The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that they are revising the Unit Management Plan to allow more access to more than 88,000 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands north and east of Paul Smiths in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest, the Madawaska Pond/Quebec Brook Primitive Area, and the Deer River Primitive Area. (Adirondack Atlas Map).
These Forest Preserve lands are required to be managed in a manner consistent with Article XIV, Section 1 of the New York State Constitution, which includes the “forever wild” clause.
The lands include more than 40 parcels located in the towns of Brighton, Duane, Franklin, Santa Clara, and Waverly in Franklin County. Natural water features include portions of the Deer, Osgood, and St. Regis Rivers; Hatch, Hays, and Quebec Brooks; Debar, Madawaska, and Mountain Ponds; and Meacham and Kushaqua Lakes. Prominent peaks include Debar, Loon Lake, Kate, and Azure Mountains. Existing recreational uses include hunting, fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, paddling, horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and wildlife viewing.
The Debar Mountain Wild Forest is located between County Route 26 and State Route 3 in the east, County Route 55 and State Route 86 in the south, the Franklin and St. Lawrence County line in the west, and the Adirondack Park Blue Line in the north.
The Madawaska Pond/Quebec Brook Primitive Area, the Deer River Primitive Area, and several parcels of the Wild Forest are generally located in and around the Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands between State Route 30 in the east, State Route 458 in the north, Blue Mountain Road in the west, and the Keese Mills Road in the south.
Upon expected completion of a natural resource assessment, an analysis of existing and potential uses and a review of public comments, the Debar Mountain Wild Forest planning team are expected to prepare a draft Unit Management Plan (UMP). The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the draft UMP.
Two public meetings will be held for residents to meet with DEC staff and share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions regarding management of these Adirondack Forest Preserve lands.
The first meeting is at the Duane Firehouse on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, at 6 pm. The firehouse is located at 172 County Route 26, Malone (Duane), approximately 0.8 mile from State Route 30.
The second meeting is at the town of Franklin Town Hall on Wednesday Mar. 1, 2017, at 6 pm. The town hall is located at 8170 State Route 3, Vermontville, at the intersection of Cold Brook Road.
The facilities are wheelchair accessible. Provide any requests for specific accommodation in advance to DEC at (518) 897-1248.
Any interested individual or organization wanting to submit comments may contact Forester Robert Daley by mail at NYSDEC, PO Box 296, Ray Brook NY 12977; by telephone at (518) 897-1369; or by email at R5.UMP@dec.ny.gov.