About Brandon Loomis

Brandon Loomis is editor of the Adirondack Explorer.

Reader Interactions


    • Matthew says

      If the best justification for a permit system is “it’s only a matter of when”, not some actual evidence, that speaks volumes doesn’t it?

  1. JB says

    Ending the title with a question mark for this article about such a complex issue is fitting. We’re going to need to deal with the unpleasant questions most of all. How do we, as Todd Eastman says, deal with wilderness campers’ feces contaminating the resource? That is an issue not just in the High Peaks, and one of many particularly associated with camping–the sanctioned habitation of public lands. Most unpleasant of all is that the only way to ameliorate the ongoing tragedy of the commons is to restrict and regulate: either restrict the number of people using the Forest Preserve (permits), or regulate negative impacts (build infrastructure, ban ad hoc camping, etc.). In practice, the realization that we need to do both will be the legacy of the “backpacking craze of the 2020s” that has arrived right at our doorstep–or else accept the permanent erosion of Article XIV. For New Yorkers from all sides of the (American Lockean) political spectrum, an ideological awakening is in order: as per David Schmidtz, “In an unregulated commons, those who conserve pay the costs but do not get the benefits of conservation, while overusers get the benefits but do not pay the costs of overuse. An unregulated commons is thus a prescription for overuse, not for conservation.”

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