Summer staff needed to canvas the Forest Preserve, report on and document overuse and illegal motorized trespasses

June 11, 2018

This summer, Protect the Adirondacks is organizing a team to hike trails and camp deep in the Forest Preserve throughout the Adirondacks and spend their days monitoring trail conditions, documenting motor vehicle trespasses and impacts, and monitoring overuse. We’re seeking three individuals to work this summer to canvas the Forest Preserve to report on and document overuse and illegal motorized trespasses. Positions could be extended into the fall. These are full time positions for the duration of the work period. This is a great opportunity to explore the remote and wild areas of the Adirondacks and help to protect the public Forest Preserve.

These are paid internships and Protect the Adirondacks help with equipment. Interns need a smartphone, driver’s license, and comfort in the forest hiking and camping (or willingness to learn how to hike and camp). Interns will need to know how, or be able to learn, to follow a scientific field study protocol, learn GPS, map and compass reading, and work with a scientific database program.

The purpose of the project is to document the extent of ATV trespass and damage on the roads, snowmobile trails, and trails of the Forest Preserve. There will be a focus on the southern and western Adirondacks, but also work in the High Peaks areas to monitor overuse impacts. This is a great way for interested people to learn about the Adirondack Forest Preserve, explore many areas across the Adirondacks, and enjoy the wilds and beauty of the forever wild Forest Preserve. This is good work that helps to defend and protect the public Forest Preserve.

2018 marks the 15 year anniversary of the investigative report Rutted and Ruined, which led to the closing of more than 90 roads on the Forest Preserve to ATVs. This is great work for people that want to help protect the Forest Preserve and see wonderful places throughout the Adirondacks.

In 2003, one of the organizations that merged to form Protect the Adirondacks, published a report that capped four years of research about damage inflicted on the Forest Preserve from All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). Early in 2003, the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks (RCPA) published Rutted and Ruined: ATV Damage on the Adirondack Forest Preserve. This report catalogued through pictures and legal analysis the damage that ATV riding caused on the Forest Preserve and showed the ways that ATV riding was very different from other types of motor vehicles. The impacts and the damage caused were specific to ATVs.

An example of damage from illegal ATV use on the Gull Lake Trail in the Black River Wild Forest Area. ATVs can go around gates and access areas across the Forest Preserve where motor vehicles cannot travel.
 
Rutted and Ruined had a significant impact. At that time, ATV use had been authorized by state agencies on more than 90 roads on the Forest Preserve. ATVs not only destroyed many of those roads, but regularly drove off-road onto foot trails or snowmobile trails, where they caused great damage. They also created their own illegal trail network in many places across the southern and western Adirondacks. The RCPA used Rutted and Ruined to launch a campaign that resulted in state agencies closing all areas that had been opened for ATV use on the Forest Preserve.

The ban on ATVs was a great conservation victory in the Adirondacks. 2018 marks 15 years since Rutted and Ruined was published. This summer, Protect the Adirondacks in pleased to announce that we’ve been awarded an environmental action grant by Patagonia to put a team into the Forest Preserve to document existing problems with ATV trespass and natural resource damage. This is an ambitious project. We’ll be covering a lot of ground, making lots of field notes, taking thousands of pictures, and documenting the impacts of ATVs on the Forest Preserve. We’ll also use this team to assess areas of overuse in the Forest Preserve using the protocol and program of Leave No Trace.

Protect the Adirondacks is looking to expand this program and hire two High Peaks monitors who will hike all the trails in the High Peaks and document trail conditions, campsite conditions, lean-tos, and conditions of summits. We’re currently working to raise the funds necessary for this part of the project. We hope to have the High Peaks part up and running soon.

Get paid to hike the Forest Preserve; what could be better than that? Apply today and become a Forest Preserve monitor

PROTECT is looking for several Forest Preserve monitors who want to work in the outdoors this summer. The purpose of the project is to document the extent of ATV trespass and damage on the roads, snowmobile trails, and trails of the Forest Preserve. There will be a focus on the southern and western Adirondacks. These are paid internships and we’ll help with equipment. Interns need a smartphone, driver’s license, and comfort in the forest hiking or camping (or willingness to learn how to hike and camp). Interns will need to know how, or be able to learn, to follow a scientific field study protocol, learn GPS, map and compass reading, and work a scientific database program. Those interested should email info@protectadks.org.

PROTECT was nominated for the Patagonia grant by Mountainmain Outdoor Supply Company, which has stores in Saratoga Springs and Old Forge. “We’re proud to be a supporter of PROTECT and to represent Patagonia in our stores. In getting more people to enjoy the outdoors and partnering with groups like PROTECT we can ensure that great outdoor opportunities in the Adirondacks will be here for generations to come,” said John Nemjo, President and Founder, of Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company.

Contact Protect the Adirondacks if You Are Interested in Working to Protect the Forest Preserve

Click here for a job description.

Contact PROTECT at info@protectadks.org. This is a great opportunity to explore the remote and wild areas of the Adirondacks and help to protect the public Forest Preserve.

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