Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moose River Plains Changes in the Works

The New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced three public hearings to discuss changes proposed for the Moose River Plains Wild Forest.

Located in the central and southwestern portion of the Adirondack Park, the Moose River Plains Wild Forest offers many year-round recreational opportunities including hiking, fishing, canoeing, skiing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, horseback riding, hunting and camping, making it an ideal destination for recreationists with varied interests and abilities. You can read more a short history of the Plains by the Almanack’s John Warren here; all our coverage is located here.
The proposed changes include:

Creating the Moose River Plains Intensive Camping Area along the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road.

Expanding the West Canada Lake Wilderness, which borders the Moose River Plains.

Closing certain trails and roads in the wild forest to snowmobiling, many of which are dead-ends or spurs, or receive little or no snowmobile use.

Creating a new community-connector snowmobile trail from Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road to Lower Sargent Pond, which will provide connections to Indian Lake, Inlet, Raquette Lake and Long Lake. Resulting overall snowmobile mileage would be approximately 59 miles.

Creating the Beaver Lake Special Management Area, which includes areas south of the South Branch of the Moose River and west of the proposed intensive use area boundary along Otter Brook Road.

Discontinuing public motor vehicle and snowmobile use on Indian Lake Road and the former Otter Brook truck trail.

The action also includes the APA’s separate but related proposals to amend the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP) including the proposed reclassification of lands for the creation of a new Moose River Plains Intensive Use Camping Area, reclassification and expansion of the West Canada Lake Wilderness Area and related revisions to Master Plan Area Descriptions and Intensive Use Area Guidelines. The state land classifications proposals and minor amendments to the Master Plan were derived from a comprehensive planning effort to address the unique circumstances of the Moose River Plains area.

The Intensive Use proposal would allow drive-in camping sites to remain along the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road at levels not compatible with lands designated as “Wild Forest.” The wilderness proposal would change the classification of some 15,000 acres from Wild Forest to “Wilderness,” the state’s most protective land classification. In addition, the creation of the Beaver Lake Special Management Area will provide a unique opportunity for float plane access into Beaver, Squaw and Indian lakes in a remote corner of the Wild Forest.

The agencies have scheduled three public hearings to explain the proposals and provide the public opportunities to ask questions and give input. The hearings will be held at:

Indian Lake Central School
28 W. Main St
Indian Lake, NY
1 p.m., August 16

Inlet Town Hall
160 Route 28
Inlet, NY

6:30 p.m., August 16
DEC Headquarters
625 Broadway

Albany, NY
1 p.m., August 18

Copies of the documents are available on compact discs (CD) at DEC offices in Albany, Ray Brook, and Lowville. To request a copy, e-mail [email protected] or call 518-473-9518.

CDs containing all of the documents are also available for public review at the town offices of Webb and Ohio in Herkimer County and Arietta, Inlet, Long Lake, Lake Pleasant and Morehouse in Hamilton County.

In addition, information may be viewed at, or download from:

Environmental Notice Bulletin including SLMP Amendments/State Land Reclassification [pdf].

Revised Draft Unit Management Plan for the Moose River Plains Wild Forest [Link].

Written comments on the management actions proposed in the two Draft Unit Management Plans (UMP) may be sent to:

Josh Clague
Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12233

or e-mailed to [email protected]

Written comments on the proposed reclassification, proposed SLMP amendments and the DEC’s proposed management actions’ consistency with the SLMP may be sent to:

Richard Weber
Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977

or e-mail to [email protected]

The deadline for comments is August 30, 2010.

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