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) » Continue Reading.
The Ausable River Association (AsRA) in the final days of an Adirondack Gives campaign to acquire survey equipment essential to restoring the Ausable watershed’s streams and culverts. The Gives website, hosted by the Adirondack Foundation, provides crowdfunding opportunites for Adirondack non-profits. AsRA’s staff hopes to provide pre-design measurements of four priority culverts in the Ausable watershed this October to meet a 2015 construction schedule. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is preparing to restart a management plan for nearly 60,000 acres of Forest Preserve and other state-managed lands in the Chazy Highlands Complex. The lands spread across 493 square miles in 34 separate parcels in the northeastern Adirondack Park and are located in the towns of Bellmont, Duane, and Franklin in Franklin County and the towns of Altona, Black Brook, Dannemora, Ellenburg, and Saranac in Clinton County.
Natural features in the Complex include Lyon Mountain, Haystack Knob, Norton Peak, and Ellenburg Mountain; Upper Chateaugay Lake and Chazy Lake; and Saranac River and Great Chazy River. The primary recreational uses are fishing and hunting; however the public also participates in hiking, camping, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and bird/wildlife watching on these lands. Both the trail to the Fire Tower on the Lyon Mountain and the Lewis Preserve Wildlife Management Area are frequented often by the public. » Continue Reading.
Over the past two decades, the state has purchased conservation easements on some 750,000 acres in the Adirondack Park. These timberlands are protected from development, and many of them are open to the public for recreation.
In theory, at least. In reality, most visitors to the Adirondacks seldom, if ever, set foot on easement lands. Partly, that’s because they don’t know where they can go or what they can do. The cliffs on Silver Lake Mountain are an exception.
The state purchased easements on the cliffs as part of a massive deal with International Paper in 2004 that preserved some 260,000 acres. Now owned by Lyme Timber, the cliffs were opened to the public—i.e., rock climbers—in 2009. » Continue Reading.
Actor James Tolkan will be in Au Sable Forks April 1 to help raise funds for two Au Sable organizations. Tolkan, a familiar character actor has been in over 70 films during his lengthy Hollywood career. With an extensive resume in TV and films, Tolkan’s Principal Strickland in the Back to The Future Trilogy is what sparked a film fundraiser for event organizer Cassidy Garrow.
Garrow says, “Flashback to the Past is my idea but I couldn’t have done it without help. I met James Tolkan at an outing. I approached him with my idea and he was very willing to help. I thought of the local organizations and know they can use the fundraising money.” Held at the Hollywood Theatre in AuSable Forks, six classic 1980s films will be shown in succession with a special guest appearance with actor James Tolkan held at 8:00 p.m. at the Jay Community Center.Tolkan will conduct a “meet and greet” with audience members and share his experiences during the making of the films. He will also answer questions from the audience.
Seating is limited but tickets can be reserved. One of the Hollywood Theatre’s two screens will be shows what Garrow terms “chick flicks” with Footloose, Dirty Dancing and Sixteen Candles while the second movie theatre screen will house the Back To The Future Trilogy. The first show starts at noon.
“The two events, the films and meeting James Tolkan are separate,” says Garrow. “Tickets are sold individually. People can just attend the evening event if they just wish to meet James Tolken or come watch the films. I wanted to keep options available so people could attend one event or both.”
Besides a fun “flashback films of the 80s” concept, the funds raised will benefit two special local charities, the AuSable Forks Fire Department Water Rescue Program and the Jay/Black Brook Annual Toy Drive.
“The annual toy drive collects funds to buy gifts for children during the holiday season for Essex and Clinton County areas including Black Brook, the town of AuSable and Jay,” says Garrow. “ I believe that last year this organization was able to help 30 families during the holidays.”
Garrow praises the Ausable Forks Fire Department Water Rescue Program’s diligence during emergency situations. Many people rely on the Au Sable Forks Fire Department during the year and countless people were assisted during Tropical Storm Irene.“The Fire Department lost some of their equipment while rescuing people trapped by water during Irene,” says Garrow. “ We hope that funds raised by this event will help replace that equipment. The Au Sable Fire Department will also use the funds for water rescue training.”
Garrow thanked others that are helping to make this event a success including The American Leagion Post 504, Admag Designs and The Hollywood Theatre. There will be raffles for three autographed copies of the Back to the Future DVD sets, signed by James Tolken. Tolken will also do an autograph session after the “meet and greet.”
