Adirondack Wilderness Advocates has reviewed the comments (more than 16,000 pages worth) and found that more than 37 percent support classifying the entire tract as motor-free Wilderness.
Altogether, 84 percent of the comments support either AWA’s or BeWildNY’s plan, according to AWA, whereas only 15 percent support a Wild Forest classification that could allow motorized access all the way to Boreas Ponds.
BeWildNY, a coalition of eight environmental organizations, and Protect the Adirondacks all support opening Gulf Brook Road to within a mile of Boreas Ponds. Adirondack Wilderness Advocates and Adirondack Wild propose classifying nearly all of the Boreas Pond Tract as Wilderness.
I haven’t gone through all the comments, so I can’t verify AWA’s figures. In perusing the comments, however, I can confirm that many people do favor a Wilderness classification for the ponds (though not necessarily the entire tract). The Adirondack Council says 22,000 people signed a petition in favor of a Wilderness classification for the ponds.
Advocates for a less-restrictive classification plan, one with more Wild Forest, also are well represented in the comments and submitted their own petitions.
The APA is expected to vote on the classification early this year. Afterward, the state Department of Environmental Conservation will prepare a management plan. The APA then will review the plan to make sure it is compatible with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.
The APA has posted all Boreas Ponds classification comments here.
Boreas Ponds in June 2016 (Phil Brown photo).