Monday, September 24, 2012

New State Lands: The Long Road To Boreas Ponds

Boreas Ponds in the Adirondack MountainsBoreas Ponds lives up to expectations, but getting there is not easy, even by car. It would be much harder if the state decides to close the seven-and-a-half mile dirt road that leads to the mile-long lake, which affords stupendous views of the High Peaks.

This Sunday I visited Boreas Ponds for the first time as part of the band of reporters accompanying Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state officials.  Boreas Ponds is not open to the public now, but it will be sometime in the next five years.

The state intends to buy Boreas Ponds and the surrounding timberlands—some twenty-two thousand acres in all—from the Nature Conservancy in the coming years. All told, the state will buy sixty-nine thousand acres from the conservancy, nearly all of it former Finch Pruyn land.

Environmentalists want to see the Boreas Ponds tract added to the High Peaks Wilderness, but that raises questions about access. Roads are not allowed in Wilderness Areas, so if Boreas Ponds does become part of the High Peaks Wilderness, some environmentalists might argue that the road should be closed. However, there is a way around the regulations: the state could classify the tract as Wilderness but leave the road open as a Primitive Corridor. Another option would be to classify part of the tract Wild Forest, a designation that allows roads.

So Boreas Ponds has two possible futures. In one scenario, it becomes a remote backcountry lake that only those willing and able to hike seven-and-a-half miles will ever see. Most likely, only die-hard paddlers would carry or wheel canoes there.

There is a certain appeal to this scenario. Visitors would be more apt to find solitude (in addition to a campsite), and the remoteness would add to the wild splendor of the lake.

But state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens told Sunday’s gathering that the state wants to make Boreas Ponds accessible to everyone, not just the fit and hardy. That suggests that the state will keep the road open. In an interview afterward, however, Martens said no decisions have been made about the road or land classifications.

A compromise would be to close only part of the road. This would keep Boreas Ponds somewhat secluded but shorten the hike in to something more reasonable.

I’m told that one idea is to allow people to drive as far as LeBiere Flow, a still water on the Boreas River. From here paddlers could canoe up the flow and portage along the river to Boreas Ponds. Hikers would reach the ponds by walking along the closed section of road.

This option would require keeping open more than five miles of road.

Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, has said he’d like to see the road to Boreas Ponds kept open to provide access to paddlers. Other environmentalists are less receptive to this idea.

“There should be no driving to the ponds or parking at the ponds,” David Gibson of Adirondack Wild said this morning.

However, Gibson said he might support keeping some of the road open if doing so won’t harm natural resources. “I’m not prepared to say how far,” he said.

John Sheehan, spokesman for the Adirondack Council, said the council would like to see the whole tract classified as Wilderness, but the environmental group will listen to arguments that the road should be kept open.

“We’d be willing to talk about these things, but we are going to push for as much Wilderness as possible, and we’d have to be persuaded that there is a conservation reason for doing this, not just a recreational reason,” Sheehan said.

On Sunday, a paddle around Boreas Ponds revealed knockout views of mountains. Rising nearby were the North River Mountains to the west and Boreas Mountain to the east. A bit farther away, to the north, were the High Peaks. We were bowled over by a vista that included Marcy, Skylight, Haystack, and Gothics, with its bedrock slopes glinting in the sun. However you get to Boreas Ponds, views like these will make the trip worthwhile.

Photos by Phil Brown: Boreas Ponds; Governor Cuomo takes questions. 

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Phil Brown

Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack.

Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing.

He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.

Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.




76 Responses

  1. A says:

    Why do the environmentalists always get all the say what get done with state lands? It seems like the DEC is run as a department for environmentalists, by the environmentalists these days.

    Whatever happened to the public and what is right for the majority of people?

    • John Warren John Warren says:

      A,

      Nice red-baiting, but who says “environmentalists” get “all the say”? There is a big public process ahead, and no doubt the dominate theme will be calls for increased motorized access to even more remote roads.

