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Photo credit: Adirondack Council/Ryan Nerp

VUM News
& Updates

Upcoming High Peaks VUM Online Public MeetingNEW

Join us for an online public meeting on Thursday, June 27, 2024, from 5:00-8:00pm.

View the meeting details »

Time Lapse Video

The time lapse video depicts current conditions on Mount Marcy in the High Peaks project area during a typically busy summer weekend in August 2023.

View the video »


Welcome to the High Peaks Visitor Use Management Planning Project website. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is undertaking the development of a Visitor Use Management (VUM) Plan. The VUM planning process will focus on the experiential, social, and public safety elements of visitor use management and visitor capacities, to promote sustainable visitor use. Over the next several months, the project team will engage State officials, stakeholders, and the public in outlining desired conditions and management goals for the project area. During the latter half of 2023, the process will focus on measuring and analyzing visitor use patterns to determine how closely current conditions in the project area compare to the desired management conditions. The second year of the contract will focus on developing management strategies aimed at helping DEC achieve and maintain desired conditions. The final project report will be provided to DEC that includes recommendations for monitoring and maintaining the effectiveness of the strategies over time.

Time Lapse Video NEW!

This time lapse video was developed to depict current conditions along the trail to, and on the summit of Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness Area during a typically busy summer weekend in August 2023. It was produced for the High Peaks Visitor Use Management Planning Project.

Photo credit: ADK/Julia Goren

Visitor Use Management Framework Elements

The planning framework

This project will apply the Interagency VUM Framework, which was developed by a partnership of federal land management agencies as a blueprint for responsibly addressing increasing visitation on federal outdoor recreation lands. The framework promotes agency and stakeholder collaboration when setting management goals and relies on data and analysis for determining the success of management actions.

1. Why »

Build the Foundation


  1. Clarify project purpose and need.
  2. Review the area's purpose and applicable legislation, agency policies, and other management direction.
  3. Assess and summarize existing information and current conditions.
  4. Develop a project action plan.

Outcome: Understand why the project is needed, and develop the project approach.

2. What »

Define Visitor Use Management Direction


  1. Define desired conditions for the project area.
  2. Define appropriate visitor activities, facilities, and services.
  3. Select indicators and establish thresholds.

Outcome: Describe the conditions to be achieved or maintained and how conditions will be tracked over time.

3. How »

Identify Management Strategies


  1. Compare and document the differences between existing and desired conditions, and, for visitor-use related impacts, clarify the specific links to visitor use characteristics.
  2. Identify visitor use management strategies and actions to achieve desired conditions.
  3. Where necessary, identify visitor capacities and additional strategies to manage use levels within capacities.
  4. Develop a monitoring strategy.

Outcome: Identify strategies to manage visitor use to achieve or maintain desired conditions.

4. Do »

Implement Monitor, Evaluate, and Adjust


  1. Implement management actions.
  2. Conduct and document ongoing monitoring, and evaluate the effectiveness of management actions in achieving desired conditions.
  3. Adjust management actions if needed to achieve desired conditions, and document rationale.

Outcome: Implement management strategies and actions, and adjust based on monitoring and evaluation.

Explore another Visitor Use Management study for Kaaterskill Clove area of the Catskill Park