Sunday, September 5, 2010

APA, DEC Extend Moose River Plains Comment Period

The New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have extended the public comment period for the comprehensive, integrated management actions proposed for the Moose River Plains Wild Forest.

The agencies recently held three public hearings on these actions and determined, based on public input, that additional time is warranted for public comment. The public comment period is now extended to September 17, 2010.
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.

The management proposals include:

Create the Moose River Plains Intensive Use Camping Area along the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road. The Intensive Use proposal would allow drive-in camping sites to remain along the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road at levels with less separation distance than currently allowed under the Wild Forest designation.

Expand the West Canada Lake Wilderness, which borders the southern part of the Moose River Plains, to increase opportunities for solitude and backcountry experiences.

Create 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. Close dead-end spur trails and roads in the wild forest to snowmobiling, many of which currently receive little or no snowmobile use.

Create a Historic Great Camp Special Management Area for NYS Forest Preserve lands in the vicinity of Camp Sagamore and Camp Uncas to recognize the importance of the Great Camps as cultural resources of state and national significance, their contribution to tourism and educational programs in the region, and the importance of the management of the Forest Preserve lands around them which were formerly parts of their original estates.

Create a special management area for Beaver Lake and discontinue public motor vehicle and snowmobile use on Indian Lake Road and the former Otter Brook truck trail which will create additional opportunities for backcountry use by floatplanes in a Wild Forest setting.

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 actions proposed by DEC and APA are described in a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement and the following associated documents:

Proposed Amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP);

Revised Draft Unit Management Plan for the Moose River Plains Wild Forest (June, 2010);

Draft Unit Management Plan for the Moose River Plains Intensive Use Camping Area; and

River Area Management Plans for Cedar River, Red River, Otter Brook and South Branch of the Moose River

Copies of these 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.

Information may also be viewed at, or download from the following web sites:

Draft Moose River Plains Wild Forest Unit Management Plan: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/22571.html

Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/mrpwfdgeis.pdf

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 action’s 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 extended deadline for comments is September 17, 2010.

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