The Adirondack Mountain Club and the Adirondack 46ers have announced they are working together to address problems with high usage in the High Peaks Wilderness.

Earlier this month, the two groups announced they are cooperating to promote stewardship and conservation throughout the High Peaks Wilderness. As part of the effort, the Adirondack 46ers have committed $71,000 in funding to protect trails and summits with the Adirondack Mountain Club over the next three years. Adirondack Mountain Club officials say the funding is important for their stewardship efforts in the High Peaks Wilderness.

The 46ers have pledged $15,000 a year for the next three years to support the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program, a partnership of ADK, the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Support from the 46ers will help summit stewards continue their efforts in protecting New York’s rare alpine plants by educating hikers to be careful of their surroundings.

A new stewardship program piloted by the 46ers last year at the trailhead of Cascade Mountain will continue this year. The 46ers will have volunteers at the trailhead of Cascade on weekends to help educate hikers before they embark on their adventure up Cascade. In early May, the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Summit Steward Coordinator Kayla White and Education Director Julia Goren trained 40 46er Cascade Trailhead volunteers.

“Summit Stewards have always played an important role in inspiring hikers, both new and experienced, to be stewards of our summits. The ever-increasing numbers of hikers pose new challenges,” says Summit Steward Coordinator Kayla White. “Thanks to the generosity of the 46ers, we’ll be able to continue to educate, protect our alpine summits, and preserve the quality of the summit experience.”

The 46ers have also committed $26,000 to ADK’s Professional Trail Crew for training, spring patrols and for a trail project on Big Slide Mountain. The Adirondack Mountain Club’s Professional Trail Crew performs intensive trail reconstruction using primarily hand tools and native materials. The club’s trail work protects the natural resource along the sides of the trail by creating a corridor of durable surfaces for hikers to travel on.

Since 2002, the 46ers have contributed over $200,000 to the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Professional Trail Crew and the High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program.