Vegetation Restoration in Northeastern Alpine Zones
The fragility of the summit vegetation in the Adirondacks is due to the nature of the bedrock and the soil mantle developed upon it. The vegetational mat retreats away from the axis of traffic. On the several highest alpine peaks the once-continuous alpine vegetation is dissected into separate, discontinuous parcels hydrologically isolated from each other. Beginning in 1964, Edwin H. Ketchledge noted the environmental degradation being experienced by the alpine summit vegetation under heavy impact from the recreationists. The message from the northeastern states, then, is that restoration of summit vegetation and the protection of summit flora is best achieved by the coordinated and cooperative efforts of all parties involved. In cooperation with colleagues from US Forest Service and State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Ketchledge developed, tested and implemented procedures for stabilizing eroding trailsides and rehabilitating the damaged vegetational cover in the alpine zone of the Adirondack high peaks.