      Besides, if it wasn’t for “environmentalists” these new state lands would continue in private hands and you’d have no access. I guess it’s your prerogative to launch an early attack on “environmentalists,” but that’s seems pretty inconsiderate of the recreation opportunities you are about to receive in part through their hard work.

      And just to be clear, anyone with actual experience with DEC culture knows that, in general terms, sportsmen tend to have more sway than environmentalists.

  2. Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

    This blog was written with the bias that the ponds should be a canoe destination. By extending this logic, the West Canada Lakes should have had a road spot-zoned as a “primitive corridor” so that anyone — not just the super-fit — can carry a canoe there.

    So refresh my memory:

    What exactly is wrong with the notion of remoteness?

    Isn’t the challenge of reaching a remote destination supposed to be part of the appeal?

    Wouldn’t the Boreas Ponds be a perfectly fine backpacking destination?

    Isn’t ADK’s support for these new roads in the Forest Preserve a violation of its own internal conservation policy?

    For those people who need motorized access, won’t there be plenty of opportunities for that in the easement lands?

    • julius parleaius says:

      Well stated sir. You hit the nail on the head. Compare the quality of lakes that have drive up launches to those that you must hike into.

  3. Phil Brown Phil Brown says:

    Bill, I didn’t take a position in the article. I understand the appeal–and said as much–of a remote lake that takes some work to get to. Certainly it would appeal to backpackers. But if I read the tea leaves right, the state is inclined to make Boreas Ponds accessible to a wider public. How accessible is the question.

  4. Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

    Phil,

    With all due respect, the very first line betrays that bias. The summit of Mt Marcy is also about 7.5 miles from the trailhead and isn’t “easy” by most standards. Is that much of a factor for the dozens of people who go there on a decent summer day? I suppose it would be if for some reason they were all carrying canoes.

    As far as roads go, remember there is a park-wide mileage cap for DEC-owned roads in Wild Forest areas. A wholesale opening of auto routes to the Boreas Ponds and the Essex Chain could mandate the **closure** of Wild Forest roads elsewhere.

    As for the “primitive corridor” thing, unless there is a private inholding that someone needs to drive to, it would be a precedent to spot-zone such a corridor purely for recreational access. All existing primitive corridors are intended to be temporary access routes for private landowners, to be closed if and when the inholdings are sold to the state.

  5. Peter H says:

    The Adirondack Almanack advertises itself as a “journal”, and as such has a duty to report both sides objectively. It has not meat this standard.

    An easement purchase would have ensured that the roads would be maintained by a private landowner, and could have allowed a balanced use of both private and public recreation.

    The Fee purchase plan is grievously flawed, from an economic, environmental, and natural resource management standpoint, not to mention the social and cultural view that generational camps will be forced out of existence.

    There is no sound, rational, or logical purpose for the fee purchase. Something mighty unseemly is afoot here.

  6. Ike says:

    “The Adirondack Almanack advertises itself as a “journal”, and as such has a duty to report both sides objectively.”

    lulwut?

    Somebody better tell my 11 year old niece to start reporting things objectively in her journal…

  7. Phil Brown Phil Brown says:

    Bill, the primitive corridor precedent has already been set, I believe, in the case of the Alice Brook snowmobile trail and perhaps others. In any case, if DEC wants to keep the road open, it will find a rationale. Wild Forest is another option. The road could be the boundary between Wilderness and Wild Forest. Again, I am not endorsing keeping the road open; I’m just reporting on the issue. Closing the road will deter a lot of hikers as well as paddlers. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing … but I get the impression that state officials do not see it that way.

