A second series of public meetings is planned for the Great South Woods initiative, to gather public input on a regional strategy to diversify and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities and improve community connectivity.
The area designated the “Great South Woods” by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encompasses more than two million acres in the southern Adirondack Park.
The public is invited to provide their feedback at three meetings:
November 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at View arts center in Old Forge, New York
November 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek, New York
November 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Oak Mountain Ski Center, Speculator, New York
This round of public meetings is part of a planning process initiated in September 2014, which included public workshops to gather local knowledge and recreation ideas in six Adirondack communities.
More than 200 people attended the first round of meetings organizers say, with 58 percent coming from communities within the Great South Woods planning area. Participants contributed their knowledge of existing and potential trails, recreation assets, and points of interest. The effort resulted in more than 300 existing (but previously unmapped) features being added to the Forest Preserve assets inventory used by DEC planners, as well as more than 150 new ideas for trails of many types, in addition to campsites, boat carries, privies and other recreation assets.
“The DEC has sponsored the Great South Woods (GSW) initiative with the goal of creating a destination-based system of trails and recreation assets to stimulate economic activity while protecting the region’s unparalleled natural resources and wild character,” and announcement send to the media by SUNY ESF said. “The focus is on the vast Great South Woods region, where nearly two of every three acres is state land, and where a diversity of natural settings remain an untapped resource for local communities and tourism-oriented businesses.”
For more information about the GSW project and the participatory process, visit the ESF website at www.esf.edu/aec/greatsouthwoods.