Monday, February 6, 2017

Nature Conservancy: Boreas Ponds Classification Commentary

What follows is a letter sent to the APA.

In response to the Adirondack Park Agency 2016 – 2017 Amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan involving the Classification and Reclassification of 54,418 acres of State Lands in the Adirondack Park which include the Boreas Ponds Tract, 32 Additional Classification Proposals, 13 Reclassification Proposals, and 56 Classifications involving map corrections, The Nature Conservancy respectfully submits our comments related exclusively to Boreas Ponds. Our perspective is informed by nearly ten years of ownership and stewardship of this parcel, as well as focused stakeholder engagement. For over 50 years The Nature Conservancy has managed lands globally for both conservation and public use purposes, including our 160 preserves in New York State, and we are accordingly very mindful of the challenges and opportunities presented by this classification proceeding. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide input with respect to the classification of the Boreas Ponds parcel we conveyed to New York State in April 2016.

Adding Boreas Ponds to the Forest Preserve is one of the greatest conservation achievements in the history of the Adirondack Park. Forest Preserve lands provide many values to society—from ecological to social to economic. Just as rare minerals fetch a higher price than common minerals, natural places like Boreas Ponds have a higher value because of the rare experiences they offer. While we applaud the APA for proposing four alternatives that each contemplate dividing the Boreas Ponds parcel into Wilderness and Wild Forest classifications, we are concerned that all of the options fall short of preserving the tract’s most outstanding opportunity for solitude against a backdrop of stunning grandeur.

Alternatives 2 and 4 come the closest to preserving the rare experience of quiet recreation in a large unconfined space around Boreas Ponds and to the north, but neither ensures that visitors can have a genuine wilderness experience around the ponds. The Wild Forest corridor through Wilderness as proposed in Alternative 4 is inconsistent with the wilderness values at the heart of the opportunity before New York State. We believe the proper boundary should be the Gulf Brook/Boreas roads system where everything south is Wild Forest and everything north is Wilderness as depicted in Alternative 2, with the noted exception described in the following hybrid we propose: use the Wilderness/Wild Forest divide of Alternative 2, but replace the Wild Forest area north of the Four Corners leading to the Boreas dam with the Primitive area of Alternative 4. In this context, the Primitive area is an acceptable alternative so long as the existing road is classified as a “truck trail” and it is restricted to administrative use for maintenance of the dam. In addition, we do not believe that bicycle use of this section of road is consistent with the wilderness values surrounding the ponds and a bike rack should be installed at the parking area to make it easier for everyone to leave their cars or bikes in the Wild Forest area before entering into the Wilderness.

The Boreas Ponds tract is large enough to accommodate a wide array of recreational uses on different parts of the property that would allow people to benefit from and share in the multiple values this historic acquisition offers. What’s more, as we describe in this letter posted online, New York has a special opportunity to develop a high-quality accessible trail (roughly one-mile long) that would allow reasonable access for a wide spectrum of people, including those in wheelchairs, seeking a quiet backcountry experience.

“New York State to Develop First-Ever Accessible Trail into the High Peaks Wilderness.” That’s the headline we’d like to see, recognizing that detailed trail planning follows classification. Nevertheless, we would be remiss if we did not reinforce this point in response to the current classification proposals.

The Nature Conservancy is inspired by the amount of interest being shown in the classification process and can appreciate the challenges the state is facing as it weighs different options. There are many reasons why we urge the APA to consider the hybrid approach that we recommend. The Finch transaction in its entirety, which we worked on for a decade with New York State, reflects a careful and thoughtful balancing of many different interests. Those interests are well-reflected in the public discourse surrounding this classification process. As we have explored, mapped, investigated, researched, and assessed these lands, including Boreas Ponds, the questions inherent in classification have never been far from our minds.

We strongly believe that our proposal strikes the right balance, and reflects the purposes underlying comments already submitted by The Nature Conservancy. For this submission, however, rather than focusing on the specific impacts of the various options that have been publicly debated, we wish to emphasize a single, unique value that we hope will have a significant impact on the ultimate classification decision:

Because of the parcel’s vast size, remote location and outstanding views, the Boreas Ponds classification provides a once in a generation opportunity to find a sweet spot between wilderness and more intensive uses, where visitors can easily access an area and experience that sense of wonder and discovery of the wild that is a distinguishing characteristic of the Adirondacks. By adopting a hybrid approach, the APA can ensure that visitors get the best of all worlds, and have an experience that will not only keep them coming back to New York and the Adirondacks, but has the power to change perspective, create a sense of peace, and remind us of our connection to the land. In this case, there is an opportunity to enable visitors of all types to have that visceral appreciation of a wild place in the 21st century, and that is the approach we respectfully ask for the state to take.

