A bold vision for High Peaks

The High Peaks seen from Boreas Ponds Photo by Nancie Battaglia
The High Peaks seen from Boreas Ponds
Photo by Nancie Battaglia

We enthusiastically support the solid proposal by the Adirondack Council and several other conservation organizations for expansion of the Adirondack Park High Peaks Wilderness by addition of the Macintyre West and most of the Boreas Ponds and Macintyre East tracts.

Acquisition of and classification as Wilderness of these tracts by the State of New York would in our opinion, in combination with the existing High Peaks and Dix Wilderness Areas, create a dynamic and unique Wilderness by the State of New York in the heart of the Adirondack Park. A Primitive Area giving road access along the Gulf Brook Road to LaBiere Flow south of the Boreas Ponds themselves would permit road access to the Boreas Ponds area but preserve the integrity of the larger Wilderness.

We strongly encourage Governor Cuomo to adopt the recommendations for this expanded High Peaks Wilderness acquisition and classification, which would be consistent with and enhance the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP). The SLMP, which was adopted by New York State in 1972, states that its unifying theme is that the protection and preservation of the natural resources of the state lands within the Adirondack Park must be paramount. The SLMP also defines Wilderness as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

The proposed new Wilderness Area that would be created by the addition of the Macintyre West and most of the Boreas Ponds and Macintyre East tracts will not only be consistent with the letter and spirit of the SLMP, but equally importantly will place New York State and the Adirondack Park in a position of national leadership for creation and maintenance of wilderness lands equal to any in the continental United States.

This bold proposal will ensure that unique and valuable Adirondack Park Wilderness lands are available for the use and enjoyment of generations of New Yorkers and others.

Peter S. Paine Jr., Willsboro
William H. Kissel, Lake Placid

Peter S. Paine Jr. served as a member of the Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondacks and as a member of the Adirondack Park Agency from 1971 through 1995 and was the principal draftsman of the State Land Master Plan.

William H. Kissel served as first counsel to the Adirondack Park Agency and as a member from 1999 to 2005 and was chairman of the State Land Committee.

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