In our deep-dive on Adirondack Park unit management plans (UMPs), we learned from the Adirondack Park Agency that Debar Mountain Wild Forest may soon be on the docket for another examination. In 2020, the agency and state Department of Environmental Conservation released a draft UMP that called for tearing down Debar Pond Lodge, a 1940s-era Great Camp in the town of Duane. It is an illegal structure on forest preserve lands.
But groups, particularly Adirondack Architectural Heritage, called for the building’s preservation. That would require a constitutional amendment, and though such a one has been introduced twice, it has not passed the state Legislature. Adirondack Architectural Heritage is hoping its third attempt will be successful this upcoming legislative session. Should it pass both houses, the earliest the amendment could be on a statewide ballot would be November 2025.
Adirondack Architectural Heritage and a nonprofit formed to save the lodge called Debar Pond Institute, released a survey of 239 visitors about the future of the building. Nearly all, 97% of voters, felt the building enhanced their visit and should be preserved. Nearly all, 98% of voters, said they would support a constitutional amendment.
It’s unclear when the APA and DEC will release the latest Debar UMP draft, but it was on a list of plans the APA is “actively” working on, according to the agency’s spokesperson. It will be interesting to see how it coincides with the progress of a proposed constitutional amendment. We will keep following it.
Adirondack Park Agency
The APA released a draft agenda for its monthly meeting on October 12. We will be learning more about a slate of new land classifications. In case you missed it, we had a preview of those lands and their proposed zoning classification in this story here: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/apa-classification-package-would-set-and-correct-zoning-on-state-lands.
View all APA public comment and hearing opportunities at: https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/index.cfm. New public comment opportunities include:
- Applicant Michelle Brown is proposing to expand the Warrensburg Travel Park and Riverfront Campground on Schroon River Road in the town of Warrensburg. The plan includes adding 51 campsites to the 174-site campground. Comments are due by Oct. 19. To see site plans and to submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2021-0095.
- Applicant William Lyons is proposing to reconfigure and subdivide four existing tax parcels that contain existing development to create four new lots to be redeveloped on Chelby Lane in the town of Northampton. Comments are due by Oct. 19. To see the site plans, read the full project description and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0110.
Debar Lodge photo by Lorraine Duvall/Almanack archive
This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.