    • julius parleaius says:

      In a simialr vein, what was the rational for keeping the road open to Moose Pond in St. Armand, Essex County? It adjoins the Mckenzie wilderness and could have been included as the Keystone for that management area. Now all we have is campsites all around the lake, garabage filled fire pits and motor boats. Access helped to ruin that resource. Anyone who thinks putting up a sign that says “no bait fish” or “no camping” works needs to visit this site. Do you see much litter in a place people have to hike 7 miles to get to? I don’t think so. Lets think about protecting the resource first and keep our use as a secondary thought.

      • Peter H says:

        The private clubs have no litter. They are responsible stewards.

        • julius parleaius says:

          I am not against private ownership. I do love the Forest Preserve and once added, it should be given the designation that is most approriate for the protection of the resource. In this case that is wilderness. Try enjoying the outdoors without combusting hydrocarbons. When the journey is harder, so is the reward.

    • julius parleaius says:

      It should be considered. Price seems very low if that includes all the structures.

      • Peter H says:

        Noting that we paid for and built the structures over decades, with Finch’s approval.

        • julius parleaius says:

          So the “club” owns the structures and you can remove or salvage?

          • Kelli says:

            Correct – actually, the clubs are responsbible to remove the structures when the purchases finalize and the leases run out. The clubs own them, not the land owners.

          • Paul says:

            This is true, but I imagine the state will have to pay for most of this removal. I think that is what has happened on other parcels bought by the state. The clubs don’t have too much incentive to spend money removing these structures.

            What will happen here is probably what happened on the Madawaska Flow property. The state will have to remove most of the structures then they will have to close the road. Hopefully the state got the easements they need for this land. What a bungle over there:

            http://adirondackexplorer.org/out-takes/2012/06/11/landowner-closes-road-to-madawaska-flow/

    • julius parleaius says:

      “This is one of the most important regions in the Park in terms of ecology and tourism potential,” said John Sheehan, spokesman for the Adirondack Council. “It would be like asking someone who just purchased a Picasso if they could just cut a couple of pieces out of it before they took possession. I don’t think anyone would agree to that.”

      As to the Gooley proposal, (Neil)Woodworth said: “Their idea of a conservation easement would exclude the public. The public would in effect be paying for [the Gooley Club’s] playground through taxes” paid by the state on the easement lands.

  8. Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

    “In any case, if DEC wants to keep the road open, it will find a rationale.”

    And that doesn’t raise any red flags? Why the pretension of a SLMP, then?

  9. Phil Brown Phil Brown says:

    Bill, I’m just stating what I believe is factual. If Primitive Corridors raise too many legal questions, then DEC could classify some of the tract as Wild Forest. The SLMP, as you know, is subject to interpretation and is not entirely free of politics.

  10. Peter H says:

    Bill, they will creatively classify all of the road, except the last mile, and “wild forest”, and I’m sure there will be 3 parking spots. The 1 mile remaining will be “wilderness” so the Hornbeck boats wont get too heavy…

  11. Solidago says:

    It’s nice that Adirondack Wild and the Adirondack Council seem to be putting protection ahead of recreation, even though that stance will likely tick off plenty of folks. I hope they stick with it and get the whole tract classified as wilderness – or have it designated Wild Forest. The gerrymandering that goes on with classifications is pretty silly.

  12. Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

    Phil,

    Don’t I know it. But the whole purpose of the SLMP is to provide an apolitical decision-making process for the classification of state land, separate from the ambitions of a governor who wants to boost his reelection chances by making the greatest amount of people happy.

    The real story here is NOT about the potential hikers-versus-paddlers-versus-hunters dispute that you are portraying here, where all the user groups gang up on each other over the status of the roads.

    The story that SHOULD be reported from this incident (i.e. a collection of officials being bused out of Albany to ride around the property in ATVs and pose for pictures) is the fact that the governor’s office is likely planning to influence the future decision of the APA, which should still be years away from happening anyway.

    • Paul says:

      They were riding around on ATVs. That is classic!

      For some paddling enthusiasts it is all about access. Look at the whole “navigation rights” debate. The Sierra Club is mostly interested in access. It. isn’t about conservation.

