campsite. Campfires consume
wood which would otherwise decompose and replenish soil nutrients. Excessive firewood
gathering has resulted in the removal of all dead and down material, fostered the cutting of
live and standing dead trees. The latter are habitats to many cavity nesting birds and
insects; pulling off limbs scars campsites for other users. On some popular sites in the
Marcy Dam and Lake Colden corridors more than ¬ of the standing trees have been cut
for firewood. Unburned refuse left in fire rings has attracted wildlife in search of food to
many campsites and led to increased human/wildlife conflicts; especially with bears.
Officials at Grand Teton National Park noticed a tremendous improvement in campsite
conditions when campfires were prohibited in sensitive areas (Krumpe, 1994).
DEC has attempted to build fire rings in popular locations to concentrate fire use in
order to avoid excessive damage. Campfires have been prohibited from the immediate
shorelines and beaches of Long Lake to reduce physical and visual impact. DEC staff
routinely advocate the use of small portable gas stoves. Overall, there are few DEC rules
and regulations that address fire use.

Reduce, mitigate, or eliminate the effects of recreational use of campfires on HPWC
natural resources and the natural scene as viewed by visitors.

Management Policies and Actions:
The unit's information and education will stress proper fire use in appropriate
locations, encourage greater use of portable gas stoves, and explain the rationale for
campfire restrictions.

Document campsite areas where serious ecological and/or visual impacts due to fire
use are occurring. Restrict or prohibit fires by regulation in severely impacted

The entire eastern High Peaks zone will be closed to all open fires. Only portable
gas or propane stoves will be permitted. DEC will obliterate all fire rings,
fireplaces, etc. and allow natural processes to restore damaged areas. No person
shall ignite or maintain a campfire in the eastern High Peaks zone at any time. In
addition, no person shall ignite or maintain a campfire at an elevation of 4,000 feet
for higher, at any time, regardless of zone location. The following will be used to
inform visitors of the closure and the rationale behind it: the unit's overall
information and education program, media announcements, permit attachments,
maps, and signs. This ban will by supported by regulation.

No campfires will be built anywhere above 4,000 feet in elevation.

Campfires will still be permitted in the western High Peaks zone and along the
Adirondack Canoe Route in safe locations except as noted above.

Campfires, outside of closed or designated fire areas, will only be allowed in safe
locations at least 150 feet from any road, trail, or water. This will require the
promulgation of a new rule and regulation.

Sound Issues and Audio Devices
Current Situation and Assumptions:
Many visitors bring portable audio equipment with them and use this equipment
while on trails, atop summits, and at campsites. DEC staff have encountered radios,
televisions, cassette players, and cellular phones in the wilderness. Loud noise at
campsites is a frequent complaint; especially at or near water locations where the sound is
accentuated. Large groups, more than ten people in a group, often contribute to the noise
problem while traveling en masse.
Beginning in 1993 forest rangers have reported the use of cellular telephones.
These new high tech devices now allow one to call home from the top of Mt. Marcy and
other high elevation summits via cellular towers located outside the Adirondack Park.
Although there have been few "in wilderness" telephone calls to DEC offices to date, these
have been used to request information instead of the hiker using a guidebook and map.
DEC field staff have expressed concern that this new technology encourages visitors not to
learn basic outdoor skills and promotes a false sense of security. There is also the concern
that new technologies will impair the wilderness experience of a sense of remoteness,
silence, and mystery (Waterman, 1994). Complaints have been registered in regard to the
inappropriate use of cellular telephones; especially the ringing of telephones in hunting
areas, camp-sites and leantos, on trails, and on remote mountain summits.

Reduce excessive noise levels across the wilderness.

Management Policies and Actions:
Camp activities and the use of audio devices may not be heard outside of the
immediate campsite.

Quiet hours must be observed between 10 pm and 7 am.

Campsite designation shall incorporate sufficient sight and sound separation
distances as required by the APSLMP.

Discourage the frequent and non-emergency use of cellular telephones in the HPWC
by informational and educational messages.

Monitor and study use of new technological equipment as it arises.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The unit has 49 major bridges. They include standard wood stringer, cable
suspension and steel beam foot bridges, cross country ski bridges, former truck trail
bridges, and horse trail bridges. Most were built prior to wilderness designation, not all
are appropriate to a wilderness setting. Historically, many bridges were provided for the
convenience of the user. Not all classes of trails require stream crossings to be passable at
all seasons. Efforts have been made to reduce the number of small bridges and replace
them with stepping stones or use minor trail relocations to safer stream crossings.
Replacement bridges are to be constructed of native materials wherever possible;
however, pressure-treated material has been used when suitable natural materials are not
available. Attempts have been made to coordinate bridge replacement with a interim trails
classification system that attempts to balance degree of recreation use to visitor safety, and
resource protection requirements.

Reduce the number of interior bridges to the minimum necessary to provide visitor
safety and afford resource protection.

Management Policies and Actions:
Maintain and update bridge inventory, map all bridges, include design sketches and
material construction details.

Conduct safety inspections and identify maintenance needs. Develop priority lists.

Assess replacement needs in coordination with all DEC units.

Bridge replacement or relocation will consider the following:
Safety of the user; consider time of high water in primary use seasons.
Resource protection to reduce stream deterioration and erosion.
Purpose of the trail--for example, foot bridges are more suitable to high-use
trunk trails than on lesser used secondary routes.
Minimal future maintenance--a bridge requiring expensive maintenance
because of location, size, and design will not be put in place. Seek other
less-problematic alternatives. For example in the case of horse trail bridges,
first look at relocation to fords with stable stream banks and stream beds.

Bridges will be constructed of natural materials wherever possible; pressure treated
dimension lumber may be used where natural materials are not suitable or available.

Structures and beams of damaged or obsolete bridges will be removed or

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The HPWC has four maintained dams (Duck Hole - 2 dams, Marcy Dam, and Lake
Colden). The APSLMP permits retention and replacement of these dams as needed. The
decision to reconstruct or rehabilitate wilderness dams must be based on established DEC
policy considering such factors as (1) need to maintain water frontage on and/or water
levels along upstream land, (2) need to maintain fishery and wildlife habitats and resources,
(3) need to maintain upstream wetlands, and (4) need to protect vistas and other aesthetic
values (Van Valkenburg, 1986). With the exception of fish barrier dams, no new
additional dams may be placed in the unit. New fish barrier dams may be necessary to
support efforts to maintain or restore indigenous fish populations when natural barriers will
not suffice to restrict invasion by competing species. Fish barrier dams must also be
constructed of natural materials and must designed to be as maintenance free and as
unobtrusive as possible.
A cursory inspection of the Duck Hole Dams in 1995 revealed significant
deterioration of the superstructure. A request has been filed with DEC's Dam Safety Unit
to have a thorough examination of dams conducted in 1996. The results of that inspection
will determine whether or not to replace or de-water the two impoundments. The present
Marcy Dam superstructure and bridge is inappropriate for a wilderness setting; it is
basically an "over-built" structure. The former dam at Flowed Lands was seriously
damaged by flood in 1979 and intentionally breached in 1984 for safety reasons. Its stream
flow has reverted back to its natural channel and the former impoundment site has naturally
revegetated and beavers have returned to the stream.

Maintain the four functional dams listed above in a safe condition.

Construct fish barrier dams in support of identified fishery actions.

Management Policies and Actions:
Conduct routine inspections annually by the Division of Operations supplemented
by formal inspections if warranted by the Dam Safety Unit.

Planning and design criteria shall require all dams including replacement and/or
reconstructed dams, to be the minimum necessary to meet the objective(s). They
will be constructed with minimal disturbance to the wilderness setting, natural
appearing, suitable to maintain existing water levels, and be maintenance free.
Design considerations will require structure walls to be camouflaged and arranged
with rock to make a natural cascade or rapids. This technique has been used
successfully in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota
with minimal impact (USFS Boundary Waters Canoe Area, 1994).

Request an engineering inspection of the Duck Hole Dams in 1996 and conduct an
assessment to determine whether or not to replace or
de-water the dams. This will be addressed by separate SEQRA process.

No action will be taken to replace Flowed Lands Dam.

Party Size Limitations
Current Situation and Assumptions:
Many visitors consider large groups inappropriate and undesirable in wilderness.
Aside from behavioral factors, the potential to cause impact varies with party size and the
type of user. Large parties, defined as more than ten persons in a group, have been
documented to cause greater impacts to certain environmental and sociological resources
than smaller groups (U.S. Forest Service's "Leave No Trace Program" 1994). Although
large party use in the unit represents only about 15% (18,000 visitors) of total users, they
contribute a disproportionate amount of impact when compared to smaller parties.
Regardless of activity (overnight or day use), large groups commonly create
congestion problems in trailhead facilities, on trails, shorelines, and mountain summits. It
is very difficult to control and confine large groups in vulnerable locations, such as on
alpine summits or riparian areas. The rate of unacceptable change on a particular resource
can be accelerated by large group occupancy of a site over a short period of time. Higher
noise levels and sound issues are associated with large groups.
Large camping groups require greater campsite space and often clear areas to
accommodate additional tents, store equipment, or make room to eat and congregate.
Large groups cooking with wood fires generally consume greater amounts of fuel wood and
extend firewood gathering areas. Impacts tend to be more spread out and extend well
beyond campsite boundaries. DEC regional policy requires a group camping permit and
camping groups are limited to a maximum size of 12 persons per permit. District rangers
issue the permits and are given the authority to lower this ceiling depending on campsite
suitability, time of desired use, and location. Given the high number of requests in the
eastern High Peaks, group permits have not been successful in controlling use. Some
voluntary reduction in group size has been noted, largely due to staff education and
information efforts (Fish, 1994).
There are no restrictions limiting day use. Groups of any size may enter the
HPWC. Day use groups of 60-80 persons are common; on the extreme side, groups of 300
in a single party have been encountered on popular use trails, such as Ampersand and
Cascade Mountains. It is a major source of visitor dissatisfaction when large groups, just
by sheer size, displace other users. There is also a problem when groups from one
organization split into several smaller groups and then rejoin at interior locations. Despite
public education efforts and one-to-one contacts with group leaders, large group day use is
on the rise.
Selecting a specific group size regardless of activity requires judgement; no magic
formula exists to calculate and ideal number. The situation is parallel to setting speed
limits to control use on highways.
Choosing a maximum group size is often based on trial and error. Monitoring of site and
sociological conditions will indicate if adjustments up or down are warranted.

Manage visitor use to keep impacts on the resource and experiences of all visitor at
an acceptable level consistent with the concept of wilderness.

Management Policies and Actions:
Establish a maximum camping group size limit at 12 persons per affiliated group in
the eastern and western High Peaks zones. .

Pending a use assessment of the entire 90 mile Adirondack Canoe Route, which
passes through four wild forest areas, two wilderness areas, and two DEC
administrative regions, an interim number of 12 persons per affiliated camping
group will remain in effect for that portion passing through the High Peaks
Wilderness (Regions 5 and 6). Group size in this zone may be subject to further

A maximum day use limit of 15 persons per group will be set for the eastern and
western High Peaks zones. No maximum day use limit will be set for the
Adirondack Canoe Route at this time pending an assessment of the entire route
which traverses several wilderness and wild forest areas.

When larger groups split up to meet the group size limits, each subgroup must be
equipped as a self-sustaining group. Each division of a larger group must have the
ability to treat their own water, cook their own food, etc. and must camp and travel
apart from other divisions of the group so as not to violate group size limit
restrictions. Day use groups must adhere to this same requirement and not
congregate into larger groups on trails or at destination points.

Information about limits must be disseminated through the unit's information and
education program and regulations must be enforced. Informing visitors of limits
during trip planning and/or prior to arrival is critical.

Length of Stay Restrictions
Current Situation and Assumptions:
The average stay for overnight users is usually two days. However, some popular
sites are occupied for periods up to two weeks. During peak use seasons and extended
holidays, campsite and leanto demand often exceeds available facilities. This is especially
true in the eastern High Peaks zone. Temporary camping in one location for four or more
nights requires a permit. Except during the big game hunting season, no camping permits
are issued in excess of 14 consecutive nights. No temporary camping permit may be
renewed, or a new permit issued, to the same person or group for the same location in the
same calendar year (State Land General Rules and Regulations, part 190.4). Part 190.6 of
the same regulation stipulates open camps (leantos) may not be occupied by the same
person or persons for more than three consecutive nights or for more than ten nights in any
one calendar year provided others wish to use such camps. These regulations are designed
to avoid homesteading, a practice where one party takes over a particular site for extended

Provide fair and equitable access to interior camping facilities.

Management Policies and Actions:
The length of stay at any campsite or leanto in the eastern High Peaks zone will be
limited to a maximum of three consecutive nights, except during the big game
hunting season when a permit is required for extended stays as per part 190.4 Rules
and Regulations. This limitation will not apply to the Adirondack Canoe Route or
the western zone at this time, but adjustments may be necessary in the future.

Enforce existing rules and regulations applicable to leantos (open camps) and
general camping.

Provide and disperse proper information in regard to the above policies.

Wilderness Access for Persons with Disabilities
Current Situation and Assumptions:
Since the adoption of the APSLMP, some people have asserted that wilderness
designation discriminates against the rights of persons with disabilities because wilderness
designation prohibits the use of motorized vehicles and mechanical transport. On the
surface, the concurrent goals of accessibility and the preservation of wilderness seem at
odds; however, it is not a question of one goal or the other taking precedence. Instead, it
is question of finding the best ways of providing the highest level of access with the lowest
level of impact on wilderness.
Wilderness accessibility questions for the disabled were specifically addressed by
Congress with the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. Congress
reaffirmed that nothing in the Federal Wilderness Act of 1964, much of which is found in
the APSLMP," is not to be construed as prohibiting the use of a wheelchair in wilderness.
Nor is any agency required to provide any form of special treatment or accommodation, or
to construct any facilities or modify any conditions of lands within a legally designated
wilderness area to facilitate such use." Motorized wheelchairs are fully permitted in
wilderness areas. The term wheelchair means a device designed solely for use by a
mobility-impaired person for locomotion, that is suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian
setting. The Act does not make provisions for the use of all-terrain-vehicles (ATV's) by
mobility-impaired persons in wilderness. The Act also reaffirms the right that all users
should be given the opportunity to choose those areas in-line with their self-assessed
As part of the planning process, DEC personnel studied potential locations which
could accommodate use by the disabled without violating wilderness guidelines. The
inventory not only looked at means to access an area, but it also gave consideration to
desired recreation experiences. Although the unit's steep slopes and surfaces resulted in
more challenging levels of accessibility than desired by the general disabled population,
potential sites were identified at Cascade Lakes, Marcy Dam, South Meadows, and the
Ampersand Primitive Area.

Provide a high level of access for the disabled consistent with the recreational
setting of the HPWC to the extent that it does not require modification of the natural

Management Policies and Actions:
Study potential areas for providing access for the disabled that provide a range of
experiences and challenges consistent with wilderness.

Provide "universal access information" to potential users that describes the types of
obstacles and challenges that a disabled person may encounter so that disabled
wilderness users can make informed decisions in accordance with their physical

Inventory and assess existing facilities to determine their degree of accessibility for
the disabled.

Monitor use, gather feedback from user groups, assess effectiveness and make
changes as necessary.

Wilderness Permits
Current Situation and Assumptions:
Until recently, DEC primarily based use estimates on voluntary self registration at
trail registers. The problem with this system is that some people (or many) do not register.
Use estimates tended to be understated and had the potential for a large, but usually
unknown margin of error. Given the fact that visitor use rose by over 40,000 visitors in
just the past five years, it is now imperative for managers to raise registration rates and
gather better data to adequately assess the effects of this increased use on natural resources
and the experiences of visitors.
This issue was addressed by the High Peaks CAC in its 1992 final report which
recommended "Registration shall be required when a visitor passes, or is in close proximity
to, a registration facility. Compliance of mandatory registration should be developed
through educational contacts." The CAC further suggested this would also be a good
opportunity to educate visitors when they register and/or obtain a mandatory self-issuing
Mandatory self-issuing permits, commonly called "trip tickets," are currently in use
by the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service in many Federal wilderness
areas. These are usually free, self-issued at the trailhead and are most convenient to
visitors because they eliminate the need to drive to issuing offices. Visitors fill out a
permit, deposit one copy of the permit in a register box, and take a second copy with them.
The visitor's copy of the permit provides information on rules and regulations, safety, and
general backcountry guidelines to lessen impacts. Enforcement is not heavy-handed.
Interior personnel usually issue permits on the spot rather than write a citation for non-compliance. The important thing is to increase registration and increase visitor awareness
to protect wilderness resources.
One primary drawback is that these permits do little to divert users from overused
areas unless the permits are accompanied with a strong informative and educational
component to suggest alternative areas.

Collect better data on the amount, kind and location of use through the use of self-issuing permits in the heavily used portions of the HPWC so that DEC can better
manage wilderness resources and experiences.

Use permits as a vehicle to provide visitors with information about rules and
regulations, safety, and low impact backcountry use.

Management Actions:
A regulation is needed to require, possession of a self-issuing travel permit,
whenever a visitor (or group leader) passes, or is in close proximity to a DEC
registration facility for the entire eastern High Peaks zone. This action is not
intended to be a rationing nor reservation type permit system.

The above proposed regulation shall apply to entry and travel only. Standard group
camping permits for parties of ten or more and/or camping on the same site for
three or more nights in succession regardless of group size, will still apply.

Trailhead registration stations will be redesigned to accommodate self-issuing

Forest rangers and interior personnel will issue permits on the spot to those in non-compliance. Enforcement will not be heavy-handed.

All visitor permits will convey information on rules and regulations, safety, and
information on low impact backcountry use.

Backcountry users not using the developed trail system will not need an entry/travel

Permits will not be required in the western High Peaks zone nor along the
Adirondack Canoe Route. Standard trail registers will still be used in these zones;
however, visitors entering the eastern High Peaks from these zones will be subject
to a permit as soon as they encounter a self-issuing permit station or meet DEC

Compliance rates will be checked periodically to assess effectiveness and to
determine if proper information is communicated.

Data collected from permits will be used to schedule trail and campsite
maintenance, measure use and assess impacts, and plan wilderness management

Data collected over the five-year span of this plan will be used to ascertain if
additional user controls are needed.

Special Use Recommendations
Current Situation and Assumptions:
DEC personnel, through the unit's information and education program, trailhead
messages, and personal contacts, routinely make strong recommendations on special uses
occurring in the wilderness. These are designed to keep rules and regulations to the
minimum and urge voluntary compliance. There are a variety of ways to use the
wilderness and a variety of suggestions that apply to each user. Major topics include, but
are not limited to, pets in the back country, precautions with bears, the use of proper
clothing and equipment, and use of glass containers.

The number of pets, particularly dogs, brought into the back country is increasing.
Dogs are encountered on trails, in campsites, along shorelines, and atop summits. Some
dogs are well controlled; others are not. DEC has received complaints of barking dogs,
dog fights, dog bites (to humans and other dogs) threatening actions as dogs establish
territories in and around campsites, summit trampling by unleased dogs, and fecal
contamination of water resources, conflicts with bears, and harassment of deer and other
wildlife. A serious encounter with a dog off a leash can result in a lawsuit as well as fines.

Because of the availability of human food (not humans) in the wilderness, many
bears have changed their natural feeding habits in response to this easily garnered supply.
Bears are too often rewarded with improperly stored or disposed food.

Rangers strive to prevent costly and needless rescues by encouraging visitors to be
properly prepared for sudden changes in weather and be ready for any emergency. For
example, skis and/or snowshoes are required when snow covers the ground. Field diaries
indicate too many encounters with visitors not having basic back country clothing and
equipment nor the knowledge to prevent accidents.

DEC staff and volunteers remove quantities of broken glass from the HPWC each
year. It is an environmental problem (litter) as well as a safety issue. Glass fragments are
found on trails, in fire rings, at leantos and shorelines, in area waters and on mountain
summits. Clean-up is time consuming and costly.

Keep the effects of visitor use on resources to a minimum.

Increase visitor self-sufficiency and knowledge of personal protection.

Management Policies and Actions:
DEC personnel will communicate positive messages through written materials,
trailhead messages, and personal contacts. The emphasis will be on what visitors
should do and reinforce what visitors should not do.

All pets, except hunting dogs in appropriate hunting season under the control of a
licensed hunter, must be leashed on designated trails, campsites and leantos, at
elevations above 4,000 feet, or at areas where the public has congregated. No dog
may be left unattended at any time and must be under the complete control of the
owner or handler at all times.

Visitors will be required to keep their food from bears and keep a clean camp. This
will help keep bears from becoming accustomed to obtaining people food and
therefore retain their dependence on natural food sources. It will also keep visitors
from having to cut their trip short due to bears having taken or destroyed their food
and will reduce the potential for personal injury. This needs to be addressed by
greater information, education, and on-site contacts.

Information and education efforts stressing proper clothing, equipment, and safety
will continue.

Glass containers in the HPWC shall be prohibited. No person shall bring glass
containers into the High Peaks Wilderness at any time.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The use of aircraft for emergency operations including fire suppression, search and
rescue and medical emergencies is considered appropriate under established policy and
guidelines. Helicopters are also used for administrative support functions in the back
country. DEC fixed wing and helicopter flights, except in emergencies, are restricted to
periods of low visitor use to reduce sound and visual intrusions. The "off-peak" period
ranges from September 16 to May 24 annually. Aircraft use requires pre-approval by the
Commissioner or by his designee (as defined by Chapter 8410 of DEC Policies and
Procedures Manual, adopted 1974).
Noise exists over the wilderness due to commercial and private flights from nearby
airports as well. All airspace is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA); the states do not have the power to regulate their own air space. In
cooperation with the Defense Department and the State Office of Military and Naval
Affairs, military overflights have been discontinued over much of the wilderness.
However, a narrow flight path exists parallel to Long Lake and the Raquette River.
Private flights are required to maintain a minimum horizontal and vertical clearance of 500
feet above or near natural obstructions such as mountaintops. In contrast, the FAA
requires a 2,000 feet clearance above the terrain in federally designated wilderness areas.
These specially defined areas, are clearly depicted on National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) aeronautical charts.

Reduce DEC aircraft use to the minimum necessary to protect wilderness resources
and to preserve solitude of the interior as required by the APSLMP.

Management Policies and Actions:
No change in current policy required. All administrative aircraft use shall conform
to the APSLMP.

Where possible and appropriate, cooperate with area airports, pilots, and scenic
flight operators to reduce low level flights. Report low-level flight violations to the

Administrative use of helicopters shall be reflected in all work plans and be
supported by individual flight requests.

A summary report and log of all flight operations, by each DEC unit, will be
submitted to the unit manager annually for review.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The use of road sand and road salt as a highway de-icing agent along wilderness
perimeter roads has a serious adverse effect on roadside plant and animal life and on
ground water and surface water bodies outside the highway right-of-way. This is most
visibly evident along NYS Routes 30, 73, and 86 as evidenced by die-back and mortality of
white birch, scotch and white pine trees. The most serious damage has occurred along the
wilderness boundary near Cascade Lakes resulting in heavy tree mortality between Route
73 and the two lakes.

Reduce the use of highway road sand and road salt or find acceptable
alternatives to the minimum amount necessary for traffic safety in order to
protect roadside vegetation, animal life, and water courses.

Management Policy and Actions:
Participate in discussions with the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of
Transportation to reduce, mitigate, or eliminate the problem.

Promote the use of less damaging alternative highway de-icing agents such as
calcium magnesium acetate.

Remove hazardous trees when they pose a safety threat to pedestrians and traffic
along roadsides.

Monitor roadside vegetation and streamsides for sodium overload and streambeds
for sediment accumulation.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The HPWC provides many opportunities for scientific study and observation in a
more or less natural setting. In the past, the HPWC has been studied by numerous colleges
and universities and a myriad of scientific researchers. These studies have concentrated on
the flora (especially alpine communities), fauna, geomorphology, and the effects of acid
precipitation on HPWC forests and waters. This type of research has been compatible with
the area's natural resources and consistent with APSLMP guidelines. Future proposals and
studies are anticipated. All studies require a Revocable Permit issued by DEC. Collection
of specimens requires prior approval by DEC and the Director of the State Science Service.

Encourage scientific research projects that will aid in preserving wilderness
character, benefit the scientific and educational communities, and improve DEC's
stewardship of the area.

Management Policies and Actions:
Permit valid forms of research and scientific study provided such projects comply
with the APSLMP and DEC policies and procedures, and contribute to the existing
knowledge of the HPWC's resource base. They must have practical application to
wilderness management problems or use the wilderness as a reference where no
viable alternative exists. The wilderness will not serve as a generalized laboratory
for all types of scientific research.

Revocable permits will be required for all research projects.

Researchers, as part of the permit process, will be required to report to the DEC in
writing on the findings of each research program. These reports will be added to the
HPWC's data base.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
Partnerships and volunteers play an important role in helping the DEC fulfill its
management responsibilities in the HPWC. DEC has used a variety of partnerships and
volunteers to protect resources, educate users, and maintain HPWC facilities. Because of
rapid growth in visitation, limited time and managerial resources, and expanded
responsibilities beyond recreation to include such things as clean air and water,
biodiversity, cultural resources, and other values as well, DEC has had to rely on outside
interests to leverage limited state resources to get the job done. Current activities include
efforts to protect and rehabilitate alpine summit vegetation, provide information to a
multitude of user groups, conduct scientific research, inventory plant and wildlife species,
identify cultural resources, and maintain trails and leantos. Using partnerships and
volunteers can be innovative and reduce in part the need for a large management
infrastructure. On the other hand, as Wallace points out in Ecotourism - A Guide for
Planners and Managers, 1993, the tendency in recent years by government agencies to use
partnerships and volunteers as a cost saving measure has resulted in a reduced management
presence in a particular area so that the managing agency appears weak to many outside
visitors. Wallace also states, "Outside interests can provide an important complement to
management, but should not supersede or replace government administrators, rangers, etc."
Since the number of partnerships and volunteer programs is increasing, the important thing
for DEC is to establish clear guidelines and responsibilities so that partnerships and
volunteers can be truly effective in achieving wilderness goals and objectives. Improved
coordination between partnerships/volunteers means there will be an improvement in on-the-ground wilderness conditions.

Through partnerships and volunteerism, encourage, establish, and sustain a diverse
and balanced range of resource protection, educational, and recreational services for
the purpose of creating a lasting improvement in wilderness conditions.

Management Policies and Actions:
Appoint a partnership/volunteer coordinator at the regional level to supervise
projects in the HPWC by outside interests.

Develop a list of potential projects that can be undertaken by outside interests to
complement HPWC management programs.

Meet with interested parties to define mutually shared goals so that resources may
be combined to reach those goals.

Formalize the relationship (partnership or volunteer program) with written
agreements, contracts, or memorandums of understanding. This is necessary to
define goals, objectives, contributions, responsibilities, and term of service.

The DEC partner or volunteer must clearly understand DEC wilderness objectives.
Yet at the same time, the DEC partner must be given reasonable assurance of
security and opportunity to satisfy their own particular objectives.

Regardless of the relative share of investment by the partners and/or volunteers as
compared to DEC's contribution, each party must be viewed on equal terms.

Each partner or volunteer must be flexible and be prepared to make adjustments

Partners and volunteers should not expect to share preferential treatment in future
management decisions by becoming a partner or volunteer.

Partners and volunteers are not to exceed nor act beyond their stated agreements
and assume no legal authority.

Partners or volunteers will not monopolize a particular management activity.

All partnership and volunteer activities will be closely monitored and evaluated
annually, or sooner if warranted, to determine effective in meeting DEC's
wilderness goals and objectives.

Current Situation and Assumptions:
The High Peaks is administered by two DEC divisions and several bureaus. There
is an established umbrella framework under the guise of the Regional Forestry Manger who
is in charge of implementing Lands and Forests policy and who also serves as a review
person for all activities considered not routine. On-site Lands and Forests programs are
administered by seven forest rangers. Two are assigned to the eastern High Peaks; the
other five share collateral duties in other Forest Preserve units. These rangers come from
three zones; A,B, and D. In 1995, four seasonal assistant forest rangers were assigned to
the eastern zone and one to the western zone, including portions of the Adirondack Canoe
Route. This staffing level represents a 50% reduction from 1988 levels (8 positions)
despite a 40% increase in visitor use. Division of Operations trail crews and interior
caretakers have experienced similar reductions. There is a problem in adequately funding
the Lake Colden interior outpost year-round. DEC has a much reduced presence during
winter use periods, and during hunting and fishing seasons. With limited resources,
personnel have had to concentrate their activities at one or two main trailheads, on primary
trunk trails, and at popular campsites. This has come at the expense of other areas.
Limited budgets have resulted in very limited wilderness management activities. DEC
programs have been down-sized: training, education and information, maintenance and
rehabilitation, research, monitoring, law enforcement, planning, and a general overall DEC
presence throughout the wilderness area. Cooperative programs, partnerships, and
volunteers have filled the void to a limited extent.