The above commentary was submitted to the Adirondack Park Agency, which will soon be deciding how to classify Boreas Ponds and a number of other recently acquired state lands.


Guest Contributor

The Adirondack Almanack publishes occasional guest essays from Adirondack residents, visitors, and those with a biding interest in the Adirondack Park.

Submissions should be directed to Almanack editor John Warren at adkalmanack@gmail.com.




75 Responses

  1. Justin Farrell says:

    FWIW, back in early May ’16 when the area first opened for public foot traffic, I ran into a nice gentleman from TNC whom was driving in along Gulf Brook Rd while I was hiking out after backpacking in for an overnight stay. He stopped to say hello, and mentioned how happy he was to see someone hiking the enitre length of the road, and how he hoped that the area will be classified as Wilderness to help protect the native trout species.

  2. Tyler Socash says:

    I see the word “balance” a lot. What we are supposed to do is protect the resource, and understand it’s capacity to withstand use. It’s as if no one in The Nature Conservancy or other marginalized wilderness groups are aware of the Value-1 wetlands (Brant Brook, Andrews Brook, and Andrews Brook Tributary), the boreal elevations above 2,500-ft (around Ragged Mt, Boreas Mt, and in the southwest portion of the Tract), and the 80.7% severe erosion hazard slopes that exist throughout the entirety of the Boreas Ponds Tract.

    The re-wilding of a former logging road can’t seem to be imagined by these groups of environmental protectors. These roads won’t disappear for decades, but eventually they would re-wild, and in the meantime they are accessible. You can walk from the interim parking lot to LaBier Flow in 43 minutes with a canoe in tow. You can cross country ski from Blue Ridge Road to LaBier Flow in 2 hours. These aren’t unimaginable feats.

    Where else can you find a large backcountry non-motorized lake in the Adirondacks? You can find 3: Cedar River Flow, Pharaoh Lake, and Newcomb Lake. Where can you find easy drive-up lake and river access in the Adirondacks? Almost every other place thanks to 6,970 miles of public roads that give nearly limitless access to all corners of the Park. Motorized recreation isn’t threatened in America, but Wilderness recreation is at a premium. The lack of remoteness, an eroding sense of wildness… These concerns should have pushed TNC and BeWild to be more protective of one potentially the last big addition to our wonderful Forest Preserve.

    I challenge the readers to ask themselves, “What kind of Park do we want to leave in our wake?” Is it one where we allow wild places to re-wild into the primeval state that existed there 200 years ago? Or, should all 100 largest lakes in the Adirondacks have roads around them? One of those doesn’t sound like”balance” to me.

    • Justin Farrell says:

      Tyler, just a quick note…Cedar River Flow allows motorized watercraft up to the Wilderness boundary at the mouth of the Cedar River, but of course that dosen’t stop some people from illegally going up the river to the Carry Lean-to.

      • Bruce says:

        Justin,

        I wondered about that because when we drove through the Moose River Plains from inlet to the highway near Indian Lake, I saw motorized canoes parked at Cedar River Flow.

        • Justin Farrell says:

          Cedar River Flow is a perfect example why we should NOT allow easy access to Boreas Ponds. The place gets beat to death with overuse, litter, illegal tree cutting, and loud & rowdy party campers. It would be a real shame if Boreas Ponds suffered the same fate!

    • Paul says:

      When this is all said and done I suspect you will see these ponds as back-country lakes that are non-motorized and that you cannot drive right up to. Like what the TNC is recommending here.

  3. Treeman says:

    The roads are there, and they have been used up to this point. And, it is all still there and beautiful. How could this be?

    No bicycles in wilderness. Does that really make sense?

    Regarding the word balance, you can tell, by listening to the commenting “kids”, that must have been in a Sierra club, or some equivalent outfit’s literature about how to comment for max emotional sway. It gets too repetitive.

    • Boreas says:

      “The roads are there, and they have been used up to this point. And, it is all still there and beautiful. How could this be?”

      Simple. They were private, posted roads.

