In my observation, there’s been steady increase in the popularity of outdoor recreation. As I travel through the Adirondacks, hiking trails and canoe launches that were once empty are now constantly flooded with cars and people heading out into our great state park. The most obvious spot to see this change is the parking lot at the Adirondak Loj in near Lake Placid; only a few years ago it seemed impossible that the lot would be almost full. This summer and fall, not only was the lot full, but the road leading up to it was lined on both sides for almost a mile. It is hard to say what is driving this rapid increase in popularity, but hopefully it can be parlayed into a greater good.
The positive that can come out of this is that as more people head outdoors they will become direct stakeholders in the preservation of our environment. They will become aware of the more frequent extreme weather events such as Super Storm Sandy and Hurricane Irene and other environmental oddities that are occurring not only in New York and the United States but all over the world much too frequently. Hopefully, this greater awareness will lead to greater action for the preservation of the environment.
James Keller, via e-mail