My 2 cents. IM not worried about the earth or the mountains. I feel no guilt when traveling in the mountains, I think LNT is a catch phrase that people adopted to ease their concience. We all impact the mountains when we enter them, I do the best I can not to make that impact any worse then it need be, beyond that I sleep good at night. My belief is that the earth and the mountains are for us to use and enjoy.
Imagine no herd paths and no trails, yes people certain people would still hike, but to be perfectly honest, Im not a fan of thick brush or bushwacking in the east, although I live for cross-country travel in the Rockies and Sierras. If we didnt create herd paths or trails, yes the mountains would be more pristine, but so what? what good is it if nobody is out there to enjoy it?
People are oversensitive about this issue, the fact is, the Adirondacks and the Whites are small and the amount of people (which will only increase) that have access to them is overwhelming from a use perspective, you cant make an omelet without breaking some eggs.