The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has finalized the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Sentinel Range Wilderness.
The Sentinel Range Wilderness is comprised of 23,874 acres of Forest Preserve lands in the towns of Keene, Jay, Wilmington, and North Elba, Essex County. The lands consist primarily of rugged, mountainous forest land with relatively few ponds and wetlands. Mountain views are one of the Wilderness Area’s main attractions, although a portion of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail also runs through the wilderness. The area borders the north side of Route 73 through Cascade Pass and includes a number of popular climbing areas. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook this Thursday, November 14, 2019.
The Board will consider whether the first full Sentinel Range Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan, and changes to the Blue Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan conform to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.
Noah Shaw, former general counsel for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), contributed to the drafting of New York State’s groundbreaking 2019 climate legislation. This September, he wrote an op-ed in the Adirondack Explorer, “What New York’s Bold Climate Law Means for the Adirondacks.”
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 “outlines a so-called ‘carbon offset’ program as a counter-weight to the 15 percent of emissions that may remain after all our other emissions-reducing actions are taken,” he wrote. “These will likely come from hard-to-clean-up activities like aviation, agriculture, shipping and heavy industry. New York’s most valuable carbon offset resource, also known as a ‘sink,’ is its forestland. This is good news for the Adirondack Forest Preserve.” » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Council on October 4th sent a letter to Adirondack Park Agency Deputy Director for Planning Richard Weber urging that the proposed Sentinel Range Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan be incorporated into a larger landscape-scale plan for all public and private lands around the High Peaks Wilderness Area.
The Council also urged the APA to improve its monitoring of impacts of recreation on the ecology and wild character of the Forest Preserve, especially in wilderness areas. As it does with other unit management plans, the APA must decide whether it complies with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comment for the Sentinel Range Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan. The APA will accept public comments October 11th, 2019 regarding Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance for the proposed management actions in the wilderness area.
The Sentinel Range Wilderness Area (SRWA) is located in the northeast portion of the Adirondack Park in the towns of Jay, Keene, North Elba, and Wilmington in Essex County. The SRWA covers 23,874 acres. The namesake of the unit, the Sentinel Range, is a prominent mountain range in the region. The unit also encompasses exceptional watercourses classified under the Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers System Act (WSRRS Act) including the East and West Branch of the Ausable River. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook on Thursday, September 12th and Friday September 13th, 2019. Both sessions will convene at 9 am.
The meeting will include consideration of an amendment to a timber harvesting project in Westport, a review of public comments on the replacement of utility poles, consideration of amendments to the Town of Chester Local Land Use plan, a presentation on the final Sentinel Range Wilderness Unit Management Plan, rules for constructing and siting primitive campsites and more. » Continue Reading.
This past week, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled that the Old Mountain Road that runs through the public’s Sentinel Wilderness between Keene and North Elba remains a town road and is not abandoned by either town. The court thus overturned a decision by former Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens in 2016 and affirms an enforcement proceeding decision by former DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis in 2009.
It’s been a long, bumpy and controversial legal ride to this point. What is so perplexing about it is that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation could have prevented it from ever happening if the DEC had asserted certain legal authority it has been wary of asserting. In a few places where it’s obviously warranted, DEC should start to employ that legal authority again. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public comments on proposed changes to the Management Plan (UMP) for the Sentinel Range Wilderness. Among the recreation management decisions that would affect the Wilderness Area, are proposals to reroute portions of Pitchoff Mountain Trail, relocate the western Pitchoff Trailhead, and develop a new section of trail to address parking concerns along State Route 73. The draft UMP also proposes a moratorium on the placement of fixed anchors used by climbers, similar to the other Adirondack Wilderness Areas.
A public meeting will be held at 6 pm on December 7, at DEC Region 5 Headquarters, 1115 State Route 86, Ray Brook. The meeting will provide the public an opportunity to learn more on the proposed management actions in the draft UMP and to comment on the proposals. » Continue Reading.
The state attorney general is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the state Department of Environmental Conservation in a long-running feud over the status of Old Mountain Road in the towns of North Elba and Keene.
The state is also seeking to transfer the case from State Supreme Court in Essex County to the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Albany.
The Old Mountain Road is a dirt thoroughfare, often flooded by beavers, that runs through the Sentinel Range Wilderness. It is part of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail, which stretches from Keene to Saranac Lake. » Continue Reading.
In one of his last acts as the state’s environmental conservation commissioner, Joe Martens overturned a predecessor’s finding that part of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail was still a town road and therefore could be open to snowmobiles, ATVs, and other vehicles.
Martens, who left his post last week, wrote in a July 22 decision that the road had long been abandoned and so the state had the power to close it to vehicular use. The road in question — known as the Old Mountain Road — cuts through the Sentinel Range Wilderness between Keene and North Elba.
One of the many views from Pitchoff on Monday. When you plan your trip, spot cars at Cascade Mountain’s trailhead and Pitchoff’s East Ridge trailhead to make it a through-hike. We started at the West trail, directly across from Cascade Mountain’s trailhead. This is such a pleasant hike with several lookouts and only 4.9 miles (when hiked as a traverse).
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