Appoint a unit manager in the Ray Brook working circle to oversee and coordinate
all wilderness management activities in the unit.

Ensure all administrative uses and activities are directed toward, and consistent
with, accomplishing the stated goals and objectives of this plan.

Management Policies and Actions:
Appoint a unit manager with the responsibility for both public contact and the
coordination of all activities in the unit, including volunteer programs.

The unit manager will serve as review person to post a "red flag" if proposed
activities are inconsistent with the Adirondack State Land APSLMP and the goals
and objectives of this plan.

Increase communication between various units in DEC, the public, and other
interested groups and agencies.

Conduct semi-annual meetings with staff (before and after heavy use seasons) to
assess and discuss accomplishments, problems, planning needs, proposed projects,
progress in plan implementation, cooperative programs, and volunteerism.

The unit manager shall prepare an annual report on DEC's management of the unit
and its progress in implementing the unit management plan.

Develop wilderness management budgets in order to meet unit management plan
goals and objectives.

Program plans, actually sub-components of this document, will be prepared
annually during the five year term of this plan. These include:

General plan administration to include staff needs and coordination between DEC
administrative units, divisions, and bureaus and liaison with the Adirondack Park
Agency. Suggest Plan A for minimum $ and Plan B for program with proper

Office support and visitor information services.

Basic monitoring of human use and its impacts on natural resources and the
experiences of visitors.

Development and maintenance of effective education and information programs for
High Peaks users.

Overall facilities maintenance and safety inspections of bridges, dams, ladders, etc.

Rehabilitation and restoration of impacted areas.

Staff and volunteer training.

Needed support services for partnerships, contractual and volunteer programs.

Many of the management proposals outlined in this section will require the
promulgation of new rules and regulations in accordance with DEC policies and procedures
and the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). In summary, these include,
but are not limited to:

Prohibit camping above 4,000 feet in elevation all times of the year to protect upper
spruce-fir ecotypes, subalpine, and rare summit vegetation. .

Require all winter visitors to possess and use either skis or snowshoes when the
terrain is snow-covered with eight or more inches of snow. This is intended as a
safety measure not only to the visitor in case of sudden snow emergencies, but also
necessary to maintain safe trail conditions.

Limit the size of overnight groups to 12 persons per group for overnight use across
the entire wilderness; the eastern, western High Peaks, and along the Adirondack
Canoe Route to reduce environmental impacts and visitor crowding.

Limit the size of day use groups to 15 persons per group for the eastern and western
High Peaks zones to reduce environmental impacts and crowding. This proposed
regulation will not apply to day use activities along the Adirondack Canoe Route.

Restrict campfire use, outside of closed or designated areas, to safe locations at least
150 feet from any road (including parking facilities), trail, or water.

Prohibit all campfires in the eastern High Peaks zone and at all locations above
4,000 feet in elevation in the western High Peaks zone.

Make sure that at audio devices are at no time audible outside of a campsite.

Establish quiet hours between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am.

Prohibit glass containers throughout the entire High Peaks Wilderness.

Leash of all pets while on DEC marked trails, designated camp and leanto sites,in
congregated areas, and elevations above 4,000 feet. Pets are not to be left
unattended and must be under the control of the owner or handler at all times.
This will not apply to hunting dogs under the control of a license hunter during
appropriate hunting seasons.

Prohibit the use of outboard and electric motors on any "Wild River" passing
through state forest preserve, with specific reference to the Cold River located in
this unit. This is intended to support the Rivers Act and the APSLMP.

Require mandatory trailhead registrations applicable only to the heavily used eastern
High Peaks zone.

Prohibit the use of all motorized equipment (i.e. chainsaws, generators, tec.) by the
public anywhere in the wildenress except under permit.

Limit the size of camping groups to no more than 12 people per campsite or leanto
site in the eastern and western High Peaks zones and along the Adirondack Canoe

Establish a regulation that defines and describes a "Lawful Order" in which no
person shall fail to comply with a lawful instruction or order by a unifomed
employee of the department. SECTION IX

SPECIAL AREA PLANS (selected maps at end of section)

To deal specifically with recreation impact management, the HPWC has been
divided beyond its APSLMP classifications (units) and its three management zones into
smaller subdivisions called special area compartments. These are areas of major concern
and require special attention. Factors considered in defining compartment boundaries
include: significant biological and physical features, existing recreational use patterns, and
the desired resource, social, and managerial settings for each area to prevent unacceptable


Management Area: Designated primitive area; low to moderate use.
Special Features:
This area consists of a small tract of Forest Preserve between the Ampersand Road
and Ampersand Brook in the Town of Harrietstown, Franklin County. The Ampersand
Road, used as an access road to a large private parcel enclosed by the High Peaks
Wilderness, is seasonally open to public motor vehicle use, horses, and mountain bikes.
The road provides important trailhead access to Raquette Falls, Pickerel and Rock Ponds,
and the Seward Mountains, and water access to Ampersand Brook and Stoney Creek.
Ampersand Brook is a picturesque white water stream popular with fishermen. There is
the potential to develop limited facilities for the disabled on level terrain and dry soils that
have easy road access.

Current Situation:
This is an ideal area away from the heavy user concentrations of the eastern High
Peaks. Its modest facilities provide a range of long and short hiking, horse, and cross
country ski trails. The terrain is ideal for campers seeking level terrain and easy access.
The road has 10 designated campsites allowing drive-in camping by motor vehicle. These
sites are not permanent, but are reviewed periodically and some sites may be closed for rest
and rehabilitation if excessive damage occurs. The area serves a variety of users; hikers,
campers, horse users: hunters, fishermen, and cross country skiers. Trail and camp
encounters seldom exceeds 10-15 other parties per day. Four-wheel-drive trails leading
into the HPWC were barricaded in 1994. Two similar roads were barricaded in 1993 to
discourage illegal motor vehicle use. Litter is a problem along the road, in campsites and
trailheads, and at Pickerel and Rock Ponds. Mountain bikes have left the road and used the
Raquette and Seward Trailheads to gain illegal access to the former interior fire truck trail
system in the High Peaks Wilderness. Certain parties are driving through Campsite No. 7,
into the gravel stream bed of Ampersand Brook, to wash motor vehicles. Area boundaries
were signed and posted in 1994.

Management Actions:
Barricade access road to Campsite #7 at least 100 feet from Ampersand Brook to
keep motor vehicles out of the brook.
Schedule routine maintenance and litter pick-up of all campsites, trailheads, and the
shores of Pickerel and Rock Ponds.
Develop specific sites to provide access for the disabled, including parking,
fishermen access, and camping, consistent with APSLMP guidelines and the
Americans with Disabilities Act.
Monitor use.


Management Area: Eastern High Peaks zone; heavy use.
Special Features:
Cascade Lakes and its environs is a highly scenic area along Route 73, a principal
highway connecting Keene and Lake Placid. The special area compartment consists of the
two lakes, a small day use area located between the two lakes, and the Cascade Mt.
trailhead; all are located within 500 feet of the wilderness boundary. Cascade Mountain, at
4,098 feet in elevation provides an impressive backdrop to the lakes. Both lakes support
round whitefish, an endangered species in New York State. The species is vulnerable to
introductions of nonnative and NBWI species.

Current Situation:
This is a heavily visited area. Cascade Mountain, one of the easiest 4,000 foot
peaks to access, registered 15,000 visitors in 1995. Its trailhead has a recommended
parking capacity of 10 vehicles; yet the actual number of parked vehicles quadruples on
weekends and holidays as motorists park and walk up and down the narrow shoulders of
the highway. This has created serious traffic problems restricting traffic flow and
endangering pedestrians. There is no room to expand the parking lot due to terrain.
However, there is the potential to relocate trailhead parking to a safe "off-road" location on
more gentle terrain situated on the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Intensive Use Area where the
wilderness boundary and intensive use boundaries meet on Route 73.
The Cascades Day Use Area is a popular picnic spot offering scenic vistas. It is
popular with senior citizens and has been used by disabled persons. Illegal camping in the
day use area is a common problem. Highway runoff in the form of road salt and sand has
caused heavy tree mortality between Route 73 and the lakes.

Management Actions:
Work cooperatively with the NYS Dept. of Transportation to post pedestrian
warning and trailhead parking signs at proper sight distances. Request "No Parking
- Tow Away" zones be emplaced along Route 3 above and below the designated
parking areas for greater vehicle and pedestrian safety.
Consult with the Olympic Regional Development Authority to determine if the
Cascades Trailhead could be relocated inside the intensive use area boundary so as
not to interfere with their operation of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg facility. Approval
would also have to be obtained from the APA for APSLMP concurrence.
Make the 2 vault toilets in the day use area handicap accessible.
Post and enforce "No Camping" ban in day use area.
Enlist support from other agencies to seek less damaging highway de-icing
alternatives to preserve and protect roadside vegetation and riparian resources.
Assess current populations of round whitefish in the Cascades Lake to determine if
stocking is necessary.
Post regulatory signs prohibiting the use of bait fish along the shores of the two

COLD RIVER (Wild River Management)

Management Area: Western High Peaks zone; low use.
Special Features:
The entire length of the Cold River (14.0 miles) is a designated "Wild River,"
under the State's Wild,Scenic, and Recreational Rivers Act of 1972. The Cold River is a
free flowing stream with no dams nor impoundments. Few trails access the river and there
are nine leantos located along its course. The river is wholly enclosed by the HPWC and is
located in one of the most remote locations in the unit. Outboard motor and electric motor
use on the river is prohibited by Act.

Current Situation:
The APA administers the Rivers Act on private lands in the Park, and DEC
administers those rivers or portions thereof, on State lands. The Rivers Act, and its special
provisions are addressed in the APSLMP and in the ECL, Article 15, title 27. DEC
inventoried the river and established a « mile wide protective riparian corridor on each
side of the stream as required by the Act. The Act further mandates DEC to remove all
non-conforming structures (leantos) from the river corridor. A horse barn was removed
from the corridor earlier.

Management Actions:
All major maintenance, the replacement of any of the following: roof, floor,
deacon seat, base and side logs, will be suspended on all leantos located in the wild
river corridor. This will affect Cold River Nos. 1,2,3,4, Calkins Creek, Northern
1&2, Seward, and Oulaska leantos. When no longer useable, these leantos will be
phased out and not relocated within the corridor as required by the Rivers Act.
Promulgate a regulation to specifically prohibit outboard and electric motor use on
the entire length of the Cold River. This would provide for better law enforcement
through direct regulation rather than using cumbersome administrative law hearings
for minor infractions. Sign accordingly at the point where the Cold River joins the
Raquette River.
Monitor river and corridor use in accordance with the Rivers Act.


Management Area: Western High Peaks; low use.
Special Features:
The Cold River Horse Trail System accesses one of the most remote regions in the
state. The Cold River area provides a study in contrasts between the high peaks of the
Seward and Santanoni Ranges and the lowlands of the Cold River as it winds towards the
Raquette River. The trail system has two main loops; one is 12.7 miles, the second is 32.1
miles. Connecting routes lead to Raquette Falls, Moose Pond, Newcomb Lake, and the
Santanoni Preserve.

Current Situation:
The horse trail system was built prior to wilderness designation. The horse trails
utilized old log roads, the former fire truck trails, and some sections were cut through the
forest as connectors. This was at a time when heavy equipment; bulldozers, backhoes,
dump trucks, etc. were used to maintain the trail bed and surface. Bridges and steel and
concrete culverts were also employed. Since wilderness designation in 1972, no motorized
equipment has been used for maintenance. Despite relatively low use, portions of the
system have deteriorated. The biggest problem has been maintaining adequate drainage.
Some campsite and stream bed damage has been reported when horses are kept in the
immediate vicinity of camp areas or too close to water. Very little information is available
to wilderness horse users in regard to trail conditions, safety, and minimum impact horse
use. The system is popular with guides and outfitters.

Management Actions:
Inventory and evaluate the entire horse trail system. Work cooperatively with
known horse users and equestrian groups, decide which portions of the trail system
should be retained; which should be closed to horses.
Develop a horse trail maintenance plan consistent with APSLMP guidelines. This
will present many challenges and require an intense effort to maintain the system
using primitive means as required by wilderness designation. Consider rerouting
trails around wet areas, seek alternative stream crossings not requiring bridges,
remove washed out culverts in favor of stable broad-based dips, etc.
Separate horse and camping areas; install hitching posts at all camping areas to
reduce trampling and damage to trees. Horse users will be restricted to designated
campsites identified by sign or disk.
Intensify information and education efforts to specifically address wilderness horse
Solicit and promote volunteer support in planning and maintenance activities.


Management Area: Eastern High Peaks; use heavy to intense.
Special Features:
Sitting near 3,700 feet in elevation, Indian Falls is a relatively small flat area
located in the deep "U" shaped valley of Marcy Brook. Its most prominent feature is the
falls themselves. Nearby heights of land afford scenic views of Mt. Marcy. The area
straddles the Van Hoevenberg Trail, the main route to Mt. Marcy and is an important trail
junction for the Lake Arnold Crossover Trail. Soils are thin, less than 24 inches deep
sitting atop bedrock, moist and are easily saturated by moderate to heavy rains. Valley
walls confine most visitors to the corridor immediately adjacent to the brook.

Current Situation:
Use by campers and day users is extremely heavy due to its central location. Forest
rangers estimate that 20,000 or more visitors pass through here annually. A campsite
designation program was instituted in 1982; several campsites were closed and large group
camping (more than 10 per party) was prohibited. Despite these efforts, significant
resource impacts have occurred. The most serious impact results from the disposal of
human waste exacerbated by wet soils and runoff into the brook. Suitable pit privy
locations are limited and required 150 feet water quality setbacks from the brook are
difficult to achieve. Campers are frequently found camping on wet-soggy ground. Other
site factors include compacted soils, trampled vegetation, and illegal tree cutting.
Designated sites have coalesced with user created campsites into one large impacted area.
It has been difficult to keep visitors off closed sites. A consensus of managers, field staff
including summit stewards recommended closure of Indian Falls to camping in 1995.

Management Actions:
All campsites at Indian Falls will be permanently closed to camping. Closed sites
will be restored and put to rest. "No camping" signs will be erected and it may be
necessary to cordon the closed sites with string for an indefinite period until the
sites have been restored.
Pit privies will be used to accommodate day users. Chemical and/or composting
toilets will not be employed because of their structural size and high maintenance
Greater emphasis will be placed on education and information to convey the closure
order and the justification behind it. This will initially require a greater DEC
presence (forest rangers and assistants) at Indian Falls.
Written materials, trailhead messages, and personal contacts will be used to inform
users of site changes.


Management Area: Eastern High Peaks zone; heavy use.
Special Features:
This spectacular scenic area sits between the Dix and High Peaks Wildernesses.
The Club is privately owned; however, a portion of its lands are open to public use. An
easement affords public parking on its lands south of St. Huberts and foot travel is
permitted on designated trails leading to state land. The Club restricts public camping,
building of fires, hunting, fishing, trapping, off-trail use, mountain biking, boating,
swimming, and pets.

Current Situation:
This a high density day use area because of its easy access from Interstate 87 and its
connecting trails to high elevation peaks with outstanding scenery. Over 15,000 visitors
passed through here in 1995. As result of the Club's restrictions, the area has not suffered
many physical impacts due to specific provisions in the easement. However, several
serious social issues have evolved associated with visitor crowding. Increased use beyond
the area's desired capacity has created parking problems and encouraged motor vehicle and
pedestrian trespass on private property. The easement restricts parking to 20 vehicles and
provides limited space for off-road parking. On peak weekends and holidays it is common
to find over 100 vehicles parked on Club property once the designated parking area is
filled. Double row and shoulder parking have "plugged" the St. Huberts Road, a Town of
Keene highway, restricting traffic flow and impeding emergency vehicles. The problem is
further compounded by bus parking, and large groups of pedestrians on the narrow road.
No parking zones and private property signs are commonly ignored. Overflow visitors
from this area are now impacting the nearby Dix and Giant Wildernesses. The Club has
requested an increased DEC presence on the easement lands and has requested Town of
Keene officials enforce parking restrictions on the St. Huberts Road.

Management Actions:
The DEC, the Club, and the Town of Keene, need to develop a comprehensive
parking plan. Parking limitations, including "No Parking - Tow Away" zones,
must be enforced by appropriate legal authorities. This will require communication
and coordination between the all parties and a public information and education
The DEC and the Club have agreed, in principle, to revisit the overall management
aspects of the easement lands in regard to parking as noted above, signing,
improved information and education distribution to the public, and law
Proposed group size limits of 12 persons per party for overnight use and 15 persons
per party for day use should reduce visitor crowding and facility demand.
DEC will establish a "uniformed" presence" on the Ausable Club trailheads during
peak use periods in addition to routine forest ranger patrols.
Public use will be monitored by trailhead registrations, on-site visits, and
communication with the Club. This will help assess the need for greater education
and information efforts.


Management Area: Western High Peaks; low use.
Special Features:
This area surrounding and located between Moose Pond and Newcomb Lake is
highly scenic and remote. Newcomb Lake, at 506 acres, is the largest lake in the HPWC
and is complemented by 173 acre Moose Pond. The compartment lies north of the Village
of Newcomb, and west of historic Great Camp Santanoni. The latter is located in the
Vanderwhacker Wild Forest near the wilderness boundary. Access to the lakes is through
the Camp Santanoni Gatehouse north of Route 28. Newcomb Lake is accessible via the
Newcomb Lake Road; the Moose Pond Road leaves the aforementioned road and heads in a
northwesterly direction towards the Cold River.

Current Situation:
The area offers outstanding opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, horseback
riding, remote big game hunting, and cross country skiing. Use is increasing and is
expected to continue as more visitors are attracted to Camp Santanoni and discover the
surrounding area. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in commercial outfitter use
for guided horseback trips and big game hunting in this sector. Skiers outnumber most
users due to the area's renowned and abundant snowfall. Newcomb Lake has two leantos
and numerous non-designated campsites along the shore. Both Moose Pond and Newcomb
Lake attract heavy spring fishing. Moose Pond has several designated campsites at the
south end of the pond. Improperly located campfires have led to ground fires. Horse
damage is evident near many sites. Portions of the Moose Pond Road have washed out
leaving its steel and aluminum culverts "high and dry" in the road bed. Illegal motor
vehicle use and mountain bikes have been reported on the Moose Pond Road, which is
wholly in the wilderness. Most visitors are unable to distinguish the wilderness/wild forest
boundary on the ground once they leave the Newcomb Lake Road. This is important
because visitors must know when and where different rules and regulations apply.

Management Actions:
On both lakes all campsites, leantos, and potential site locations will be inventoried,
mapped, and evaluated. A campsite plan will be developed and selected campsites
designated in accordance with DEC policy and APSLMP guidelines. It is important
that DEC establish the sites rather than have them created by users. Each site will
have a designated fire ring. Pit privies will be installed commensurate with the
amount of use a site is expected to receive. No new leantos will be established on
or near the two lakes.
This same procedure will be applied to the Moose Pond Road from its junction with
the Newcomb Lake through to Moose Pond.
Hitching posts will be erected at all horse staging areas and/or camping areas
frequented by horse users to reduce trampling damage to trees and shrubs. A
hitching post is needed at the end of the old road southwest of Moose Pond.
Washed out culverts will be removed and replaced with broad base dips where
suitable soils exist. If this is not possible, wooden box culverts or small wooden
bridges will be employed.
A stockpile of aluminum culverts astride the road between Moose Pond and Ermine
Brook will be removed from the wilderness.
The wilderness boundary will be posted at all road and trail crossings. A sign
"Entering the High Peaks Wilderness" is needed on the Moose Pond just beyond its
junction with the Newcomb Lake Road, the dividing line between wilderness and
wild forest.
Motor vehicle and mountain bike prohibitions will be enforced.
Public use will be monitored.


Management Area: Eastern and western High Peaks zones; moderate use.
Special Features:
This area is often referred to as the "back door" of the High Peaks Wilderness since
it contains the southern approaches to Mt. Marcy. A hike up Marcy, via the Calamity
Brook trail requires a 10.3 miles one-way trip as compared to the Van Hoevenberg Trail
which is almost three miles shorter when coming from Adirondak Loj. In addition to the
Mt. Marcy trail, other trails lead to Flowed Lands-Lake Colden, Indian Pass and the Duck
Hole; all begin at or near this important trailhead. The trailhead, its three associated
parking lots, and travel routes to state land are located on the lands of NL Industries. The
state has deeded easements for parking and trail access only. No camping, hunting,
fishing, or fires are permitted on NL lands and visitors must hike considerable distances to
reach state lands.

Current Situation:
Visitor use is moderate, about 6,000 visitors annually. However, use is steadily
increasing. Part of this increase may be attributed to visitor crowding at other locations.
Parking, restricted by the terms of the easement, is limited to approximately 30 vehicles.
Overflow parking on town roads and NL lands is experienced on peak weekends and
holidays. Timber harvesting on NL lands may increase motor vehicle traffic on area roads
and cause minor and temporary disruptions of trail use.

Management Actions:
Recreation use will be monitored through trailhead registrations, parking lot counts,
and on-trail visits.
Any attempts at controlling or reducing use in northern and eastern section of the
High Peaks, should consider the "ripple effect", i.e. planned or unintended shifts in
use towards this trailhead and its limited ability to handle extra parking and trail
Properly sign all parking areas and trails identifying them as an easement across
private lands posted to "no camping, hunting and fishing, and no fires". Sign the
wilderness (state land) boundary so that visitors know when they have left private


Management Areas: Adirondack Canoe Route and western High Peaks zone; heavy use.
Special Features:
The wilderness boundary follows the east shoreline of Long Lake and continues
along the east bank of the Raquette River. The Long Lake shoreline is rocky with
interspersed sandy beaches, has many sheltered bays, and is heavily wooded. Its miles of
scenic shoreline, with the western High Peaks in its background, and its ease of access are
its outstanding features.

Current Situation:
Characteristic of all easily accessed water-based areas in the Park, use is extremely
heavy by boaters and canoeists. The lake's central position on the 90 mile Adirondack
Canoe Route from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, adds to its popularity. Large organized
canoe groups are the predominate users; however, the area is also popular with family
groups. The 132 mile Northville-Lake Placid Trail follows the shoreline for 7.5 miles and
attracts many hikers. A separate management zone, 500 feet wide parallel to the lake was
established, because of its location, low lying topography, and its particular user groups.
Long Lake has 15 leantos and 80 campsites; most were created prior to wilderness
designation in 1972. These facilities were built in response to heavy visitor demand for
water based recreation activities; most violate APSLMP sight and sound separation
distances. A leanto inventory has been completed and current policy requires that
replacement leantos be moved back from the lake a minimum distance of 100 feet to
comply with the APSLMP. The last campsite inventory was conducted in 1984 and needs
to be updated. It revealed a preponderance of sites too close to the water and too close to
each other. A ban on all campfires in beaches and on immediate shorelines has helped
reduce many environmental and visual problems. Prior to the removal of its fire tower,
nearby Kempshall Mountain once afforded many fine views of surrounding country;
without the tower, there is almost no view. However, a portion of the trail could be
relocated to nearby Blueberry Mt. to take advantage of views from rock outcrops. There is
potential to develop canoe-accessed handicapped sites in some bays.

Management Actions:
Pending an assessment of group use along the entire 90 mile Adirondack Canoe
Route, which passes through several wild forest and wilderness areas, a maximum
overnight group size limit of 12 will remain in effect. This is an arbitrary number
based on the special circumstances of canoe groups traveling through wild forest
and wilderness areas via a single route.
The Long Lake campsite inventory will be updated and a campsite designation plan
developed. As part of the campsite plan, potential access sites for the disabled will
be identified. Campsites will be designated by sign.
Closed campsites and former leanto locations will be posted and all fire rings and/or
fireplaces obliterated. These same sites will also be closed to day use for an
adequate rest and rehabilitation period.
The campfire ban on beaches and immediate shorelines will continue. This has
significantly reduced litter, broken glass, charred debris and rocks, and tree cutting
from the lakeshore.
A portion of the former Kempshall Mt. trail will be relocated to Blueberry Mt. to
take advantage of views afforded by Blueberry's rock outcrops. This will require
less than 1200 feet of new trail to be built. Beyond the Blueberry turn-off, all
maintenance of the Kempshall Mt. trail will be discontinued and the markers
Public use will be monitored by on-site visits and assessments of resource


Management Area: Eastern High Peaks zone & Johns Brook Primitive; heavy use.
Special Features:
The Garden is a major trailhead and parking facility at the eastern edge of the High
Peaks Wilderness. It is the second most popular trailhead in the High Peaks Wilderness.
The parking facility is situated on a deeded easement at the end of a private road 1.6 miles
from the village of Keene Valley. The first 1.3 miles of this road is a Town of Keene
highway; the remaining 0.3 miles are private road. State lands abound south and west;
private lands (homes) lie north and east. The easement was acquired in 1968 to address
growing recreational use in the Johns Brook Valley. A parking lot with a designed
capacity of 50 vehicles was constructed in 1970 atop a former vegetable garden. The
easement grants public parking privileges only; it does not grant reserved parking rights to
any of the private property owners in the Johns Brook Valley.

Current Situation:
1995 trail registrations exceeded 18,000 visitors through this point. Winter use is
increasing significantly. The 50 vehicle parking capacity is routinely surpassed throughout
the summer and fall weekends and holidays in September and October. Vehicles are
parked everywhere imaginable when the lot is full. They have parked illegally on private
land, in ditches, off-road in between trees, in residential driveways, and across barricades.
A car or bus parked in the wrong location here can inadvertently close the road to all traffic
including fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. Guard rails were installed on the north
portion of the private road in 1993 to protect private property. DEC forest rangers were
stationed at the parking lot Columbus Day weekend 1995 which did much to control the
parking and direct the overflow to alternate locations. Parking tickets were issued to those
who parked illegally on state land in disregard of "no parking" signs. These actions
reduced parking problems there, but prompted illegal parking on the town road leading to
The Garden and on village streets. The Town of Keene has established a "no parking"
zone on this section, but requires enforcement by the State Police. DEC managers have
been meeting with Town of Keene officials, private landowners, and other interested
parties to take a cooperative approach in resolving this problem. Talks are on-going.
Attempts to acquire private property to relocate the trailhead have proved futile. DEC does
not plow this trailhead in winter.

Management Actions:
Pending a development of a comprehensive and cooperative parking plan by DEC
and the Town of Keene, it will be necessary for DEC to continue a "uniformed"
staff position at The Garden during busy weekends and holidays.
In addition to the Town of Keene's ban on the Interbrook Road leading to The
Garden Road, request the town also make this section of road a "No Parking - Tow
Away" zone.
The present capacity of the parking facility will be held at 50 vehicles. Expansion of
the facility is not feasible due to steep terrain nor is it desirable given the present
visitor distribution in the Johns Brook Valley.
Potential visitors should be made aware of alternate parking locations or alternate
trailheads to avoid overcrowding at this location.


Management Area: Johns Brook Primitive; use heavy.
Special Features:
This is a long sliver of land in the Town Keene consisting of a right-of-way 1.3
miles in length across state lands to several private parcels enclosed by the High Peaks
Wilderness. The right-of-way serves as a boundary south of Johns Brook. The Phelps
Trail, also known as the Johns Brook or Northside Trail, across the brook, is the primitive
area's northern boundary. It is a high use trail, beginning at The Garden and ending at Mt.
Marcy's summit 9.1 miles away. This trail is the main access route to Johns Brook
Interior Outpost (3.1 miles) and to the Adirondack Mountain Club's Johns Brook Lodge
(3.5 miles), which offers overnight accommodations, food and drinks, and information to
hikers. The Club does not provide any parking facilities for its John Brook properties.
The right-of-way is an unimproved road, referred to locally as the Southside Trail, or
simply as the "tractor road" and is not open to public motor vehicle use. The lower
approaches of this road, towards Keene Valley have been closed to general public use by
private landowners. DEC no longer maintains this portion and has recommended deletion
of this route in area guidebooks. The Adirondack Mountain Club deleted reference to the
trail in its guide books and maps years ago (Goodwin, 1994). DEC has attempted to
purchase private properties in the primitive area through negotiations with willing sellers in
order to consolidate State lands.