      • Roger Dziengeleski says:

        No it wasn’t the posting or the gates. Rather the land was taken care of by people who cared. It is called stewardship. The Boreas parcel was used by many for hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, atv-ing and forest management among other uses. It was used intensively and the beauty remains. There is something wrong with a philosophy that believes limiting human use is the only way to maintain beauty and ecosystem health on a forest property. How about caring for it and budgeting to take care of it. That is what the private sector did – not keep people from using it. It is likely that with a wilderness classification even fewer people will use the property than when it was privately owned. More human use would just mean that NYS would need to provide some planning and stewardship.

        • Boreas says:

          “More human use would just mean that NYS would need to provide some planning and stewardship.”

          I agree. That is exactly why I am concerned. DEC hasn’t done a good job in the HPW with only human traffic over the last 30 years, due primarily to funding cutbacks and a dwindling Ranger force. Adding Boreas Ponds alone with the road CLOSED will take more enforcement. What happens with the road open?

          “It was used intensively and the beauty remains.”
          Yes, it was used by leaseholders and owners who all had a vested interest in keeping it beautiful. Will this be the case with the road opened to the public? I am skeptical.

          Human use isn’t going to go away with gates – only vehicle usage. Plenty of people are hiking in and enjoying it. Do we know how much usage is too much? Will we care? I don’t see DEC having the resources any time soon to protect the area. Opening the road without the necessary planning and stewardship you mention will likely yield negative results.

          • Roger Dziengeleski says:

            So Fortress Conservation. Just buy the property and then keep people out. Better to get the owner to take better care of the property.

            • Taras says:

              People are welcome just not their mechanized vehicles. Vast swaths of New York are available for mechanized travel.

              • Roger Dziengeleski says:

                Vast swaths of NY are also available for foot travel only. The point is that everyone paid for the Boreas and other parcels. They should all be able to use it in part. Biking around the ponds is no more intrusive than horse carts, canoe carriers, cell phones, GPS units and other devices used in wilderness.

            • Boreas says:

              Roger,

              Is the HPW a fortress?? I espouse no such thing. I simply feel there are areas where vehicles do not belong.

  4. Geogymn says:

    Not only do we have the rare privilege to retain wilderness but to actually create wilderness by letting roads revert back to forest. How often does an opportunity like that come along?

    Is the passionate appeals repetitive? I hope so, otherwise this generation’s legacy is conceded.

  5. Tim-Brunswick says:

    Treeman’s on the money and lest we forget ….during the 10 years that the Nature Conservancy held this property they enjoyed it to the fullest driving in and out and staying overnight/entertaining guests at the Lodge!

    Everyone seems to forget that for nearly a hundred years or better, loggers, heavy powered logging equipment and chain saws worked in this area, yet you all still love it……..??

    Some folks do motor all the way to the Lean-to now and then on CRF….OMG!!….perish the thought. I paddle there frequently and their motors don’t harm the water in the least. Frankly they can’t compare to the damage that the “wilderness only crowd” has caused with their vibram soles in the High Peaks Area!

    Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised a bit if the “Guest Contributor” was in reality a staffer of the ADK Almanac, which appears to have obvious leanings towards the wilderness vs. wild forest folks. The frequency with which we see Boreas Ponds articles covering the same ground over and over again is getting rather boring…

    • Geogymn says:

      So why are you reading them? Maybe deep down inside your seeking Emerson’s transcendence.
      Maybe there is something greater than thy self?

    • Boreas says:

      T-B,

      I agree they are repetitive. But the only thing the AA is doing with this series of articles is posting official statements by the major stakeholder groups. This allows the public to see where the various groups officially stand. I also agree with Geogymn – the titles are pretty obvious. I don’t read articles I am not interested in.

    • Justin Farrell says:

      Tim,
      Respectfully, would you please explain how a logging company, and then TNC, along with a few guests staying in a lodge would be no different than allowing unlimited public motorized access on the roads & ponds? Have you been to Boreas Ponds? How does it compare to Cedar River Flow, other than the dam?
      – Justin

      • Roger Dziengeleski says:

        Right. Let’s buy it for the public, spending millions of dollars, and then keep everyone out. Or maybe just those who don’t recreate the way we do. What bias.

        • Taras says:

          Not everyone, just everyone’s mechanized vehicles. There’s no shortage of places to recreate with mechanized vehicles. The same can’t be said for areas without them.

        • Boreas says:

          Roger,

          So you really don’t believe in Wilderness classification in any part of the Park- correct?

