Friday, December 11, 2020

APA, DEC announce new public comment period, public hearing for Debar

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), as co – lead agencies, have determined that the Integrated Series of Proposed State Land Management Actions in the Vicinity of Debar Mountain Wild Forest may have a significant adverse impact on the environment and have prepared a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) and Final Scope. NYS DEC and the APA announce an opportunity for public comment on the proposed actions.

The APA proposes re-classification of approximately 41 acres of land from the Debar Mountain Wild Forest to be classified as Intensive Use, on the shore of Debar Pond.  The reclassification proposal will be reviewed for compliance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and will be in conformance with the Programmatic EIS.  The proposed reclassification is located in the Town of Duane.

Click here for the Explorer’s coverage of yesterday’s APA meeting

NYS DEC proposes the adoption of the Debar Mountain Complex (DMC) Unit Management Plan (UMP), which will guide the actions that the NYS DEC will take to protect the resources of the area while accommodating public recreation. This draft UMP covers the Debar Mountain Wild Forest, Deer River Primitive Area, Madawaska Flow- Quebec Brook Primitive Area, and a newly classified Debar Lodge Intensive Use Area. This document will also serve as the River Area Management Plan for the Deer River, East Branch Saint Regis River, and the Saint Regis River. The draft UMP proposes to provide new recreation opportunities and to address current negative conditions, such as eroded trails and impacts to campsites. A significant action proposed in the draft UMP is to remove Debar Lodge and the other buildings at Debar Pond and replace them with a day-use picnic area. This action is preceded by and contingent upon a proposal to reclassify approximately 41 acres of Debar Mountain Wild Forest in the vicinity of the Debar Lodge to the Debar Lodge Intensive Use Area.

Currently, major topics under consideration in the draft UMP includes: removal of the Debar Lodge; creation of a day-use area and recreation hub on Debar Pond; improvement of the area’s recreational opportunities, including trails and primitive tent sites; fishing and waterway access sites, canoe access and carry routes; and development and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring program to determine if the carrying capacity of the water bodies in the unit has been exceeded.  Alternatives under consideration and more fully described in the Draft GEIS and Draft UMP include reclassification and management as intensive use/day use area, intensive use/campground, historic, administrative, and no action, including variations on these alternatives.

The Draft GEIS is available here and the Draft UMPs are available on DEC’s website here.

Written comments on the Draft GEIS and Draft UMPs are welcome and will be accepted by mail or e-mail until February 12, 2021.   

Comments should be submitted to:   [email protected] OR

USPS Mail: Mail:  Steven Guglielmi, NYS DEC, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977-0296

Hearings:

Tuesday, January 19, 2021, from 1:30 pm to 4:00 on Web: https://tinyurl.com/DeBarAfternoon
To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number 1-518-549-0500 and enter the access code:  179 267 0779

Tuesday, January 19, 2021, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Web: https://tinyurl.com/DebarEvening
To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number 1-518-549-0500 and enter the access code: 179 337 3417

Interpretation or transcription services will be made available to persons who are hearing impaired at no charge upon reasonable e-mailed request.

AGENCY CONTACTS FOR INFORMATION AND/OR COPIES OF DGEIS:

Matthew McNamara
Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977
(518) 891-4050
[email protected]

Steven Guglielmi
Department of Environmental Conservation
P.O. Box 296
Ray Brook, NY 12977-0296
[email protected]

Photo of Debar Lodge by Lorraine Duvall

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4 Responses

  1. Sue says:

    “NYS DEC proposes the adoption of the Debar Mountain Complex (DMC) Unit Management Plan (UMP), which will guide the actions that the NYS DEC will take to protect the resources of the area while accommodating public recreation. This draft UMP covers the Debar Mountain Wild Forest, Deer River Primitive Area, Madawaska Flow- Quebec Brook Primitive Area, and a newly classified Debar Lodge Intensive Use Area. This document will also serve as the River Area Management Plan for the Deer River, East Branch Saint Regis River, and the Saint Regis River. ”

    Don’t turn these beautiful quiet areas into the disney high peaks because too many people have been pied-pipered into them.
    when will we learn to let things be-

    • Matt M. says:

      I’m with you Sue. Debar Pond is no place for an Intensive Use Area. There is no demand for it and Meacham Lake Campground is just down the road for anyone seeking that setting. How can they report on its “remarkable scenic resources” and “tranquil character” and then propose these changes? Have you seen their proposed amendment map at the back of their draft UMP? https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/debarduaump.pdf

      Please voice your concerns at the virtual public meetings on Jan 19th and by submitting your feedback to the drafts to [email protected].

      Protect Debar Pond.

  2. Boreas says:

    My comment to APA,

    If the current administration wants to continue its weakening of Forest Preserve classifications, changing this one from Wild Forest to Intensive Use should be done differently than razing a useful structure to make yet another picnic area. Does APA/DEC have no imagination? Why not keep the structure, and adapt the immediate compound area ONLY for use by veterans with disabilities, including PTSD? Keep it isolated and quiet and provide caregivers when appropriate. I would assume federal and private funds could be obtained for this purpose. It at least should be considered. Do we really need another trash-littered picnic area? Why not something a little more unique?

    • Matt M. says:

      I’m with you Boreas. Like I said to Sue (above), Debar Pond is no place for an Intensive Use Area. There is no demand for it and Meacham Lake Campground is just down the road for anyone seeking that setting. How can they report on its “remarkable scenic resources” and “tranquil character” and then propose these changes? Have you seen their proposed amendment map at the back of their draft UMP? https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/debarduaump.pdf

      Please voice your concerns at the virtual public meetings on Jan 19th and by submitting your feedback to the drafts to [email protected].

      Protect Debar Pond.

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