Current Situation:
The primitive area, which is essentially a travel corridor, sustains high hiker use
from the Phelps Trail. Visitor use of this trail surpasses 20,000 hikers annually. Use
south of the brook is undocumented, but is substantially less. Motorized vehicle use of the
right-of-way, which is designated permitted non-conforming use, is minimal and restricted
to the private landowners who have camps in the valley. The Johns Brook Interior Outpost
is a DEC facility staffed seasonally by an interior caretaker. Although identified as a non-conforming use and structure by the APSLMP, its removal cannot be scheduled by a fixed
deadline until such time when the private lands lying above it might be acquired (APSLMP,
1987). Three leantos (Bear Brook, Deer Brook and Howard) are located in the narrow
confines of the primitive corridor and violate APSLMP setbacks from water. All three
pose potential human waste problems. Bear Brook is 0.9 miles from The Garden trailhead,
lies less than 35 feet from water and 30 feet from a high use trunk trail. Its close proximity
to the trailhead makes it a favored party spot. Deer Brook leanto, located farther up the
valley at 1.3 miles from The Garden is located too close to water (less than 100 feet) and
sustains heavy use. It has the potential to be relocated to more favorable sites to make it
conforming with APSLMP guidelines and DEC policy. Howard leanto sited near the Johns
Brook Interior Outpost is just 15 feet from Johns Brook. DEC staff reports as early as
1981 recommended removal of Bear and Howard leantos and relocation of Deer Brook

Management Actions:
Acquisition efforts, under the terms of the Open Space Plan and the Environmental
Protection Act, will continue to acquire those private inholdings in the Upper Johns
Brook enclosed by the High Peaks wilderness.
Identify, mark, and sign boundary lines between state and private land.
The Johns Brook Interior Outpost will be retained and staffed for an indefinite
period or until such time the aforementioned private inholdings are acquired by the
State and the area is reclassified to wilderness.
No major maintenance will be accorded Bear Brook and Howard leantos. They will
be phased out and not replaced at the end of their useful life.
Relocate Deer Brook leanto to conform with the APSLMP and DEC policy


Management Area: Eastern High Peaks zone; intense use.
Special Features:
Marcy Dam is a relatively easy 2.1 miles walk from the Adirondak Loj. It is highly
scenic location with a three acre pond which adds to its aesthetic quality. The Van
Hoevenberg Trail, the shortest route to Mt. Marcy, passes through Marcy Dam. In fact,
every hiker leaving Adirondak Loj for the High Peaks interior, not going to Indian Pass or
Algonquin Peak, will pass through Marcy Dam. It is an integral part of a high use corridor
extending from South Meadows through Lake Colden and Flowed Lands.

Current Situation:
Total visitor use crossing Marcy Dam bridge, from Adirondak Loj, is estimated at
43,000 visitors annually, another 9,000 visitors converge on Marcy Dam from South
Meadows. Visitor use is non-stop from May to October and picks up again mid-winter. It
is an area popular with all user groups, and especially first-time campers and novices. It is
common to have 150 people camped here a night during the summer. Demand for leantos
and campsites is intense most weekends and holidays. Marcy Dam is often used as a
destination point and as an "overflow" camping area when all other interior locations are
full. With no way to turn back potential campers, DEC personnel have had to let people
camp illegally on site. A seasonal interior caretaker is employed to maintain order,
perform substantial maintenance needs and provide education and information.
Prior to wilderness designation, this area was managed as a developed recreation
facility with many amenities. These currently include six leantos; one able to accommodate
16 people, a picnic area with tables and fireplaces, a registration booth, 30+ campsites, 7
pit privies, 4 major trail junctions, an interior outpost and garage, telephone lines, and a
former truck trail (road) from South Meadows. The pond is impounded by a large dam.
The Joint Legislative Committee on Natural Resources expressed concern about the extent
of this facility development as far back as 1960 (1960 Legislative Document No. 33).
All facilities sustain heavy use. Over 60% of the campsites violate APSLMP sound
and sight separation distances and are too close to water. None of the leantos satisfy
APSLMP requirements. There is little or no privacy between campsites. It is an area
where main trails pass through main camp areas. Some sites, as little as 15 feet from the
Van Hoevenberg Trail, may have 400 or more visitors pass by in a single day. All sites
show soil compaction, trampling, and vegetation loss. Dead and down firewood is non-existent with a 500 feet radius of the pond; the actual firewood gathering area now exceeds
1,000 feet in all directions. Illegal tree cutting for firewood is a major problem. Sanitary
facilities (pit privies) require constant maintenance. Numerous user-created paths leading
to the pond contribute to shoreline loss.
The APSLMP acknowledges heavy use at Marcy Dam exceeds wilderness
guidelines and mandates the removal of two leanto clusters (more than two closely spaced
leantos) and the elimination of illegal and improperly located campsites. The APSLMP
also requires DEC to phase out the interior outpost (and garage), once DEC has achieved
peripheral control of its most heavily used trailheads leading into this area. This will
require a significant reduction and redistribution of use throughout the South Meadows,
Marcy Dam, Lake Colden -Flowed Lands corridor. DEC, given the current high level of
use the area sustains, has deferred removal of the Marcy Dam Interior Outpost until a
peripheral control plan is formulated and implemented.

Management Actions:
Inventory and map all campsites and develop a designated campsite plan consistent
with APSLMP guidelines. The campsite plan will address 150 feet setbacks from
water and main trails and proper separation distances between campsites.
Conforming sites will be designated by sign and all others closed to camping.
Camping will only be permitted in designated sites. It will also consider potential
site locations. This plan will be incorporated in an overall designated campsite plan
for the South Meadows to Flowed Lands corridor.

Closed sites will be identified by sign and enforced. If illegal camping persists, it
may be necessary to close the site boundary temporarily by string to give these sites
a rest. Fire rings will be removed and obliterated and stumps cut flush with ground
Implementation of the designated campsite plan will address the removal of non-conforming leanto clusters as mandated by the APSLMP. This requires the removal
of the two leantos, including the Hudowalski Memorial leanto, from Marcy Dam
Island. The two island leantos are located in an environmentally sensitive spot,
subject to annual spring flooding and do not have suitable locations for pit privies.
Once the leantos are removed, the entire island will be closed to camping. The
bridge leading to the island will also be eliminated. Of the aforementioned leantos,
only the Hudowalski Memorial leanto will be considered for relocation to an
acceptable site in the Marcy Dam Basin. The remaining Marcy Dam leantos will be
considered for replacement and relocation at the end of their useful life in
accordance with APSLMP requirements and DEC policy.
After use has been reduced to satisfactory levels, the Marcy Dam interior outpost
and garage will be removed and relocated to a peripheral location near the
wilderness boundary.
Open campfires will be prohibited in the eastern High Peaks zone including Marcy
Dam. This is required to halt further damage to vegetation and reduce debris,
garbage, broken glass, charred stumps, and rocks left in fire rings. All fire rings
and fireplaces will be removed and obliterated. This prohibition will be addressed
in the unit's information and education program, in trailhead messages, by sign and
map, and through staff contact. All messages must clearly communicate the
rationale behind this restriction. Camp stove use will be required.
All pets will be leashed on designated trails and at all campsites and leantos. No
pets will be left unattended at anytime and must be under the complete control of
the owner or handler.
Marcy Dam (the structure) will be left "as is" until it's time for replacement.
DEC's Dam Safety Unit will conduct periodic inspections of the structure.
Marcy Dam will always be a major attraction requiring a high level of DEC
management and presence. This must be considered in all work and staffing plans.


Management Area: Eastern High Peaks; intense use.
Special Features:
Lake Colden and Flowed Lands lie mid point in the most heavily used travel
corridor in the HPWC that runs from South Meadows, Marcy Dam, Avalanche Lake, Lake
Colden, Flowed Lands, and to a lesser extent, on to the Upper Works. This travel corridor
accommodates in excess of 100,000 visitors annually or about 75% of all HPWC use.
Lake Colden and Flowed Lands occupy a small and extremely narrow basin
enclosed by many of the unit's highest mountains. Seven major trails provide direct access
to the basin. Lake Colden is the largest water body in the eastern High Peaks Management
zone. It offers spectacular scenery, and serves as an ideal base camp for climbing the
surrounding peaks. Flowed Lands is a former man-made lake whose dam was breached by
flood in 1978. Its dam was not replaced and the impoundment site has reverted to natural
succession and its feeder stream, the Opalescent River, has returned to its natural stream
bed. Few "campable" spots are available beyond the basin due to steep terrain. A unique
feature of Lake Colden is its interior outpost which is manned year round.

Current Situation:
Lake Colden and Flowed Lands and especially the area between the two, is a main
destination point for a majority of overnight users. As a result, this area has suffered
heavy physical and social impacts, mostly at campsites. Past designated campsite
programs have proved ineffective due to low level of implementation and reduced staffing.
Interior caretakers and rangers are being overwhelmed by increasing numbers of users.
The camping area is routinely over capacity 18-20 times during the snow-free season. Use
"mushrooms" on weekends and on all holidays through to Columbus Day. Over 250
campers have been counted in a single night (Merritt, 1994). This number greatly exceeds
the number of designated campsites and the area's four leantos. Campers, on these
occasions, occupy almost every bare spot in the basin. DEC, for visitor safety reasons, has
had to let people camp illegally when all sites are full, which usually happens in mid to late
afternoon when it is too late to move people on - and to where? When Lake Colden and
Flowed Lands are at capacity, it means the "hotel is full" throughout the travel corridor.
Personnel have attempted to avert this situation by detouring potential campers at trailheads
and intermediate locations to more appropriate sites. Rangers have limited group sizes to
redistribute and control use. Visitor knowledge and/or compliance, in regard to minimum
impact use and DEC programs is generally low. Tree cutting and human waste disposal
are serious problems. Management and maintenance costs in this area are high as a result
of intense user concentrations.
A 1993 site inventory showed significant devegetation of ground cover, soil
compaction, heavy tree cutting, campfire damage and debris, evidence of dish washing,
broken glass and garbage in streams, improper human waste disposal, re-occupancy of
closed sites, and further coalescing of designated and user-created sites. The latter has
greatly expanded the impacted area to cover much of the basin. Most campsites and
leantos are located too close to water, in most cases less than 60 feet. Few satisfy
APSLMP requirements.

Social Indicators: This area, as it currently exists, does not meet APSLMP criteria for a
"primitive and unconfined type of recreation". It is an area where day and overnight users
intermix - main trails pass through main camp areas. Day use during August accounts for
40% of use while overnight use was 60%. Encounters between parties can easily exceed
50 per day. Almost all camp areas have campsites within sight and sound of each other.
Excessive noise and visitor crowding is a major concern of many visitors. Illegal tree
cutting for firewood has further reduced screening. Some sites are only separated by rocks
or boulders. Interior caretakers refer to the camping area on the southeast shore of Lake
Colden as "day-glo city" in reference to the number of nighttime campfires and lanterns.
Availability of people food and garbage have attracted bears to the area on a regular basis;
they are active both day and night and easily lose any fear of humans. Pet problems are
common; threatening gestures, bites, dog fights, barking, conflicts and harassment of
wildlife, and fecal contamination of water sources and campsites.

Management Actions:
All management actions in this section are designed to reduce use, misuse, and
abuse in the Lake Colden-Flowed Lands Basin. These actions are considered
the minimum necessary to bring this area in to conformance with the APSLMP.

Information and education will be provided to potential visitors so that they can
make intelligent choices as to whether to camp or not camp in this area.
Information will be provided on visitor densities, availability of campsites, peak use
periods, and problems likely to be encountered, such as bears. A variety of formats
will be used from written messages on trailhead registration cards, to signage, and
personal contacts. Guidebook information will be screened; additions and deletions
will be suggested to guidebook authors. It is important to provide pre-trip
information to all visitors.
Camping will be restricted to designated sites requiring defined boundaries between
designated and closed sites, minimum setbacks from water, and greater sight and
sound separation distances between each site. The maximum capacity of each
campsite and leanto shall not exceed 12 persons per site. These management
actions will be strictly enforced and visitors will be directed to other areas when the
sites are full.
All leantos will be relocated to proper APSLMP setbacks or removed at the end of
their "use" life. If suitable relocation sites cannot be found as per DEC policy, they
will not be replaced.
Site rehabilitation of closed sites will continue and be expanded.
Limited signing will be used at entry points, intermediate locations, and in the basin
to alert users of administrative changes in this area.
Pets will be leashed at all times on designated trails, campsites and leantos. No pet
may be left unattended at any time and must be under the complete control of the
owner or handler at all times.
All campfires will be prohibited. Camp stoves will be required and their use
addressed in all information and education programs. All fire rings and fireplaces
will be removed and obliterated from all sites.
All programs, to be effective will require a high level of DEC presence and
management to ensure a high level of compliance. Greater communication will be
needed to let potential campers know early in their trip when all the campsites are
full so they can make adjustments in their travel plans to seek alternative areas.
This will require coordination with DEC personnel throughout the unit; especially
those at Adirondak Loj, Marcy Dam, and Johns Brook.
Managers should be aware that any change in administration of this area will cause
resultant shifts in use and impacts elsewhere; especially the proliferation of
undesirable campsites in other locations. Visitors entering through the Upper
Works Trailhead at Tahawus must be considered in all management decisions and


Management Area: Eastern High Peaks; intense use.
Special Features:
The APSLMP acknowledges the unique and necessary features of this facility;
particularly its strategic location in a high use/high risk area for search and rescue needs.
The latter has been demonstrated numerous times and has saved lives. It is staffed year
round by an interior caretaker and has telephone and radio communication and stored
emergency equipment. A nearby clearing adjoining Lake Colden is used for a helicopter
landing spot. The caretaker is responsible for back country maintenance of the Lake
Colden-Flowed Lands basin, an intensely used area. The caretaker also serves as a
provider of on-site information and education to the public and is an adjunct to the forest
ranger force.

Current Situation:
Demands on this facility and the caretaker have grown tremendously with increasing
use; especially in the winter months. The facility is supplied by helicopter during periods
of low visitor use. Serious budget shortfalls in funding this facility have arisen. Both the
Division of Operation and the Division of Lands and Forests have had to reduce or suspend
interior programs in order to maintain and staff the outpost. Without a manned facility at
this location, all management, maintenance, and safety programs in the eastern High Peaks
would be seriously compromised! It currently costs $68,000 per year to staff and maintain
this facility.

Management Action:
Region will request a line item annual budget appropriation for this facility rather
than rely on seasonal appropriations or reformulation of other budgets.


Management Area: Western High Peaks zone; low to moderate use.
Special Features:
The Duck Hole is a 61-acre body of water in a highly scenic, narrow basin, rimmed
by MacNaughton, Santanoni, Sawteeth, and Seymour Mountains. The basin serves as a
main trail intersection for four trails: the Bradley Pond Trail, the Lake Placid-Northville
Trail, the Henderson Lake Trail, and the Ward Brook Trail. Its remoteness, 6.9 miles
from the nearest trailhead and public road, is one of its outstanding features.

Current Situation:
This area is a main travel corridor accessing the western High Peaks and serves as
an important camping area adjacent to a highly attractive body of water. An interior
outpost (formerly a ranger station) was sited there until removed as a non-conforming use
in 1977. Duck Hole Pond is maintained by two small rock and wood crib dams, both have
sustained extensive ice damage and require replacement. Two leantos are situated on the
northwest side of the pond; Duck Hole Leanto #1 is located on a point less than 100 feet
from water and needs relocation to a more environmentally suitable site.

Management Actions:
Request the DEC's Dam Safety Unit conduct a thorough structural inspection of the
Duck Hole Dams. The results of this inspection will be used in an overall
environmental assessment cost study as to whether or not to replace or de-water the
Duck Hole Leanto # 1 will be relocated to a more environmentally suited site to
conform to APSLMP requirements and the former site will be closed to camping
and rehabilitated to natural conditions.
Site conditions will be monitored to detect unnatural changes in the Duck Hole
basin on an annual basis.


Management Area: Western High Peaks zone; low use.
Special Features:
Averyville Road is at the northern terminus of the 132 mile Northville- Lake Placid
Trail. The Averyville trailhead is 1.2 miles from the outskirts of Lake Placid. The
trailhead is just before a bridge over Chubb River; there is a small turnout at this point to
park 2-3 vehicles. The main parking area is beyond the trailhead approximately 150 feet
farther up Averyville Road.

Current Situation:
This section of the Northville-Lake Placid Trail serves less than 2,000 visitors
annually. The main trailhead is a problem due to poor highway visibility and its location
immediately adjacent to the Chubb River Bridge. Property configurations and terrain may
make it difficult to relocate the trailhead. An opportunity exists to rehabilitate and expand
the parking area to 7 vehicles in conjunction with NYS Department of Transportation plans
to reconstruct the Chubb River and its highway approaches in 1997. There is also a second
parking area located 0.1 mile west of the main trailhead. This facility is located 75 feet off
the Averyville Road and is heavily screened by vegetation. It can park up to 10 cars,
which is well in capacity guidelines. The semi-secluded location of this parking area, near
the village, invites illegal dumping and is used as a nighttime party spot. Hiker vehicles
have been vandalized and burglarized. The forest ranger and local police have requested
the parking lot be moved closer to the road and have reduced screening to improve its
visibility and security.

Management Actions:
Request assistance from the Department of Transporation to include redesign of the
lower parking area as part of their bridge reconstruction and highway improvement
projects on the Averyville Road.
If the lower parking area is reconstructed, then the upper parking lot should be
closed and barricaded. Off-shoulder parking at this location should remain to
provide canoeists access to the Upper Chubb River.
Public use will be monitored by on-site inspections and routine patrols.


Management Area: Western High Peaks zone; low use.
Special Features:
Wallface Mountain, elevation 3,700 feet, is the main feature of this compartment. It
lies just west of Indian Pass. Wallface's huge cliff faces have a well deserved reputation
for rock climbing. For mountaineers, the exposed rock faces and rocky approaches can be
a difficult and challenging climb. The mountain is also home to many rare, threatened, and
endangered plant species. Recent reports of nesting peregrine falcons, an endangered
species, have been confirmed. The steep cliffs provide natural protection to these birds
from unnatural threats.

Current Situation:
Wallface Mt. is a designated Nature Conservancy Natural Areas Registry Site and
has been studied by the New York Natural Heritage Program. Ecological boundaries have
been mapped and field studies are continuing. Only researchers and rock climbers are
likely to impact the site. The steep, forbidding terrain is not likely to attract heavy
recreational use. Current use is not known. Adirondack rock climbers have assisted the
Bureau of Wildlife in providing peregrine sightings and in helping to identify those rock
climbing routes which should be closed to protect breeding birds. Five closure routes have
been identified.

Management Actions:
Rare, threatened, and endangered species research programs will continue.
More extensive inventory and monitoring programs will be developed to gather data
on the location and use of climbing and access routes.
Route closures will remain in effect from April 1 to August 15 to protect the
peregrine's period of sensitivity for nesting and rearing of young.
Closure signs will be posted at trailheads, departure points from main trails, and at
access route approaches. Route closures and the rationale for these restrictions will
be addressed by an extensive information and education effort conducted by the
Bureau of Wildlife.
Cooperative working agreements with the rock climbing community will continue.
Implement management restrictions only if use exceeds limits of acceptable change.
Except for signs, no facility development will occur on Wallface Mountain.


Management Area: Eastern High Peaks; heavy use.
Special Features:
South Meadows is a small clearing accessible by South Meadows Road, a dirt road
open to motor vehicles one mile east of the Adirondak Loj Road. The South Meadows
Road is totally enclosed by the HPWC; it provides no access to private property. Thirty
primitive campsites are located on both sides of the road and many are clustered at its
terminus on a small height of land above the Ausable River. The road also provides
trailhead access to the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Trail, the Klondike Trail, and the South
Meadows- former Marcy Dam truck trail. The latter is closed to all motor vehicles
including DEC vehicles except in case of "sudden and on-going" emergencies as prescribed
by the APSLMP. The former fire truck trail is a gravel road leading to Marcy Dam 2.6
miles distant.

Current Situation:
The entire complex is a high use travel corridor and camping area at the base of the
High Peaks. The actual number of persons using the road is not known, but is significant
given the number of motor vehicles parked in two small parking areas and along the
shoulders of the road. DEC staff routinely count over 100 vehicles parked there on peak
visitor days and holidays. 190 vehicles were parked there on October 11, 1994 at the
height of the Columbus Day Weekend. Traditionally this area has served as an "overflow"
parking area when Adirondak Loj's parking lots (capacity 200 cars) are full. Campsite
occupancy is high. It is a favored camping area for large groups, families, and novices.
Winter use is heavy by cross-country skiers because of its important trail connections to the
High Peaks interior, Adirondak Loj, and ORDA's Mt. Van Hoevenberg Winter Sports
The APSLMP lists South Meadows Road as a non-conforming use constituting an
intrusion into the HPWC and mandates DEC, under its legal authority, to close the road to
motor vehicle use at the wilderness boundary. Closure of the road is to be accomplished in
concert with future measures to control or limit use in the most heavily used northern
portions of the HPWC (APSLMP, 1987). South Meadows Road is a Town of North Elba
maintained highway. Although DEC has the legal authority, under section 212 of the NYS
Highway Law, to close the road atop lands under its administrative authority, DEC would
prefer to address the road closure issue in cooperation with the Town of North Elba.
Total closure of South Meadows Road will cause a significant redistribution of use
throughout the HPWC and have the potential to impact the recreation facilities of the
Adirondack Mountain Club's Adirondak Loj one mile away. To mitigate any adverse
effects caused by this action, DEC with input from the High Peaks CAC, has proposed the
construction of a new 100 vehicle parking lot near the intersection of the Adirondak Loj
and South Meadows Roads which is the point where the APSLMP requires South Meadows
Road to be closed to motor vehicles. The CAC chose a capacity of 100 vehicles to account
for the same number of vehicles that currently park along the road on busy weekends and
holidays. Thus, there would be no net change in parking if the road is wholly closed or
parking is restricted along its right-of-way. Over 50,000 wilderness visitors pass by this
point each year. DEC forest rangers use this location on busy weekends and holidays as a
control point to turn back late visitors once all designated and roadside parking areas
beyond the intersection are full.
The CAC in 1992 further recommended DEC establish a greater presence at its
most heavily used trailheads by providing an on-site visitor service facility near the main
gateway(s) to the High Peaks. The lack of an on-site DEC permanent presence has become
more noticeable as visitor use increases with accompanying communication problems
between visitors and management. Much of this communication void to date has been
assumed by private organizations, stores, outfitters, guidebook authors, etc. to disperse
High Peaks information. The assistance is gratefully accepted; however the CAC felt DEC
should take a greater lead in this endeavor on-site; especially to meet visitors before they
enter the wilderness. Studies have shown that the presence of DEC forest rangers and staff
at entrances, on duty, and visibly managing resources have a positive impact on visitors
(Manning, 1986). DEC managers also requested an administrative facility be built nearby
to service interior management programs, and provide a base for search and rescue

Management Actions:
All management actions in this special area require a cooperative effort and
concurrence of all affected parties: the DEC, Adirondack Mountain Club, and
the Town of North Elba. All events must be planned in advance and done
sequentially, working from interior wilderness locations toward the wilderness
boundary in order to bring this area into compliance with the APSLMP.

In coordination with a planned reduction and redistribution of interior campsites for
the entire eastern High Peaks zone, a campsite designation plan for the South
Meadows-Marcy Dam-Avalanche, Lake Colden - Flowed Lands corridor will be
developed. The latter shall address closure of heavily impacted and illegal
campsites, restoration of closed sites, redistribution of existing legal campsites to
comply with APSLMP guidelines and DEC policy and the identification of potential
new sites; particularly to that area north of South Meadows road and those areas
along the entire length of the Marcy Dam Truck Trail. This, in part, will relocate
and establish campsites on more environmentally durable sites and partially
compensate for interior campsite reductions.
Concurrently, DEC will construct a new South Meadows parking facility near the
intersection of Adirondak Loj and South Meadows Roads within 500 feet of the
wilderness boundary as permitted by the APSLMP, making this the main point of
entry into the HPWC. The maximum capacity of this facility will be held at 100
vehicles for both day and overnight visitors. In conjunction, DEC will request the
Adirondack Mountain Club voluntarily hold their parking lots to a maximum
capacity of 200 vehicles. A coordinated effort is required and reference is made to
ADK's Heart Lake Property Master Plan (1992) for the Club's position.
Once the new parking facility is operational, the entire length of South Meadows
Road should be posted and enforced as a "No Parking" zone with the present end-of-road turn around spot left as a "drop off - pick up" point. This is intended as an
interim measure.
Continue to work with the Town of North Elba to address illegal parking issues
along the Adirondak Loj Road in order to maintain safe traffic flow and insure the
safety of pedestrians.
A visitor service facility (VSF) will be constructed at the above location to establish
an on-site administrative presence in the high use eastern High Peaks zone.
Conceptually, the VSF will include the following: an administration building with
restrooms, handicap access, potable water, offices, a lobby-information area,
supported by "1-800" toll free or "1-900" self-sustaining telephone service.
Closure of South Meadows road will be deferred until all the above actions have
been implemented and further discussions are held with the Town of North Elba.
All actions will be in accordance with the APSLMP and the State Environmental
Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
All actions will be fully communicated notifying all users, user groups, and local
officials of impending changes. The legal requirements and intent of these planned
actions to improve wilderness quality will be fully explained through multi-media
approaches to request support and understanding. <Special Areas Key map goes here> <Ampersand Primitive area map here> <Indian Falls camping area map here> <Adirondack Mtn. Reserve - Ausable Club map here> <Moose Pond - Newcomb Lake Map Here> <Long Lake North map here> <Long Lake South map here> <The garden parking area map here> <John's Brook Primitive Area map here> <Marcy Dam map here> <Lake Colden - Flowed Lands Map here> <Duck Hole map here> <Averyville road parking map here> <South Meadows map here> SECTION X


Budget constraints notwithstanding, the wilderness management program detailed in
Sections VIII and IX will be implemented through a five year time frame. Minimum staff
requirements are projected for the first year only. The target date(s) for implementing each
management action will be arrived at by considering priorities for long-term protection and
preservation of the HPWC's wilderness character, Region 5's manpower/workday
capabilities, and time frames which govern DEC's budget process (tables follow). The fact
that some actions are prerequisites for others was also a primary consideration in deriving
this schedule.
Because of the unpredictability of future budget allocations affecting DEC's Forest
Preserve Management Program, it is possible that not all actions planned for a particular
year can be implemented on schedule. Under such circumstances, implementation
priorities may have to be adjusted. Priority will be given to actions required to continue
resource protection programs. Any action delayed for budgetary reasons will be
undertaken as funding becomes available. All estimates are based on 1996 labor,
materials, and equipment costs.
The plan specifically does not identify funding sources or potential ones. These
processes are beyond the scope of the unit management planning process.

Minimum staff requirements to begin implementing this plan for the first year are
presented below. Thereafter, staffing needs will be assessed annually based on the plan's
rate of progress toward achieving its goals.

Area Manager: "The air traffic controller" to oversee and coordinate all
management activities in the HPWC so that wilderness goals and the objectives are
attained. To be appointed by the Regional Director.

Assistant Area Manager(s): "In-the-field" managers. To be appointed by Area
Manager from existing Region 5 staff.

Fish, Wildlife, Lands and Forests, and Operations (interior maintenance): Staff
requirements have been factored into projects costs in the Schedule for
Implementation program area with the exception of the following:

Forest Rangers: Two (2) additional full-time positions to be
added to existing staff. $68,000

Assistant Forest Rangers: Five (5) additional to be added to
existing staff (area wide): $52,000

Interior Caretakers: (2) Lake Colden (to include winter
operation), and (1 each) for seasonal operation of Marcy
Dam, Johns Brook, and Raquette Falls $68,000

Additional Staff Required - 1st year: $188,000 SCHEDULE OF IMPLEMENTATION


1. Appoint Unit Manager from existing staff.
$ -0-

2. Inventory all campsites and leantos. Develop
campsite designation plan for whole unit.

3. Develop comprehensive HPWC information and
education program in coordination with Adirondack
Forest Preserve Public Use and Information Plan.