          • Roger Dziengeleski says:

            No. I believe in wilderness and I also believe in being able to use it in a variety of ways. Biking around the Boreas Ponds is a reasonable use especially given the existing road network. Over 10,000 acres would still be added to the high peaks wilderness. Biking around the ponds affects less than 500 and given the classification would be wild forest the bulk of those acres would be foot access only. This is not too much to ask.

            • Boreas says:

              If access to the Ponds was limited to bikes on the roads, I would agree. But it isn’t bikes I am concerned about.

              • Roger Dziengeleski says:

                No one is asking for anything else in terms of the loop around the ponds and the unit management process is something we should have faith in. Stopping uses such as biking and horseback riding on existing roadways just because we fear there may be misuse or mismanagement is unacceptable.

                • Boreas says:

                  I don’t have that big of a problem with either activity on the roads. I do have a concern with alien weeds brought in and disseminated by horses, but those weeds will likely encroach eventually anyway.

                  I don’t really have that much of a concern about the final classification(s) either. My biggest concern is unlimited automobile access to LaBier Flow. Regardless of classification, I feel DEC needs to look closely at unrestricted automobile access past the current gate. The wetlands are the most sensitive part of the parcel,and I don’t think anyone really knows what its holding capacity is for increased human activity. I just think we should proceed with caution.

        • SLMPdefender says:

          Roger,

          With all due respect, if one side of this debate can say that its unfair to “keep everyone out” (your words) after paying millions of dollars, then is it not fair for the other side of this argument to also claim that they spent millions on this land too, and they would like to see their investment preserved? Perhaps the people of NYC and Long Island, who ponied up 75% of the Real Estate Transfer Tax dollars (the real investors), would like to be sure their investment doesn’t get rutted up and ruined by noise.

          And for everyone else out there:
          The folks that talk about the roads that hosted logging trucks… they overlook an important point… the volume of traffic on the property is already seeing a dramatic uptick. BECAUSE IT’S OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. It was one thing to have some trucks moving in and out every day under private ownership, but to have car loads of people driving up to the waterfront and trashing the place… Boreas will get worn out quickly.

          To all the fiscal conservatives out there: let’s protect our investment!

          And one last thing… those BIG STRONG ROADS… they need fixing every year to stay in shape. This is not heavy infrastructure! Nature continues to wash the roads out annually. There was a lot of talk from wild forest advocates about THE FACTS… well, those who made those claims were telling the biggest lies, playing up the aging and decrepit infrastructure as something it is not.

          Looking forward to the state’s song and dance tomorrow that will set up the sham job! If Boreas is not made Wilderness, the fight will continue. Wilderness Advocates are not going away.

        • Justin Farrell says:

          No reply from Tim yet? Darn!
          Roger, thanks for yours.
          Not looking to keep “everyone” out, I’d just hate to see Boreas Ponds get beat to hell like the Cedar River Flow. There is an existing middle ground for some compromise here, hopefully we can make that happen. -Justin

  6. Boreas says:

    “Some folks do motor all the way to the Lean-to now and then on CRF….OMG!!….perish the thought. I paddle there frequently and their motors don’t harm the water in the least. Frankly they can’t compare to the damage that the “wilderness only crowd” has caused with their vibram soles in the High Peaks Area! ”

    If there were hundreds of thousands people visiting CRF for a century (as is the case with the HPW) would you expect the same result? Do these people ever get out of their boats? What kind of shoes do they wear that do not cause damage? I agree there is terrible damage to the HPW, but the “wilderness only crowd” aren’t the only users of the HPW. No one has said the HPW is the poster child of a wilderness area. In fact, the HPW overuse problems are what the “wilderness only crowd” is trying to avoid at BP. Continuing to pull out the HPW overuse issue to make an argument for vehicular access to BP makes no sense.

    Assuming the Gateway becomes reality and we start pulling people off of the Northway to visit the closest drive-in “gem” (BP), we ALL need to be seriously looking ahead to vehicular access consequences for the parcel. The Gateway will certainly increase interest in the area, which demands a well thought out plan for the future of the parcel. The Gateway adds a new complication to the classification and use of the new public lands in that area. I have not seen any evidence the APA is addressing this new issue.

    • Paul says:

      This “gateway” seems like another of the recent NYS tourism gimmicks. I don’t think having a campground and a few shops at that old site is really going to impact these areas much. All these places are too close to where most of the users live they don’t need a “base camp”.