  13. Phil Brown says:

    I didn’t see any ATVs. As far as I know people were transported only by vans. If people did ride ATVs, though, it would not have been illegal. The roads and land are still privately owned.

    • Paul says:

      Phil, I understand that it is still currently legal. If they had them I just find it funny. It is the principal of the thing.

  14. TiSentinel65 says:

    John, you have it all wrong. If it wasn’t for the taxpayer , these deals would not be done. So you should be thanking people like me that work sixty hours a week to pay for it. You are welcome.

  15. Pete Nelson Pete Nelson says:

    Well, this debate has inspired me to write a Dispatch devoted to the question of how much Wilderness is enough.

    In the mean time, while these comments reflect the same old debate that gets replayed over and over again, the dueling insinuations – or outright claims – that Phil Brown’s article constitutes biased reporting are just silly. I’ve been at this Adirondack Almanack deal for roughly a year now and Phil is about the most even-handed contributor the Almanack enjoys. This current column is a good example. It constitutes perfectly credible journalism and strikes me as eminently fair.

  16. TiSentinel65 says:

    This article hits at a theme that is going to be played out many times over in the future. Now that we own it, what do we do with it? There will be many forces pulling for the way they believe the land should be classified and used. Everyone is not going to get everything they would want in the classification process, however, if they do it right, I am sure everybody can walk away with a semi warm feeling. Who said we all can’t get along and play nice?

  17. Paul says:

    I think that the classification of the land should look at the economics for the surrounding towns. One big “selling point” for this transactions was that it would have a positive economic impact. Seems like some folks have already forgotten about that “promise”.

    • julius parleaius says:

      Who has forgotten that? Ever been to a community surrounding a national Park. People use wilderness. Drive into the ADK LOJ some Saturday. No reason there can’t be a similar facility in the south. You can even have rail line serving it. The East coasts only ghost town nearby. Just need to market it.

      • Paul says:

        This is a good point. I am under the weather today and was watching a show on Denali National Park. They are talking about how they now have heli hiking in the park. We could have a similar thing. They are also talking about how they have a brisk bush pilot industy that ferries folks into hike and hunt. That would be a good argument for a Wild Forest designation here.

  18. julius parleaius says:

    It is interesting that we are debating yet another old “road” issue in the Adirondacks. We still have not settled, Old Mountain rd, South Meadows and oh yes, Crane Pond. I can’t believe the DEC and APA allow vehicles to drive through that wetland, or as some call it “mud pit”, on the way in. Egregious! If it’s a road, put a bridge/structure in place to protect the wetland. Or close it down! How many decades has it been now? What would the APA do if a private property owner was doing that on their own property/shoreline? Yet we turn our head on the public lands? Shameful.

    • Paul says:

      I think the “old mountain” road issue has been settled and settled again.

      • julius parleaius says:

        I hear you. Yes it legally is a road. Courts made that clear. It did bring up other issues still unresolved. For ATVs and Snowmobiles to be used it does need to be so designated by the towns. Don’t think that has happened(except Keene hunting season?).

        Wilderness areas can not be bisected by roads. Now the Sentinnel is, and the southern section would be under the 10,00 threshold. Should redesignation now be required opening up entirley new uses?

        Can we just now officialy abandon the road and go back to what was planned in the original UMP?

  19. Peter H says:

    I’m seeing the epitome of hypocrisy here. You guys are talking about the SLMP and how it’s supposed to be used as an “apolitical decision making” tool. Here it is. I refer you to page 7, paragraph 11:

    http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/adk.pdf

    So how can you possibly justify this unlawful acquisition?

  20. julius parleaius says:

    Very good find to argue your point. These are recommendations for one, and stretching to “unlawful” as you say,…you should work for the Romney campaign. Following their bullets the document even states..”While the Agency has not been given authority to review proposed acquisitions before title has vested in the state…” Secondly, many, many would argue that the property was at risk.”