4. Promulgate new rules and regulations

5. Prepare, print, and distribute HPWC brochure;
general location map; new guide lines, etc.

6. Redesign and update trailhead bulletin boards (all
locations) and trail registers.

7. Develop LAC guidelines and standards to monitor
environmental and sociological conditions.

8. Request voluntary trail closures during wet weather.

9. Conduct safety inspections of the Duck Hole and
Marcy Dams.

10. Close Indian Falls to all camping.

11. Implement trails classification system and
maintenance schedules.

12. Rehabilitate 5 miles of Cold River Horse Trail

13. Fund contractual trail rehabilitation projects:
a. Indian Falls - Lake Arnold
b. Mt. Colden
c. Ampersand Mountain
d. Big Slide Mountain
e. Feldspar Brook Bridge Rehab
f. Northville-Lake Placid/Moose Pond Trail


14. Fund volunteer Project: Wright Peak, Ampersand,
Avalanche Pass, Northville-Lake Placid Trail/Long
Lake, and Duck Hole

15. Fund ATIS projects

16. Partially fund summit stewards and co-sponsor alpine
vegetation restoration project with outside partners

17. Fund annual routine maintenance of facilities; interior
outposts, trails, campsites, leantos, privies, litter
removal, bridges, signs, etc.

18. Maintain 20 miles of boundary lines

19. Reclaim Rock Pond (R-P196)

20. Survey six potential reclamation/liming candidate

21. Sign Cascade Lakes, Newcomb Lake, and Moose
Pond prohibiting the use of baitfish



1. Construct 100 vehicle parking facility at junction of
Adirondack Loj Road and South Meadows Road

2. Request Town of North Elba parking ban - entire
length of South Meadows Road (1.0 mile) and
establish additonal "No Parking" zones along the
Adirondak Loj Road where warranted.

3. Construct High Peaks Visitor Service Facility.

4. Relocate Hudowalski leanto from Marcy Dam Island;
close former site

5. Reconstruct Ouluska Brook footbridge

6. Rehabilitate 5 miles of Cold River Horse Trail

7. Fund contractual trail rehabilitation projects:
a. Ampersand Mountain
b. Mt. Colden
c. Avalanche Pass
d. Panther Gorge
e. Shorey Cut-off


8. Fund ATIS projects

9. Fund volunteer assisted projects

10. Partially fund summit steward program and co-sponsor alpine vegetation restoration projects with
outside partners

11. Support information and education programs

12. Request voluntary trail closures during wet weather

13. Maintain 20 miles of boundary lines

14. Annual routine maintenance of facilities; interior
outposts, trails, campsites, leantos, privies, litter
removal, bridges, signs, etc.

15. Lime Owl Pond if meets criteria

16. Lime Little Ampersand Pond

17. Lime Upper Wallface Pond - if meets criteria

18. Reclaim Palmer Pond - if necessary

19. Assess mandatory registration for program in eastern



1. Support information and education programs.
$ 8,000

2. Partially fund summit stewards and co-sponsor alpine
vegetation restoration projects with outside partners

3. Fund contractual trail rehabilitation projects:
a. Ampersand Mountain
b. Shorey Cut-Off
c. Range Trail (Wolf Jaws)
d. Maintain past work


4. Fund volunteer assisted projects

5. Fund ATIS projects

6. Rehabilitate 5 miles of Cold River Horse Trail system

7. Annual routine maintenance of facilities; interior
outposts, trails, campsites, leantos, signs, bridges, pit
privies, litter removal, etc.

8. Maintain 20 miles of boundary lines

9. Reclaim Corner Pond - if barrier dam site present on
ESF property

10. Reclaim Brueyer Ponds

11. Construct new campsites, north and east of South

12. Monitor and assess campsite conditions across unit;
select samples in each zone

13. Evaluate plans effectiveness to date - comprehensive



1. Support information and education programs.
$ 8,000

2. Partially fund summit stewards and co-sponsor alpine
vegetation restoration projects with outside partners

3. Fund contractual trail rehabilitation projects:
a. Range Trail (Wolf Jaws)
b. Range Trail (Haystack)
c. Indian Pass Trail
d. Maintain past work


4. Fund volunteer assisted projects

5. Fund ATIS projects

6. Rehabilitate 5 miles of Cold River Horse Trail system

7. Annual routine maintenance of facilities; interior
outposts, trails, campsites, leantos, signs, bridges, pit
privies, litter removal, etc.

8. Maintain 20 miles of boundary lines

9. Reclaim Latham Pond - if necessary

10. Reclaim Little Pine Pond - if barrier possible



1. Support information and education programs.
$ 8,000

2. Evaluate need for camping permits based on
assessments of campsite conditions and visitor

3. Fund contractual trail rehabilitation projects:
a. Range Trail (Haystack)
b. Indian Pass Trail
c. Northville-Placid Trail
d. Maintain past work


4. Fund volunteer assisted projects

5. Fund ATIS projects

6. Partially fund summit stewards and co-sponsor alpine
vegetation restoration projects with outside partners

7. Annual routine maintenance of interior facilities;
interior outposts, trails, campsites, leantos, signs,
bridges, pit privies, litter removal, etc.

8. Maintain 20 miles of boundary lines

9. Reclaim Upper Cascade Lake - if necessary

10. Evaluate plan's effectiveness to date - comprehensive
review, begin preparation for 5 year revisions of



The HPWC unit management plan must be sensitive to change and must be kept
current and relevant. The review and evaluation process provides a mechanism for
modifying management policies and actions as may be necessary. The results of this
review helps to evaluate the effectiveness of current wilderness management programs and
improves future ones. DEC's Region 5 inter-disciplinary task force will conduct annual
evaluations of the plan to:

Document completed management actions and adjust work schedules for the
following year(s) if necessary.
Monitor resource and sociological conditions to determine if plan objectives are
being met consistent with the APSLMP.
Recommended new management actions if needed.
Determine if the plan needs to be revised.
If revisions are warranted, specific proposals will be available for public review and
comment, and APSLMP scrutiny before being implemented.

Ordinarily unit management plans are revised every five years after their initial
approval (APSLMP, 1987). However as noted above, the plan may be revised sooner
when the management actions prescribed no longer meet wilderness management objectives
or when a change in the existing situation warrants a new approach. For example, if
vegetative conditions continue to show deterioration, the effectiveness of the management
actions to preserve and/or enhance naturalness will require reevaluation and lead to
implementation of corrective action. Other indicators, such as trail conditions, camping
locations, encounters and visitor feedback will be monitored annually. In most cases
continued minor impacts can be coped with through different management actions and
alternatives. Any material modification in adopted unit management plans will be made
following the procedures for original unit plan preparation (APSLMP, 1987).
Annual operating plans, designed to enable the orderly implementation of policy
objectives, will be reviewed and updated every year. ACRONYMS

ADK Adirondack Mountain Club
AFR Assistant Forest Ranger
ALSC Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation
AMR Adirondack Mountain Reserve, the Ausable Club
ANC Acid neutralizing capacity
APA Adirondack Park Agency
APLUDP Adirondack Park Land Use Development Plan
APSLMP Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan
ATV All terrain vehicle
ATIS Adirondack Trail Improvement Society
BP Before Present
CAC Citizens' Advisory Committee
DEC Department of Environmental Conservation
DMU Deer Management Unit
DOC Department of Corrections
DOT Department of Transportation
ECL Environmental Conservation Law
EIS Environmental Impact Statement
EPA Environmental Protection Act of 1993
ESF College of Environmental Science and Forestry
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FEIS Final Environmental Impact Statement
FR Forest Ranger
HPW High Peaks Wilderness
HPWC High Peaks Wilderness Complex
JBL Johns Brook Lodge
LAC Limits of Acceptable Change
NBWI Native-But-Widely-Introduced
NHPC Natural Heritage Plant Community
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NPS National Park Service
NYCRR New York Code of Rules and Regulations
NYS New York State
ORDA Olympic Regional Development Authority
OSP Open Space Plan
PPM Bureau of Forest Preserve, Protection, and Management
SEQRA State Environmental Quality Review Act
SUNY State University of New York
TNC The Nature Conservancy
UFAS Uniform Accessibility Standards
USGS United States Geological Survey
UMP Unit Management Plan
USFS United States Forest Service
VERP Visitor Experience and Resource Protection
VSF Visitor Service Facility


Opportunities for the public to document concerns and identify planning issues were
presented in the spring of 1990, through a mailout request by DEC Commissioner Thomas
Jorling for participation in developing a unit management plan for the HPWC. Ultimately, a
public 25 member public Task Force was selected by the commissioner from the interested
public. The Task Force, later renamed the High Peaks Citizens' Advisory Committee
represented various organizations, local governments, and individuals in monitoring the
planning process, identifying and assessing issues, making recommendations, and reviewing
preliminary draft material.

In addition to attending committee meetings, individual members participated on
various occasions in conducting inventories and with monitoring wilderness conditions. The
time, effort, and patience contributed by the members has been greatly appreciated. Members
of the CAC and the interests they represented are listed below:

High Peaks Citizens Advisory Committee, 1990-1992

James C. Dawson, Chair Professor of Environmental Science,
State University of New York Plattsburgh, New York
Jules Comeau Adirondack 46Rs
Charlotte Demers New York Statre Chapter,
The Wildlife Society
Mark Dollard Association of Adirondack Scout Camps
William Endicott Adirondack Conservation Council
John Fontana Cold River Ranch
David Gibson The Association for the Protection of
the Adirondacks
Tony Goodwin Adirondack Trail Improvement Society
and guidebook author
Roger Gray Sierra Club - Atlantic Chapter
Harold Heald Town of Keene
Richard Hunkins Town of North Elba
Don Jones Jones Outfitters
E. H. Ketchledge Educator, Forest Ecologist
Jack LeNoble Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club
(resigned November, 1991)

Raymond Masters Town of Newcomb
Barbara McMartin Interested citizen and guidebook author
David Nettles New York Chapter - American Fisheries
Dan Plumley (1990-91) The Adirondack Council
Michael DiNunzio (1991-92)
Kathy Regan Adirondack Nature Conservancy
Robert J. Ringlee Adirondack Mountain Club
James D. Rogers Trout Unlimited
Gail Rogers-Rice (1990) Town of Harrietstown
Roy Rosenbarker (1991-92) Town of Harrietstown
Wesley Suhr Society of American Foresters,
New York Chapter
George Turk Essex County Federation of Fish and
Game Clubs


Adirondack Park Agency

Charles Scrafford Supervisor of Regional Planning

NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

* = Member of the Region 5 Task Force

Kurt Armstrong* Senior Wildlife Biologist; Ray Brook
Bruce Barnard Senior Forester; Ray Brook
Clyde Black Forest Ranger I; Tupper Lake
John Chambers Forest Ranger I; Minerva
Bruce Coon Forest Ranger I; Long Lake
Brian Dubay Interior Caretaker; Lake Colden
John English Associate Forester; Northville
Richard Fenton Associate Forester; Albany
Brian Finlayson* Cartographic Technician III
Peter Fish* Forest Ranger I; Keene
James Giglinto Forest Ranger I; Rainbow Lake
Lt. John Gillen Forest Ranger II; Zone A
Dave Gray Senior Forester; Herkimer
Gary Hodgson Forest Ranger I; Lake Placid
Keith Hollenbeck Assist. Forest Ranger; High Peaks
Dale Huyck Retired; Bureau of Real Property Philip Johnstone* Conservation Operations Supervisor,
Interior Maintenance Program
Ken Kogut Senior Wildlife Biologist
John Kramer Associate Forester; Canton
Fred LaRow Forest Ranger I; Keene
Elizabeth Lowe Citizen's Participation Specialist
Lt. Robert Marone Forest Ranger II; Zone A
Richard Merritt Former Interior Caretaker; Lake Colden
Wendy O'Neil Consultant; Adirondack Forest Preserve, Public Use and Information Plan
James Papero* Senior Forester; Forest Preserve
Richard Preall* Senior Aquatic Biologist
Michael Sheridan Interior Caretaker; John's Brook
Mike Vilegi Interior Caretaker; Marcy Dam
Tom Wahl* Regional Forester
Ben Woodward Interior Caretaker; Raquette Falls

Mary Buckley Natural Resources; Ray Book
Diana Fortune Natural Resources; Ray Book
Louise Johnson Natural Resources; Northville
Gail Stiffy Natural Resources; Northville
Cindy Trummer Natural Resources; Ray Brook


(Adapted from DiNunzio, 1972)




Boundary I

Boundary II

Northwest Algonquin

Nortwest Algonquin, Bluff I

Nortwest Algonquin, Bluff II


Little Haystack



Southwest Iroquois




Northeast Colden


Northwest Wright





Resource Setting:
Characterized by a predominantly unmodified natural environment where ecological and
natural processes in many locations are substantially affected by users. Environmental impacts are
generally quite high near lakeshores and riparian areas. Impacts often persist from year to year and
there may be moderate loss of vegetation and soil at some sites. Impacts are readily apparent to most
visitors. However, impacts can be substantially reduced through user controls and greater emphasis
on education.

Social Setting:
Moderate to low opportunities for exploring and experiencing isolation from the sights and
sounds of man with the probability of encountering other area users is moderate to high. The user has
the opportunity for a high degree of interaction with the natural environment, often with low or
moderate challenge and risk. Contacts with other users will be relatively high much of the time. Some
parties will camp out of sight and sound of other parties, but this will not be common during July and

Managerial Setting:
Management will be oriented to sustaining and enhancing the natural environment. There will
be frequent opportunity for visitor contact with management personnel. In addition to on-site contacts
with DEC personnel, necessary rules and regulations will be communicated to visitors outside of the
area. Information concerning wilderness management objectives, avoidance of user conflicts, fire use,
and other pertinent subjects will be presented. Formal and informal user education programs will be
initiated to inform users about what to expect and how to use the area with minimal impact on the
environment. Additional rules and regulations may be necessary to achieve management objectives
and permits may be considered only when light-handed, less restrictive measures have failed to achieve
desired goals and objectives. Facilities will be kept to the minimum necessary for resource protection
and user safety. Facilities, when constructed, will emphasize the use of natural materials. All facilities
should harmonize with the natural environment.


Resource Setting:
Generally characterized by a predominantly unmodified natural environment; however,
ecological and natural processes in many locations are substantially affected by the actions of
users. Environmental impacts are generally quite high in areas near major entry points, on
main trunk trails, at campsites, along streamsides and lakeshores, and on mountain summits.
Impacts often persist year to year and there may be moderate to heavy loss of vegetation and
soil at some sites. Impacts are readily apparent to most visitors. However, on most sites
impacts can be substantially reduced through user controls and greater emphasis on education.

Social Setting:
Moderate to low opportunities for exploring and experiencing isolation from the signs and
sounds of man with the probability of encountering other area users moderate to very high.
The user has the opportunity for a high degree of interaction with the natural environment,
often with low to moderate challenge and risk. Contacts with other users will be relatively
high much of the time, both on the trail and at campsites. Some parties will camp out of sight
and sound of each other, but this will not be common during the main-use season, May
through October.

Managerial Setting:
Management will be oriented to sustaining and enhancing the natural environment. There will
be frequent opportunity for visitor contact with management personnel. Necessary rules and
regulations will be communicated to visitors before they enter the area as much as possible.
Emphasis will be on pre-trip planning and minimum impact hiking and camping once in the
wilderness. Formal and informal education programs will be initiated to inform visitors about
what to expect and how to use the area safely with minimal impact on the environment and
themselves. Additional rules and regulations maybe necessary to achieve wilderness
management objectives and permits may be considered only when light-handed, less restrictive
measures have failed to achieved desired goals and objectives. Signs in the interior will be
minimally placed to aid in dispersing use and for resource protection purposes. Trails will
normally be constructed, maintained and managed to accommodate heavy traffic for the
majority of the use season. Some heavily used trails may be closed during wet weather. Trails
will be designed and maintained to blend in with the natural features of the area. Facilities and
improvements will be limited to those necessary for resource protection, and user safety.


Characterized as an essentially remote unmodified natural environment where ecological and
natural processes only in a few areas are affected by the actions of users. Environmental
impacts are low to moderate with many areas along trails, stream crossings, and at campsites
showing moderate loss of vegetation and soil. Impacts in some areas often persist from year
to year and are apparent to most visitors.

Moderate opportunities for exploring and experiencing isolation from the signs and sounds of
man, with low probability of encountering other visitors once in the interior. The user has
moderate to high opportunities for experiencing independence, closeness to nature, solitude,
and self-reliance through the application of primitive recreational skills. These opportunities
occur in a remote natural environment that normally offers a moderate to high degree of
challenge and risk. Contact with other visitors both on the trail and at campsites will be low
to moderate.

Management will emphasize sustaining the natural environment and preserving a sense of
remoteness and solitude. On-site contact with management personnel will be minimal.
Necessary rules and regulations will generally be communicated outside the area at trailheads
and through written materials. Information concerning protection of site-specific wilderness
resources will be presented. Formal and informal user education programs will be initiated
to inform users about what to expect and how to use the area safely with minimum impact.
Greater education and information efforts need to be directed towards visitors using horses in
this zone. Additional rules and regulations may be necessary if monitoring shows that desired
goals and objectives are not met. Permits may be considered in the future only when light-handed, less restrictive measures have failed to improve wilderness conditions. A large
portion of the area will set aside as a permanent "trail-less" area to preserve a sense of
remoteness and solitude. Existing trails will be maintained to accommodate moderate use for
the majority of the snow-free use season. Facilities will be limited to those necessary for the
protection of the wilderness resource and the user.



Interior Outpost, 1 Marcy Dam
Telephone Lines South Meadows to Marcy Dam
Roads, public 1.0 mile - South Meadows Road
Leanto Cluster 1 Cluster
Wild River leantos 9 leantos, Cold River


Remote Tent Sites (1984 Inventory)

Eastern High Peaks Zone # of Campsites
Lake Colden 30
South Meadows 30
Marcy Dam 28
Marcy Dam to lndian Falls 15
Indian Pass to Adirondac Loj 14
Lake Sanford to Flowed Lands 6
Bushnell Falls 6
Lake Colden to Feldspar Junction 6
Feldspar to Avalanche Camp 6
Calamity Brook 5
Ore Bed Brook 5
Flowed Lands 5
Panther Gorge 5
Upper Works to Indian Pass 4
Marcy Dam to Lake Colden 4
Upper Range Trail 4
Slant Rock 4
Algonquin 3
The Brothers 3
Phelps to Johns Brook 3
Klondike 1
Lake Colden to Indian Pass 1
Hopkins Trail 1
TOTAL: 189 Western High Peaks Zone # of Campsites
Duck Hole 9
Long Lake to Duck (N-P Trail) 6
Moose Pond Horse Trail 5
Duck Hole to Averyville (N-P Trail) 4
Newcomb Cake to Cold River 4
Bradley Pond to Duck Hole 4
Ward Brook 3
Henderson Luke to Duck Hole 2

Long Lake - Raquette River Zone
Long Lake, East Shore 57
Raquette River, below falls l0
Cold River to Long Lake 8
Raquette Falls 7
Raquette River, above falls 5
Stony Creek 3

Summary - Remote Tent Sites - Designated and Non-designated
Eastern High Peaks 189
Western High Peaks 37
Long Lake - Raquette River 90

Pit Privies (Outhouses)

Eastern High Peaks Zone # of Pit Privies
The Garden Parking Area 1
Deer Brook Leanto 1
Johns Brook Ranger Cabin 3
Old Johns Brook Leanto Site 1
Bushnell Falls 2

Bear Brook Leanto 1
Klondike Leanto 1
Mr. Van Leanto 1
Slant Rock Leanto 1
Upper Works Trailhead 2
Wolf Jaw Leanto 1
Ore Bed Leanto 1
South Meadows 7
Gorge Leanto 1
Twin Brook Leanto 1
Henderson Leanto 1
Marcy Dam 8
Old Phelps Leanto Site 1
Indian Falls 2
Kagel Leanto 1
Marcy Brook Leanto 1
Avalanche Camp 1
Uphill Leanto 1
Feldspar Leanto 1
Rocky Falls 1
Scotts Clearing 1
Lake Anlold 1
Flowed Lands 4
Lake Colen leantos l0
Wanika Falls 1

Western High Peaks Zone
Newcomb Lake Campsites 3
Newcomb Lake lean-tos 2
Moose Pond 2
Duck Hole 2
Calkins Creek Leanto 1
Ward Brook Leanto 1
Number Four Leanto 1
Blueberry Leanto 1
Shattuck Clearing 1
Cold River leantos 4
Moose Pond leanto 1
Moose Pond Stream Leantos 1
Northern Leanto 1
Stony Creek Access Site 1

Long Lake - Raquette River Zone
Catlin Bay 6
Rodney Point Leanto 2
Kelly Point Leanto 2
Hidden Cove Leanto 1
Island House Leanto 1
Plumley Point Leanto 2
Long lake Campsites 3
Raquette Falls 2
Raquette Falls leantos 2
Hemlock Leanto 1
Raquette River Campsite 1
Stony Creek at Raquette River 1

Summary - Pit Privies
Eastern High Peaks 60
Western High Peaks 22
Long Lake - Raquette River 24


Eastern High Peaks Zone

Name Location Year
Panther Gorge Elk Lake Marcy Trail at junction with Haystack Trail 1989
Mr. Van Mr. Van Ski Trail at South Meadow Brook 1970
Klondike Klondike Trail 1990
Rocky Falls Indian Pass Trail; 2.3 mi from Adirondack Loj 1927
Marcy Dam Near junction of Van Hoevenburg and Avaianche Trail ------
Marcy Dam Set back between large lean-to and dam ------
Marcy Dam No. 3 Large leanto on south shore 1938
Marcy Dam North shore, farthest from dam ------
Marcy Dam No. 5 West side, 500 feet from Avalanche Trail 1951
Hudowalski Marcy Dam; Island 1967
Kagel Marcy Brook; 1/2 mi. above Marcy Dam 1969
Marcy Brook 1/4 mi. below Avalanche Camp 1968
Avalanche Avalanche Trail and lde Arnold Trail Junction ------
Deer Brook Phelps Trail at Deer Brook 1951
Wolf Jaw Junction of Wolf Jaw Trail and Woodsfalls Trail 1929
Ore Bed Ore Bed Brook Trail; 1/4 mi. from Johns Brook 1964
Henderson Indian Pass Trail; 1.75 mi. from Upper Works 1920
Wallface Indian Pass Trail; 2.7 mi. from Upper Works 1929
Scott's Clearing Indian Pass Trail; 3.8 mi. from Adirondak Loj 1924 Calamity No. l West side of Flowed Land at Calamity Landing 1922
Calamity No. 2 West side of Flowed Land near Calamity Dam 1982
Flowed Lands West side of Flowed Land between old dam 1981
and Calamity Landing
Livingston Point East shore of Flowed Land 1982
Griffin West side of Flowed Land; near old dam 1959
Cedar Point Lake Colden; between dam and Beaver Point Leanto 1980
Bushnell Falls #2 Phelps Trail; north of Johns Brook junction with 1991
Hopkins Trail
Mac Alpine Phelps Trail; south of Johns Brook, west of Chicken 1940
Coop Brook
Slant Rock Phelps Trail; 0.1 mi. north of Shorey Cutoff trail 1937
Beaver Point Lake Colden; between outpost and dam 1983
Colden No. 2 Near suspension bridge on trail to marcy 1955
Colden No. 4 Between Colden and Flowed Land ------
Colden No. 7 Between Colden and Flowed Land ------
Feldspar Mt. Marcy Trail; near Feldspar Brook on Opalescent River 1992
Uphill Mt. Marcy Trail; Uphill Brook on Opalescent River 1994

TOTAL 34 Leantos

Western High Peaks Zone
Number 4 No. 1 Ward Brook Trail; 6 mi. from parking area (R) 1967
Number 4 No. 2 Ward Brook Trail; 6 mi. from parking area (L) 1967
Ward Brook Ward Brook Trail; 5.3 mi. from parking area 1922
Blueberry Ward Brook Trail; l,000 feet west of truck trail 1962
Moose Pond Northville-Placid Trail; 7.7 mi. from Averyville road 1922
Cold River No. 1 Ward Brook Trail at Moose Pond outlet; north of trail 1923
Cold River No. 2 Ward Brook Trial at Moose Pond outlet; south of trail 1939
Cold River No. 3 Right Bank of Cold River near Shattuck Clearing ------
Cold River No. 4 Right Bank of Cold River near Shattuck Clearing ------
Moose Pond Strm. 1 Near Moose Creek; ~.5 east of Shattuck (L) 1966
Moose Pond Strm. 2 Near Moose Creek; 1.5 mi. east of Shattuck (R) 1966
Bradley Pond Duck Hole Trail; north of Bradley Pond 1989
Duck Hole No. l Duck Hole; near dam 1939
Duck Hole No. 2 Duck Hole; near point 1960
Northern No. 1 Cold River Horse Trail, 2 mi. South of Ward Brook ------
Northern No. 2 Cold River Horse Trail, 2 mi. South of Ward Brook ------
Newcomb Lake South Shore of Newcomb Lake ------
Newcomb No. 2 North Shore of Newcomb Lake ------
Calkins Creek Cold River at Junction with Calkins Creek ------
Calkins Brook Calkins Brook Truck Trail b/n Corey's and Shattuck Clr. ------
Seward N-P Trail at Miller's Falls and Cold River ------
Ouluska N-P Trail below Rondeau's ------

TOTAL 22 Leantos

Adirondack Canoe Route Zone - Long Lake - Raquette River
Stony Creek Junction Raquette River and Stony Creek 1984
Catlin Bay #1 East shore Long lde at Catlin Bay, on point ------
Catlin Bay #2 East shore Long Lake at Catlin Bay, set back by bridge ------
Kelley's Point #1 East shore Long Lake at Kelley's Point (R) ------
Kelley's Point #2 East shore Long Lake at Kelley's Point (L) ------
Plumley's #1 East shore Long Lake; Plumley's Point; north ------
Plumley's #2 East shore Long Lake; Plumley's Point, south ------
Rodney Point #1 East shore Long Lake; near Camp Islands (N) ------
Rodney Point #2 East shore Long Lake; near N-P Trail ------
Palmer Brook East side of Raquette River at Palmer Brook 1991
Deep Hole Junction of Cold River and Raquette River ------
Lost Channel Raquette River, 3/4 mile from Long Lake ------
Raquette Falls E. Bank of Raquette River at canoe carry ------
Raquette #1 Raquette River, off canoe carry to falls ------
Raquette #2 Raquette River, below falls ------
Hemlock Hill Raquette River, near horse trail ------

TOTAL 16 Leantos

Summary - Leantos, All Areas
Eastern High Peaks 34
Western High Peaks 22
Adirondack Canoe Route 16 _____

Maintained Dams - All Zones
Marcy Dam Wood, with spillway
Lake Colden Wood, with spillway
Duck Hole Wood, with spillway
Duck Hole Rock and plank

TOTAL: 4 Dams

Fishing Access Sites/Boat Docks - All Zones
Anton Landing Car top boat access
Long Lake Boat launch site
Raquette Falls Boat dock, installed on a temp. basis
at wilderness boundary

Major Bridges - All Zones

Former Fire Truck Trail Bridges*
Moose Creek; Northville-Placid Trail near Duck Hole
Calkins Creek; near horse barn
Boulder Brook; Calkins Creek Trail
Brook leading toward Seward; Ward Brook Trail
Brook from Ouluska Pass; Ward Brook Trail
Brook just prior to Ward Brook leanto; Ward Brook Trail
South Meadows Brook; former fire truck trail to Marcy Dam
Phelps Brook; former fire truck trail to Marcy Dam
Brook; midway between South Meadows and Marcy Dam along former fire
truck trail
Pelky Brook; 2/3 of way from South Meadow to Marcy Dam along truck trail
TOTAL: l0 bridges