      • Boreas says:

        “All these places are too close to where most of the users live they don’t need a “base camp”.”

        I guess that remains to be seen. I believe we should be prepared if/when the state’s new gimmick works. If nothing else, I feel it should at least be part of the discussion. After all, ‘Hail Mary’ passes are sometimes caught.

        • Paul says:

          I suppose that is true. Seems like a bit of a “if you build it they will come” concept, but you are right you never know. I would have it as part, but not too big a part. Again, maybe go with the mixed strategy and then re-classify later if the place is getting all trammeled by the hordes attracted via this “gateway”. I personally don’t think under any classification these will be humongous draws. People are always going to head to the big mountains that is what the vast majority wants.

          Seems like some circular thought here. If we classify as a Wild Forest and make it to easy to access it will attract too many people. Then you have others saying a huge Wilderness complex here is going to be a big draw. Seems like either way you have the same problem. Maybe the latter is even worse when you look at the problems in the HPW.

          • Boreas says:

            Paul,

            Don’t forget, BP has significant potential to be an additional access point for those big mountains you mention – just as Elk Lake and Upper Works do now on either side of BP. If the road is opened to LaBier Flow cutting 6-7 miles off of the hike, I believe a large parking area will be needed – both for the Ponds area itself and people heading into the HPW & Dix Range – whether official connector hiking trails are built or not.

            • Paul says:

              Boreas, I have seen you comment to this point earlier in another post. These are not really alternative access points to these peaks. Nobody is contemplating the extensive trails that would be required for that, nor would very few people use them given the distances. Just look at how little axton landing is used in comparison to other HPW access points. Basically there at Axton the other access point you describe exists (with trails) and it is not very heavily utilized. Why would building it here make it more likely?

              • Boreas says:

                Paul,

                What do you mean? Indeed those areas are how many peaks are accessed from the south. I climbed all of the Dix Range from Elk Lake. Some people hike Nippletop from there as well. I climbed Allen twice and other many McIntyre Range peaks from Upper Works. Probably a quarter of my hikes were out of Upper Works. Assuming minimal blowdown, BP would likely be the shortest access point for Allen. .

                No extensive trails are really necessary – the trails in the Dix Range and Upper Works area already exist. All that is needed is a connector to the existing trails. I believe there may already a trail to Allen from BP – just not a state marked trail at this point. I certainly feel BP will be used for mountain access if the road is opened to LaBier Flow.

                Allen used to be a 20+ mile round trip from UW. It would be much closer from LaBier Flow. I think you may be underestimating how far people will hike to get away from crowds, hike a nicer trail, or just to say they used an alternate route. So I definitely feel hikers will add to any usage of the LaBier Flow area, and that will need to be factored in if the road is open that far. Even if the road isn’t opened, a few people will climb Allen from Blue Ridge Road just to say they did. They will likely camp at BP and do a day hike from there unless they really hike fast.

                • Boreas says:

                  Paul,

                  For instance, a trail heading NE out of BP could hook up with the Elk Lake – Marcy Trail which could offer better access to Colvin & Blake, as well as an option for a different approach to Nippletop and the Dix Range.

                  A trail heading NW out of BP could hook up with the East River Trail, allowing alternate approaches to Cliff & Redfield – both of which have some serious wet/erosion problems with their current route.

                  Another option would be to send one trail due N out of BP that would hook up and cross an E-W connector trail that would link Elk Lake/Marcy trail with the East River Trail. Continuing the trail N would offer a possible approach to Allen from the south.

                  None of these would replace any existing trailheads, but supplement them, offering alternate approaches to some of these peaks. They would also offer more opportunities for through hikes. Of course it is going to depend on blowdown and terrain, but I am sure people are already visualizing these trails.

      • Rose Anne says:

        As a New Jersey resident, I would love to camp near the “Gateway” and have early-morning access to a less-trampled wilderness to hike and paddle. And so would a lot of my friends! Please build a Basecamp!

  7. Paul says:

    No other organization or individual understands the science behind the possible classifications of these parcels better than the TNC that has done extensive studies through the natural heritage program. My guess is that their comments carry considerable weight as maybe they should.

    • Justin Farrell says:

      I’m guessing the gentleman that I met & chatted with from TNC back in May ’16 was not the person who wrote their organization’s official comments to the APA, unless he changed his mind, or just went along with other members of TNC. As I mentioned above, he seemed genuinely hopeful for a stronger Wilderness classification. Looking back now, I wish I asked for his name.