    I do think the club purchase recomendation should be considered. However, I dont like how these easement lands, clubs get tremendous favored access. I think the value of this proposed “inholding” would be considerable more than the proposed purchase price once you consider all the special privelages and that it will now be surrounded by state land.

    • Peter H says:

      “Very good find.”? You just admitted that you have no knowledge of the document that is being used to guide the $50 million abuse of taxpayer dollars.

      Could you explain how the property is at risk please? A senior Nature Conservancy executive told me that , “Your club is not a threat.” In fact, we are the stewards of the resource.

      • julius parleaius says:

        Yes, I am hardly a SLMP expert. Never claimed to be. Just a lay person who has a second home in the park. I have not read cover to cover. I basically look up parts when there is a debate like this. You didn’t think you were debating Peter Bauer or David Gibson did you? I think it is a great addition to the Preserve. I don’t see were the passage you quoted makes it “unlawful.” I don’t think it’s an abuse of tax payers money. I think it’s wonderful. Just my opinion.

  21. Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

    Phil,

    This was from the Press Republican article found in the link on the right side of the Almanack website today:

    [quote]Cuomo said he wanted statewide leaders to understand the value of Adirondack resources. “I wanted you to see it. I wanted you to see it personally. I also want to publicize it. From an (urban) point of view, there is a Northern New York,” the governor said. “Teambuilding across departments,” he said, pulling from his experience with former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s staff, “made you more effective as a government.” And so organized, nearly the entire leadership team of New York’s state government set out afoot or in canoes or on all-terrain vehicles to explore areas rarely seen by the public.[/quote]

    I am not inferring that the ATV riding was illegal this past weekend when the officials made their visit (the article never states who rode the ATVs or where they rode them). But ATV riding absolutely will be illegal once the land is acquired. Without derailing this discussion into an ATV argument, let’s just say that this annecdote (and the one about using the hatchet for bushwhacking purposes) won’t earn these folks any “Leave No Trace Stewards of the Year” awards.

    Contrast this with George Pataki. When he wanted a photo op at one of his new land purchases, he was content to do so at the trailhead. For instance, with Whitney Park in 1998 the press conference was held at Little Tupper HQ, not in the backcountry. He didn’t take a convoy of vans to Rock Pond to show off the beauty of a remote wilderness, and then barricade the road so that the public would be prevented from doing the same thing.

    Not that this “bus” tour to the Boreas Ponds, in September 2012, was wrong in the legal or even moral sense. But from a leadership perspective, it displays a poor understanding of what the land is destined for, of what the Forest Preserve is. The Boreas Ponds will not be a National Park, with sightseeing driving tours, rustic lodges, and recreational facilities tidily managed by the Park Service. Regardless of the eventual classification, what the state is buying is an addition to “Forever Wild.” But the nature of the Governor’s visit was incompatible with how the Forest Preserve is managed. For instance, if the tract becomes added to the High Peaks Wilderness, then the sheer number of officials and reporters present on Sunday would exceed the day use group size limit (16 people). Or even if the entire Boreas Ponds tract gets classified as Wild Forest, the ATV riding would still be strictly off the table.

    So although the word “wilderness” was apparently bandied about throughout their visit, I agree with your “tea leaves” statement to the extent that these activities demonstrate that few of the people in attendance have a comprehension of what “Wilderness” (with a capital W) means.

    But the very indication that state officials have already made up their mind about the classification is the real meat of this story, and the one that should be drawing gasps.

    Because it makes this discussion that we are having here completely irrelevant.

    Because it will make the public input process regarding the future management of these lands a farce.

    Because it will render the SLMP meaningless.

    If the SLMP were the guiding document, as it was intended to be, then this should be kept in mind (from page 8):

    — prior to classification by the
    Agency, lands acquired by the Department
    of Environmental Conservation or any other
    state agency will be administered on an
    interim basis in a manner consistent with the
    character of the land and its capacity to
    withstand use and which will not foreclose
    options for eventual classification.

