Thursday, July 12, 2012

Popular Boat Launch Overhaul Planned Near High Peaks

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have announced a plan to update the popular Second Pond Boat Launch on Route 3 in Harrietstown, part of a 10.5-acre Intensive Use Area that provides key access to the Saranac Lakes. A part of the plan includes a land swap with the adjacent High Peaks Wilderness Area.

The DEC is planning to rebuild and expand the boat launch and resurface the parking area, including the addition of a new firewood storage building, the removal of an old cabin, and the construction of a new registration booth and invasive species kiosk. According to press reports a boat washing station, considered important to prevent the spread of invasive species by boaters, was not included in the plan.

Plans do include the following: replacement of the concrete launch ramp with a double-ramped boat launch including a turnaround for vehicles; replacement of the existing docks; creation of a canoe and kayak launching site; removal of dilapidated log cabin; construction of registration booth; construction of a firewood storage building; reconstruction of the vault toilet system; and reconfiguration and resurfacing of the parking area.  Reporter Chris Knight spoke with state officials this week and learned more about the details. You can find his story here.

The APA is proposing amendments of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP) to reclassify 5.6 acres of Wilderness to Intensive Use and 6.8 acres of Intensive Use to Wilderness based on DEC recommendations developed in the Second Pond Intensive Use Area UMP to place all developed facilities within the Intensive Use area.

Public Hearings will take place at the following times and locations:

7/17/2012 at  7:00 pm at APA Headquarters, Rt. 86, Ray Brook, NY

7/18/2012 at 1:00 pm in Room 129 A, DEC Headquarters, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY

Written public comments on the proposed reclassification and unit management plan actions will also be accepted until July 31, 2012. Requests for information or copies of the DSEIS and written comments for the APA should be directed to: James Connolly, APA Deputy Director, Planning Division, Adirondack Park Agency, PO Box 99, Ray Brook, NY 12977  – call (518) 891-4050 or e-mail Written comments for DEC should be directed to Douglas Bernhard, Assistant Director, Division of Operations, Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233 – call (518) 402-9055 or e-mail



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5 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    How can they not have a boat washing station? That seems insane. I don’t think they should expand this launch. 75 spaces is plenty. At some point people just have to start using some of the less traveled areas. The expansion of the boat launch on Lake Flower really has had a very negative environmental impact on that end of the Saranac Chain. It went from a fairly quiet lake to a zoo in just a matter of years. Then the DEC gets out there and wonders why there are so many boats speeding up and down the channel. Crazy.

    They built part of their parking lot in a Wilderness? Classic.

  2. Solidago says:

    Not having a boat washing station is outrageous. Where’s the Sierra Club, PROTECT! et al when you actually need them? This is a case where the DEC and the APA really deserve one of their scoldings and the plan should be blocked until the boat washing station is added. If there isn’t enough money, don’t do the overhaul until there is.

  3. John Warren says:

    As I understand APA Chair Lani Ulrich asked about a boat washing station. I suggest you contact her and push her to follow-up and also send your comments to Douglas Bernhard at DEC via e-mail at

    And also make Hilary Smith at the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program aware of your concerns at

  4. Paul says:

    The problem is probably lack of fresh water out there. A well would be expensive. But I would guess that with a filter you could just pump lake water to wash the boats?

  5. luap says:

    Paul, and where is the invasive species (and who knows what else) contaminated water going to drain to? (Back in the navigation channel?)

    DEC clearly stated – they don’t have the funds for a wash station right now.. maybe if a sponsor/funding source turned up they’d be willing to include one.

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