Monday, April 27, 2009

Adirondack Park Agency Releases 2009 Land Use Plan Map

The Adirondack Park Agency has announced the release of its 2009 Adirondack Park Official Map. The Map shows the state and private land use plans for the Adirondack Park. This update, the first since 2003, includes recent State land acquisitions and the overall framework for protection of the Adirondack Park’s public and private land resources.

The 2009 edition of the Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan Map is available online in a new flash viewer at the APA website at For more information about the Land Use Plan Map contact the APA at 518-891-4050.

Under the State Land Master Plan all state land is classified as one of the following categories: Wilderness, Primitive, Canoe, Wild Forest, Intensive Use, Historic and State Administrative. This plan was developed in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and approved by the Governor. The actual management of the Forest Preserve is carried out by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

According to the press release, the 2009 Map includes new state lands the APA describes as:

* Round Lake Wilderness Area – new wilderness area with classification of Round Lake provides important wildland linkage between the William C. Whitney Wilderness and the Lows Lake and Hitchins Pond Primitive Areas preserving ecological connections while increasing recreational opportunities for canoeists and kayakers.

* Madawaska Flow-Quebec Brook Primitive Area – new primitive area that protects a unique large wetlands complex which is habitat for rare boreal birds and plant species. This area also increases recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing, canoeing and kayaking.

* Raquette-Jordon Boreal Primitive area –one of the largest lowland boreal forests under protection in the Adirondack Park, includes old-growth forest and rare animal species such as the Spruce Grouse.

* Northern Flow Primitive Canoe Corridors – includes the Raquette River Primitive Area north of Piercefield, Dead Creek Primitive Area and the Deer River Primitive – combined these areas create over 5,600 acres of river corridor for canoeing and kayaking.

* Northern Flow Wild Forest and Corridor – includes the main and east branches of the St. Regis River, west branch of the Oswegatchie, Raquette River north of Carry Falls and the south branch of the Grasse River. Creates a series of corridors for use by canoes, kayaks and small motor boats totaling over 19,600 acres in new public recreation opportunities.

* Tahawus Tract – southern gateway to the legendary High Peaks Wilderness Area. This tract is pending classification but is open to the public and includes the head waters of the Hudson River, Henderson Lake and Preston Ponds.

* Sable Highland/Lyon Mountain tract – high-quality spruce-fir forests that provides habitat for Bicknell’s thrush, protects undeveloped shoreline along Chazy Lake and sensitive wetland complexes. It also creates new public hiking opportunities.

The APA’s press release also includes the following “official” description of the Adirondack Park:

The Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan applies to the private land in the Park. It defines Agency jurisdiction and establishes development considerations for private land use and development. The Plan is designed to conserve the Park’s natural resources and open-space character by directing and clustering development to minimize ecological impacts.

Under the Plan, all private lands are mapped into six land use classifications: Hamlet, Moderate Intensity Use, Low Intensity Use, Rural Use, Resource Management, and Industrial Use. The Agency has limited jurisdiction in Hamlet areas, extensive jurisdiction in Resource Management areas and various degrees of jurisdiction within the other land use classifications.

The Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Parks combined. The Adirondack Park has over 10,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, and a wide variety of habitats, including globally unique wetland types and old growth forests – all within a day’s drive of nearly 84 million people.

The private lands of the Adirondack Park include over 100 communities with neighborhoods, main streets, farms, small businesses, working forests and open space. The Park affords an unparalleled small town quality of life, unique outdoor recreational opportunities and room for businesses of all kinds to grow.

The Adirondack Park Agency, created in 1971 by the New York State Legislature, was charged with developing long-range land use plans for both public and private lands within the boundary of the Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Park Agency balances preservation of the Adirondack Park’s resources and open space character with the need for sustainable economic growth.

As part of New York’s commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Governor Paterson continues to demonstrate a clear commitment to clean air, clean water, healthy communities, fighting climate change, and promoting renewable energy policies. He is a vocal advocate for clean water investments and “greening” state government. The Governor’s specific achievements include New York’s historic participation and leadership role in addressing global warming with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and accomplishing what previous Governors could not by getting the Legislature to finally pass the Bigger, Better, Bottle Bill. By adopting an ambitious but achievable 45 by 15 clean energy goal (45 percent of New York’s electricity from renewables and efficiency by 2015), Governor Paterson has set New York on a path to become the global leader in the clean energy economy, creating green jobs, boosting the economy and protecting the environment

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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