Horse Bridges
Brook; between Moose Pond Stream and Wolf Pond Road
Moose Pond Stream; near Moose Pond Stream Leantos
Small Brook; joining Cold River near intersection where hiking trail joins Cold
River Horse trail
Brook; southwest of Cold River between troll and northern leanto
Brook; Moose Pond Horse Trail; north of Newcomb Lake junction
additional bridge on same section
Palmer Brook; Raquette Falls junction with trail from Stony Creek
TOTAL: 6 bridges

Ski Bridges
Klondike Brook; Mr. Van Trail
South Meadows Brook; Mr. Van Trail
MacIntyre Brook to VanHoevenberg Trail
Brook; Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy Dam
Brook: Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy Dam
Inlet; Lake Colden
Small stream into Marcy Dam Pond on trail to Avalanche Camp
Small stream into Marcy Dam Pond on trail to Avalanche Camp
Marcy Brook near Avalanche Camp
TOTAL: 9 bridges

Foot Bridges
Avalanche Pass by Avalanche Lake
Black Brook; Phelps Trail
Above Hogback Leanto; Phelps Trail
Johns Brook; above Bushnell Falls
Phelps Brook; Van Hoevenberg Trail above Phelps Mountain junction
Phelps Brook; Van Hoevenberg Trail, 1/4 mi. above Marcy Dam
Marcy Brook; at Marcy Dam, crossover to leanto area
Avalanche Lake; hitch-ups
Brook; northwest shore of Lake Colden near Algonquin Trail
0palescent River; at Lake Colden
South Meadows Brook; Klondike Trail
Opalescent River; by Feldspar Leanto
Opalescent River; above Feldspar Leanto
Brook; trail to lake Arnold above Avalanche Camp
Calamity Brook, below Wallface leanto
Cold River; near Shattuck Clearing, Northville-Placid Trail
Moose Creek; near Shattuck Clearing, Northville-Placid Trail
Small brook near Platt Hill; Northville-Placid Trail, Long Lake
Small brook near Catlin Bay, Northville-Placid Trail, Long Lake
Small Brook; southern end of Lay lake, Northville-Placid Trail
Peacock Brook; Northville-Placid Trail near Averyville
TOTAL: 21 bridges

Summary - Major Bridges - All Zones
Former fire truck trails l0
Horse trails 6
Ski trails 9
Foot 21

Road Barriers and Gates
Elk Lake; private road beyond Clear Pond, closed seasonally, cable barrier
South meadows; metal gate on former fire truck trail
Ward Brook; metal gate on former fire truck trail
Calkins Creek; metal gate on former fire truck trail
Stony Creek; trail to Raquette falls, metal gate
Wolf Pond Rd.; Huntington Forest boundary, metal gate
Santanoni Preserve; wild forest boundary, metal gate
South Creek Fishing Access site; metal gate
Ampersand Road - Coreys; seasonal closure, metal gate
Ampersand Road - Coreys; 7 locations, rock barricades
TOTAL: 10 barriers

Trails - Area Wide *
Foot Trails listed by class:
Raquette Falls Carry 1.0
Ampersand Mt. 3.5
Indian Pass; ADK Loj to Scott's Dam 4.0
Calamity Brook 6.1
Van Hoevenberg to Marcy 7.5
Algonquin from Marcy Trail Jct. 3.0
Wright Peak Spur 0.4
Marcy Dam to Lake Colden 3.9
Trail around NW shore of Lk. Colden 1.0
Colden Dam to Marcy 4.2
Avalanche Camps to Feldspar 3.2
Cascade Mt. from Rte. 73 2.3
Garden to Bushnell Falls 5.0

Northville-Placid Trail 33.2
Blueberry Pond to Ward Brook 4.7
Bradley Pond Tr. to Duck Hole 8.1
Duck Hole from Indian Pass 4.9
Lake Jimmy to Flowed Lands 9.4
Indian Pass; U. Works to Scott's Dam 5.4
Lake Colden to Indian Pass 4.0
Rocky Falls Spur 0.3
Lake Colden to Algonquin 2.1
Lake Colden to Mt. Colden 1.6
Four Corners to Skylight 0.5
Elk Lake to Four Corners 9.7
Indian Falls-Lake Arnold Crossover 0.7
Lake Arnold to Mt. Colden 0.9
Phelps Mt. from Marcy Trail 1.0
S. Meadows Rd. to Mt. Van Hoevenberg 2.6
Klondike Notch Trail 5.2
Porter Mt from Cascade 0.7
Porter Mt. from Keene Airport 4.5
Porter Mt. from Interbrook Rd. 3.8
Big Slide via The Brothers 3.9
Big Slide via Slide Mt. Brook 2.1
Big Slide via Yard 2.7
Phelps (Slant Rock) Trail 3.8
Hopkins Trail 3.4
Range Trail: JBL to Phelps Tr. 7.3
Haystack from Range Trail 0.6
Shorey Cut-off 1.2
Southside Trail 2.6
High Water Range Trail 0.4
Short Job 0.4
Woodsfall Trail 0.8
Johns Brook to Wolf law Notch 2.4
Lower Wolf law to Range Trail Jct. 3.9
Roostercomb-Hedgehog from Keene Valley 3.5
Roostercomb from Rte 73 1.8
Snow Mt. via Deer Brook 1.5
Snow Mt. from W.A. White Trail 1.2
W.A. White Trail to L. Wolf Jaw Trail 4.4
Wedge Brook Trail to L. Wolf Jaw 1.9
Beaver Meadow Trail to Gothics 2.9
Lower Lake to Sawteeth and Gothics 2.6
Sawteeth via Scenic Trail 3.0
Sawteeth from Upper Lake 2.7
Haystack from Upper Lake 3.4
Haystack Br. Tr. to Snow-Bird Camp 1.9
Panther Gorge to Bartlett Ridge 0.6

Kempshall Mt. 1.8
Newcomb Lake to Shaw Pond 5.4
Hemlock Hill Leanto Spur 0.5
Rock Pond 0.3
Pickerel Pond 0.2
Livingston Point Spur 0.3
Indian Pass-Calamity Crossover 1.7
Wallface Ponds 1.5
Algonquin Trail to Iroquois 1.0

Northvile-Placid to Round Pond 0.9
Shattuck Clearing to Pine Point 3.0
Shaw pond to Cold River Horse Tr. 4.0
Seward Range from Ward Brook 3.5
Seymour from Ward Brook 1.5
Santanoni Range via old trail 4.0
Panther via Panther Brook 1.5
Marshall from Algonquin Pass Tr. 0.7
Marshall via Herbert Brook 1.5
Street and Nye from Indian Pass Brk. 3.5
Cliff Mt. from old Twin Brooks Tr. 0.7
Redfield via Uphill Brook 1.3
Allen via Allen Brook 4.0
Gray Peak from Lake Tear 0.5
Tabletop from Indian Falls 0.7


Horse Trails
Cold River Loop 32.1
Calkins Creek Crossover 4.0
Moose Pond-Gate House to Cold River 11.5
TOTAL: 47.6 miles

Ski Trails
Caribou Leanto site to Lk. Colden 0.3
Avalanche Pass bypass 0.7
Whales Tail 1.3
Phelps Brook to Indian Falls 1.0
Wright Peak Ski Trail 1.2
Mr. Van Trail-ADK Loj 4.5
TOTAL: 9.0 miles

Summary - Trails - Area Wide by type:
Hiking 246.6 miles
Horse 47.6
Ski 9.0
TOTAL: 303.2 miles

Parking Lots
Location Capacity
ADK Loj (Private, Parking fee charged) 200
Ausable Club (by deed) 20
Ampersand Mt. 15
Axton Landing (also serves SL Wild Forest) 5
Blueberry 5
Bradley Pond 10
Cascade 10
East River 15
Elk Lake-Dix 15
Garden 50
Long Lake Boat Launch 20
Long Lake (N-P Trail; 2 lots) 18
Mt. Adams-Tahawus 10
Northville-Placid Trail-Averyville 10
Rooster Comb 4
Santanoni 15
Seward 12
South Meadows Trailhead 12
South Meadows (roadside) 100
Stony Creek (Raquette Falls) 15
Upper Works -Tahawus 20
TOTAL: 581



I. Unmarked
Intermittently apparent,
relatively undisturbed
organic soil horizon
present, logs and
water courses

II. Path
Table Top
herd paths
Intermittently apparent,
compaction of duff,
mineral soils
occasionally exposed
Same as
unmarked route
Low, varies
by location
Intermittent marking with consideration given to
appropriate layout based on drainage, occasional barrier
removal only to define appropriate route.

III. Primitive
Wallface Ponds
Trail markers, sign
at junction with
secondary or other
upper level trail
Apparent, soil
compaction evident
Limited natural
obstructions (logs
and river fords)
Drainage (native materials) where necessary to minimize
erosion, blowdown removed 2-3 years, brushing as
necessary to define trail (eevery 5-10 years), bridges only
to protect resource (max - 2 log width), ladders only to
protect exceptionally steep sections, tread 14"-18", clear:
3' wide, 3' high.

IV. Secondary
Phelps Mtn.
Mt. Colden
Markers, signs with
basic information
Likely worn and possibly
quite eroded. Rocks
exposed, little or no duff
Up to one year's
blowdown, small
Drainage where needed to halt erosion and limit potential
erosion (using native materials), tread hardening with
native materials where drainage proves to be insufficient
to control erosion. Remove blowdown annually. Brush to
maintain trail corridor. Higher use may warrant greater
use of bridges (2-3 logs wide) for resource protection.
Ladders on exceptionally steep rock faces. Tread 18"-24". Clear 4' wide, 3' High.

V. Trunk Trail or

(Mt. Marcy)
Markers, signed
with more
information and
Wider tread, worn and
very evident. Rock
exposed possibly very
Obstructions only
rarely, small
Same as above; Plus: regular blowdown removal on
designated ski trails, non-native materials as last resort,
extensive tread hardening when needed, bridge streams
(2-4 logs wide) difficult to cross during high water, priority
given to stream crossings below concentrations of
designated camping. Tread 18"-26", clear 6' wide, 8'
high, actual turnpiking limited to 2% of trail length.



VI. Front
Heavily marked,
interpretive signing
Very High
Extensive grooming, some paving, bark chips,
handicapped accessible.

This is to be implemented within 500' of wilderness

VII. Horse Trail
Cold River Loop
Marked as Trunk or
Wide tread, must be
rather smooth.
Same as trunk
Moderate to
Same as trunk trail, except use techniques appropriate for
horses. Bridges: 6' minimum width with kick rails, non-native dimensional materials preferred. Tread: 2'-4' wide,
clear 8' wide, 10' high.

VIII. Ski Trail
Whale's Tail
Marked High.
Special markers,
sign at all junctions
with hiking trails.
Duff remains.
Discourage summer use
Practically none
due to hazards.
Focus on removal of obstructions, maintenance should be
low profile, tread determined by clearing 6' (Should be
slightly wider at turns and steep sections. Drian using
native materials to protect resource.

Listed by Class

(Private) BY:


Raquette Falls Carry 1.0 DEC Canoe Carry
Ampersand Mountain 3.5 DEC Extensive Maintenance
Indian Pass: ADK Loj to Scott's Dam 4.0 (0.5) DEC
Calamity Brook Trail* 6.1 (2.7) DEC Upper Works to Lake Colden
Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy* 7.5 (0.5) DEC
Algonquin from Marcy Trail Junction 3.0 DEC
Wright Peak Spur 0.4 DEC
Marcy Dam to Lake Colden* 3.9 DEC
Trail around NW shore Lake Colden 1.0 DEC
Colden Dam to Marcy 4.2 DEC
Avalanche Camp to Feldspar 3.2 DEC
Cascade Mtn. from Route 73 2.3 DEC
The Garden to Marcy via Slant Rock 9.1 DEC

* Indicates use by skiers


Northville-Placid Trail* 33.2 DEC
Bluberry Pond Trail to Ward Brook 4.7 DEC
Bradley Pond Trail to Duck Hole 8.1 (4.2) DEC
Duck Hole from Indian Pass 4.9 (4.5) DEC
Lake Jimmy to Flowed Lands 9.4 (5.7) DEC
Indian Pass: Upper Works to Scott's Dam 5.4 (1.5) DEC
Lake Colden to Indian Pass 4.0 DEC
Rocky Falls Spur 0.3 DEC
Lake Colden to Algonquin 2.1 DEC
Lake Colden to Mount Colden 1.6 DEC
Four Corners to Skylight 0.5 DEC
Elk Lake to Four Corners 9.7 (5.5) DEC / ATIS ATIS maintains all of trail within HPW
Indian Falls to Lake Arnold Crossover 0.7 DEC
Lake Arnold to Mount Colden 0.9 DEC
Phelps Mountain from Marcy Trail 1.0 DEC
South Meadows Road to Mt. Van Hoevenberg 2.6 DEC
Klondike Notch Trail 5.2 DEC
Porter Mountain from Cascade 0.7 DEC
Porter Mountain from Keene Valley Airport 4.5 (1.0) ADK
Porter Mountain from Interbrook Road 3.8 (1.0) ADK
Big Slide via Brothers 3.9 ADK
Big Slide via Slide Mtn. Brook 2.1 ADK
Big Slide via Yard Mtn. 2.7 ADK
Phelps (Slant Rock Trail) 3.8 DEC Bushnell Falls to Van Hoevenberg Trail
Hopkins Trail 3.4 DEC Bushnell Falls to Van Hoevenberg Trail
Range Trail: JBL to Phelps Trail 7.3 (0.3) DEC
Haystack from Ranger Trail 0.6 DEC
Shorey Cut-off Trail 1.2 DEC
Southside Trail 2.6 ADK Also ROW to private land -
some vehicular traffic
High Water Range Trail 0.4 DEC
Short Job 0.4 ADK
Woodsfall Trail 0.8 ADK Ranger trail to Wolf Jaw leanto
John's Brook to Wolf Jaw Notch 2.4 ADK
Lower Wolf Jaw to Range Trail junction 3.9 ADK
Rooster Comb & Hedgehog from Keene Valley 3.5 (0.5) ADK
Rooster Comb from Route 73 1.8 (0.8) ADK
Snow Mountain via Deer Brook 1.5 (0.5) ATIS
Snow Mountain from W.A. White Trail 1.2 (0.2) ATIS
W.A. White Trail to Lower Wolf Jaw 4.4 (1.0) ATIS
Wedge Brook Trail to Lower Wolf Jaw 1.9 (0.2) ATIS
Beaver Meadow Trail to Gothics 2.9 (1.0) ATIS
Lower Lake to Sawteeth & Gothics 2.6 (0.6) ATIS
Sawteeth via Scenic Trail 3.0 (2.0) ATIS
Sawteeth from Upper Lake 2.7 (1.5) ATIS
Haystack from Upper Lake 3.4 (1.7) ATIS
Haystack Brook Trail to Sno-BirdCamp 1.9 (0.1) ATIS
Panther Gorge to Bartlett Ridge 0.6 ATIS


Kempshaw Mountain Trail 1.8 DEC Relocate portion to Blueberry Mountain
Newcomb Lake to Shaw Pond 5.4 DEC
Hemlock Leanto Spur 0.5 DEC
Rock Pond 0.3 DEC Pickerel Pond 0.2 DEC
Livingston Point Spur 0.3 DEC
Indian Pass - Calamity Crossover 1.7 (0.8) DEC
Wallface Ponds 1.5 DEC
Algonquin to Iroquois 1.0 46-R Unmarked herd path to be upgraded to Class 3


Northville-Placid Trail to Round Pond 0.9 Use
Shattuck Clearing to Pine Point 3.0 DEC Pine Point is head of navigation on Cold River
Shaw Pond to Cold River Horse Trail 4.0 DEC
Seward Range from Ward Brook 3.5 Use Badly eroded on north side of Seward
Seymour from Ward Brook 1.5 Use
Santanoni Range via old trail 4.0 Use Includes herd paths to Couchsachraga
Panther via Panther Brook 1.5 Use
Marshall from Algonquin Pass Trail 0.75 Use
Marshall via Herbert Brook 1.5 Use
Street & Nye from Indian Pass Brook 3.5 Use
Cliff Mountain from old Twin Brook Trail 0.75 Use
Redfield via Uphill Brook 1.25 Use
Allen via Allen Brook from Twin Brook 4.0 (1.5) Use Route originally marked by 46'ers
Gray Peak from Lake Tear 0.5 Use Use of 0.25 mile route to timberline should be
discouraged to reduce impact on alpine zone.
Table Top from Indian Falls 0.75 Use

Cold River Loop 32.1 DEC Some hiking use
Calkins Creek Crossover 4.0 DEC Slight hiking use
Moose Pond Gatehouse to Cold River 11.5 DEC Some hiking use


Old Caribou Leanto Site to Lake Colden 0.25 DEC
Avalanche Pass Bypass 0.75 DEC
Whale's Tail Ski Trail 1.3 DEC
Phelps Brook to Indian Falls 1.0 DEC
Wright Peak Ski Trail 1.2 ASTC
Mr. Van Ski Trail: ADK Loj to Mt. Van Hoevenberg 4.5 DEC
(basis for developing LAC Campsite Standards)

For each condition class, visible indicators and management actions will be summarized.

CLASS I: Ground vegetation flattened but not permanently injured. Minimal physical
change except for possibly a simple firering.
These sites are barely recognizable as camping areas. If not in situations
known to be sensitive to use, no management action is needed. Maintain
current use level or allow increase if nearby site must be closed.

CLASS II: Ground vegetation worn away around firering or center of activity.
Site change apparent but still within acceptable limits. These areas are
readily identified as campsites and will continue to attract use. Further use
should be carefully monitored to detect adverse change.

CLASS III: Ground vegetation lost on most of site, but humus and litter still present
in all but a few areas.
This is a transitional condition. Considerable change in plant cover is
evident but little sign of soil problems. This condition may be accepted as
normal in areas of high attraction. However, modification of current use
patterns and intensities may be needed to prevent further change.

CLASS IV: Bare mineral soil widespread. Tree roots exposed on surface.
Deterioration is accelerating. If current level and type of use continues,
solid erosion, loss of tree cover, and aesthetic degradation are likely.
Withdraw use from these sites and allow recovery. Some rehabilitation
may be desirable to speed recovery. If site is improperly located, consider
permanent closure. If site is reopened, insure that use patterns are adjusted
to prevent injury.

CLASS V: Soil erosion evident. Trees reduced in vigor or dead.
Natural recovery will be slow. The sites should be closed permanently and
alternate ones located. If the site is critical to the recreation pattern,
extensive rehabilitation will be required to return it to acceptable

*Frissell, Sydney S. 1978.
Judging Recreation Impacts on Wilderness Campsites. Journal of Forestry 76: 481-483. LEANTO AND CAMSITE INVENTORY - LAKE COLDEN
submitted by Rich Merritt, Labor Supervisor, Lake Colden
Inspection: November 1992, Report Submitted: April 1993


Only leanto D comes close to conforming with the 150 feet from trail and water laws. Beaver and
Cedar (A&B) are located virtually on the lake and both show massive de-vegetation (e.g. stumps,
lack of undergrowth).

Leantos' C & E are right on the Opalescent River, the C leanto being a source of constant problems
with dish washing, garbage in the stream, etc. Is is also in the worst condition of the five
remaining leantos.


Sites 1 and 2, located a couple of hundred yards south of Avalanche Lake and about 100 yards east
of the trail are good sites, not in view of the trail and tree cutting is minimal. Site 5 has similar
qualities but is located on a slope.
Sites 3 and 4, at the site of the former Cold Brook leanto, have their own outhouse but are very
close to Cold Brook. Dish washing in the stream is a recurrent problem at these sites. Site 3 is so
large that it is often shared by up to three groups. A centrally located large boulder helps slit thes
site in times of maximum use.

Site 6 is just off the trail to Flowed Lands, close to Herbert Brook, and just a few feet through the
bushes from the Flowed Lands marsh where camping is prohibited.

Site 7 is perhaps the "nicest" site in the area, and could be considered a leanto site; especially if
other less-conforming leatos are to be removed.

Though there were once as many as 13 leantos in the Colden area, there are now five and further
elimination of these shelters may disturb a truly "Adirondack" camping experience. This should be
weighed with environmental issues to direct a proper long term plan for the area.


These sites are all out of sight of the trail and are 20 or 30 feet higher than the trail. Sites 2 and 3
could arguably be one huge site or as many as four smaller ones, since no naturally existing
boundary separates them. They've been given separate status arbitrarily, but both have established
fire pits.

Sites 2, 3, and 5 are "uncampable" in wet weather due to mud. AREA B

"Day-Glo City" as it is referred to in terms of naximum occupancy, sits on the peninsula in the
southeast cerner ef Lake Colden. It is most often the area that people choose to tent camp.

All sites are in view from the trail. Only site 9 has some natural (bushes) boundary separating
it from the other sites. There is massive de-vegetation in this area, but tree cutting is minimal
in recent years.

Although the recommendations for the High Peaks UMP explicitly state a distaste for such an
area, it remains popular with family groups and novice campers and has a social flavor. Groups
often share cooking and bear-bagging facilities, and many share conversation and a cup of coffee.
It also provides DEC with a very strong platform for education.


Only slightly less populated than area B, the sites are generally further apart. Deforestation for
fires continues to be rampant on this side of the Opalescent. Although a trail runs through this
entire area, from the suspension bridge to Flowed Lands Landing, it is not an official, marked
trail and basically only serves to access these sites. Therefore this entire area is at least 150 feet
from the Sanford Lake-Marcy Trail and basically out of view from it.

Sites 1-4 offer too easy an access to the Opalescent and dish washing is prominent along this
stretch. Sites 2-4, although quite close together, are naturally separated by rock and undergrowth.

Sites 7-11 are similar in character to the sites in Area B in that they are close together and not
naturally delineated. These only rarely fill though, during the busy weekends. Sites 13-14 can
each fit more than one group comfortably. Site 15 is more remote.


Removing sites at this time is improbable and invites a variety of problems. The main problem
is that the Lake Colden area fill to capacity 8-10 times a summer. especially on holiday weekends.
The sad fact is that we virtually have to let people camp illegally when the sites are full, which
happens in mid to late afternoon when it's too late to move people on. And move them on where?
IF Colden is at capacity, then certainly Uphill, Feldspar end the Flowed Lands exceed capacity.

Therefore, it may be advantageous to locate new sites in the area, in accordance with the 150
foot law. Potential for new campsites exist above the rise west of the dam, up the hill behind
Area C campsites, along the ridge near peripheral campsite 7, and most notably, in the low flat
area downhill and west of Area A where the phone line went through.

Re-vegetation of abandoned and illegal campsites should continue.
<Lake Colden Campsite Inventory Map here> Site # Distance Distance Distance from nearest Size Comments
from Trail from Water Campsite/Nearest Site

P1 >150' >150'100' / P2 C
P2 >150' >150'100' / P1 A
P3 120' 25' 20' / P4 C
P4 >150' 75' 20' / P3 A
P5 >150' >150' >150' A
P6 40' 50' >150' B
P7 90' >150' >150' B
A1 120' >150' 30' / A2 B
A2 >150' >150' 30' / A1 B No Firepit
A3 >150' >150' 40' / A2 B
A4 >150' >150'120' / A3 B
A5 80' 100'100' / A3 B
B1 25' 60' 20' / B2 A No Firepit
B2 15' 50' 20' / B1 B
B3 100' 50' 20' / B4 B
B4 140' 30' 20' / B3 A
B5 >150' 30' 30' / B4 C
B6 90' 90' 20' / B7 C
B7 50' 80' 20' / B6 A
B8 10' 40' 30' / B7 B
B9 20' 60' 35' / B8 B
C1 >150' 30' 80' / C2 C
C2 >150' 30' 25' / C3 A
C3 >150' 35' 25' / C5 B
C4 >150' 35' 25' / C4 B
C5 >150' 50' 50' / C6 B
C6 >150' 90' 30' / C7 C
C7 >150' 120' 20' / C8 B
C8 >150' >150' 20' / C7 B
C9 >150' >150' 40' / C8 B
C10 >150' 100' 40' / C11 B
C11 >150' 80' 30' / Leanto D A
C12 >150' >150' 120' / Leanto D B
C13 >150' >150' 60' / C14 C
C14 >150' >150' 60' / C13 B
C15 >150' >150' 120' / C14 B

A-Beaver Pt. 10' 30' >150' ---
B-Cedar Pt. 60' 30' >150' ---
C 20' 10' >150' ---
D >150' 120'30' / C11 ---
E >150' 120' 120' / C14 ---
High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Inventory Data

USGS Quad (7.5')



























High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Inventory Data

USGS Quad (7.5')


























High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Inventory Data

USGS Quad (7.5')


























High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Inventory Data

USGS Quad (7.5')


























High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Inventory Data

USGS Quad (7.5')























* C = Champlain, R = Raquette, UH = Upper Hudson



High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Survey Data

Most Recent Chemical Survey
Most Recent Biological Survey

No. **
Fish Species Present and Number Caught *

No Fish


ST-1,LT-16,KOK-2,LNS-24,WS-34,PKS-3,BB-4,GS-8; RSM rept, BT

1984: No fish caught, ST stocked 1989



ST rep. 1973 & 1988

YP, BND, LND, unspecified sunfish

ST-3,LT-9, minnows obs.



No Fish

No Fish





No Fish



No Fish





High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Survey Data

Most Recent Chemical Survey
Most Recent Biological Survey

No. **
Fish Species Present and Number Caught *






ST - 19, BB - 125




No Fish


No Fish


ST-1,CC-110,BND rpt 1972, ST stocked 1989

No fish

No fish

CC-5, NRD-90, ST stocked 1992

PKS,CC seen







ST young & adults, BND,CC observed



High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Survey Data

Most Recent Chemical Survey
Most Recent Biological Survey

No. **
Fish Species Present and Number Caught *














ST - 13 (136-248), NRD-1, CC-15












High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Survey Data

Most Recent Chemical Survey
Most Recent Biological Survey

No. **
Fish Species Present and Number Caught *


























High Peaks Wilderness Complex - Ponded Water Survey Data

Most Recent Chemical Survey
Most Recent Biological Survey

No. **
Fish Species Present and Number Caught *
















No Fish

No Fish

* Fish species caught by various gear. (Entries without numbers indicate fish species thought to be present. No biological survey conducted.)
** 150-foot Sewdish gillnet
LLS Landlocked Salmon CS Common Shiner LT Lake trout RW Round whitefish YP Yellow Perch
BND Blacknose dace GS Golden shiner NRD Northern redbelly dace SMB Smallmouth bass
BHC Brown bullhead KOK Kokanee salmon NP Northern pike SPL Splake
BT Brown trout LC lake chub PKS Pumpkinseed ST Brook trout
CC Creek chub LNS Longnose sucker RBS Redbreast sunfish WS White sucker
Adapted from George, 1980


Blacknose dace Redbreast sunfish Common shiner
White sucker Finescale dace Lake chub
Longnose sucker Creek chubsucker Slimy sculpin
Northern redbelly dace Longnose dace Round whitefish


Brook trout Cisco Brown bullhead
Lake trout Pumpkinseed Creek chub


Golden shiner Northern pike Chain pickerel Rock bass Bluntnose minnow5 Smallmouth bass
Largemouth bass Yellow perch Johnny darter Fathead minnow2 Brown trout Rainbow trout
Splake Atlantic salmon Lake Whitefish Banded killifish3 Rainbow smelt Fallfish4
Bluegill Walleye Pearl dace
Central mudminnow Redhorse suckers(spp.) Black crappie

1 These native fishes are known to have been widely distributed throughout Adirondack
uplands by DEC, bait bucket introduction, and unauthorized stocking. This means
that their presence does not necessarily indicate endemicity. Other native species
listed above also may have been moved from water to water in the Adirondack
Upland, but the historical record is less distinct.

2 Not mentioned by Mather (1884) from Adirondack collections, minor element southern
Adirondack Uplands (Greeley 1930-1935).

