Adirondack Park Agency

How do you protect the Forest Preserve?

Does the fact that the New York State Constitution prohibits the cutting of trees for any purpose give Preserve lands all the protection they need? No! The activities of people can harm the very thing they wish to enjoy.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has established rules and regulation to protect the land, its forests and wildlife. These rules should be supplemented with some basic common sense.

1 - Carry out what you carry in - Never leave a trace of your having visited the Preserve. A wise woodsman said, take only photographs, leave only fond memories.

2 - Never cut live trees or foliage. If you must build a fire, use only dead and downed wood.

3 - Be careful with fires. Use campstoves for cooking. Build fires only when necessary. Some areas are very susceptible to fires. Some periods of the year can be very dry. Build fires on mineral soil, sand or gravel, or bare rock. Because fire can travel through organic soils, you should scrape away the organic soils to get to the gravel soils or gather rock for a base for your fire. Douse all fires with water, being sure they are completely cold to the touch.

4 - Camping above 4000 feet is prohibited.

5 - Camping within 150 feet of water is prohibited except at designated sites.

6 - Bury all human waste at least 6 inches deep and 150 feet from water.

7 - Carry all wash water for you or your utensils at least 150 feet back from the water source.

8 - in the fragile Alpine zones and all areas above tree line, stay on marked paths or on open rock, to avoid tramping vegatation.

9 - Motor vehicles are prohibited on Forest Preserve lands, except where specifically allowed or snowmobiles on designated trails when they are covered with snow.

10 - Obtain a camping permit when you plan to camp for more than three days in one place or if your group consits of 10 or more people. These are available from the local DEC Forest Ranger, who is listed in the white pages of local phone books under New York State Dapartment of Environmental Conservation.

11 - Travel and camp in small groups - Large groups can do great damage to trails and campsites.

Additional Information...

DEC Backcountry Hiking and Camping Rules web site

Leave No Trace -- dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation