Nature before recreation

Boreas Ponds
Photo by Nancie Battaglia

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 integrity of a sensitive area like the Boreas Ponds.

Even the DEC’s interim access plan restricts public motorized access to 3.6 miles away from the ponds. In the future, persons of all abilities could access the ponds with the help of teamsters (horse and wagon) or service organizations without allowing public use of cars and trucks to penetrate this remote area. Adirondack Wild places the health of natural resources and wilderness ahead of ease of recreational access. That priority is also paramount under the State Land Master Plan, which has the force of law.

We will support an expansive Wilderness addition at Boreas Ponds and the closing of Gulf Brook Road during the public hearings.

David Gibson, Ballston Lake
Gibson is managing partner of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve

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