Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Media To Host Boreas Ponds Forum in Schroon Lake Thursday

Three media outlets will host a forum on the future of the Boreas Ponds Tract at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Schroon Lake Central School auditorium.

The Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine, Sun Community News, and Adirondack Daily Enterprise invited a number of stakeholders to take part in the forum, including environmental activists and local-government representatives.

The Adirondack Park Agency has yet to decide how to classify the 20,758-acre parcel under the Park’s State Land Management Plan. The state Department of Environmental will later write a management plan for the property, but the types of recreation allowed and the degree of motorized access will be partially predetermined by the classification.

The classification has generated heated debates on Adirondack Almanack, largely over how much of the parcel should be classified motor-free Wilderness.

The following stakeholders will participate in the forum: Bill Farber, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors; Jason Kemper, chairman of the New York State Conservation Fund Advisory Board; Willie Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council; Dave Olbert, owner of Cloudsplitter Outfitters in Newcomb; Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks; Pete Nelson, co-founder of Adirondack Wilderness Advocates; Roger Dziengeleski, retired vice president and senior forester at Finch, Pruyn and Company; Dave Gibson, a partner in Adirondack Wild; and Ron Moore, supervisor of North Hudson, where Boreas Ponds is located.

The state purchased the Boreas Ponds Tract from the Nature Conservancy last spring, the final phase of a multi-year deal to acquire 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn timberlands for the public Forest Preserve. Other Finch, Pruyn lands in the deal include the Essex Chain Lakes, OK Slip Falls, and long stretches of the Hudson River.

The public is encouraged to attend the forum.

Photo of Boreas Ponds by Carl Heilman II.

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Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack. Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing. He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.

17 Responses

  1. JohnL says:

    Another Boreas Ponds discussion? Oh boy. Can’t wait!

  2. Paul says:

    I think the time period where the agency is getting outside input is over. The goal here is more educational, or what else is this for?

    • M.P. Heller says:

      Sell copy. It’s a pretty obvious attempt to make money and get attention for the media outlets involved.

      The organizers will probably take exception to my characterization of the event, in fact I fully expect them to do just that right here in this very comment section. That doesn’t change what this is though.

    • Boreas says:


      I think it is to have most of the concerned parties in one room and have a more facilitated “discussion” as opposed to a set time limit to say your piece and hit the bricks. If I were attending to observe, I think I would sit by the back door so that I could flee if a melee breaks out.

      • Paul says:

        But the time for discussion and public input has passed. It is time to let the agency make a decision. Once they know the classification then the concerned parties (who actually is everyone not just those that are paid to be involved like most of these parties) should re-group and have the discussion about what is next (the UMP process). Otherwise this will just devolve into another debate on a topic that is no longer really up for debate.

        • Amy Nelson says:

          There was no discussion.
          There was no input. Not really.
          Despite the good intentions of those sent from the APA… It was akin to the “inputting” of coins in a slot machine. No, I take it back… it wasn’t even that fulfilling, since the options on the table were obviously leaning one direction and without reason we can all understand or get behind. It seemed like there was already a decision and we were just going through motions. In the end, the great majority of “input” was from wilderness supporters. That should have sent the committee back to the table, but it didn’t.

          … and what’s wrong with debate? It’s new for this big neighborhood of ours, but so what? Personally I’m terrified by the thought of debating, but it’s IMPORTANT. It pushes us to be more informed. The people should be truly heard, and maybe this will help.

          We can choose not to admit it, but there is tremendous power in the act of really hearing a person; when you feel heard – really considered – your heart rate can settle down and a person can stop being all hoppin’ mad, and a person can DROP the threats.

          Just sayin’…. They were not “hearings” as they should have been; they were piles of three-minute speeches made by people with an opinions, not necessarily points. In my world, that’s a huge difference.

  3. tim-brunswick says:

    Both sides of the issue have amply expressed their views on multiple occasions statewide. I agree its time to sit back and wait for the APA to reach their conclusion, hopefully in March. Ultimately the attorneys for both sides will get richer as the arguments drag on in the courts.

    • Boreas says:

      Classification is only the first step. Next comes the argument over how DEC will implement the decision.

  4. Amy Nelson says:

    ABOUT TIME we start sitting down and talking, rather than feeling stuck, thinking we know all the “other side” knows or thinks or feels or has considered. It’s a way to education, and THAT, friends, is the silver bullet. It’s just the RIGHT thing to do. No more closed doors or closed minds. There’s always SOMEthing we didn’t know or hadn’t read or hadn’t thought of a certain way. Way to go, everyone! I wish it were streaming! Next one! This MUST continue!

  5. Pete Nelson says:

    Hello everyone. Long time.

    I called for the debate, not the media outlets. I wrote them and encouraged this, and somewhat to my surprise they jumped on it.

    Why did I do this? Because during a classification process that by every measure was the most important in decades, with record interest, there really was no debate. There was a lot of posturing and propaganda at hearings and in comments, almost all of it along the same, tired lines every dispute over land use has featured for decades. I wanted an actual debate, certainly something much closer than the rhetoric.

    Contrary to popular belief the APA is still accepting input (just because the public comment period is over does not mean that any further input is rejected) and still paying attention, as is the State and the Governor. There are huge issues at stake and we need a better dose of reality.

    Last night was civil, not contentious. There was wide disagreement of course, but substantive tone and some areas of common ground that can be carried forward. For example, no one on any side of the debate thought the APA’s analysis and draft DSEIS were adequate – all agreed that more science was needed. That’s important.

    I thought it was a successful night, certainly better than the national debates we’ve been having lately!

    It was recorded for broadcast by Mountain Lakes PBS.


    • Boreas says:

      Thanks again Pete!

    • Lorraine Duvall says:

      Thanks for the pointer to video, showing how we in the Adirondacks can have a civil debate on an issue dear to everyones heart. Our new administration could learn from this.

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