    • drdirt says:

      Actually, Roger Dziengeleski, the former FinchPryn senior Forester, understands the science behind the calssification of this parcel better than TNC does. He has spoken at length throughout this process, and I’m sure TNC consulted him and his peers before and after the sale.
      Roger was on the recent panel in Schroon lake with both the Town Leaders and Enviro Leaders to discuss Boreas Ponds.http://mountainlake.org/boreas-ponds-forum-february-2-2017-at-schroon-lake-central-s/ .
      I may be mistaken as to what I heard, but Roger has always pushed for the greatest access for all. He considers the magnificent view from the pond as unparralelled in the entire Park and ,in fact, thinks of it as a park for all.
      I believe Roger’s comments should carry even more weight than TNC.

      • Boreas says:

        Frankly, I would have preferred to see all of the studies performed on the parcel published prior to the public opinion talks – whether from foresters, TNC, DEC, and preferably a 3rd-party group with no dog in the fight. This should have been an important part of the discussion.

        The APA notably allowed a very superficial environmental impact study determine its final policy on the ACR development in Tupper Lake. It was contested by some environmental groups at the time to no avail. The patchwork, “great camp” model was ultimately the result.

  8. James Marco says:

    Going forward, I agree with all the statements of the NC. I do not agree that limiting wilderness at the road would be beneficial to all concerned. I agree bikes should have access to the roads, only.

    But, I believe a Wilderness Classification of the area and making it difficult for everybody to reach the ponds and wetlands is the only real alternative for the preservation of the forest, waterways, fishing & hunting, and, the land in general of the BP area. No, we do not want a repeat of the High Peaks population problem. But, it is clear that ADK wilderness also requires us to manage access and camping areas for best results.

    Wilderness will allow nature to rebuild itself. Something we just don’t understand enough about to do anything else (except raping the land for it’s resources; we’re really good at that.)

    Wilderness hiking and camping are increasingly popular in the ADK’s. This is one reason for the crowds in the High Peaks. The HP areas feel like a Sunday stroll in a town passing friends, acquaintances, and, fellow wilderness lovers along the trail. Sending runners ahead to claim lean-to’s for their group, increasing the size of groups beyond management, trail damage and widening of trails, sanitary conditions as toilet paper litters the sides of popular trails are just a few problems. All people enjoying and simply loving the the chance to visit the wilderness, but loving the wilderness to it’s very destruction. We simply need more Wilderness areas to provide alternatives to the HP’s. NOT lesser classifications allowing vehicles 6 miles deep into the woods.

    The same people will spend money to get there. Spend money on food and other normal life needs. Spend money for equipment to get out into the wilderness. Spend money at restaurants, diners and grocery stores for food because food means energy for hiking. Close the road to BP and the flow. Good for the economy, good for the hikers, good for the bikers and more importantly good for the land. Build a state park if you must, but preserve wilderness.

    • Paul says:

      “We simply need more Wilderness areas to provide alternatives to the HP’s.”

      James, this is probable very true. But this area is simply not an alternative to that. People are mainly attracted to the big mountains. Here, w/o a reasonable carry, this won’t even be a serious paddling destination. Something that I personally like to do if I am not climbing some of the peaks. I think the same is true for others. The alternative is to jump on a plane and head to some other Wilderness areas out west and climb their mountains or ski (lots of hikers love to ski too!). Probably not what the town wants.

      • James Marco says:

        Oh yes, I well understand about differing activities that do not require more than simple existence of Wilderness. I build canoes and paddle them throughout the ADK’s. Meecham, all the ponds and lakes of Fish Creek Ponds, St. Regis, Fulton Chain, et al. 6mi over an existing road bed is not a long distance canoe carry. I have carried further or the same at Forked Lake->Long Lake, Union Falls->Saranac Village (and others out of NY on the NFCT.) Unfortunately, outside of the ADK’s, many of these do NOT have the wilderness areas or protections we enjoy in NY.

        Winter sports such as snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing with pulks are likely to be much curtailed in upcoming years. The past few years have seen much warmer weather, with fewer ski areas opening and several foundering. This trend will continue, not by choice, but by necessity. The west is not the same as the ADK’s. Those mountains are much higher and a little more rugged. The ADK’s are some of the oldest mountains in the world though equally difficult to hike.

        I agree with Charlie S’s comments above.