3 Early collections strongly suggest dispersal as a bait form.

4 Adventive through stocking.

5 Not mentioned by Mather (1884) from Adirondack collections, widely used as bait.

High Peaks Wilderness

Early Surveys vs. Present Day Fish Distribution

Lake Category

# Lakes


# Lakes

% Fish
Net **
# Lakes
% Net


Total # Lakes


# Unknown



# Surveyed



# Fishless

# Fish Communities


# Viable Brook Trout Populations


# Lake Trout

# Brown Bullhead

# Pumpkinseed

# Creek Chub


# White Sucker

# Lake Chub

# Blacknose Dace

# Northern Redbelly Dace

# Common Shiner

#Redbreast Sunfish

#Longnose Dace

#Longnose Sucker

#Round Whitefish

#Cutlips minnow

#Finescale dace


# Yellow Perch

# Golden Shiner

# Smallmouth Bass

# Fathead Minnow

#Northern Pike

#Kokanee Salmon

#Brown Trout


* Excludes waters where only one or two brook trout were captured

and/or unsubstantiated, anectdotal accounts of brook trout presence are the only historical record

** Shaded areas indicate negative numbers


P #/ Survey
Water Watershed Year Source

Brook Trout Lake P 874 OB 1950 DEC Fish Mgmt.
Unnamed Pond P 113 C 1986 ALSC
Unnamed Pond P 259 C 1986 ALSC
Bickford Pond P 273 STL 1984 ALSC
Mud Pond P 1008 OB 1986 ALSC
Metcalf Lake P 897 MH 1934 Biological Survey
Blueberry Pond P 197 RAQ 1933 Biological Survey
Horn Lake P 854 OB 1989 DEC Fish Mgmt.
Hardscrabble Pond P 1015 OB 1985 ALSC

* These waters have no known history of stocking or fish
management prior to the survey data shown.
THOMAS C. JORLING, Commissioner
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

October 31, 1991

TO: Executive Staff, Division and Regional Directors

FROM: Thomas C. Jorling



Fisheries management in wilderness, primitive and canoe areas of the Adirondack
and Catskill Parks has a strong foundation in law, policy, tradition and resource planning.
The New York State Legislature has directed DEC to efficiently manage, maintain and
improve the fish resources of the State and make them accessible to the people of New
York. This includes a mandate to develop and carry out programs and procedures which
prompt both natural propagation and maintenance of desirable species in ecological balance
and lead to the observance of sound management practices to achieve those goals (ECL
Section 11-0303).

Similarly, the State Land Master Plans for the Adirondack and Catskill Parks
adopt the principle of resource management and provide strong guidance for fish
management (APA 1987, DEC 1985). The primary management guideline for wilderness,
primitive and canoe areas is to "achieve and perpetuate a natural plant and animal
community where man's influence is not apparent." While these plans recognize these
areas as places "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where
man is a visitor who does not remain," they are also defined as areas which are protected
and managed so as to "preserve, enhance and restore, where necessary, its natural
conditions . . .". Thus, opportunities to manage ecosystems have been preserved in these
Master Plans and are conducted in a manner to meet plan guidelines. Fish management
practices, such as fish stocking, pond reclamation, pond liming, barrier dam construction
and maintenance, and resource survey and inventory, are permitted when conducted within
guidelines for wilderness, primitive and canoe area management and use.

For more than a decade, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has managed
ecosystems consistent with legal mandates and professional concerns, with sensitivity for
wilderness values and with the intent of providing unique recreational experiences. The
Master Plans set no numerical standards on use intensity but indicate that fishing is
"compatible with wilderness and should be encouraged as long as the degree and intensity
of use does not endanger the wilderness resource itself".

Important precepts contained in a Division of Fish and Wildlife position paper on
wilderness area management have guided the Department's fish management programs in
such areas since 1977 (Doig 1977). The position paper recognizes fishing as: a legitimate
activity in wilderness, primitive and canoe areas which should be considered as part of a
larger experience not just a quest for fish; where quality includes the expectation of
encounter with unique fish and wildlife in natural setting, aesthetic surroundings, and
limited contact with other persons. It directs management activities at species which are
indigenous to or historically associated with the Adirondacks and Catskills. It provides that
fish populations will be managed on a self-sustaining basis, but permits maintenance
stocking to be used where unique, high quality recreational fishing experiences can be
provided without impairing other objectives. It further directs that fish management
activities should be compatible with area characteristics, conducted in an unobtrusive
manner and restricted to the minimum means necessary to accomplish management

The formal traditions of fisheries management in New York State are rooted 120
years in the past, dating back to 1868 when the New York Commission of Fisheries was
created (Shepherd et al. 1980). The elements of New York's fisheries program have
evolved both in emphasis and priority with shifts being dictated by need, experience and
availability of funding as well as the evolution of fishery science. Formal goals for the
Fish and Wildlife program have been in existence for more than a decade and remain the
foundation for DEC's modern fish and wildlife program activities. They are:

perpetuate fish and wildlife as a part of various ecosystems of the state;

provide maximum beneficial utilization and opportunity for enjoyment of
fish and wildlife resources; and

manage these resources so that their numbers and occurrences are
compatible with the public interest.

Goals for each program of the Division of Fish and Wildlife have been described
in DEC's 1977 Division of Fish and Wildlife Program Plan. Environmental impacts of
the Division of Fish Wildlife's fish species and habitat management activities are discussed
in programmatic environmental impact statements prepared by Shepherd et al. (1980) and
et al. (1979), respectively.
The evolution of fisheries management in New York State and the Adirondack
zone has been discussed in Shepherd et al. (1980) and Pfeiffer (1979). Program goals,
objectives, policies and management strategies for lake trout including guidelines for
stocking were developed by Plosila (1977). The strategic plan recognizes the importance
of native Adirondack lake trout stocks and the considerable importance of these lake trout
resources to the entire State. In 1979, a strategic plan for the management of wild and
hybrid strains of brook trout was completed (Keller 1979). Preservation of native strains in
the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains was a major component of that plan. Pfeiffer
(1979) established goals, objectives and strategies for the management of broad classes of
Adirondack fishery resources and significantly enunciated the importance of angling in
wilderness, primitive and canoe areas and guidelines for fisheries management within these
areas. The latter were consistent with those formulated earlier by Doig (1977). The
philosophical and scientific underpinnings for trout stream management in New York with
application to management of wilderness, primitive and canoe area trout streams, was
completed in 1979 (Engstrom-Heg 1979 a). A recent draft plan for intensification of
management of brook trout in 47 Adirondack ponds has been developed by DEC Regions 5
and 6 (Miller, 1986).

Salmonid stocking by the Division of Fish and Wildlife is guided by policies and
criteria presented in Engstrom-Heg (1979 b). The evolution of DEC's criteria for
establishing salmonid stocking policies in New York has been reviewed by Pfeiffer (1979),
while the general objectives of fish stocking are discussed in Shepherd et al. (1980) and
Engstrom-Heg (1979).

Liming of acidified waters by the Division of Fish and Wildlife is presently
guided by the draft policy and criteria established by Wich (1987). A final generic
environmental impact statement for DEC's liming program is being prepared following
extensive public review of the draft statement. It will include a revision of the Division of
Fish and Wildlife's liming policy and criteria (Simonin 1990). Findings and the
Commissioner's decision for the liming program are being completed.

The history of pond reclamation in New York has been discussed by Pfeiffer
(1979). Reclamation goals are discussed in Shepherd et al. (1980), while general policy
guidance and rules and regulations covering the use of piscicides including rotenone, are
provided in Part 328 of 6NYCRR. Fish barrier dams, which are frequently associated with
pond reclamation, are permitted when constructed or maintained in accordance with SLMP


The purpose of this memorandum is to state the Department's policies on fisheries
management in wilderness, primitive and canoe areas within the Adirondack and Catskill

Legally established goals for the Forest Preserve recognize that fish and wildlife
are integral to the values society places on the Preserve. Charges include management to
"foster the wild Adirondack environment and all the flora and fauna historically associated
there with" and, "encouragement of indigenous species presently restricted in numbers."
Fisheries management activities are essential to achieve these goals and to perpetuate
unique opportunities for high quality wilderness, primitive and canoe area fishing
experience provided within the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Specific guidelines for
fisheries management activities are as follows:

1. The primary purpose of aquatic resource management in wilderness primitive and
canoe areas is to perpetuate natural aquatic ecosystems, including perpetuation of
indigenous fish species on a self-sustaining basis.

2. Angling is recognized as a compatible recreational pursuit in wilderness, primitive
and canoe areas. Aquatic resource management will emphasize the quality of the
angling experience over quantity of use.

3. Aquatic resources in wilderness, primitive and canoe areas will be protected and
managed so as to preserve, enhance and restore, where necessary, their natural
conditions. Aquatic resource management, including stocking of game and
nongame fishes and pond reclamation, may be necessary to achieve and perpetuate
natural aquatic ecosystems.

4. Brown trout, rainbow trout, splake and landlocked Atlantic salmon are coldwater
fish species historically associated with the Adirondack Park. Smallmouth bass,
largemouth bass, northern pike and walleye are warmwater species historically
associated with the entire Adirondack and Catskill Parks and indigenous to some
lowland areas. These species may be included in the management and stocking
regime of specific waters in wilderness, primitive, and canoe areas in instances
when indigenous fish communities cannot be protected, maintained, or restored in
those waters. Fish species, other than indigenous species and species historically
associated with the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, will not be stocked in the
waters of wilderness, primitive and canoe areas.

5. Waters found to be naturally barren of fish species will not be stocked. Waters
which are self-sustaining or which otherwise would be self-sustaining except that
they have been compromised by human-caused disturbances may be stocked
consistent with these guidelines.

6. Pond reclamation will be practiced as appropriate to prepare or maintain waters in
wilderness, primitive and canoe areas but only for the restoration or perpetuation
of indigenous fish communities.

7. The Unit Management Plan for each wilderness, primitive, or canoe area shall
identify aquatic resource management actions on a water-body-specific basis
through analysis of unit inventory data adequate to support the actions.

8. In those instances where a Unit Management Plan has not yet been approved for a
given wilderness, primitive, or canoe area, aquatic resource management actions
to stock waters may be continued in waters so managed before December 31,
1989, consistent with these guidelines, pending approval of the Plan. Waters
reclaimed prior to December 31, 1989 may be reclaimed subject to case-by-case
review by the Adirondack Park Agency for consistency with these guidelines,
pending approval of the Plan. New waters may be stocked or reclaimed only to
prevent significant resource degradation subject tocase-by-case review by the
Adirondack Park Agency for consistency with these guidelines, pending approval
of the Plan.

9. Maintenance liming to protect and maintain indigenous fish species may be
continued as mitigation measure for acid rain in Horn Lake (P04854), Tamarack
Pond (P06171), Livingston Pond (P05705) and Kitfox Pond (P03142) so treated
before December 31, 1989. Upon acceptance of the Final Generic Environmental
Impact Statement on liming and the issuance of findings and a decision by the
Department of Environmental Conservation, the appropriateness of liming in the
waters of wilderness, primitive and canoe areas will be established and
appropriate policy guidelines incorporated herein.

10. All aquatic resource management activities in wilderness, primitive, and canoe
areas will be consistent with guidelines for use of motor vehicles, motorized
equipment, and aircraft as stated in the State Land Master Plan.


Pond narratives for High Peaks Wilderness.

Avalanche Lake (UH-P 707)
Avalanche Lake is a scenic, yet acidified 10.4-acre pond which is currently devoid of fish
life. It lies at the base of Avalanche Mountain and Mount Colden. Access is via a marked
trail from the Adirondack Loj. Avalanche Lake was barren of fish until stocked with brook
trout in 1921. For the next 30 years, Avalanche Lake was a renowned trout fishery and
apparently remained a brook trout monoculture until it acidified in the mid-1950's. A
chemical survey done in 1958 recorded a pH value of 5.4. A 1965 biological survey
captured no fish and the pH had dropped to 4.9. Avalanche Lake was limed in 1979, but
subsequently reacidified within three years and the liming program was terminated. A
1987 ALSC survey determined that pH was 4.99, mean depth was 10.8 feet, maximum
depth was 23 feet, and the flushing rate was 5 times/year.

Because of its past reputation as a brook trout fishery Avalanche Lake will continue to be
monitored via periodic chemical surveys. Avalanche Lake will be managed as an
Adirondack brook trout pond in the event that acid conditions improve over time.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Beaver Pond (R-P 204)
Beaver Pond is a shallow, 7.2-acre Adirondack brook trout pond with a fish community
consisting of brook trout, common shiner, creek chub (NBWI) and white sucker. This
pond is the headwater for a tributary to the privately owned Ampersand Lake and lies
immediately to the east of that waterbody. No marked trails lead to this pond. A 1984
ALSC survey of Beaver Pond indicates the pond was well named. It had an active dam and
fresh beaver activity was apparent. Beaver Pond was stocked once with brook trout in
1887. Bog and marsh comprise 25% of the shoreline. Mean depth of Beaver Pond is 1.6
feet, pH is 5.53, and the flushing rate is 69.7 times per year. Wetlands, high turnover
rate, and proximity to private lands preclude reclamation or liming.

Beaver Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its native fish

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Big Pine Pond (CH-P 98)
Big Pine Pond (or Pine Pond) is a popular, 46.5-acre coldwater fishery. It is accessible via
a trail originating in Ray Brook or by trail from Oseetah Lake. Big Pine Pond is a deep,
coldwater lake with no inlets or outlets. Although small for a lake trout water, it is a
well-known fishery for this species. The original Biological Survey of 1929 captured
brook trout, lake trout, brown bullhead (NBWI), and mentioned reports of yellow perch
(nonnative). A 1959 survey captured no brook trout, but declared lake trout to be NSA.
Also, white sucker and longnose sucker were reported for the first time. The two sucker
species were probably unintentionally introduced by baitfishermen. A 1964 survey added
pumpkinseed (NBWI) to the fish community list. At that time, there was concern that lake
trout were foraging heavily on the annual brook trout stocking, so kokanee salmon
(nonnative) were introduced in 1967 to buffer predation. In 1984 the ALSC netted brook
trout, lake trout, kokanee salmon, longnose sucker, white sucker, pumpkinseed, brown
bullhead and golden shiner (nonnative). File notes from 1988-89 indicate that rainbow
smelt (nonnative) may now be established in the lake. The mean depth of Big Pine Pond is
26 feet, maximum depth is 65 feet, flushing rate is 0.4 times/year, and it has a pH of 6.8.
Its substrate is predominantly sand with some gravel. Big Pine Pond has a long stocking
history and has received at some time in its past: brook trout, lake trout, rainbow trout,
kokanee salmon and brown trout. Lake trout were stocked in 1889, 1931, 1933 and 1936,
making it doubtful that they can be designated as a heritage strain. Kokanee salmon were
stocked from 1967 until 1989 and were a popular fishery. Compliance with the 1989
"Wilderness Guidelines for Fisheries Management" required termination of the kokanee
policy. Brown trout were stocked in 1990 in recognition of the failing brook trout fishery
and the evident increase in numbers and biomass of competing species.

Big Pine Pond will be managed as a coldwater pond to preserve and protect its native fishes
in the presence of historically associated and nonnative species. Big Pine Pond should be
considered as a candidate water for a round whitefish refugia if restoration efforts in other
waters prove unfeasible. In this event, the pond would be stocked with round whitefish.

Management Class: Coldwater

Black Pond (R-P 234)
Black Pond (4.9 acres) is one of two such-named waters in the High Peaks Wilderness.
This Black Pond lies in the Raquette River watershed upstream of Moose Pond (R-R 233),
to the southwest of the Chubb River, and to the east of the Sawtooth Range. The 1933
Biological Survey did not net the pond, but reported that it was "always fishless". A 1984
ALSC survey captured no fish, yet water chemistry work indicated fish could survive.
ECO Robert Chatt reports catching brook trout in Black Pond in the 1970's and 1980's.
ECO Chatt further indicated that trout are concentrated in a small spring hole area most of
the summer, which could explain the failure of netting surveys to catch fish. Black Pond's
pH is 6.32, mean depth is 5.9 feet, maximum depth is 17 feet and it has a flushing rate of
7.1 times per year. Based on this favorable data, brook trout were stocked in Black Pond
beginning in 1989. The pond is accessible by a trail network beginning at the
Northville-Lake Placid trailhead on Avery Road.

Black Pond (R-P 234) will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its
native fish community. A 1994 survey confirmed that brook trout are doing well in Black

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Black Pond (UH-P 696)
The second Black Pond in the High Peaks Wilderness lies to the north of Newcomb Lake
and Ward Pond. This 3-acre pond has never been surveyed. No marked trails lead to the

Black Pond (UH-P 696) will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Brueyer Pond (R-P 217), Upper Brueyer Pond (R-P 218),
& Unnamed Pond (R-P 5159)
Brueyer Pond is a 14.1-acre Adirondack brook trout pond that was first surveyed in 1933.
The biologists of that era noted the pond was stocked with brook trout in 1923, but did not
otherwise mention the historical status of that species. The 1933 netting survey captured
brook trout, white sucker, northern redbelly dace and three NBWI species: creek chub,
brown bullhead and pumpkinseed . A 1985 ALSC survey captured the same species.
ALSC staff did not discover official records pertaining to the 1923 brook trout stocking and
trout have not been stocked since that date. It is possible that the NSA brook trout
population in Brueyer Pond can be considered as unadulterated. Brueyer Pond has a pH of
7.16. Beavers are active in the watershed and the ALSC observed two loons on the pond.
Mean depth of Brueyer Pond is 3.3 feet, maximum depth is 11 feet, and its flushing rate is
21.7 times/year. Wetlands comprise 40% of the immediate shoreline. Aquatic vegetation
is abundant. Only 30% of the pond's surface area was open water in the June 1985 ALSC
survey. Brueyer Pond lies in the course of a tributary to Calkins Brook and the Cold
River. The pond is located about a half mile west of the leantos near the intersection of the
Cold River horse trail and Calkins Brook. No marked trails lead directly to the pond.

Upper Brueyer Pond is located a half mile upstream of Brueyer Pond. The 10.4-acre pond
was first surveyed in 1955 and classified as a nontrout water. White sucker, creek chub
(NBWI) and brown bullhead (NBWI) were captured in the 1955 survey. A 1985 ALSC
survey captured the same species and added common shiner, pumpkinseed (NBWI) and
golden shiner (nonnative). Golden shiners are the first nonnative species captured in the
Brueyer system. Upper Brueyer Pond is a shallow, darkly-stained pond with a mean and
maximum depth of 3 feet and a muck bottom. It has a pH of 7.14 and an ANC of 266.

Unnamed Pond P 5159 is 1.5 acres in size and is located about 0.5 mile downstream of
Brueyer Pond. This pond has never been surveyed, but is probably a shallow beaver
impoundment with a fish community similar to Brueyer Pond. The pond should be
regarded as part of the Brueyer system and included in future survey work.

The Brueyer ponds will be managed as Adirondack brook trout ponds to enhance and
restore a native fish community. The ponds are separated by wetlands which may
preclude reclamation. The presence of golden shiner in Upper Brueyer Pond could have a
negative impact on the NSA brook trout population in Brueyer Pond, making elimination
of shiners from the system desirable. All three ponds will be surveyed to make final
decisions regarding suitability of the system for reclamation.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Calamity Pond (UH-P 714)
Calamity Pond is a 7.4-acre impoundment near the headwaters of Calamity Brook. This
Adirondack brook trout pond is named after the famous incident involving the accidental
shooting of David Henderson in 1846. A monument commemorating the incident is found
along the trail near the pond. Calamity Pond has never been netted, however, a biologist
doing a snorkel survey in 1973 spotted a school of brook trout near a spring tributary.
Interior rangers report fishermen still catch brook trout in the pond. Calamity Pond has
never been stocked, but it is likely that brook trout in this pond originated from fish planted
in the Flowed Lands before the dam breached. A man-made drainage ditch once connected
the two waters. A log crib dam once existed on the outlet of Calamity Pond. Springs
probably account for the survival of brook trout in Calamity Pond since the Flowed Lands
and Lake Colden further upstream in the watershed acidified in the 1970's. A marked trail
from the Henderson Lake area, which parallels Calamity Brook, provides access. Recent
reports suggest that the water level (and surface area) of Calamity Pond has lowered
significantly, perhaps due to breaching of the dam on its outlet.

Calamity Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its native
fish community.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Corner Pond (UH-P 686) and Unnamed Pond (UH-P 686A)
Corner Pond is a 51-acre Adirondack brook trout pond that is bisected by a boundary
between the HPWC and the Huntington Preserve owned by SUNYESF. It lies to the
southwest of Round Pond and is due west of Catlin Lake (on the Preserve). Biologists
reported in 1932 that yellow perch (nonnative) and brook trout were present and observed
unidentified minnows in the pond. A 1963 survey observed blacknose dace, longnose
dace, yellow perch and unidentified sunfish. Corner Pond has a maximum depth of 22
feet, pH of 6.9, and a substrate composed of gravel, muck and sand. File notes indicate it
is a good reclamation candidate with small inlet streams and a steep, rocky outlet that could
be easily dammed.

Unnamed pond 686A (1.0 acre) lies in the midst of a large wetland contiguous with the
western end of Corner Pond. This pond has never been surveyed, but should be included
in any management actions pertaining to Corner Pond.

Corner Pond will be managed to restore and enhance a native fish community. Permission
to reclaim will be required from SUNYESF.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Dawson Pond (R-P 208)
Dawson Pond (6.7 acres) is a coldwater lake with a history as a good brook trout fishery.
Biologists netting the pond in 1933 noted that it was fished extensively and had been
privately stocked with brook trout. Their netting captured brookies and fathead minnows.
A 1971 survey captured lake trout, which probably originated from stocking error or an
unauthorized introduction. A 1983 survey caught the same species. Dawson Pond has a
maximum depth of 49 feet, its mean depth is unknown. Its pH in 1971 was 7.2. Dissolved
oxygen is limiting below 35 feet and water samples from deeper areas have a strong
hydrogen sulfide odor. It is surprising that brook trout and lake trout have done well in
this pond, which has a rather featureless, muck bottom and no known spawning habitat.
Dawson Pond can be found on the western edge of the High Peaks Wilderness about 1.0
mile south of the portage around Raquette River Falls. Trail access is good.

Dawson Pond will be managed as a coldwater lake to preserve its native fish community.
Future survey work should determine the reclamation potential of this pond in the event a
deleterious nonnative species is introduced.

Management Class: Coldwater

Duck Hole (R-P 235)
The Duck Hole is a 61-acre Adirondack brook trout pond located northwest of the Preston
Ponds and Henderson Lake in Tahawus. A portion of the Northville-Lake Placid trail
parallels the northern shore of this scenic pond. Duck Hole is an impoundment formed by
a 10 foot dam first built in 1915. At the time of the 1933 Biological Survey, the dam was
out and only a small "hole" existed. The dam was rebuilt in 1936, raising water levels by 6
feet. The first survey of Duck Hole in 1950 captured brook trout, white sucker and creek
chub (NBWI). Biologists noted wild trout in the 1950 survey. Subsequent surveys done
in 1966, 1975, 1983 and 1986 captured the same species. The Duck Hole is a shallow
waterbody, averaging only 5 feet deep, with a maximum depth of 12 feet. It has a varied
substrate of muck, sand, gravel and rubble. Two lengthy tributaries make reclamation
success doubtful. Upper and Lower Preston Ponds (R-P 238 and 239) are upstream of the
Duck Hole. These ponds are privately owned and may contain a native strain of brook
trout. Steep terrain prevents upstream migration by trout from the Duck Hole to the
Preston Ponds. Duck Hole has a pH of 5.4, making it "acid-threatened". Unfortunately,
the pond has a flushing rate of nearly 60 times/year and does not qualify for liming.

Duck Hole will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its native fish

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Lake Arnold (CH-P 266)
Lake Arnold is a small, 1.7-acre, high-elevation pond located on the eastern edge of Mount
Colden. Lake Arnold is thought to be shallow and prone to winterkill, but the pond has
never been surveyed. It is likely that Lake Arnold is acidic and historically fishless.

Lake Arnold will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Lake Colden (UH-P 706)
Lake Colden (41.3-acres) has a management history similar to that of Avalanche Lake
(UH-P 707). Trail access is good to this scenic lake lying nestled between the highest
peaks of the region. It is likely that Lake Colden was historically fishless. The Tahawas
Club owned Lake Colden and privately stocked it with brook trout at least ten years prior
to the first survey conducted in 1932. In that survey, only brook trout were caught and
natural reproduction was noted in tributaries of the lake. Lake Colden was a well-known
"trophy" trout fishery in the 1930's through the 1950's. A 1958 survey captured only a
few brook trout and noted a pH of 5.4. A 1965 survey established that stocked brook trout
were growing very slowly and pH was recorded at 4.9. Wild (Honnedaga) strain brook
trout were stocked for several years, but a 1968 survey showed that they faired no better in
the rapidly acidifying lake (pH now was 4.2 to 4.5). No fish were captured in a 1970
netting and rangers reported fishkills soon after stocking. Brook trout stocking was
cancelled in 1973. Unlike Avalanche Lake, liming was never attempted on Lake Colden.
A 1987 ALSC survey determined a flushing rate of 11.6 times/year, mean depth of 7.5
feet, maximum depth of 24 feet and a pH of 5.07.

Lake Colden will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond in the event that acid
conditions improve over time.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Lake Tear of the Clouds (UH-P 709)
Lake Tear of the Clouds (1.7 acres) lies at the head of Feldspar Brook on the upper slopes
of Mount Marcy. Highest of the High Peak ponds, at an elevation of 4,310 feet, this
wonderfully named pond has been identified by some as the origin of the Hudson River.
The only survey work done on Lake Tear of the Clouds occurred in 1932. No fish were
captured in a half-hour seining effort. Biologists noted the pond was shallow and estimated
a surface area of only 0.5 acres. Modern maps show a distinctly larger area, so beaver
activity may have changed the pond's physical characteristics. Algae, dragonflies and
caddisflies were all noted as being common in this clear-watered pond.

Lake Tear of the Clouds will be managed to preserve the aquatic community present for its
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Other

Latham Pond (R-P 223)
Latham Pond is a 7.9-acre Adirondack brook trout pond that lies in the course of tributary
4-1a of the Cold River. The pond has varied in size over the years in response to beaver
activity on the outlet. A forest ranger reported to biologists in 1933 that Latham Pond had
very good brook trout fishing. The pond was first netted in 1955. Brook trout, white
sucker, common shiner and three NBWI species: creek chub, brown bullhead and
pumpkinseed were present. A 1975 survey added finescale dace to the fish community list.
The creek chub population was noted to be of "high density" in 1975 and brook trout were
thought to be rare. Blacknose dace and northern redbelly dace were added by surveys done
in 1981 and 1986. Fair numbers of brook trout were caught in each of the last two
surveys. Latham Pond has a mean depth of 6 feet, maximum depth of 20 feet, and a
flushing rate of 12.8 times/year. The substrate of the pond is mostly sand with some
muck, boulder and rubble. Dissolved oxygen is low in the deepest sections of the pond,
but pH is good at 6.8. Natural reproduction of brook trout was noted in the inlet of
Latham Pond in 1955. This inlet extends for 0.75 miles upstream and ends in a small
wetland. Flow of the inlet has been estimated at 10-25 gallons/minute.

Latham Pond will be managed to enhance and restore a native fish community. A pre-reclamation survey will be scheduled for this pond to determine whether it can be
reclaimed in the event that the brook trout population is threatened by competition or a new
species introduction. If Latham Pond is reclaimed, finescale dace should be reintroduced,
along with brook trout, as this is the only pond in the HPWC where that species has been
reported present.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Little Ampersand Pond (CH-P 109)
Little Ampersand Pond is a 13.8-acre Adirondack brook trout pond with an intensive
management history. Located about 1.25 miles west of Big Pine Pond (C-P 99) and 0.25
miles west of Cold Brook, trekking to Little Ampersand Pond requires a fair amount of
canoeing and hiking. Biologists of the 1929 survey reported brook trout to be present and
recommended stocking the species, but it does not appear they netted the pond. Yellow
perch (nonnative), smallmouth bass (nonnative) and white sucker were netted in May 1954,
prior to a reclamation conducted in July. Brook trout stocking was renewed after the
reclamation and fishing remained good until the early 1960's. After complaints of poor
fishing, a 1963 netting captured no fish. Little Ampersand Pond was limed in August 1963
at a rate of 10 pounds of hydrated lime/foot acre. This raised the pond pH from 3.5 to 5.3,
but did not result in improved fish survival. The pond was limed again in 1967 at the same
rate used in 1963. Brook trout prospered after the second liming, numerous trout were
captured in a 1975 survey. A 1983 survey verified the pond was still a brook trout
monoculture, although its pH had dropped to around 5.0 and it had a negative ANC
(indicating no buffering capacity). Periodic chemistry checks since 1983 have measured
pH's of around 5.3. There have been mixed reports of brook trout fishing success in
recent years. Little Ampersand Pond has a maximum depth of 25 feet and a substrate
consisting of sand and gravel.

