Temporary Bridge Restores Motor Vehicle Access on Road Damaged by 2019 Halloween Storm
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the restoration of public motor vehicle access to the Four Corners Parking Area on Gulf Brook Road in the Boreas Ponds Tract. The completion of the installation of the temporary bridge over LaBier Flow Dam is an important milestone in the ongoing work to improve the road and promote sustainable recreation.
Posts Tagged ‘Boreas Ponds Tract’
Temporary Bridge Restores Motor Vehicle Access on Road Damaged by 2019 Halloween Storm
The Adirondack Park Agency’s decision to classify the magnificent Boreas Ponds Tract to authorize motorized use of Gulf Brook Road is a done deal.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC’s) management plan to improve that road, establish parking, and allow permitted cars to drive to within a couple hundred yards of the Boreas Ponds is in the implementation phase.
In other words, the governmental custodians of the Boreas Tract will be allowing vehicular access deep into the Boreas Tract. Now the only question is whether the Adirondacks itself will allow vehicular access deep into the Boreas Tract. I would not be too sure about that. » Continue Reading.
“I’m from Canajoharie, the others from Albany and Catskill,” a women said when I saw her with two friends on Boreas Ponds last week.
“We met through the Facebook page ‘Paddling in the Adirondacks’ and we’ve been going on trips together ever since,” she said, “often driving hours, as we did today.”
These three middle-age women in their colorful kayaks were among the twenty or so paddlers I saw on the a trip to Boreas Ponds on a partly sunny, 60-degree Fall day. » Continue Reading.
Just after Labor Day weekend this year, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) completed its work to fully open up public access to the Boreas Ponds, in the southern High Peaks Wilderness Area. These beautiful ponds are now easily accessible for people to either canoe or to hike.
New state facilities were constructed over the past two years to rehabilitate the six-mile-long Gulf Brook Road, build parking lots, public education kiosks, a canoe carry and canoe launches to make this extraordinary natural wonder fully accessible to the public.
The reconstructed road and new access points opens a new southern gateway to the High Peaks Wilderness Area and makes easily reachable one of the most scenic and visually dramatic areas in the Adirondacks. Paddling through the network of three inter-connected waterways gives one the sensation of paddling through mountaintops. » Continue Reading.
DEC crews, assisted by crews from the Essex County Department of Public Works, will be completing repairs on the road between the Blue Ridge Road and the Fly Pond Gate. This is the section of road open to motor vehicle traffic under the Boreas Ponds Tract Interim Access Plan. » Continue Reading.
One could almost hear the exhalation of relief by environmentalists when they learned this week that the Governor’s DEC and APA had decided on “Alternative 2 B” for the Boreas Ponds State Land classification.
Large, obvious violations of law were to be avoided, so they learned. Fears held over the past year were apparently allayed. There would be no unclassified area reserved for a future glamorous camping (“glamping”) in the interior, and no bicycle route on vanishing old roads cloaked by balsam fir leading north towards White Lily Pond and the High Peaks Wilderness. Under “2B” the Boreas Ponds themselves at 1200 feet elevation would be incorporated in that Wilderness, as would the boreal forest stretching north to 3,700 feet and the existing High Peaks Wilderness border. Motorized and mechanized access would end at the Boreas Ponds Dam, eight miles in from county highway, or Blue Ridge Road.
I confess I exhaled as well. After all, one year ago the Governor had declared in his State of the State that there would be infrastructure developed and a Hut to Hut program installed in the Boreas Ponds tract. Rumors of a long “Wild Forest corridor” to allow biking far to the north of the Ponds abounded. Wilderness advocates had dodged a bullet, it seemed. A Solomon-like compromise of Wilderness and Wild Forest access to the Ponds had been reached, or so it seemed. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, February 1st, and Friday, February 2nd, 2018.
The meeting will discuss rebuilding a transmission line in Saranac, the State Land Classification Package, and will begin deliberation of the Boreas Ponds Tract classification. On Friday the Agency is expected to vote on a resolution for the Boreas Ponds Tract.
What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency has announced that it has deemed DEC’s application complete for the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area along the Schroon River in North Hudson. State and local officials have been touting the proposed facility as a “Gateway to the Adirondacks.”
The plan proposes an accessible public campground at the site of the former Frontier Town theme park. The campground would include RV, tent, and equestrian camp sites and facilities, and trails connecting to the snowmobile trails leading to Schroon Lake and Ticonderoga, and a new trail to Newcomb being proposed in the yet unapproved Boreas Ponds Tract Management Plan. The campground is part of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Master Plan.