  9. Charlie S says:

    We should be looking at all angles when making decisions on preserving wilderness and ecosystems in the Adirondacks including Boreas Ponds! There should be projections of population growth. There should be consideration of roads as corridors for invasive species. We should think ahead about the consequences of ‘more people in the woods’ due to the demands of tourism pushed by local governments. Global warming and its consequences should be considered. There is so much to consider,and so much at stake,and yet it seems there is this big push (not just at Boreas Ponds but for other areas of the Adirondacks) for as much access as possible without any consideration for the forest itself.

    Protection and preservation of what is left of our wilderness areas should be a high priority to our leaders,to DEC,to the Nature Conservancy… especially considering how little is left! We should always be on the side of nature and we should be thinking about our progeny who will either benefit or lose out in accordance to the choices we make now. And at the very least the decision for Boreas Ponds should not be driven by economics!

    • James Marco says:

      Again, well said!

    • Paul says:

      “for as much access as possible without any consideration for the forest itself”

      Nonsense. If this were true there would be a proposal to classify the area as intensive use and have the road open all the way to and around the pond. There would be a proposed boat launch etc.

      There wouldn’t be 10,000 plus acres of Wilderness in even the most “open” proposal. Here we are talking about adding new Wilderness areas not preserving and protecting what we already have. This is an addition no matter how you slice it.

    • Roger Dziengeleski says:

      climate models show the northern forest changing very little in the coming decades surprising researchers that relate tree rings to climate over past centuries. Managed forests are expected to be even more resilient as the impacts of drought can be minimized. Wilderness is not likely a strong defense against climate change.

  10. Charlie S says:

    “climate models show the northern forest changing very little in the coming decades”

    Jerry Jenkins says different Roger (and he’s not the only one!) He wrote ‘Climate Change in the Adirondacks’ which was published 2010. He says “that if we lower world carbon emissions immediately,northern New York will warm 5 degrees from 1960 levels in the coming century. If,on the other hand,we continue to use large amounts of fossil fuels for 50 years or more,northern New York will warm about 11 degrees from 1960 levels.”
    We are increasing carbon emissions!

    Jerry draws a map which depicts how our forests will change as temperatures rise. He says, “Neither Adirondack biology nor Adirondack culture will survive the kind of climate changes the map suggests.”

    He says, “Over the next century we will likely lose northern species. How fast this will happen and what species will be most affected are unknown.”

    He draws a climate model:
    “There will be warmer temperatures,less snow,and heavier rainstorms. We will not have to contend with rising sea levels or thawing permafrost. We will probably not suffer violent storms,extended droughts,or gigantic fires.”
    “What we will see is a gradual loss of the northern elements in our landscape. We will lose river ice,then lake ice,and then the ice and snow in the mountains. We will lose the deep cold,the boreal forests and wetlands that depend on it,and the boreal animals and plants that depend on them. We will lose the opportunities for winter recreation,the people – both visitors and residents – who come here for them,and the businesses and facilities that the recreationists support….”

    He goes on and on and he lays a groundwork for what can be done to slow emissions down and there’s hope in some of his words but he comes back to reality when he says, “The longer we delay in reducing emissions,the worse the prospects get.”

    Personally I see no hope for us and I expect the next four years we are going to see a raping and pillaging of our natural resources nationally the likes of which we’ve never seen before which are only gonna make matters worse globally, nationally and locally. But who really cares anyway we’ve got money to make!

    • Geogymn says:

      Don’t give up hope! Only with hope can we fight the good fight.

    • Roger Dziengeleski says:

      Many schools of thought on this. The models based upon past climates disagree with Jerry who I consider a good friend. Even friends disagree and we shouldn’t be myopic in an issue so complex.

      • Charlie S says:

        Many schools of thought on what? That the earth is warming and that it’s just part of a cycle or that humans are causing the earth to warm?
        There’s also a school who say another ice age is coming. I’m open. But in the meanwhile we’ve been breaking record highs every year for the past 15 years and it is creating problems (have you heard?) yet we keep on doing the same thing over and over with hardly a thought on the matter.

        “we shouldn’t be myopic..” I agree wholeheartedly. We’ll believe what we want to believe Roger no matter how narrow our view of the world is…..and there’s nothing that’s going to change that anytime soon.