Little Ampersand Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve
and enhance its native fish community. The pond will be limed in year 1 of this plan and,
thereafter, when pH levels drop below 6.0. The ALSC has calculated a flushing rate of
2.1, however, the survival of brook trout for 25 years since the last treatment, indicates
the pond does not reacidify at a typical rate. Little Ampersand Pond is specifically listed as
an exception to the 2.0 flushing rate criterion within the FEIS (page 5). It is a legitimate
liming candidate provided that it meets other selection criteria.

Management: Adirondack Brook Trout

Little Pine Pond (CH-P 101)
Little Pine Pond (5.7 acres) is an Adirondack brook trout pond in the vicinity of Big Pine
Pond (C-P 98) and Oseetah Lake. The original Biological Survey of 1929 reported that
brook trout, lake trout, brown bullhead (NBWI) and yellow perch (nonnative) were
present, but there is no indication the pond was netted. Brook trout stocking was
recommended. The only fish caught in a 1954 survey were two northern pike (nonnative).
At that time, it was noted that the pond was a poor reclamation candidate, but no
justification was provided for this conclusion. A 1984 ALSC survey captured two brook
trout (231 & 330 mm), white sucker, brown bullhead (NBWI) and northern redbelly dace.
There is no official record of this pond having been reclaimed, yet the disparity between
the fish communities reported in each survey is otherwise difficult to explain. Possibly the
1954 survey was conducted on another pond, but there are few ponds in the area which
could be confused for Little Pine Pond. Physical/chemical characteristics reported by the
ALSC include the highest pH reported for a HPWC pond at 7.7. Little Pine Pond averages
2.3 feet deep, maximum depth of 7 feet, flushing rate of 44 times/year, and has a substrate
composed mainly of muck and sand. Little Pine Pond has a heavily-flowing outlet. The
pond is accessible by trail from Big Pine Pond and Oseetah Lake.

Little Pine Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to enhance and
restore its native fish community. A pre-reclamation survey will be scheduled to determine
whether reclamation is feasible and necessary. Reclamation will be conducted if nonnative
or additional competetive species threaten survival of brook trout.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Livingston Pond (UH-P 705)
Livingston Pond is a 2-acre Adirondack brook trout pond located near the Flowed Lands.
The early stocking history of this pond is unknown; it was not studied in 1932 by the
Biological Survey. However, it is likely that Livingston Pond was privately stocked with
brook trout early in the century. A 1958 survey captured only brook trout and noted a pH
of 5.5. Identical results are listed for a 1965 survey. Biologists noted in 1965 that quality
brook trout fishing was still possible in Livingston Pond, unlike nearby Flowed Lands,
Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake. Wild strain brook trout (Honnedaga and Windfall) were
stocked after 1965. Brookies were captured in 1973 and again in 1978. A pH of 5.1 was
measured in 1978 and the pond was noted to be "crystal clear". Agricultural lime was
applied via helicopter in November 1979. A 1980 water chemistry survey indicated that
pH levels had risen to 7.06. A 1987 ALSC survey captured numerous brook trout and
reported a pH of 6.46. By 1991, pH levels had declined slightly to 6.36. Livingston
Pond has a mean depth of 10.8 feet, maximum depth of 26 feet, and a flushing rate of 4.4
times/year. Despite a calculated flushing rate above the desired maximum of 2 times/year,
it is obvious that liming has had beneficial long-term effects in Livingston Pond. Survival
of brook trout for over 14 years since the last liming demontrates that Livingston Pond
does not reacidify at a typical rate.

Livingston Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve and
enhance its native fish community. Maintenance liming will be conducted when
monitoring indicates that its pH has dropped below 6.0. Livingston Pond is specifically
mentioned in DEC's Final EIS on Liming as an exception to the flushing rate criterion
(page 5). The long history of quality brook trout fishing in this high elevation pond, plus
a lack of any bog-like characteristics, make this a high priority liming candidate in the

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Lost Pond (R-P 237)
Lost Pond is a 5.2-acre, acidified pond that sits atop a flattened subpeak of Street Mountain
to the northeast of the Wallface ponds. No trails lead to this remote, well-named pond.
Lost Pond is the headwater for Roaring Brook (a tributary of the Duck Hole, R-P 235).
ALSC data from 1984 is the only survey information available. Lost Pond has a mean
depth of 5.2 feeet, maximum depth of 15 feet, flushing rate of 4.4 times/year, clear water,
and a pH of 4.67. No fish were captured by the ALSC and the pond has no known
stocking history.

Lost Pond will be managed to preserve the aquatic community present for its intrinsic

Management Class: Other

Lower Cascade Lake (CH-P 270) and Upper Cascade Lake (CH-P 271)
The Cascade lakes are the most frequently seen lakes in the HPWC, although many tourists
do not realize they are viewing part of a designated wilderness area. The lakes are
bordered by Route 73, the road between Keene and Lake Placid. The Cascades lie within a
steep, narrow valley and are connected by a small stream. Both waters were acquired from
the Lake Placid Club in 1951. It is known that the Lake Placid Club stocked the lake, but
no official records are available. Both lake trout and brook trout were stocked historically
by the state. The Cascades are home to populations of the endangered round whitefish.

Lower Cascade Lake (21.7 acres) is a long, narrow and relatively shallow waterbody.
Round whitefish, white sucker, brown bullhead (NBWI), pumpkinseed (NBWI), brown
trout and brook trout were caught during the first survey in 1951. Yellow perch
(nonnative) were reported present, but were not captured. A 1958 survey did catch a
single yellow perch and added golden shiner (nonnative) and common shiner to the fish
community list. Brook trout growth was observed to be slow in Lower Cascade Lake, so
an experimental splake stocking policy was started in 1965. A 1967 netting showed the
splake were surviving, but growth was not impressive. In 1970 and 1971, an extensive
trapnetting effort was made to capture round whitefish for egg take. More than 1,100
round whitefish were netted in 1970 and about 10,000 eggs were transferred to the Brandon
Hatchery (private). Fry from these eggs were stocked into Cat Pond on the Rockefeller
estate in Franklin County. Round whitefish still survive in Cat Pond (L. Demong, personal
communication), indicating that stocking efforts can extend the range of this species.
About 150 round whitefish were trapnetted in 1971 for egg take purposes. Splake stocking
ended in 1970 in favor of brown trout (a remnant population of browns still existed in the
lake after private stocking efforts prior to 1951). Various netting efforts in 1973, 1974,
1977 and 1986 targetted round whitefish and also captured brown trout. No yellow perch
were captured in any nettings after 1958. Stocking efforts were switched back to brook
trout in 1977 for undocumented reasons. In 1984, the ALSC netted Lower Cascade Lake
and captured round whitefish, brown trout, splake, white sucker, brook trout,
pumpkinseed, golden shiner, blacknose dace and creek chub (NBWI). In 1992, a single
trapnet was set overnight in a known spawning area for round whitefish and captured 132
specimens, many of which were ripe. Mean depth of Lower Cascade Lake is 11 feet,
maximum depth is 41 feet, pH is 7.13, bottom substrate is mostly bedrock and boulder
with some silt. The ALSC classifies Lower Cascade Lake as "salt-impacted", since it has
chlorine and sodium concentrations nearly 100 times that found in non-roadside
Adirondack waters.

Upper Cascade Lake has a surface area (26.4 acres) similar to Lower Cascade, but is quite
different morphologically. Upper Cascade Lake is round and deep, with a mean depth of
39 feet and a maximum depth of 63 feet. When first surveyed in 1951, round whitefish,
brown trout, lake trout, brook trout, white sucker, pumpkinseed (NBWI), lake chub, creek
chub (NBWI) and common shiner were present. An experimental splake policy was
initiated in 1965 and 1967 netting showed the hybrid was surviving. About 85 round
whitefish were also netted in 1967. An ALSC survey in 1984 captured only one round
whitefish, however, along with brown trout, splake, brook trout, white sucker, lake chub,
and golden shiner (nonnative). Splake stocking was terminated in 1985 due to a concern
that they may prey on round whitefish. Brook trout continue to be stocked in Upper
Cascade Lake and brown trout appear to be reproducing naturally. Upper Cascade Lake
has a pH of 7.31 and a substrate consisting of sand, rubble and bedrock. Like Lower
Cascade, the upper lake has been impacted by road salt runoff.

Upper and Lower Cascade Lake will be managed to restore and enhance native fishes. A
management plan for these ponds is presented in section VI.B.6.b of this plan. Restoration
and enhancement efforts will focus on round whitefish, but will also include brook trout
and lake trout.

Management Class: Coldwater

Lower County Line Pond (R-213)
Lower County Line Pond is an 11.4-acre warmwater pond that lies in the course of
tributary 160 of the Raquette River about 2 miles north of Long Lake. Although stocked
with brook trout in 1926 and 1931, when first surveyed in 1933 the pond contained only
pumpkinseed and brown bullhead (both NBWI). Biologists described it as a bog pond with
a muck bottom. A 1984 ALSC survey captured northern pike and golden shiner (both
nonnative). Lower County Line Pond has a heavily-flowing outlet with active beaver
colonies, a pH of 7.26, mean depth of 4.3 feet, and a maximum depth of 14 feet. Its water
is darkly-stained and has low dissolved oxygen. No marked trails lead to this pond.

Lower County Line Pond will be managed as a warmwater pond to preserve its native
fishes in the presence of nonnative species.

Management Class: Warmwater

Marcy Dam Pond (CH-P 5188)
Marcy Dam Pond is a 3-acre, Adirondack brook trout pond located along the Marcy Dam
truck trail. Numerous campsites line the shoreline of this shallow pond. As its name
implies, the pond is an impoundment within Marcy Brook. Brook trout were the only fish
captured in survey efforts made in 1975 and 1985, although blacknose dace are reported to
be present. Marcy Dam Pond has a mean depth of 2 feet, maximum depth of 8 feet, a very
high flushing rate, and a pH of 4.98. This pond is classified as acid-threatened, but there
is no practical value to liming it.

Marcy Dam Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its
native fish community.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Middle County Line Pond (R-P214)
Middle County Line Pond (2.7 acres) lies about 0.4 miles upstream of Lower County Line
Pond in the course of tributary 160 of the Raquette River. Although stocked with brook
trout in 1926 and 1931, biologists captured only brown bullhead (NBWI), pumpkinseed
(NBWI), creek chub (NBWI) and northern redbelly dace in 1933. A strong odor of
hydrogen sulfide was noted in 1933 and the pond was deemed "chemically unsuitable" for
stocking. A 1984 ALSC survey captured golden shiner (nonnative), northern redbelly
dace, creek chub, and pumpkinseed. Northern pike, which are common in Lower County
Line Pond, apparently cannot reach Middle County Line Pond. The ALSC reports this
pond has a pH of 6.0, a flushing rate of 24.7 times/year, low dissolved oxygen values and
darkly-stained water. Bog vegetation rings the pond and beavers are active on the outlet.
No marked trails lead to this waterbody.

Middle County Line Pond will be managed to preserve its native fishes in the presence of a
nonnative species.

Management Class: Other

Moose Pond (R-P 221)
Moose Pond (R-P 221) is a 185.3-acre coldwater lake located in the southern portion of the
HPWC about 2 miles northwest of Newcomb Lake (UH-P 694). Moose Pond was part of
the Santanoni Preserve acquisition and, thus, was not surveyed until 1972. An extensive
netting effort in 1972 established that NSA populations of brook trout and lake trout were
present. A few round whitefish were also captured, along with white sucker, brown
bullhead (NBWI), pumpkinseed (NBWI), common shiner, lake chub and creek chub
(NBWI). Brook trout were captured in many tributaries of the lake, although biologists felt
that beaver activity was limiting natural reproductive success for trout. A 1983 DEC
survey captured the same fish species in Moose Pond. Limited netting by DEC's
Endangered Species Unit in 1986 established that round whitefish were still present in the
lake. Maximum depth of Moose Pond is 53 feet, pH is 7, alkalinity is 140 ueq/liter.
Dissolved oxygen is adequate at all depths. Moose Pond has a variety of substrate types.
A well-maintained horse trail provides easy access to the area.

Moose Pond will be managed as a coldwater fishery to preserve its native fish community.
The private stocking history of this pond is unknown. It is possible that heritage strains of
brook trout and lake trout occur in the lake. Establishment of nonnative fish species in
Moose Pond would pose a serious threat to the round whitefish population, which survives
in low numbers in a fish community that still consists entirely of native species. The "No
bait fish" regulation in place for Moose Pond must be strictly enforced.

Management Class: Coldwater

Moose Pond (R-P 233)
The "other" Moose Pond in the HPWC is a remote, 28.2-acre, Adirondack brook trout
pond accessible by the Northville-Lake Placid trail. Moose Pond lies at the western base of
Street Mountain, about 3 miles northeast (as the crow flies) of the Duck Hole (R-P 235).
The Biological Survey of 1933 did not net the pond, but reported brook trout and creek
chub (NBWI) were present. A 1955 survey verified the reported species and added white
sucker and brown bullhead (NBWI). Brook trout fishing was reported to be good.
Surveys done in 1978, 1983 and 1986 did not recapture brown bullhead, but did catch
common shiner. Moose Pond has a mean depth of 6 feet and a maximum depth of 17 feet.
Its substrate varies from muck to rubble. The 1986 ALSC survey recorded a pH of 6.1.
Moose Pond has a flushing rate of 37 times/year, making it ineligible for liming. A large
wetland and two smaller ponds lie upstream of Moose Pond, precluding the chance for a
successful reclamation.

Moose Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its native fish

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Moss Pond (UH-P 708)
Moss Pond is a remote, high-elevation, 0.5-acre pond that has never been surveyed. No
trails lead to this pond, which lies near the crest of Mt. Redfield to the southwest of Mt.
Skylight and Mt. Marcy. The pond has no stocking history and, considering its 4,300 ft
elevation, may be acidic.

Moss Pond will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Mountain Pond (R-P 230) and Unnamed Pond (R-P 229)
Mountain Pond is a remote, shallow, 25.5-acre, Adirondack brook trout pond that is the
headwater of a tributary to Moose Creek and the Cold River. Located along the
Northville-Lake Placid trail at a point due west of the Duck Hole (R-P 235), the pond has
had a good reputation for brook trout fishing since at least 1933. Beaver activity has
changed the surface area and depth of Mountain Pond over the years, but the fish
community has remained remarkably stable. Surveys in 1955, 1966, 1978, 1983 and 1986
captured only two species: brook trout and creek chub (NBWI). In 1966, biologists
observed young brook trout in several tributaries of the pond and noted "excellent spring
seepage". The 1986 ALSC survey determined a mean depth of 2.3 feet, maximum depth
of 4 feet, flushing rate of 22.6 times/year, and a pH of 6.7. ALSC personnel also observed
young trout and noted that breaching of the outlet's beaver dam had recently lowered the
depth of the pond by several feet. During low water years, the pond's surface is covered
by lily-pads. Reclamation of Mountain Pond is not anticipated. The remoteness of this
waterbody undoubtedly guards against introductions of nonnative fish species.

P 229 is a 8.9-acre Adirondack brook trout pond lying about 1.0 mile downstream of
Mountain Pond. The 1933 Biological Survey reported creek chub (NBWI) were abundant.
Biologists reported seeing brook trout, blacknose dace and creek chub in 1966. This pond
has a maximum depth of 4 feet and is full of dead standing timber. Despite beaver activity
in the watershed, excellent spawning habitat was noted in the 1966 survey. Brook trout
are probably NSA, but cannot be classed as a native strain because of stocking efforts in
Mountain Pond.

Mountain Pond and unnamed pond R-P 229 will be managed as Adirondack brook trout
ponds to preserve their native fish communities.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Mud Pond (R-P 193)
Mud Pond is a 18.5-acre warmwater pond located due east of the Stony Ponds in the
extreme northwest corner of the HPWC. Mud Pond is well named, being shallow and
having a deep-muck bottom. A large outlet connects to the Stony Ponds and, thereby, to
the mainstem Raquette River. The only survey data available for Mud Pond was collected
by the ALSC in 1984. They captured northern pike (nonnative), yellow perch (nonnative),
pumpkinseed (NBWI), white sucker and brown bullhead (NBWI). Mean depth of Mud
Pond is 2.6 feet, maximum depth is 9 feet, and pH is 6.1. No marked trails lead to this

Mud Pond will be managed to preserve its native fish community in the presence of
nonnative species.

Management Class: Warmwater

Newcomb Lake (UH-P 694)
Newcomb Lake (506 acres) is the largest waterbody within the High Peaks Wilderness. It
is located within the Santanoni Preserve, which was acquired by the State in 1971. The
first survey of Newcomb Lake was conducted in 1932. Brook trout and lake trout were
NSA in the lake. Also caught were cutlips minnow, longnose sucker, common shiner,
northern redbelly dace, blacknose shiner, longnose dace, golden shiner (nonnative),
pumpkinseed (NBWI), redbreast sunfish, creek chub (NBWI) and brown bullhead (NBWI).
Newcomb Lake was surveyed in 1972 to form a management plan for the newly acquired
property. In that survey, six specimens of the endangered round whitefish were captured.
Lake chub were also caught in the 1972 survey, which otherwise caught the same species
noted in 1932. Brook trout and lake trout were still NSA in 1972, but populations were
thought to be sparse. Round whitefish were not captured during short term netting (4
hours total) conducted in 1986 by DEC's Endangered Species Unit. Survey work done on
the tributary streams of Newcomb Lake in 1972 indicated that many would by excellent
brook trout spawning sites except for beaver activity which blocked access to gravel beds.
Newcomb Lake is known to have been privately stocked with brook trout in 1929. No
known stocking of lake trout has occurred, so it is likely the strain of lakers is native to the
Adirondacks. Newcomb Lake has a maximum depth of 80 feet and a mean depth of 30
feet. Water chemistry work done in 1972 indicates the lake has a pH of 6.9 and that
dissolved oxygen is adequate at all depths. The lake has a heavily wooded shoreline and
numerous rocky shoals.

Newcomb Lake will be managed as a coldwater lake to preserve native fishes in the
presence of a nonnative species. Newcomb Lake is too large to reclaim, so management
efforts must focus on preventing additional introductions of nonnative fish species which
could displace the round whitefish, lake chub and/or brook trout populations.

Management Class: Coldwater

Owl Pond (CH-P 99)
Owl Pond is a 14.1-acre Adirondack brook trout pond that straddles a boundary between
the HPWC and private lands designated as resource management. Consequently, Owl
Pond is the only HPWC pond with occupied private camps along its shoreline. Owl Pond
lies slightly to the northwest of Big Pine Pond (C-P 98), about 0.5 mile south of the lower
locks on the Saranac Chain. Brook trout were reported in a 1928 note, but the pond was
not netted. A 1957 survey captured brook trout and brown bullhead (NBWI). After com-
plaints of poor trout fishing, the pond was netted in 1963 and only brown bullhead were
captured. Continued stocking of brook trout was recommended, but trout fishing did not
improve. A 1964 water chemistry survey measured a pH of 5.2. Owl Pond was reclaimed
in 1967, but initial stockings of fingerling trout failed to survive. This was attributed to a
combination of drought conditions and acidification. A 1970 survey captured only yearling
trout, indicating overwinter survival was still a problem (it also indicated that brown
bullhead had been successfully eliminated in 1967). In August 1970, Owl Pond was treated
with 450 pounds of hydrated lime. Surveys done in 1973 and 1976 captured only trout;
overwinter survival was evident. A 1984 ALSC survey captured brook trout and a few,
small brown bullhead. The pH in 1984 was 5.63, but this value has steadily declined. A
summer 1993 pH reading was 4.92, with an ANC of -7.6. Brook trout are believed to be
surviving in Owl Pond, but this cannot continue for much longer. Owl Pond has a mean
depth of 6.6 feet, maximum depth of 13 feet and no outlet.

Owl Pond will be managed to preserve and enhance its native fish community. A
bathymetric survey conducted by DEC in February 1992 determined a flushing rate of 1.9
times/year. Owl Pond will be limed at a rate of 1 ton of agricultural lime/surface acre
pending review of riparian vegetation data for consistency with the FEIS on liming.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Palmer Pond (R-P 207)
Palmer Pond is a 12.1-acre Adirondack brook trout pond located on the western edge of the
High Peaks Wilderness about 2 miles south of Ampersand Lake. No fish were captured in
the 1933 Biological Survey of this pond, however, it is possible that the wrong pond was
netted in 1933. The physical (7 acres), chemical (poor dissolved oxygen), and biological
(northern pike reported) characteristics listed in the 1933 survey do not match later survey
data. Perhaps, beaver activity enlarged the pond after 1933. A 1957 survey reported a
surface area similar to the 12-acre figure listed above. Lake chub was the only fish species
caught in that effort. Brook trout stocking was recommended based on adequate water
quality for that species. A 1961 stocking check showed that brook trout were doing well
and recommended retention of the policy. Surveys done in 1975 and 1984 continued to
capture brook trout and lake chub. Palmer Pond has a maximum depth of 15 feet, mean
depth of 4.6 feet, and a pH of 7.1. It has a muck bottom with significant amounts of dead
timber along the shoreline. In the spring of 1994 anecdotal reports were recieved that
Palmer Pond had been "fished out" by poachers during the winter closed fishing season.
Several subsequent unsuccessful angling trips by regional staff seem to corroborate the
poaching reports. Since poachers often use bait fish, it is likely that one or more
nonnative or NBWI species are now present in Palmer Pond.

Palmer Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to enhance and restore its
native fish community. A fisheries and pre-reclamation survey will be conducted to
determine whether the pond must be reclaimed to eliminate nonnative species. If a
reclamation is conducted, brook trout and lake chub will be reintroduced to the pond.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Pickerel Pond (R-P 195) and Unnamed Pond (R-P 5156)
Pickerel Pond is a 16.3-acre warmwater pond located just east of Rock Pond (R-P 196)
close to the corridor leading to the Ampersand Lake inholding. Two nonnative fish species,
yellow perch and northern pike, were already well established by the time of the original
Biological Survey in 1933. Pumpkinseed (NBWI) were also reported in 1933. Golden
shiner (nonnative), creek chub (NBWI), white sucker and common shiner were added to
the fish community list in surveys done in 1957 and 1984. Thus, fish introductions are a
persistent problem in this pond. Pickerel Pond has a mean depth of 6 feet, maximum depth
of 15 feet, and a pH of 7.0. Dissolved oxygen was 3.8 ppm at 8 feet in this darkly-stained
pond surrounded by bog vegetation. Muck and organic matter comprise most of its
substrate. A large wetland and a 1.0-mile long tributary system extends upstream of the
pond. Biologists noted in a 1957 that a barrier dam location is available on the outlet.

Unnamed pond P 5156 is a 1.0-acre pond located at the head of tributary 1 to Pickerel
Pond. It lies in the midst of a large wetland and is probably a shallow beaver
impoundment. The pond has never been surveyed, but given the long history of nonnative
species in Pickerel Pond and no obvious gradient barriers on the topographic map, it is
likely that it has a fish community similar to Pickerel Pond.

Pickerel Pond and P 5156 will be managed as a warmwater ponds to preserve native fishes
in the presence of nonnative species. An extensive reclamation effort, including
construction of a barrier dam, might succeed in eliminating the nonnative species from
these ponds. However, the low level of oxygen in deeper sections of Pickerel Pond
reduces the chance that brook trout would perform well. Reclamation of Pickerel Pond is
not planned within the 5-year scope of this UMP.

Management Class: Warmwater

Rock Pond (R-P 196)
Rock Pond is a 27.4-acre Adirondack brook trout pond located along the western edge of
the HPWC, not far from Axton Landing. The original 1933 survey of this pond described
it as a poor fishing proposition. Northern pike (nonnative) had been present for years,
pumpkinseed (NBWI) were abundant and creek chub (NBWI) were present. Rock Pond
was reclaimed with rotenone in 1951. Fish species collected during the reclamation were
as reported above, plus white sucker, brown bullhead (NBWI) and yellow perch
(nonnative). Brook trout were stocked after the reclamation. A 1965 survey captured a
few brook trout, plus all the species present prior to the reclamation, except northern pike
and yellow perch. Also present in 1965 were golden shiner (nonnative). Due to the gap
between the time of reclamation and a subsequent survey (14 years), it is not known
whether the reclamation was a failure or whether most species were reintroduced. The
most recent surveys of Rock Pond occurred in 1983 and 1986, but no changes to the fish
community were reported. Two exceptionally large brook trout reported in the 1986
survey were probably splake stocked by mistake. Rock Pond has a pH of 6.7, mean depth
of 12 feet and a maximum depth of 36 feet. Dissolved oxygen can be limiting in deep
water. Much of the pond's substrate is muck, but there is some rock. Springs are reported
within the pond. Many maps depict an outlet stream flowing into Pickerel Pond (R-P 195)
from Rock Pond, but field checks indicate that this outlet flows underground and acts as a
barrier to fish migration from Pickerel Pond.

Rock Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to restore and enhance a
native fish community. It will be reclaimed and stocked with a native strain of brook trout.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Rock Pond (R-P 231)
The second Rock Pond in the HPWC is a 5.9-acre, isolated pond that is unnamed on most
maps. It lies to the southeast of Mountain Pond (R-P 230) on a ridgeline to the south of
Moose Creek. A 1984 ALSC netting effort captured no fish. Rock Pond has a mean
depth of 1.6 feet, maximum depth of 3 feet, pH of 6.73, and a substrate of muck and
boulder. The ALSC noted evidence of a lowered pond level and an outlet, but there was
no water leaving the pond. Beavers were active in the watershed.

Rock Pond will be managed to preserve the aquatic community present for its intrinsic

Management Class: Other

Round Pond (UH-P 687)
Round Pond is actually a 217.7-acre warmwater lake, the second largest waterbody in the
HPWC. It is located due east of Long Lake and is on the divide between the Raquette and
Upper Hudson watersheds. Loggers once attempted to dig a canal from Round Pond to
Long Lake to link the watersheds, but the project was abandoned. The remains of the
canal are still visible on some maps. Round Pond was not netted by Biological Survey
crews in 1932, but they did report that yellow perch (nonnative) and brook trout were
present and that brown trout had been stocked historically. A 1956 survey netted brook
trout, yellow perch, white sucker, common shiner and pumpkinseed (NBWI). Stocking of
smallmouth bass was recommended in 1956 based on the shallow, rocky and warm nature
of the lake. A 1987 ALSC survey captured smallmouth bass, golden shiner (nonnative),
common shiner, creek chub (NBWI), white sucker, brown bullhead (NBWI), redbreast
sunfish, pumpkinseed and yellow perch. Brook trout have apparently not been able to
survive in Round Pond due to increased levels of interspecific competition. Smallmouth
bass fishing is reported to be good. A health advisory on eating yellow perch from Round
Pond was issued in 1993. This advisory is based on high mercury levels found in the
muscle tissue of perch. Anglers are advised to eat no more than one meal per month of
perch from this lake. Round Pond has an extensive tributary system with many wetlands,
reclamation would be impossible. The lake has several islands, averages 8 feet in depth,
and has a pH of 7.03.

Round Pond will be managed as a warmwater lake to preserve its native fishes in the
presence of nonnative species.

Management Class: Warmwater

Scott Pond (CH-P 261), Unnamed Pond (CH-P 263),
& Unnamed Pond (CH-P 5138)
Scott Pond is an acidic, 5.9-acre pond that lies to the east of the Wallface ponds along the
defile separating McNaughton Mountain and Street Mountain. A steep trail leading from
Indian Pass to the Duck Hole provides relatively good access. Surveys done in 1963 and
1984 did not capture fish. Scott Pond was originally a man-made impoundment. The
boulder remains of a logging dam can still be seen on its outlet. Beaver activity now
maintains pond levels. Scott Pond has an average depth of 2.6 feet, maximum depth of 6
feet, flushing rate of 70.4 times/year, and a pH of 4.83. Bog vegetation is common.

Unnamed ponds P 263 and P 5138 lie in the course of a tributary to Scott Pond (C-P 261),
just to the east of the Wallface ponds. Both are shallow, acid beaver ponds. Pond 263 (1.2
acres) was surveyed in 1963 and 1984. No fish were captured in either year. It has a
mean depth of 3 feet, maximum depth of 8 feet, flushing rate of 11.5 times/year, and a pH
of 4.41. Pond 5138 is numbered as CH-P 261A in fisheries files. This 2-acre pond was
surveyed in 1963 and is also fishless. It has a pH of 5.2, maximum depth of 6 feet and has
some bog vegetation.

