Thursday, October 6, 2016

Comments Sought On Upper Hudson Woodlands, Sacandaga Easement Lands

sacandaga recreation management planThe Draft Recreation Management Plan (Draft RMP) for the Upper Hudson Woodlands – Sacandaga Block Conservation Easement Lands is now available for public review and comment.  The lands involved include approximately 6,393 acres in the towns of Mayfield and Bleecker in Fulton County, and the towns of Edinburg and Greenfield in Saratoga County.

A public meeting will be held at 6:30 pm on October 12 at Northville Central School, 131 South 3rd Street, in Northville. The meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the proposed management actions in the Draft RMP and comment on the proposals. DEC will accept comments on the Draft RMP until November 11.

The Nature Conservancy purchased the lands of the Upper Hudson Woodlands ATP Conservation Easement from Finch, Pruyn and Company in 2007. The State of New York purchased a conservation easement on the lands in 2010 which included development rights, sustainable forestry requirements and specific public recreation rights. Upper Hudson Woodlands ATP purchased the lands in fee the same year.  DEC developed the Draft RMP to facilitate and manage public recreational use of the easement lands and complies with the terms and conditions of the easement.

Proposed management actions include:

Dennie Road Tract
Just outside of the Mayfield town center, recreation rights on this parcel will provide approximately 7 miles of groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. A parking area and associated kiosk will have trail information and a map. Use is limited to skiing and snowshoeing.

Jackson Summit West Tract
This tract provides access to Bernhardt Mountain. A snowmobile and non-motorized trails will reach the top of Bernhardt Mountain and a fishing spot (Lynus Vly). The total trail distance on this tract will be approximately 3 miles.

Hohler Road Tract
The recreation rights proposed on this parcel will provide a shorter snowmobile trail linking the communities of Peck’s Lake, Caroga, and Mayfield.

Benson Road Tract
The Benson Road recreation rights allow permanent snowmobile access on a primary corridor linking the communities of Caroga Lake and Mayfield. The proposed northern route and parking will provide improved motor vehicle access to West Stony Creek and adjacent Forest Preserve.

Gordon’s Creek Tract, Johnny Cake Lake Tract, and Desolation Road Tract
These rights to snowmobile trails are part of the larger New York State snowmobile trail network.  The community connector trails C8 and C8A traverse over approximately 13 miles of land addressed in this plan.

Currently, a parking area, four tent sites, and car-top boat launch accessible to persons with disabilities have been developed adjacent to the shore of Archer Vly. The entire tract is now open to the public for non-motorized recreation. A groomed and maintained snowmobile trail (C8A) traverses the tract using existing logging roads.

The Draft UMP is available for public review at DEC’s Region 5 sub office in Northville and at the town offices of Mayfield, Bleecker, Edinburg, and Greenfield. The complete document is available on DEC’s website. Copies are available in electronic format for distribution on compact disc and may be requested by calling DEC at (518) 897-1361. A limited number of printed copies are available, as well.

Written comments may be sent to Allison Buckley, Natural Resources Planner, NYSDEC, PO Box 1316, Northville, NY 12134, or e-mailed to r5.ump@dec.ny.gov until November 11.

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3 Responses

  1. It should be pointed out that these proposed new recreational facilities, which include snowmobile trails and motor vehicle access roads, are for easement lands acquired as part of the larger Finch Pruyn deal. Clearly that landmark acquisition (both fee and easement) is resulting in a large number of new recreational opportunities across the park.

    There is therefore no need to carve up the Boreas Ponds Tract in the name of “access” and “balance,” because when you look at the project as a whole these goals are already being achieved. Failure to protect BPT with a strong Wilderness designation would result in imbalance, because other than OK Slip falls there has not been a heck of a lot of new wilderness lands so far–and nothing anywhere near as remote as Boreas.

    • Boreas says:

      Bill,

      I agree 100%. But it now looks like the Boreas tract was essentially carved up and a done deal before the ink was dry on the taxpayers’ check. Easements into the heart of the parcel will nearly cut it in half. At least with this section opened up to most anything, it may reduce the numbers at BP.

    • Brude says:

      Bill,

      I get where you are coming from, but the converse of your comment is also true from a recreational point of view. There is still plenty of virtually untrammeled wilderness in the park to satisfy the most jaded wilderness hiker or canoeist. By that token, it is equally unnecessary to add all of Boreas to Wilderness classification.

      What gets me about Boreas is the fact that some individuals and groups aren’t satisfied with using the existing roads. More than one individual wants it “carved up” by trails making distances shorter to the best spots, and trails often mean bridges, boardwalks, and sometimes lean-tos also be constructed. Make it Wilderness, but leave it alone beyond that. Use what’s there, not remake it in someone’s ideal image.