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is partnering with the Northeast Wilderness Trust to sponsor Tyler Socash’s talk, “7,000 Miles to a Wilderness Ethic” at the Whallonsburg Grange on Friday, November 17, from 6 to 8 pm.
After years of outdoor recreation in the Adirondack Park, Tyler went on a yearlong trek across the Pacific Crest Trail, New Zealand’s Te Araroa and the Appalachian Trail. Socash says his adventure into wild lands inspired him to help defend the wildest remaining places in New York’s Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Wilderness Advocates (AWA) has announced that Tyler Socash, AWA member and activist, will attend the Adirondack Park Agency’s next meeting on November 16th by walking from the Boreas Ponds Tract to the APA’s Ray Brook headquarters.
Socash will be carrying over 1,000 letters that AWA supporters have sent to the APA in the last three weeks, calling for a full Wilderness classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract with the entire length of Gulf Brook Road closed. Socash grew up in Old Forge, NY. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Rec Hub Eco-Tourism Support Grants are available for municipalities. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) partnered with National Heritage Trust (NHT) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to deliver competitive grant funding to support new tourism linked to the recreational opportunities. In addition, a companion microenterprise program will soon be available for recreation/tourism-based projects connected with former Finch, Pruyn & Company lands for a total of $750,000 in funding, provided by a grant from TNC. » Continue Reading.
Alternatives analysis is at the very heart of the State Environmental Quality Review Act. A state or local government agency cannot claim to have rationally chosen a preferred alternative course of action if other alternative approaches to achieve the same project with fewer environmental impacts have not been evaluated with the same degree of rigor and detail. That’s the law.
The eight public hearings about classifying more than 50,000 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve are winding down this week (final public hearings at Bear Mountain and Albany), and the Adirondack Park Agency, sponsor of these hearings, is not following the law in several crucial respects. These include the fact that APA has neither evaluated nor compared the four alternative ways to classify the Boreas Ponds tract, nor has it chosen at least one additional, reasonable alternative which has fewer environmental impacts than all the others: that being a classification alternative as Wilderness for all or most of the tract, necessitating the closure of all or most of the Gulf Brook Road to public motorized uses. » Continue Reading.
A coalition of regional and national conservation organizations and supporters presented more than 22,000 petition signatures and thousands of personal letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Adirondack Park Agency calling on the agency to protect the Boreas Ponds tract as motor-free wilderness.
Public hearings on the state’s land-classification plans for the area have already begun. They will continue through early December. Public comments will be accepted by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) through Dec. 30. » Continue Reading.
At the Northville Central School public hearing this past week, about 60 citizens lined up to speak their minds regarding the Adirondack Park Agency’s 2016 – 2017 Amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. These amendments involve the Classification and Reclassification of 54,418 acres of State Lands (Forest Preserve) in the Adirondack Park which include the Boreas Ponds Tract, 32 Additional Classification Proposals, 13 Reclassification Proposals, and 56 Classifications involving map corrections.
As I waited my turn at the microphone, I was very impressed with the respectful sincerity and preparedness of the speakers who came before me. These included folks much younger than me who spoke about wilderness values, the potential of wild restoration, and how such restoration comports with their own personal values. » Continue Reading.
My favorite activity is paddling quiet waters. I cherish the experiences I’ve had on the lakes, rivers, and ponds in Adirondacks, including canoeing on the Boreas Ponds. I think the spectacular view of the high-rising peaks to the north is unmatched.
I also believe that reasonable access to these waters is in the best interest of the public, while minimizing harm to the environment. However, the definition of reasonable access and minimizing harm varies among the stakeholders, primarily centered on the use of the existing Gulf Brook Road – a 6.8 mile gravel road from Boreas or Blue Ridge Road (County Route 84) to the ponds.
A couple of weeks ago I drove up Gulf Brook Road for 3.2 miles as allowed by the state’s interim access plan, which is 2.5 miles from the ponds. I wanted to orient myself to the access issues raised in the many articles in the media, including the Adirondack Almanack. I parked my car at the parking lot, skirted the stop sign, and walked about a half-mile toward the ponds. Looking at the trail register I saw the names of two friends who had been to the ponds recently, and decided to email them, asking how they experienced the 2.5-mile carry on the road and the ponds. » Continue Reading.
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