Scott Pond and the two unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the aquatic community
present for its intrinsic value.

Management Class: Other

Seward Pond (R-P 219)
Seward Pond is a remote, 4-acre Adirondack brook trout pond that connects via a small
tributary to Boulder Brook and the Cold River system. An undated file note, probably
from the 1930's, reports that brook trout were present. Stocking records indicate Seward
Pond received brook trout just once, in 1938. A 1955 survey failed to capture any fish, but
recommended stocking trout. This recommendation was not acted upon. A 1984 ALSC
survey did catch brook trout, so the species is reproducing naturally. Seward Pond has a
mean depth of 2.3 feet, maximum depth of 8 feet, pH of 6.28, and a bottom substrate
consisting of mostly boulder, rubble and gravel. File notes indicate that the bushwack hike
to Seward Pond is a challenge.

Seward Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its native fish
community. Considerable trout stocking has occurred in the Cold River system, so it is
unlikely that the brook trout in Seward are a heritage strain.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Shaw Pond (R-P 222)
Shaw Pond (11.1 acres) is an Adirondack brook trout pond that is the headwater of a small
tributary to Moose Pond (R-P 221). Beaver activity has apparently enlarged the pond since
it was first surveyed in 1972 (when its apparent size was estimated at 6 to 8 acres). Creek
chub (NBWI) and blacknose dace were the only species caught in 1972. In 1984, the
ALSC netted the pond and captured the same species, plus a single brook trout. Shaw
Pond has good water quality with a pH of 7.2 and adequate dissolved oxygen. The pond
averages 3 feet in depth, has a maximum depth of 6 to 8 feet, a muck bottom and extensive
amounts of floating bog vegetation. A brook trout stocking policy was instituted in 1989.
Recent anecdotal reports of fishermen indicate brook trout are doing well. A spur-trail off
the horse trail to Moose Pond leads to Shaw Pond. Large swamps in the vicinity of the
pond preclude any chance of successful reclamation.

Shaw Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its native fish

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Upper County Line Pond (R-P 215)
Upper County Line Pond is a 3.5-acre bog pond at the head of tributary 160 of the
Raquette Rive. No fish were captured in a 1933 survey, despite brook trout stocking
efforts made in 1926 and 1931. Low acidity (pH of 4.9 - 5.4) was blamed for the lack of
fish. A 1984 ALSC survey captured brown bullhead and pumpkinseed (both NBWI).
Upper County Line Pond has a mean depth of 4.3 feet, maximum depth of 8.5 feet, pH of
6.13, and moderately-stained water. Dissolved oxygen was good (8.0 ppm at 3 feet), but
water temperatures were in the low 70's F throughout the water column during a July
sampling event. Bog vegetation rings most of the pond. No marked trails lead to this

Upper County Line Pond will be managed to preserve its native fish community for its
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Other

Upper Wallface Pond (UH-P 719), Lower Wallface Pond (UH-P 718), and Middle Wallface Pond (UH-P 270)
The Wallface chain of ponds are located east of the Duck Hole (R-P 235) and south of
Street Mountain. Access to these ponds is possible via the Indian Pass trail through some
of the most rugged and scenic terrain in the Adirondacks.

Upper Wallface Pond (13.1 acres) is very remote and was first surveyed in 1963. A brook
trout stocking policy was started in 1958 at the urging of the Sanford Lake Rod & Gun
Club which offerred to air stock Upper Wallface if the DEC would provide the fish. The
1963 survey captured some trout, but noted poor growth and low pH conditions (5.6).
Stocking wild strain brook trout (Honnedaga) improved the fishery somewhat. A 1968
survey measured a pH of 4.5, but did capture some larger trout. No fish were captured in
a 1975 survey and the stocking policy was terminated. Upper Wallface Pond has a
maximum depth of 39 feet and a flushing rate of 1.6 times/year (according to a 1981
morphometric analysis). Aquatic vegetation is scant in this clear water pond which has a
muck and rock bottom.

Lower Wallface Pond (6.2 acres) is connected to Upper Wallface Pond by a small outlet
stream. No fish were captured in survey efforts made in 1963 and 1975. Although brook
trout have been stocked in Upper Wallface Pond, the species apparently did not establish in
Lower Wallface. Water chemistry work done in 1963 measured a pH of 5.4. A 1981
morphometric analysis determined a flushing rate of 23 times/year, so liming is not
warranted. More recent data is unavailable, as this pond is difficult to reach even by
helicopter. Lower Wallface Pond has a maximum depth of 20 feet. Most of the pond is
less than 10 feet in depth.

Middle Wallface Pond (2.7 acres) is tributary to the small stream connecting Upper and
Lower Wallface Ponds. Middle Wallface Pond has never been surveyed.

The Wallface chain will be managed as Adirondack brook trout ponds to restore and
enhance a native fish community. Upper Wallface Pond will be limed pending review of
riparian vegetation data for consistency with the FEIS on liming. No direct management
actions are planned for Lower or Middle Wallface Ponds.

Management class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Ward Pond (UH-P 695)
Ward Pond (10.1 acres) is located on the former Santanoni Preserve about 1.0 mile north
of Newcomb Lake by trail. Little is known about this pond, a single survey dating from
1972 is all the data available. No fish were caught in the single gillnet set. Biologists
reported a pH of 6.9 and maximum depth of 10 feet. Aquatic vegetation is abundant in this
muck-bottomed pond. Several islands dot the pond and beavers were reported active on its
outlet. It is considered an anomaly that fish were not captured in 1972, as the tributary
system which drains the pond contains several species, including brook trout.

Ward Pond will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its native fish

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Unnamed Pond (R-P 5199)
This 7.2-acre pond lies at the head of tributary 2 of Moose Pond (R-P 233). It is located
about 0.5 mile northeast of Moose Pond and about the same distance southwest of Wanika
Falls on the Chubb River. The Northville-Placid trail parallels its northwestern shoreline.
This pond has never been surveyed. There is a fair chance that brook trout are present
since the species is common in Moose Pond and in nearby streams of this watershed.

Unnamed pond R-P 5199 will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Pond (R-P 5200)
A 3.5-acre pond lying in the course of tributary 1 of Moose Creek. This pond has never
been surveyed. The inlet and outlet of P 5200 traverse steep terrain where fish barriers
are likely. The pond is located south of the Sawtooth Range about 2.0 miles north of the
Northville-Placid trail. No marked trails lead to this pond.

Unnamed pond P 5200 will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Pond (R-P 199)
This 8.4-acre pond lies just off Ampersand Brook slightly to the north of the Ampersand
Lake inholding. Although not netted, sunfish and creek chub (NBWI) were reported
present by the 1933 Biological Survey. An undated fisheries file note speculates that trout
are present due to stocking efforts in Ampersand Brook. No marked trails lead to this pond
and access is particularly difficult due to the necessity for bypassing private land.

Unnamed pond P 199 will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Other

Unnamed Pond (R-P 227)
This 3.2-acre pond is located about 0.2 miles west of Oulaska Pass Brook on the border
between Franklin and Essex counties. Undated file notes describe it as a spring-fed beaver
pond with a hard shoreline, muck bottom and maximum depth around 6 feet. No mention
was made in these notes of the presence/absence of fish. P 227 is located about 0.5 miles
north of the Northville Placid trail. Brook trout are common in streams of the Cold River
watershed and, thus, may be present in this pond.

Unnamed Pond P 227 will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Ponds (R-P 5141, 5142, 5144, 5146, 5147, 5148, 5151, 5211 and 5213)
These nine unnamed ponds totalling about 45 acres are embayments or old, now-isolated,
loops of the Raquette River. They are all contiguous with wetlands associated with the
river or with the outlet stream of the Stony Creek Ponds near Axton Landing. The ponds
range from 1.0 to 8.9 acres in size and undoubtedly contain many of the warmwater
species common to the Raquette River (northern pike, smallmouth bass, yellow perch,
walleye etc.). None of these ponds has been surveyed. The Cold River horse trail or
boating along the river corridor provide access.

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
instrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Ponds (R-P 5152, 5153 and 5154)
Unnamed ponds P 5152 and P 5153 lie in the course of tributary 3 of Ampersand Brook,
while P 5154 lies in the course of Ampersand Brook itself. Their combined area totals
about 8 acres. None have been surveyed. All three are probably shallow beaver
impoundments. These ponds should contain a variety of fish species, since Ampersand
Brook is stocked with trout and it is known that several nonnative species are present in
nearby Pickerel Pond (R-P 195). No marked trails lead to these ponds.

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Pond (CH-P 5144)
A 4-acre Adirondack brook trout pond located on the northwestern periphery of the HPWC
about 0.5 mile southwest of the DEC boat access site to Middle Saranac Lake at South
Brook. A 1986 ALSC survey effort captured creek chub (NBWI) and northern redbelly
dace. P 5144 averages 2.3 feet in depth, has a maximum depth of 4 feet, and a flushing
rate of 80 times/year. Most of the shoreline of this muck-bottomed pond is marsh/bog.
Beavers were active on its outlet. The pond's pH is 6.5, water temperature and dissolved
oxygen measurements were suitable for salmonids. A brook trout policy was initiated in
1992. The ALSC assigned a pond number of CH-P 111A to this waterbody. No marked
trails provide access.

Unnamed pond P 5144 will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its
native fish community.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Unnamed Pond (R-P 5162),Unnamed Pond (R-P 5169), &
Unnamed Pond (R-P 232)
These three unnamed ponds are found within a 2.0 mile radius to the west and north of
Mountain Pond (R-P 230). None have been surveyed. P 5162 (6.2 acres) is located 0.5
mile west of unnamed pond (R-P 229), placing it 1.0 mile southwest of Mountain Pond.
The Northville-Placid trail skirts the southern shore of this pond. P 5162 is numbered as
R-P 229A by the ALSC. P 5169 (2 acres) lies in a saddle between Seymour Mountain
and a sub-peak to its east at an altitude of 3,100 feet. This point is about 1.5 miles
northwest of Mountain Pond. P 5169 is numbered as R-P 232C by the ALSC. P 232 (3.5
acres) lies 2.0 miles north of Mountain Pond at an altitude similar to P 5169 on a sub-peak
of Sawtooth Mountain. Neither of the latter two ponds is accessible by a marked trail and
both appear to be isolated, with no inlet or outlet streams indicated on topographic maps.

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Pond (R-P 5163)
This 5.2-acre Adirondack brook trout pond was first surveyed by the ALSC in 1986. The
pond is located about 0.75 miles north of tributary 11's confluence with the Cold River
near Big Eddy. The ALSC pond number for this unnamed pond is R-P 225C. Brook
trout, northern redbelly dace and creek chub (NBWI) were captured. P 5163 has a mean
depth of 2 feet, maximum depth of 3 feet, flushing rate of 46 times/year, a boulder-sand-muck substrate, pH of 6.72, and slightly stained water. Brook trout are NSA in this
pond, which is probably representative of many unnamed ponds in the Cold River

Unnamed Pond P 5163 will be managed as an Adirondack brook trout pond to preserve its
native fish community.

Management Class: Adirondack Brook Trout

Unnamed Ponds (R-P5164, 5165, 5166, 5168, 225, 226 and 226A)
These seven unnamed ponds, totalling 24 acres, are all found within 0.5 mile of the Cold
River at a point halfway between Mountain Pond (R-P 230) and Latham Pond (R-P 223).
The ponds range from 0.5 to 10.9 acres in size. None have been surveyed, all are
probably shallow beaver impoundments. Brook trout and associated native minnows should
be present in these ponds, since these species are common in the Cold River and ponds
upstream. The Northville-Placid trail parallels the river along this stretch, but it is not
known whether side trails exist to any of these ponds.

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Ponds (R-P 242, 5170, 5171, 5172, 5173, 5174, 5175, 5176 and 5177)
These nine ponds, totalling 17.4 acres, are all found within the course of Pine Brook or
lie in wetlands contiguous with the stream. Pine Brook is tributary 1 of Long Lake and
flows to the north of Round Pond (UH-P 687). The individual ponds range in size from
1.0 to 3.5 acres, none have been surveyed. Pine Brook is a low gradient stream and file
notes indicate that warmwater, nonnative species such as smallmouth bass and yellow perch
can be found for quite a distance upstream of Long Lake. Most of these ponds probably
contain fish communities comprised of a mix of native and nonnative species. No marked
trails lead to this area.

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Ponds (R-P 5180, 5181 and 5182)
These three ponds, totalling 13.3 acres, are interconnected and lie at the head of tributary
163 of the Raquette River at the northern end of Long Lake. None of the ponds has been
surveyed. The low gradient of tributary 163 probably permits warmwater, nonnative fish
species such as smallmouth bass and yellow perch to reach these ponds from the Raquette
River. No marked trails lead to these ponds.

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Ponds (R-P 5178,5179,5183,5195,5196,5197 and 5198)
These seven unnamed ponds, totalling 15.8 acres,lie in the vicinity of tributary 4 of the
Cold River, which is the outlet for Latham Pond (R- P 223). The ponds range from 0.7
to 4.7 acres in size. None of the ponds have been surveyed. They are likely to be shallow
beaver ponds that contain brook trout and brown bullhead. Nonnative, warmwater species
from the Raquette River are found in the first 2.0 miles of the Cold River, but these ponds
lie above that stretch. A spur of the Northville-Placid trail leading to Latham Pond passes
P 5195 and P 5196. No marked trails lead to the other ponds.

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Ponds (R-P 5184,5185,5186,5187,5189,5190,5191,5192 and 5218)
These nine unnamed ponds total 15.9 acres in size. All are found within 0.75-mile of
Calkins Brook (tributary 1 of the Cold River). The ponds range in size from 0.7 to 3.5
acres, none have been surveyed. Calkins Brook is a good brook trout stream and it is
likely that this species can be found in many of these ponds. No marked trails lead to this

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Ponds (UH-P 685A, 5523, 5524, 5525, 5526, 5527, 5528, 687A, 687B and 687D)
These ten unnnamed ponds, totalling 23.3 acres, are contiguous with the wetlands and
tributaries surrounding Round Pond (UH-P 687). The ponds range in size from 1 to 6.7
acres. None have been surveyed, but are likely to contain smallmouth bass, yellow perch
and other species common to Round Pond. Wetlands surround nearly all these ponds,
making reclamation impractical.

These unnamed ponds will be managed to preserve the fish species present for their
intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Unnamed Pond (UH-P 708A)
A 7.9-acre pond located about 1.0 mile south of the summit of Mt. Redfield at an altitude
of 3,377 feet. This pond has never been surveyed. No marked trails provide access. Like
Lake Arnold and Moss Lake, this unnamed, isolated, high altitude pond is probably acidic.

These unnamed ponds will be managed for the fish species present for their intrinsic value.

Management Class: Unknown

Note: The High Peaks Wilderness contains a number of small wetland ponds with beaver
dams on their outlets. In some years these pond/wetland complexes may be nearly dry
wetlands, while during wet years or during years when the beaver are active they may
contain a small impoundment. These pond/wetland complexes will be managed to preserve
and protect the existing fish communities for their intrinsic value. For purposes of this
plan, only waters officially recognized (those with P numbers) by DEC's Biological Survey
Unit are included. Only marked trails are referred to in the pond narratives. Many ponds
can be accessed by unofficial "herd paths".
Alder Flycatcher Empidonax alnorum Possible Protected S4
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus Confirmed Protected S4
American Black Duck Anas rubripes Confirmed Game Species S4
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos Confirmed Game Species S5
American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis Confirmed Protected S5
American Kestrel Falco sparverius Confirmed Protected S5
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla Confirmed Protected S5
American Robin Turdus migratorius Confirmed Protected S5
American Woodcock Scolopax minor Confirmed Game Species S5
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus Possible Protected-Endangered S1
Bank Swallow Riparia riparia Confirmed Protected S5
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Confirmed Protected S5
Barred Owl Strix varia Confirmed Protected S5
Bay-Breasted Warbler Dendroica castanea Possible Protected S2
Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon Confirmed Protected S5
Black and white Warbler Mniotilta varia Confirmed Protected S5
Black-backed Woodpecker Picoides arcticus Confirmed Protected S3
Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus Possible Protected S5
Black-capped Chickadee Parus atricapillus Confirmed Protected S5
Black-throated Blue Warbler Dendroica caerulescens Confirmed Protected S5

Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens Confirmed Protected S5
Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca Confirmed Protected S5
Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica stiata Confirmed Protected S3
Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata Confirmed Protected S5
Blue-winged Teal Anas discors Confirmed Game Species S5
Bobolink Dolichanyz oryzivorus Confirmed Protected S5
Boreal Chickadee Parus hudsonicus Confirmed Protected S3
Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus Confirmed Protected S5
Brown Creeper Certhia americana Confirmed Protected S5
Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum Confirmed Protected S5
Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrys ater Confirmed Protected S5
Canada Goose Branta canadensis Possible Game Species S5
Canada Warbler Wilsonia canadensis Confirmed Protected S5
Cape May Warbler Dendroica tigrina Probable Protected S2
Chestnut-sided Warbler Dendroica pensylvanica Confirmed Protected S5
Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica Probable Protected S5
Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina Confirmed Protected S5
Cliff Swallow Hirundo pyrrhonota Confirmed Protected S5
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula Possible Game Species S2
Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula Confirmed Protected S5
Common Loon Gavia immer Confirmed Protected-Special Concern S4
Common Merganser Mergus merganser Confirmed Game Species S5
Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor Probable Protected-Special Concern S4
Common Raven Corvus coras Confirmed Protected-Special Concern S4
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago Probable Game Species S5Common
Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas Confirmed Protected S5
Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii Confirmed Protected-Special Concern S4
Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis Confirmed Protected S5
Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens Confirmed Protected S5
Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis Confirmed Protected-Special Concern S5
Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus Confirmed Protected S5
Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna Possible Protected S5
Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe Confirmed Protected S5
Eastern Wood-Pewee Contopus virens Confirmed Protected S5
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris Confirmed Unprotected SE
Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus Confirmed Protected S5
Field Sparrow Spizella pusilla Probable Protected S5
Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa Confirmed Protected S5
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera Possible Protected S4
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis Confirmed Protected S5
Gray Jay Perisoseur canadensis Probable Protected S3
Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus Confirmed Protected S3
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias Confirmed Protected S5
Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus Confirmed Protected S5
Green-backed Heron Butorides striatus Confirmed Protected S5
Green-winged Teal Anas crecca Probable Game Species S3
Hairy Woodpecker Picoides Villosus Confirmed Protected S5
Hermit Thrush Catharus gattatus Confirmed Protected S5
Herring Gull Larus argentatus Confirmed Protected S5
Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus Confirmed Games Species S4
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris Possible Protected S5
House Sparrow Passer domesticus Confirmed Unprotected SE
House Wren Troglodytes aedon Confirmed Protected S5
Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea Probable Protected S5
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus Confirmed Protected S5
Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis Possible Protected-Special Concern S3
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus Confirmed Protected S5
Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii Confirmed Protected S4
Long-eared Owl Asio otus Possible Protected S3
Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia Confirmed Protected S5
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Confirmed Game Species S5
Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris Probable Protected S5
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura Confirmed Protected S5
Mourning Warbler Oporornis philadelphia Confirmed Protected S5
Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla Confirmed Protected S5
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis Confirmed Protected S5
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus Confirmed Protected S5Northern
Goshawk Accipiter gentilis Confirmed Protected S4
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus Probable Protected-Threatened S4
Northern Oriole Icterus galbula Confirmed Protected S5
Northern Parula Parula americana Confirmed Protected S3S4
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis Probable Protected S5
Northern Saw-whet Owl Aegolius acadicus Confirmed Protected S3
Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis Confirmed Protected S5
Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus borealis Confirmed Protected S5
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Confirmed Threatened S4
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus Confirmed Protected S5
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Possible Protected-Endangered S1
Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus Confirmed Protected S3
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps Probable Protected S5
Peleated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus Probable Protected S5
Pine Siskine Carduelis pinus Confirmed Protected S5
Pine Warbler Dendroica pinus Probable Protected S5
Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus Confirmed Protected S5
Purple Martin Progne subis Probable Protected S5
Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra Possible Protected S3
Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis Confirmed Protected S5
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus Confirmed Protected S5
Red-headed Woodpecker Melanerpes erythroephalus Possible Protected S4
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor Confirmed Protected S5
Tufted Titmouse Parus bicolor Possible Protected S5
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Probable Protected S4
Veery Catharus fuscescens Confirmed Protected S5
Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus Probable Protected-Special Concern S5
Virginia Rail Rallus limicola Probable Game Species S5
Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus Probable Protected S5
Whip-poor-will Caprimulgus vociferus Probable Protected S4
White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis Confirmed Protected S5
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis Confirmed Protected S5
White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera Probable Protected S2S3
Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla Probable Protected S1
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes Confirmed Protected S5
Wood Duck Aix sponsa Confirmed Game Species S5
Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina Confirmed Protected S5
Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia Confirmed Protected S3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius Confirmed Protected S5
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus Confirmed Protected S5
Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata Confirmed Protected S5

Virginia Oppossum Didelphis virginian Villages, roadsides Games Species S5
Masked Shrew Sorex cinereus All habitat with ground cover Unprotected S5
Water Shrew Sorex palustris High elevation, woodlands Unprotected S4
Smokey Shrew Sorex fumeus DF, MF Unprotected S5
Longtailed or Rock Shrew Sorex dispar Talus slopes Unprotected S4
Pygmy Shrew Sorex hoyi Woodland Edges Unprotected S4
Northern Short Tailed Shrew Blarina brevicauda All habitats Unprotected S5
Hairy-tailed mole Parascalops breweri DF Unprotected S5
Star-nosed Mole Condylura cristata DF, Wetlands Unprotected S5
Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus Buildings, caves Unprotected S5
(Little Brown Myotis)
Indiana Bat (Indiana Myotis) Myotis sodalis Caves (winter) summer (unk.) Endangered S1
Small-footed Bat Myotis leibii Unknown/caves Special Concern S1
(Small-footed Myotis)
Keenes Myotis Myotis keea Woodlands buildings Protected S5
Silver-Haired Bat Lasioncteris noctivagans Forests adj. lakes, ponds Unprotected S4
Eastern Pipistrelle Pipistrellus subflavusl Open areas, woodland edges Unprotected S5
Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus Wooded, semi-wooded area Unprotected S5
Red Bat Lasiurus borealis All, forested areas Unprotected S5
Hairy Bat Lasiurus cinereus DF, MF Unprotected S4
Eastern Cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus Fields, bogs, brushy areas Games Species S5
New England Cottontail Sylvigaus transitionalis Forests edges, brushy areas Game Species S3
Varying Hare Lepus americanus CF, MF, alder swamps Game Species S5
Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus DF, MF, hedgerows Unprotected S5
Woodchuck Marmota monax Open areas, DF, roadsides Unprotected S5
Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis Mature DF, villages, towns Game Species S5
Red Squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus CF, MF Unprotected S5
Southern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys volans DF, MF Unprotected S5
Northern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus CF, MF Unprotected S5
Beaver Castor canadensis MF, adjacent to water Game Species S5
Deer Mouse Peromyscus maniculatus DF, CF, MF, open areas Unprotected S5
White-footed Mouse Peromyscus leucopus Woodland edges,DF,CF,MF Unprotected S5
Southern Red-Backed Vole Clethrionomys gapperi DF, CF, Boreal Forest Unprotected S5
Meadow Vole Microtus pennsylvanicus Old fields, bogs, marshes Unprotected S5
Rock Vole Microtus chrotorrhinus Moist talus slopes Unprotected S4
Woodland Vole Microtus pinetorum DF, Meadows Unprotected S5
Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus Marshes, rivers w/cattail Game Species S5
Southern Bog Lemming Synaptomys cooperi DF, Bogs Unprotected S4
Norway Rat Rattus norvegicus Buildings Unprotected SE
House Mouse Mus musculus Buildings Unprotected SE
Meadow Jumping Mouse Zapus hudsonius Open and brush areas in swamp Unprotected S5
Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum DF, MF, CF Unprotected S5
Coyote Canis latrans All habitats Game Species S5
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes Woodland edges,DF,open areas Game Species S5
Gray Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus Lightly wooded, brushy areas Game Species S5
Black Bear Ursus americanus DF, CF, MF Game Species S5
Raccoon Procyon lotor DF, MF, CF, adjacent to water Game Species S5
Marten Martes americana DF, MF, CF Game Species S3
Fisher Martes pennanti DF, MF, CF Game Species S3
Ermine Mustela erminea DF, MF, CF, old fields Game Species S5
Long-tailed Weasel Mustelas frenata Old fields, DF Game Species S5
Mink Mustela vison Forested wetlands Game Species S5
adjacent to water
Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis Open Forests, fields, Villages Game Species S5
River Otter Lutra canadensis Lakes, ponds, streams Game Species S5
Bobcat Lynx rufus DF, MF, CF Game Species S4
White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus DF, MF, CF Game Species S5
Moose Alces alces DF, MF, CF, wetlands Game Species S1

Habitat Keys: DF = Deciduous Forests * Based on NYSDEC Vertebrate Abstract Data Sources; Significant Habitat Unit, Delm CF = Coniferous Forests
MF = Mixed Forests
Brush = Brushy areas, usually abandoned farmlands Blue-spotted Salamander Ambystoma laterale DW, MF, Pools Special Concern S4
Spotted Salamander Ambystoma maculatum DW, Pools Special Concern S5
Dusky Salamander Desmognathus fuscus Streams Unprotected S5
Mountain Dusky Salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus Logs adjacent to streams Unprotected S5
Two-lined Salamander Eurycea bislineata Streams Unprotected S5
Spring Salamander Gyrinophilus porhyriticus Streams, wetlands Unprotected S5
Redback Salamander Plethodon cinereus All woodlands Unprotected S5
Red-Spotted Newt Notophthalmus viridescens DF, MF, lakes, ponds Unprotected S5
American Toad Bufo americanus All areas Unprotected S5
Gray Treefrog Hyla versicolor Forests near streams, pools Unprotected S5
Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana Swamps,lakes,ponds,pools Game Species S5
Green Frog Rana clamitans Swamps,lakes,ponds,pools Game Species S5
Pickerel Frog Rana palustris Lakes, ponds, streams, bogs Game Species S5
Mink Frog Rana septentrionalis Lakes, ponds, pools, bogs Game Species S3
Wood Frog Rana sylvatica DF, CF, swamps, bogs Games Species S5

Habitat Keys: DF = Deciduous Forests CF = Coniferous Forests MF = Mixed Forests
Pools = Vernal pools or quiet water needed for breeding Streams = Lives in, or adjacent to streams, or springs, wetlands
* Based on NYSDEC Vertebrate Abstract Data Sources; Significant Habitat Unit, Delmar, New York Snapping Turtle Caelydra serpentina Marshes,rivers,bogs,lakes Unprotected S5
Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta Marshes,rivers,bogs,lakes Unprotected S5
Wood Turtle Clemmys insculpta Woodlands adj. To ponds,brks Special Concern S4
Ringneck Snake Diaophis punctatus Moist Woodlands Unprotected S5
Milk Snake Lampropeltis triagulum DF, CF, MF, brush Unprotected S5
Northern Water Snake Nerodia sipedon Lakes,ponds,rivers,bogs Unprotected S5
Smooth Green Snake Orpheodrys vernalis Meadows, grassy marshes Unprotected S5
Brown Snake Storeria dekayi All, esp. Old growth forests Unprotected S5
Redbelly Snake Storeria occipitomaculata Moist woodlans, bogs Unprotected S5
Eastern Ribbon Snake Thamnophis sauritus Adj. To streams, swamps Unprotected S5
Common Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis All Unprotected S5

Habitat Keys:
DF - Deciduous Forests
CF - Coniferous Forests
MF - Mixed Forests
Brush - Brushy areas, usually abandoned farmlands

* Based on NYSDEC Vertebrate Abstract Data Sources; Significant Habitat Unit, Delmar, New York BEAR TAKE - HPWC

1992 Appendix 15
Page 28 of 28







North Elba





North Elba





North Elba





North Elba





North Elba

DEER TAKE - HPWC TOWNS (bucks/total)





North Elba






North Elba





North Elba





North Elba





North Elba





North Elba





North Elba


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