RAY BROOK, NY – The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comment for the Grass River Wild Forest Unit Management Plan. The primary purpose of this UMP is to protect the natural wild forest and river area setting of the area while providing for a variety of compatible outdoor recreational opportunities.
The APA will accept public comments until July 13, 2018 regarding Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance for the proposed management actions.
The Grass River Wild Forest is located in the lesser traveled northwest corner of the Adirondack Park. The unit encompasses approximately 14,000 acres of Forest Preserve lands in several parcels located in the Towns of Clare, Clifton, Colton and Fine in St. Lawrence County.
Good access to the area affords many recreational opportunities, including but not limited to hiking, hunting, trapping and fishing. Popular natural resource areas contained in the unit are Lampson Falls, Stone Dam, Leonard Pond and the waterfalls on the Grass River along Tooley Pond Road, Tooley Pond itself and Tooley Pond Mountain. The unit includes three rivers classified as Scenic Rivers under the NYS Wild Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act – the North Branch of the Grass, the Middle Branch of the Grass and the South Branch of the Grass River.
Also found in the area is approximately 107,000 acres of conservation easements on corporate-owned lands – Tooley Pond, Long Pond, Seveys and Grass River Conservation easements.
Some proposed management actions include:
- Designate and mark trails to waterfalls along Tooley Pond Road including Basford, Sinclair, Bulkhead, Rainbow, Copper Rock and Twin Falls;
- Construct a foot trail to Church Pond from State Highway 56 and build a trail to Cranberry Pond;
- Build a canoe carry trail through the Cranberry Pond parcel to the North Branch of the Grass River on the Grass River conservation easement to provide access to the Stillwater section of the river;
- Develop a bicycle trail connecting the old Grass River logging road at Lampson Falls to bicycle trails within Downerville State Forest;
- Rehabilitate part of the Grass River Railroad west of State Highway 3, as part of a non-motorized recreational connector trail (including bicycle use);
- Connect the Grass River Wild Forest snowmobile trail system with the snowmobile trails in the conservation easement tracts and other adjacent private lands;
- Connect the Grass River Wild Forest snowmobile trail system with trails in the communities of Degrasse, Star Lake, South Colton and Cranberry Lake, in the towns of Clare, Clifton, Colton, Fine and Piercefield;
- Modify existing layout of primitive tent sites and annually monitor for over-use impacts;
- Open the Spruce Mountain Road across the South Branch of the Grass River to seasonal public motor vehicle use to provide access to the Tooley Pond conservation easement, particularly for the hunting seasons and;
- Work with towns to establish a maintenance schedule for the road network supporting facilities (i.e. barriers, signage, etc.) with the Grass River Wild Forest.
To review the proposed 2018 Unit Management Plan amendment please click Grass River Wild Forest.
Please address all written comments to:
Kathy Regan, Deputy Director for Planning
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Email – SLMP_UMP_Comments@apa.ny.gov
Please submit all written comments to the APA by July 13, 2018.