January, 2017

Guideboats truly inspiring

Mike Lynch’s article [“Building on tradition,” September/October 2016] was a fine report on an inspired (and inspiring) group of guideboat builders, but I’d like to add some thoughts. Guideboats typically have three caned seats, not one or two, and the boat is rowed from the bow; the middle seat is for solo rowing, or for another passenger (like the stern seat, it was often equipped with a backrest). To call guideboats “heavy and a bit bulky” is rather a slap in the tumble-home. Their beam may be wider than most canoes, but their gorgeous, sculpted lines make canoes and kayaks >>More


January, 2017

A different bear experience

Having just read Mike Lynch’s article “Summer bad news for bears” [November/December 2016] about all the black-bear incidents with “no reported injuries to people,” I am struck by the unhappy coincidence of an episode that happened here in Maryland. The headline in the November 17 issue of the Washington Post reads, “Bear mauls woman in Maryland driveway in ‘rarest of rare’ attack.” It was only a few decades ago that black bears were extirpated here in Maryland and the Maryland Department of Wildlife was selling black-bear stamps to help with their reintroduction in western Maryland. Now it seems that we >>More


January, 2017

Protect Boreas from vehicles

The Adirondack Explorer has provided a comprehensive survey of the Adirondack Park Agency’s upcoming decision regarding the Boreas Ponds classification. The APA holds the greatest responsibility of protecting the Adirondack Forest Preserve, and classifying the 6.8-mile logging road as Wild Forest, thus allowing motorized-vehicle access, would be an ecological disaster. It is imperative that the APA explore other alternatives, as suggested by many of the Adirondack Park advocacy groups. I encourage allowing people to drive only up to LaBier Flow and then make the short hike to the pond, as opposed to driving all the way up. I’d like to >>More


January, 2017

Boreas roads date to 19th century

With all the outpouring of ideas on what to do about classifying the Boreas Pond Tract, I thought you might be interested in a brief history of the roads into the Boreas Ponds clearing. The first road was a tote road built in the 1890s that went along the west side of the Boreas River from the Blue Ridge Road into the clearing. It was about six miles long. Finch, Pruyn used this road as access to the Brace Brook Dam on the Boreas River up until 1949. The second road was built in 1935. It went from the end >>More


January, 2017

Pristine lands attract visitors

As an environmentally informed resident of Saratoga Springs and an outdoor enthusiast, I feel it is my duty to weigh in on the contentious discussion of the classification of the Boreas Ponds Tract in the Adirondack Park. Concerned citizens of New York cannot allow the Adirondack Park Agency to move forward with any proposal that allows motorized access all the way to the ponds. The use of snowmobiles and cars, permitted within Wild Forest areas, would scar this landscape. I understand that nearby towns may favor this proposal because they expect looser regulations will lead to more tourism and stimulation >>More


December, 2016

An unbearable loss

Thank you for publishing the article about the boating death of eight-year-old Charlotte McCue on Lake George in late July. This was a personal tragedy for our family as her parents and grandparents, the McCue and Knarr families, have been our family’s friends for many, many years. We are still heartsick over Charlotte’s senseless death. At Charlotte’s memorial service on the shore of Lake George I was struck by the number of boats and personal watercraft operating on the lake during the service. I don’t know how there aren’t many more accidents. People may say that this was just an >>More


December, 2016

Park needs resources

Taken together, there are three pieces in the September/October 2016 issue—“Beyond peak capacity,” “More money, more partners for DEC,” and “Balanced plan for Boreas”—that highlight, albeit indirectly, an emerging problem in the Adirondacks. The Boreas piece focused on the debate regarding the classification of the Boreas Ponds Tract. For the most part, it will be a tug of war between those that endorse the most restrictive Wilderness classification and those that support greater access for motorized vehicles. Clearly, the ultimate decisions will greatly influence the volume of visitors. The other articles I cited highlighted the adverse effects of the increase >>More


December, 2016

Nature before recreation

While the BeWildNY coalition has done some excellent work and while Adirondack Wild has been a member of it, we disagree with the authors of the Viewpoint “Balanced Plan for Boreas,” by Neil Woodworth and Willie Janeway [September/October 2016]. The authors argue that allowing the public to drive within one mile of the Boreas Ponds is based on “sound principles and science.” A Wilderness classification which closes the seven-mile-long Gulf Brook Road to public motorized access may well prove to be just as sound and scientific. Routine use of a road by cars and trucks can seriously impact the ecological >>More


December, 2016

Fund upkeep with licenses

Concerning your editorial in the September/October issue, “More money, more partners for DEC”: You are absolutely right. The Department of Environmental Conservation needs the money. We hunters, fishermen, and trappers pay an average of $50 a year in fees so we can go to limited areas maybe half the year to practice our art. Hikers pay nothing to do their thing all year long at countless locations. Solution: Charge a fee through a hiking license and place the money in a dedicated fund for trail maintenance, etc. (This, of course, assumes that the state will not rip it off as >>More


September, 2016

‘Explorer’ cover gave slanted view

Your cover for the July/August issue of the Adirondack Explorer was disgraceful in that it seemed an overtly staged, slanted, and shortsighted depiction of a perceived wrong. It was also a demonstration that the Explorer continues to be anything but balanced regarding the rail-trail issue. Phil Brown’s article was only slightly more balanced. Ripping up these rails is a bad decision any way you slice it. There are hundreds of biking and snowmobiling options in the Adirondacks but only one rail line through the heart of it. In its present form the lightly used line supports two growing businesses (Adirondack >>More


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