The Adirondacks became an even more popular destination this year as New Yorkers, chafing under quarantines and stay-at-home orders, traveled to the North Country this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

But the popularity of the park, conservation groups worry, has led to a strain on its resources. 

A coalition of Adirondack conservation groups this week called for more spending and investments in open space, climate change and clean water programs for the park. 

“It has been shown over and over that New York State gains when it invests in the land, waters, wildlife and people of the Adirondack Park,” said David Gibson, Managing Partner for Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve.  

“Pitting this regional economy against its environment has never worked because it’s a false choice. The two are thoroughly intertwined. New investments in our Forest Rangers, forest and trail stewardship, conservation design of development and clean water are more than made up through recreational spending, part- and full-time residency, education and research.”

Such spending can help boost the North Country economy that is deeply dependent on tourism. Trails and campsites have been popular destinations, but that's led to more search-and-rescue missions as well as an increase in trash and human waste along trails and parking lots.