The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that Otak, Inc., is facilitating the first round of public meetings in the Adirondack High Peaks and Catskills for the Visitor Use Management (VUM) project. The goal of the project is to develop appropriate sustainable management strategies for the High Peaks and Kaaterskill Clove areas.
The VUM planning process focuses on the experiential, social, and public safety elements of visitor use in both areas. The public meetings will begin with a foundation-setting presentation that highlights the project purpose, goals, and timeline, and introduces the VUM Framework and how it will be applied in the Adirondack High Peaks and Kaaterskill Clove in the Catskills project areas.
Rather than a formal comment opportunity, interactive discussion groups will follow the presentation to gain an understanding of public interests and concerns and solicit public feedback. The outcome of this initial phase will include a summary report of the process, recommended management strategies, and a monitoring plan.
VUM meeting details:
- High Peaks Project Area in the Adirondacks: May 9, 2023, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Harrietstown Town Hall Auditorium, 39 Main Street, Saranac Lake 12983;
- Kaaterskill Clove Project Area in the Catskills: May 10, 2023, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Coppertree Restaurant, Hunter Mountain Base Lodge, 64 Klein Avenue, Hunter 12442.
DEC and Otak will hold a second round of public meetings in 2024 to present draft management recommendations.
A two-year contract was awarded to Otak, Inc., a research, planning, and design firm awarded the VUM planning contract following a competitive Request for Proposals process, supported by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).
To submit comments, or for additional information about the public meeting, contact Otak’s public participation team at email@example.com.