        • Roger Dziengeleski says:

          Many schools of thought on how the climate will change. Most models show the northeast getting cooler and more susceptible to drought while other areas of the globe get warmer. Just as for every winter storm the models predict different tracks, the interpretation of data on climate change provides a number of possible tracks. Only with storms you are usually only making a prediction for the next seven days and not the next seven decades. So it is reasonable to have a number of different projections when it comes to climate change.

          • Charlie S says:

            I heard a speaker recently who was referencing the data going back millenia. I suppose they use core samples of the earth to do this. He said it has always been the earth cools down the earth warms up again, the earth cools down the earth warms up again, cools down warms up again. Now we ‘re having warming up and continued warming up….for the first time!

          • Boreas says:

            Roger,

            I agree. The only thing for sure is that climate will change, as it has done since there was atmosphere. Our predictions for local climate change are only as good as our computer models and the data entered. Unfortunately, data is almost infinite. We really don’t know much about ocean salinity gradients driving deep ocean currents that drive temperature gradients that are also influenced by solar radiation and polar ice melt, which affects salinity gradients, etc., etc., etc.. I doubt we will ever be able to predict with any accuracy what will happen geographically. Probably the best we can do is come up with a few scenarios for each geographic area, cross our fingers and hope for the best.

  11. James Marco says:

    The major truism in all the scientific documents is that Global warming is beyond stopping. Emissions and human interactions, generally, have only accelerated this process. When it was first discovered, it was only a degree or two Celsius. Current minimum temperature rise is 11C. That is OVER 50 degrees Fahrenheit. By preserving what forest we have (I understand it is not old growth) we mitigate the problem our children and their children will face. It is not the solution, of course, it is only a small part of slowing things down to let the ecological systems to move to more northerly boundaries.

    It is necessary to create as much wilderness as possible, everywhere. Not just the ADKs.

  12. James Marco says:

    Sorry, my math sucks. It is about 20F. My apologies…

  13. Charlie S says:

    “Police have arrested a 15 year old Schenectady resident on charges that accuse him of stealing a vehicle Tuesday that had a 2-year old inside.The theft happened at around 9:40 a.m. on Central Avenue. When officers arrived the victim said she had left her vehicle running in front of the store with her child sleeping in the back seat…….” Daily Gazette February 9,2017

    If we were to put a stop today to the mindlessness of people leaving their engines running while they are outside of their vehicles it still wouldn’t be enough to slow the warming down if in fact carbon emissions are heating up the only home we know which I believe to be a truism. This one thing (engines running in vehicles while occupantless) alone must be having one heck of an impact on global warming yet it isn’t even on the radar of our erected officials. In some places it is…like NYC where they fine you for being mindless. Ignorance is a major part of our woes. You’d think they’d focus on better educating this society so as to be rid of most of our woes in maybe two generations if we start now. There’s hope! They just hired a billionaire as education secretary for this country.

  14. Charlie S says:

    Paul says: “for as much access as possible without any consideration for the forest itself”
    Nonsense. If this were true there would be a proposal to classify the area as intensive use and have the road open all the way to and around the pond. There would be a proposed boat launch etc…..

    > Let’s face it Paul you’re always going to be in the group that sides with invasive species.

    • Paul says:

      Please stop saying this – you know that it is also nonsense.

      • Charlie S says:

        Invasive species…..humans Paul. And yes you do always lean towards or try to justify more encroachment versus less intrusive. Just an observance is all and I said it loudly which so far I am encouraged to do. No ill will just airing like we all are,airing with passion (sometimes more than others) always with respect towards others in mind.

    • Paul says:

      Why don’t you stop your incessant commenting on the commenters and stick to the topic at hand.

      • Charlie S says:

        Where do you get that i’m off topic? I see many things as relative to what we talk about here on this site Paul excuse me if I’m maybe a little more open than you.
        Stop my incessant commenting? You’re imposing censure on me! I don’t like that but it comes as no surprise coming from you.

        • Paul says:

          Censure? That is a good one. I suggest that you try and focus on the topic rather than on commenting on the people making other comments (and often insulting the people commenting or calling them names) and you think that is censure?

          • Charlie S says:

            You suggest! Yes sir I’ll do it Paul’s way.
            Censor is what I meant Paul because that’s what I took it to be when you demand “stop your incessant commenting.” My nature is very sensitive to suppression Paul I don’t like it even in mere words. It’s a conservative thing and my liberal nature abhors it. And where do you get that i’m off topic please explain i’m all ears.

          • Charlie S says:

            And who have I been calling names to may I ask?

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