    I have always taken this to mean that for any new Forest Preserve parcel, during the iterrim period between the date of acquisition and the time it is officially designated, should be managed as Wilderness if in fact there are no special use reservations (private ROWs, timber rights, etc.) and it otherwise meets Wilderness requirements. Doing otherwise (i.e. allowing motorized access) could foreclose the eventual option to designate the land as Wilderness. While this mandate is not yet in effect — the DEC has in fact not bought the land, and so it currently remains a private tract — state leaders should have known better than to engage in non-Forest Preserve activities on land they were specifically touting as a pending Forest Preserve acquisition.

    So, in summary, I don’t disagree with your assessment that our state leaders are expressing a clear bias towards motorized access, just the framing of the story as a “paddlers versus hikers” dilemma. The true story is that our state leaders are apparently moving toward a decision — before we the public can even set foot on the land in question and see it for ourselves.

    I am a paddler AND a hiker. I’ve seen the Boreas Ponds from Allen Mountain, and frankly the place looks shallow and full of lilypads. Beautiful, yes; worthy of acquisition, absolutely; the equivalent of Little Tupper Lake, not so much. The people who want drive-in access to a new canoe route will have the section of the Hudson River between Upper Works and Lower Works. This purchase WILL have something to offer for a broad range of people. Let the more remote places have a shot at Wilderness, completely free of future motorized access.

    • Peter H says:

      Bill, what do you have to say about paragraph 11?

      • Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

        That paragraphs 1-10 offer competing criteria for what should or should not be acquired, some of which strongly support buying the Essex Chain; and that paragraph 12 proclaims all of these to be merely recommendations, and that the SLMP has no bearing on what land is and is not acquired. The SLMP only becomes applicable after an acquisition is made.

        • Peter H says:

          Bill, legalese is difficult to interpret for the lay person. When you read “shall” or “may” these are both defined as “must”.

          There is absolutely no support for the Essex Chain acquisition in this document. It is a vital part of a productive forest, and is not in threat of development. Bear in mind that “productive forests” rely upon recreation lease revenues as an integral part of the business model. APA recently acknowledged that in the renegotiation of the Champion land recreational lease continuation.

          Furthermore, any development rights should be transferred to the towns, and this would be prohibited under Forest Preserve regulations.

          • julius parleaius says:

            “the Agency has not been given authority to review proposed acquisitions before title has vested in the state…” How can you argue it’s “unlawful” when in the same paragraph it states it has NO AUTHORITY in the matter?

    • Phil Brown says:

      Bill, as a reporter, I don’t like being in the position of defending the governor’s photo op. However, I don’t see anything wrong with bringing the press in to see the beauty of Boreas Ponds–not while the property is still in private hands. First, the rules of the Forest Preserve simply don’t apply. Second, I don’t think natural resources were harmed by the visit. So where’s the beef?

      At to ATVs, I didn’t see anybody riding them. Apparently the P-R reporter did.

      Yes, it seems DEC is leaning toward allowing access, but it still has to follow the law, consider all the options, and justify its decision. You and others will have a chance to persuade the department to close the road. If any group feels the decision violates the SLMP, it will have the option of going to court.

      I don’t see the theme of my article as “hikers vs. paddlers.” Like you, many hikers are paddlers too. But I’m just pointing out the obvious fact that a seven-mile carry will deter most paddlers from visiting Boreas Ponds. A minority of paddlers may prefer a long carry, as it would make the ponds more secluded.

      Also, I think Boreas Ponds, though smaller, beats Little Tupper for scenery, hands down.

      • Phil Brown says:

        More on ATVs: I just checked with the Nature Conservancy and was told it’s not true that people were riding ATVs. I’ll check with the reporter as well.

        • Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

          In regards to:

          “I don’t see the theme of my article as “hikers vs. paddlers.” Like you, many hikers are paddlers too. But I’m just pointing out the obvious fact that a seven-mile carry will deter most paddlers from visiting Boreas Ponds. A minority of paddlers may prefer a long carry, as it would make the ponds more secluded.”

          When I suggest that someone is biased, I am by no means trying to be insulting. Indeed, every man, woman and child that ever breathed air was a biased creature, full of assumptions, expectations, and selfish motivations. I have merely been pointing out that you attended this event and came away with the idea that the key management decision will be whether to allow road access, noting that closing the road would effectively bar paddlers from access to Boreas Ponds. True, but does a paddler cease to be a paddler if he goes for a hike?

          On the other hand I read about the event and (based on my assumptions and biases) came away with different conclusions. If they were not riding around on ATVs, then that certainly deflates a good chunk of my argument. However, as I stated clearly above my concern is not the legality of the action, but the leadership aspect of it: i.e. state officials gathering to pose on a proposed Forest Preserve acquisition while engaged in activities that will largely be prohibited/regulated after that acquisition, and inferring a future management direction (based on your own assessment) that ignores the fact that these same opportunities could be provided much less invasively at other locations.

          • Phil Brown says:

            I checked with the P-R reporter, Kim Smith Dedam. Kim says she did not see anybody riding ATVs. However, she thought she heard Joe Martens mention four-wheelers in describing the outings on the Boreas Ponds property. TNC is adamant that no ATVs were used. So either Joe Martens misspoke or Kim misheard.

          • Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

            Thanks. This does affect my perception of the day’s proceedings, then.

    • Paul says:

      Bill, It means that it should be managed in a manner consistent with the character of the land. That isn’t Wilrness in this case. How do you figure?

  22. Pete Klein says:

    If the idea of opening these lands to the public as stated by the governor is to promote the tourist economy, then the road should be kept open.
    Why? Because the majority of those who come to visit and hike in the Adirondacks want the hikes to be hikes you can do, get in and out, within one day.
    If you limit access to those who have the time and ability to backpack in and camp out one or more nights, you greatly reduce those who will bother.

    • julius parleaius says:

      I Agree but I don’t think that should be the number one reason for purchase. Protection of the resource should be. The easier the access the less pristine it will be.

      • Paul says:

        True, but the state should be honest about that up front. This was praised by the state as a purchase that, along with pervading, would be a boom for tourism in the surrounding towns. Like some have said above you have to at least get above the past revenue generated by all the club activity (not insignificant) just to make it have any impact on the torism economy of the area. They should have done the math ahead of time. I hope they did.

        • Paul says:

          Sorry “preserving” not “pervading”, iPads!

          • Phil Brown says:

            DEC is saying Joe Martens was referring to four-wheel-drive vehicles, not four-wheelers. “No all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) were used or referenced,” according to spokeswoman Lori Severino.

        • Paul says:

          Phil, thanks. I didn’t mean to start a brew ha. It just sounded like they were using some ATVs. That would have been fine, just funny. I would imagine that those roads are ideal for ATV use.

    • Paul says:

      Pete, I agree. Even Phil acknowledged that above:

      “Closing the road will deter a lot of hikers as well as paddlers.”

      The real problem is that all this planning should have been done prior to the acquisition. It is like buying a house and having no idea what you are going to use it for and how you plan to maintain it.

      Seems to me that the state will have no choice but to close the roads they cannot afford to maintain what they have now.

      • Phil Brown Phil Brown says:

        Paul, I did say a long carry or hike will deter a lot of paddlers and hikers. However, others might be drawn to the solitude that remoteness brings. Remoteness itself is an attraction for many. So we need to keep some places remote, both for the sake of the natural resource and for the sake of providing a recreational experience that only remoteness can offer. DEC and the APA will decide how “remote” Boreas Ponds will be. Their answer will be determined by ecological, recreational, economic, and, yes, political considerations.

