The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has announced the release of preliminary findings from its analysis of the wood supply, supply chain infrastructure needs and opportunities, and recommendations for addressing them. The analysis examines the North Country’s current timber supply, its workforce, its infrastructure and the markets that affect them. Findings and recommendations will be unveiled at the Fall Forestry Roundtable in Queensbury on October 12, 2016. » Continue Reading.
In the recent news and comments about ongoing crowding in the High Peaks there are few references to the document which ostensibly is guiding the state’s management actions there: the 1999 Highs Wilderness Complex Unit Management Plan, or UMP. That management plan is downloadable from the DEC website.
It has a lot of important things to say about applying wilderness management and carrying capacity concepts to the very practical problems of managing the widely varying human use pressures over the great distances and very different environments of the High Peaks. » Continue Reading.
This summer Protect the Adirondacks was in near constant legal skirmishes with the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation over tree cutting to build the newest snowmobile trail from Newcomb to Minerva. We stopped the state from tree cutting for most of the summer, and all of September, and we’ll be in court again in October.
This trail requires cutting over 15,000 trees and extensive grading with heavy machinery to widen and flatten a 9-12 foot wide road-like corridor. Our work has kept over 8,500 trees standing tall in the forest. Our argument is, in essence, that the Cuomo Administration is building a network of new roads through the “forever wild” Forest Preserve. The land cleared to build the trail from Newcomb to Minerva is between 13-17 acres. We believe that the total number of trees being cut, the land being cleared, and the vast alteration to the landscape to build these trails violates Article 14, Section 1, the forever wild provision of the State Constitution. » Continue Reading.
When I began to explore the Adirondack Forest Preserve as a young adult in the 1990s, the Wilderness and Wild Forest areas had already been established two decades before my arrival. Furthermore, the discussion of which activities and which facilities should be permitted in each state land category had occurred several years before I was born. I never had any say in how the State Land Master Plan was developed; for the first twenty-one years of my life I had no clue it even existed.
But when I finally did discover the remotest recesses of the Adirondack Park, it felt like an epiphany: a light switch had been flipped on, and a part of myself I had not previously known (but always suspected) was now illuminated. Wilderness travel was immediately agreeable to me. It was an immersive experience that engaged my mind and challenged my body; the slow pace and rough edges existed in direct contrast to everyday life, a tonic to suburban normalcy. “Wilderness” was not an abstract concept after all, but a tangible reality into which I could disappear for two days every week.
The APA staff is expected to present a classification proposal for Boreas Ponds and other newly acquired state lands at the APA’s next board meeting, on October 13.
After reviewing public input, the agency is expected to vote on the classifications of these lands early next year. The state Department of Environmental Conservation will then write a management plan based on the classifications.
The classification of the 20,578-acre Boreas Ponds Tract, which the state acquired in April, has been an issue that has generated much discussion on the Almanack. Click here for a list of some of the stories.
A Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Grass River Wild Forest, and Draft Recreation Management Plans (RMPs) for the Grass River Conservation Easement and the Tooley Pond Conservation Easement have been released by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for public review and comment.
DEC will accept public input on the draft UMP and RMPs at a public meeting on Monday, October 3, 2016 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Colton – Pierrepont Central School Auditorium, 4921 NY-56, in Colton. » Continue Reading.
Former Adirondack Park Agency Member and State Land Chair Richard Booth, who left the APA on July 1 after eight years of public service, will receive Adirondack Wild’s highest honor – the Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award.
The award will be conveyed on Saturday, October 1 at Adirondack Wild’s annual meeting at the Indian Lake Theater in Indian Lake, Hamilton County, starting at 1 pm. » Continue Reading.
North Hudson and four nearby towns have launched a website and petition drive to muster support for classifying Boreas Ponds as Wild Forest instead of Wilderness, the designation supported by Forest Preserve advocates.
Called Access the Adirondacks, the website says the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract has a network of former logging roads and is suitable for a variety of recreational uses, including mountain biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling.
“While some would have you believe the Boreas Ponds Tract is a unique ecological jewel untouched my man, nothing could be further from the truth,” the site says.
Mike Frome’s Portogram arrived in many inboxes as regular commentary about life, current events, wild nature as soul food, and people he admired fighting the good fight against the cold -hearted, the purely corporate, the vested interest, the greedy, and against the dispassionate, “objective” nature writer when a point of view was called for. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will hold two public information meetings and a public hearing in Plattsburgh on the proposed rulemaking to upgrade the classifications of certain surface waters within the Lake Champlain drainage basin.
The proposed rulemaking is to amend Part 830 of Title 6 of the Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) to upgrade the classifications of certain surface waters in order to meet the “fishable” goal of the federal Clean Water Act. In addition, some waters would be upgraded from “non-trout” to “trout” waters. » Continue Reading.
Some Forest Preserve advocates are concerned that the state’s decision to allow people to ride mountain bikes to Boreas Ponds under an interim-access plan could become the permanent policy for the newly acquired Boreas Ponds Tract.
Willie Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council, and David Gibson, a partner in Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, criticized this and other aspects of the interim plan released by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in late August.
The interim plan allows the public to drive 3.2 miles up the dirt Gulf Brook Road. From there, people can hike or bicycle the remaining 3.6 miles to the ponds.
The report concludes that the Adirondacks are ready for the largest expansion of motor-free wilderness in a generation. National media have been focusing attention on the upcoming Presidential election and on the hottest summer on record. But there is another story of national importance unfolding in the Adirondacks right now. » Continue Reading.
A new preliminary injunction has been handed down today by a full panel of the Appellate Division, Third Department, of the State Supreme Court, to sustain a temporary ban on tree cutting by state agencies on the forever wild Forest Preserve. This preliminary injunction will remain in place until a decision is made on an appeal of a denial by the State Supreme Court for a preliminary injunction against tree cutting during construction of a network of new class II community connector snowmobile trails on the Forest Preserve.
Tree cutting was stopped for 25 days in mid-July thru mid-August 2016, resumed for one week, and then was halted again on August 19th by one justice of the Appellate Division. The new ban is expected to remain in place well into the fall. » Continue Reading.
An excellent pair of articles published here recently by Mike Lynch (Beyond Peak Capacity and Group of 67 People Ticketed on Algonquin) resurrected some memories from the 1970s and ’80s, when avid (or zealous, rabid, insatiable … just pick one) hikers like me lived in constant fear that access to the mountains would soon be restricted. That anxiety was based on frequent newspaper headlines touting plans to alleviate trail damage attributed to hordes of newcomers to the Adirondacks.
Like now, the problems back then were intensified by successful efforts aimed at raising public awareness about the wonders within the mountains, and thus boost the region’s tourism-based economy. The result: more people, more spending, and greater profits, but also more boots on the ground, more worn trails, and more poop in the woods. The problems intensified so quickly that organizations and politicians offered all sorts of solutions, most of which left hikers fearful that the freedom to roam would be restricted. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has acquired 65 acres in the Town of Putnam from Thomas and Christine Bain. The land contains wetlands and includes a significant part of the Sucker Brook marsh, which drains directly into Lake George at Glenburnie.
The acquisition is also expected to protect a large area of rare northern white cedar swamp. This habitat type is threatened statewide by development, habitat alteration, and recreational overuse, as well as invasive species, such as purple loosestrife and reedgrass. » Continue Reading.
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