Movies and times are listed as follows: April 1 noon – 9:00 p.m. Noon -Back to the Future and Footloose. 2;15 p.m. Back to the Future II and Dirty Dancing 4:30 p.m. Back to the Future III and 16 Candles Admission Prices:Adult $3/Child $2 (10 and under)
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Meet James Tolkan Admission Adult/$5, Child/$3 (10 and under)
Advanced admission tickets can be purchased by calling 518-643-2849 (cash, check, or money orders only).
A three-and-a-half year legal case against Leroy Douglas of Black Brook has ended. According to the Post-Star, Douglas pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges—prohibited solid waste disposal and endangering the public health, safety or the environment—brought by the Clinton County District Attorney against Douglas and his corporation.
The charges date back to the August 2008 discovery by New York State DEC officials of open oil drums and illegally disposed solid waste at the Douglas Resort property on the shores of Silver Lake. The Blog Adirondack Base Campsummarized the original charges from Douglas’s arraignment earlier this year. Douglas’s attorney sought successfully to have many of the original charges thrown out, owing to the time lapse since the state cleared the dump site three years ago. Attempts to have the single felony charge of endangering the public health, safety or the environment on similar grounds were denied earlier this week.
The felony charge, which carried a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $15,000 fine, was lessened to a misdemeanor as part of the plea deal. In pleading guilty to the lesser charges, Douglas and his corporation must pay fines of $5,000 apiece to settle the case. Douglas also agreed to have his property inspected to make sure the dump site has been fully remediated.
The pollution case is the latest chapter in Douglas’s long history of run-ins with state officials at various levels. The Plattsburgh Press-Republican provides a round-up of the Douglas saga.
We received a unusual media announcement from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) spokesperson David Winchell yesterday pointing out that a heavily circulated photograph of a dead mountain lion in the back of a pick-up (left) is in fact a hoax. The e-mails typically claim local forest rangers have seized the animal in order to bolster arguments that there are no breeding populations of mountain lions (also known as panthers, pumas, catamounts, or cougars). The most recent message (and this has circulated a number of times on internet message boards) claims the cougar was recently hit by a vehicle near Black Brook in Clinton County. The message also claims that New York Forest Rangers responded to the incident. “This photo and messages first appeared in Western New York in December 2009 claiming that the mountain lion had been killed in Erie County,” Winchell told the Almanack. “Since then, the false reports have moved across the State claiming the dead mountain lion was found in various locales and now has arrived in Northern New York.” » Continue Reading.
The DEC has announced the opening of limited public access for recreation to three parcels of conservation easement land formerly owned by International Paper Company and currently owned by Lyme Timber. The public will be able to access the lands for non-motorized recreation now; motorized access will be allowed in the future. The three parcels are the 17,125-acre Black Brook Tract in the Town of Black Brook, Clinton County; the 7,870-acre Altamont Tract in the Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County; and the 19,000-acre Kushaqua Tract in the Towns of Brighton and Franklin, Franklin County. The parcels are part of one of New York State’s largest land conservation projects – 256,649 acres of land – which was announced on Earth Day in 2004.
The Black Brook, Altamont and Kushaqua Tracts had a five year waiting period before the properties could be opened to the public, which expired on April 22. The three tracts are open to public access for non-motorized recreation only- on foot, mountain bike, on horse, or canoe/kayak. According to the DEC “The full array of recreation rights purchased will not be available at this time due to lack of resources.” Currently permitted recreational activities include hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife viewing and canoeing/kayaking. Camping and campfires are also prohibited until camp sites are designated.
Parking lots, trails, and trailheads, have not been buit and there is no signage yet. Trails for motorized recreation will be developed in the future following a planning process. Access to the property is by adjoining public highways and the DEC has asked that users avoid blocking any gates or obstructing traffic when parking.
These lands are privately owned and actively managed for timber. The landowner also leases private recreation camps. Lessees have the exclusive right to use one acre of land surrounding their camp which are not open to ANY public use or access. The one-acre camp parcels, however, may not block public access to or use of main access roads, trails, streams or ponds.
Visitors to these lands may encounter logging and construction equipment used in forest management and motorized vehicles, including ATVs, belonging to the landowner, their employees or camp lessees. The DEC asks that the public respect the rights of the landowner, camp lessees and their guests when using the property.