What follows is a letter sent to the APA.
The Adirondack Park Agency has pending before it the classification of lands and waters comprising the Boreas pond tract. This action represents the final step in an historic process beginning with the acquisition of these lands by the Nature Conservancy followed by the acquisition from the Nature Conservancy by the state of New York and now the pending classification decision.
The decision by the Adirondack Park Agency regarding this parcel is anything but routine. It is a decision that must be made in the context of New York’s historic role in establishing the Forest Preserve and the Adirondack Park. The decision must be made from the perspective of history and the decision must be made as a part of that history; that is, as a decision that will be judged not now, but 100 years from now.
This is not a decision simply weighing the views of those interests advocating now. It is a decision that will affect and be viewed by New Yorkers generations hence. The Agency, as an arm of the state of New York must represent that view in making this decision. Simply put, the Agency must follow in the tradition of the great New York conservationists on whose shoulders the Agency now stands.
The portions of the Boreas pond tract lying north of the Boreas ponds and Gulf Brooke roads, lands that abut the High Peaks and Dix Mountain wilderness, must be classified as wilderness. The spur Road from the Boreas and Gulf Brook roads leading to the dam should be closed. Maintenance of this dam can be accomplished by pedestrian access along the spur road, converted to a disabled access trail with any heavy materials needed in such maintenance operations supplied by air. There is no reason to jeopardize the integrity of the wilderness area by a road sufficient to carry vehicular traffic.
This decision is an opportunity for the members of this Adirondack Park Agency to contribute to the legacy of New York State. Please do not squander it by attempting to adjudicate contemporary interests. This is too important a decision to be a business as usual political decision. This decision represents an action that will be judged by history.
Given the pressures of continued population growth, the environmental impact of landscape development , climate change and forces we cannot now predict, it is abundantly clear that wilderness and life supporting ecosystems will be threatened. A decision by the Agency on the Boreas Ponds will assure that the generations that follow in New York will have access to natural systems that are likely to be increasingly scarce. Please act now to preserve that character and designate the portions of the tract North of the Gulf Brook and Boreas Ponds roads as wilderness.
The above commentary was submitted to the Adirondack Park Agency, which will soon be deciding how to classify Boreas Ponds and a number of other recently acquired state lands.