        • Paul says:

          I agree. And I think it would have been better to make all these considerations before we agreed as a state to
          buy the land. How did they seriously expect the towns or any party affected by the deal to make an informed decision. There will be plenty of remote areas on these parcels even if these roads remain open. One balanced approach would be to close the roads for most of the year and have them open during the hunting seasons. Maybe you could have like they used to have on the old carries a wagon to haul boats for those that dont

          • Paul says:

            oops, sent before done. who don’t want to carry their boat in or don’t have a fancy light weight boat (or have a slew of kids they have to drag in at the same time)!

  23. TiSentinel65 says:

    DEC’s default position may have to be that they will have to close some roads. Legacy costs will have to be factored in all future budgets and with few dollars, only so much can be done. Maybe partnerships with the counties could be worked out. I say counties because I could not see a town like North Hudson, with few taxpayers, wanting to up their highway budgets. Also Mr. Julius Parleaius, if you have driven in to Crane of lately you will notice the water level of the beaver pond to which you refer on the way into Crane is way below the road bed so that condition does not exist. Lack of maintenance seems to be a problem and it will be a problem for the states newly aquired roads. The town of Schroon however does a good job keeping this maintained, they however probably couldn’t get DEC to get rid of the beaver dam.

    • julius parleaius says:

      I did not go into Crane Pond this year. I figured the water level was much lower this summer. I stand corrected on this years condition. I do change by my position on the road in general. Fill is not appropriate maintenance.

      • Paul says:

        I do agree that on some roads there may be necessary legal challenges required like we saw with the “old mountain” road. With that precedent I would imagine that these others (if not legally abandoned) by the towns remain in their jurisdiction as well.

  24. julius parleaius says:

    Peter H,
    I found your petition. Good Luck. I can understand why you would be upset with this deal. While I disagree with everything you write, I do enjoy it. Some of my favorite quotes from you…

    “DEC should make every effort to keep the clubs in operation.”

    “Demand forest protection! Demand that the Governor allow this land to remain in private ownership!”

    “The Forest Preserve model is flawed, and no fee acquisitions should be made until the management issues can be resolved.”

    “The State should not purchase this land. The state should not even purchase development rights; those should be transferred in the private sector. At the most, the state should purchase some recreational access easements, and they should be structured to protect the private clubs, and provide general public access to some canoe routes.”
    and my favorite..

    “A fee acquisition will trigger a predictable economic crisis.”

    • Paul says:

      This is a good example of what can make these debates turn sour.

    • Peter H says:

      You neglected to mention that I constantly advocate for shared-use; a win-win situation for all, at a considerably lower cost to the taxpayers. I take it you don’t like the shared-use idea for one reason or another. Care to explain?

      Would you like to address my concerns about the lack of forest protection control on Forest Preserve land?

    • Peter H says:

      julius, I understand that you don’t like my comments or position on this matter, but I don’t understand why. Would you share your position please?

  25. Paul says:

    It seems to me that the mistake here (as we seen over and over) is that the cart has been put before the horse. All these planning decisions should have been done before an offer was ever made. The Forest Preserve “model” may not be flawed but the planning process is flawed no matter what you think the outcome for this land should be. Now the towns will have to wait and see which squeaky wheels get the grease and how the land is classified and what results will be.

  26. Peter H says:

    More artificial conservation failures in the news: A Moose was euthanized today on the Ausable River. It was injured and caused traffic tie-ups. F’n great.

    When they were reintroduced to the Adirondacks, I wrote that I was familiar with moose (I’m part Newfoundlander), and where they are populate, roadside woods are usually cut back 100 meters or so, which was illegal on Forest Preserve land. I was right. DEC was wrong. Great job DEC!

    A wolf pack out West was killed today. Same deal; romantic conservation ideals failed. They interfered with cattle.

    We need common sense in conservation.

    Liberals please note failed policies and the first several letters of conservat…

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