In time for Celebrate Paddling Month in the Adirondacks, the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) has released a new and expanded edition of Adirondack Paddling: 65 Great Flatwater Adventures. The book describes paddling day trips throughout the Adirondack Park, including on new state lands acquired since the first edition was published in 2012.
Written by Phil Brown, the expanded edition includes four new trips made possible by the Finch, Pruyn conservation deal: Boreas Ponds, Essex Chain Lakes, Blackwell Stillwater, and County Line Flow. Brown also added a chapter on Jabe Pond, in the hills above Lake George. » Continue Reading.
All of the buildings of the Gooley Club hunting camp on Third Lake on the Essex Chain Lakes have been removed. The site is cleared. The dozen or so cabins, the shower building, the main lodge clubhouse, the various storage buildings, and the network of docks are all gone.
Under the terms of the state’s purchase from The Nature Conservancy in 2012, the hunting camps and clubs on these lands were allowed to remain until the end of September 2018. Their last exclusive big game season was 2017. The Essex Chain Lakes Complex Unit Management Plan (UMP) called for the removal of the Gooley Club buildings once their term of exclusive use was up, but some members of the Gooley Club, along with allies at Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) and local government leaders, made a last stand to keep these buildings. They argued that the Gooley Club should stay and be preserved and maintained by the state as a kind of living museum of Adirondack hunting and fishing camp culture. » Continue Reading.
Over the past five years, the unprecedented addition of sixty-five thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands to the Forest Preserve has opened up many new recreational opportunities. To date, the most publicized opportunities have been for paddling and, more controversially, snowmobiling and mountain biking. Opportunities for cross-country skiing have not been mentioned as often. Now that these acquisitions are complete, it seems to be a good time to take stock of what’s also now available for cross-country skiers.
The three main areas with new opportunities for skiing are the Hudson Gorge, Essex Chain Lakes, and Boreas Ponds tracts. The good news for skiers, especially after last winter’s non-winter, is that all of these areas typically have abundant (or at least some) snow. Furthermore, the Essex Chain and Boreas tracts have relatively smooth roads that don’t need all that much snow to be skiable. While not as exciting to ski as some of the popular routes in the High Peaks and elsewhere, the views at the destinations make up for any lack of outright skiing interest. » Continue Reading.
There are many ways to constrain the boundaries around public participation in decision-making. One way is to sidestep the law without amending it, thereby limiting public awareness and legislative debate of the issues. An example of this is occurring on the former Finch, Pruyn lands where the State wants to issue itself a permit or a variance to allow snowmobile connectors in river corridors when the law says that that motorized recreational activity is not permitted.
Under the Essex Chain of Lakes Primitive Area Unit Management Plan, the State recently argued in Albany County Supreme Court that DEC regulations allow the agency to issue itself a permit or variance to do things that others could not do, like build a motorized bridge over a scenic Cedar River, or operate motor vehicles over a scenic river like the Hudson River. Other parts of these River regulations expressly disallow the State from issuing itself a permit or variance to undertake a project which the statute disallows. » Continue Reading.
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