Sunday, February 5, 2017

North Hudson Gateway: DEC Revising Hammond Pond Wild Forest Plan

UPDATE: The public meeting regarding the Hammond Pond Wild Forest Unit Management Plan scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at the North Hudson Town Hall, has been cancelled due to forecasted poor weather and road conditions. The meeting has been rescheduled for 6 pm on Thursday, February 16.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is revising the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for more than 45,500 acres of Forest Preserve lands in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest, including parcels adjacent to the proposed Adirondack Gateway at the former Frontier Town site in North Hudson.

The lands include more than 50 parcels located in the towns of Crown Point, Elizabethtown, Keene, Moriah, North Hudson, Schroon, Ticonderoga and Westport in Essex County. The majority of the Wild Forest is located between Lake Champlain in the east, State Route 74 in the south, the Northway in the west, and State Route 9N in the north. There are some parcels located between the Northway and US Route 9 and around the communities of Keene and Keene Valley, and notable parcels along the east side of Schroon Lake.  (Adirondack Atlas Map)

UMPs are expected to assess the natural, physical, social and recreational resources of the landscape and provide a foundation for the development of long-term land management goals, objectives and actions.

A public meeting is being held at the North Hudson Town Hall on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at 6:00 pm [note rescheduled time, see above]. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to meet with DEC staff and share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions regarding management of lands in the Wild Forest. This is expected to be the first of many opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process.

DEC completed a UMP for the Wild Forest in 1988. The UMP, which has been amended twice since 1988 – including a 1993 Bike Trail Amendment and the 2016 State Route 73/State Route 9N Viewing Area Amendment – can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/51337.html. Since the 1988 UMP nearly 5,500 acres have been added to the Wild Forest (192 acres are being proposed for addition in this UMP amendment).

Natural water features in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest include portions of the Schroon River, Black Brook, Crowfoot Brook, Split Rock Falls, Hammond Pond, and Moose Mountain Pond. The larger peaks include Bloody Mountain, Peaked Hill, Harris Hill, and Baxter Mountain. The existing recreational uses are hunting and fishing, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and wildlife viewing.

DEC is expected to complete a draft UMP for the Hammond Pond Wild Forest, which the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on.

Proposed management actions must be managed in a manner consistent with Article XIV, Section 1 of the New York State Constitution.

Any interested individual or organization wanting to submit comments may contact Forester Corrie O’Dea by mail at NYSDEC, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg NY 12885; by telephone at (518) 623-1275; or by email at R5.UMP@dec.ny.gov.

The North Hudson Town Hall is located at 3024 US Route 9, approximately one mile from Exit 29 of the Northway (I-87). The facility is wheelchair accessible. Provide any requests for specific accommodation in advance to DEC at (518) 897-1248.

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2 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    According to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, this meeting has been postponed.

  2. joshua johnson says:

    General questions about biking on DEC trails..

    What are the rules? Wilderness vs State Forest? Does it has to be specifically designated ‘biking’?

    I read somewhere that multi-use trails allow biking.. What’s a multi use trail? Something that allows hiking and skiing but doesnt specifically say biking, does that mean i can bike on it?

    I’m confused. Thanks for any help as I can’t find a clear comprehensive explanation.