September 18th, 2019

Ten years ago, the Adirondacks hosted the Northeastern Alpine Stewardship Gathering for the first time. Since then visitor usage has increased in the High Peaks region, where all of the Park’s alpine ecosystems can be found. In this time of high use, stewardship has been instrumental in protecting our public lands and the sensitive ecosystems found within their boundaries. This year the Gathering is returning to the Adirondacks as the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program celebrates its 30th Anniversary, marking an excellent opportunity to both discuss the historical successes of the program and the importance it has going forward given the region’s increased popularity. The program is a partnership between ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club), the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

The Northeastern Alpine Stewardship Gathering is a program of The Waterman Fund—an organization dedicated to fostering the spirit of wildness and protecting the alpine areas of Northeastern North America—and is held biennially to allow researchers, planners, managers, stewards and interested parties to share information and improve understandings of the alpine areas of the Northeast. The 2019 conference will feature presentations by Tom Butler of the Tompkins Foundation, and Ben Lawhon of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

Alpine ecosystems are areas above the treeline that are home to rare and endangered alpine plants more commonly found in arctic regions of North America. In the Adirondacks, alpine ecosystems cover approximately 173 acres on top of more than a dozen High Peaks, including Marcy, Algonquin and Wright. Alpine vegetation is highly susceptible to human impacts such as trampling and climate change; we need your help to protect our mountainous alpine resources.

The conference will be held at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid (www.highpeaksresort.com/) starting Friday, October 25th with a reception and presentation from Tom Butler. Saturday, October 26th, will be all-day presentations from researchers, stewardship practitioners, and land managers, with an evening presentation by Ben Lawhon. On Sunday, October 27th, conference attendees will have an opportunity to choose from a number of field trips leaving from the Adirondak Loj and Heart Lake Program Center, including driving up Whiteface and hiking up Wright Peak with summit stewards.

The $50 conference fee includes a Friday mixer, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner and Sunday bag lunch.

The 2019 Gathering is hosted by ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) and The Waterman Fund. Conference partners include the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The Gathering is sponsored by ADK, TNC, Adirondack Forty-Sixers, Protect the Adirondacks, REI, Adirondack Council, The Waterman Alpine Stewardship Fund, and others.

For more information, call Kayla White at (518) 523-3441 Ext. 117 or visit The Waterman Fund’s website at www.watermanfund.org/alpine-gathering/.

To register for the Gathering, visit www.watermanfund.org/alpine-gathering/northeastern-alpine-stewardship-gathering-registration/. Rooms are available at the High Peaks Resort at a rate of $152 per night with a two-night minimum. For reservations, call (518) 523-4411 and reserve under the event “Northeastern Alpine Stewardship Gathering”. Camping and lodging are also available at the Adirondak Loj, six miles south of the village of Lake Placid. For reservations, call (518) 523-3441.

 

A summit steward crouches by alpine vegetation

Ben Brosseau