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Adirondack Explorer

December, 2016

Nature before recreation

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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

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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

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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


September, 2016

Update land classification

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Tom Woodman’s editorial on management of the Park [“End piecemeal management, March/April 2016] hit the nail on the head. Creating a new Backcountry classification is necessary to adjust to the many influences on the Park that have changed and will continue to change. The growing popularity of biking is a good example. In classifying lands, officials should also pay more attention to the potential for noise pollution. Being mindful of the sounds of the Park should be a high priority. Mark Swanberry, West Fulton


September, 2016

Open Adirondack waterways

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I am watching the Shingle Shanty Brook/private lands issue with great interest. I paddled that route about ten years ago and remember it well. What may be more interesting to you is that here in Florida, where I live, we also had a struggle to keep a public paddling route open. It took about ten years; I wasn’t actually involved at the time, but I have been since involved in keeping the agreement and navigation rights going. We had help from Earthjustice. It was a negotiated settlement that left the creek open to the public but with some restrictions. I >>More


September, 2016

Abandon road to Boreas

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I must say that I agree with Bill Ingersoll’s Viewpoint [“Greens take the wrong road,” July/August 2016]. And I disagree with the major Adirondack environmental groups about the Boreas Ponds if they want to create a substantial expansion of the High Peaks Wilderness (which I do) but want to keep a six-mile access road into the heart of it open to make it easier for paddlers to get their canoes and kayaks there. It is my experience that when a place is easier to get to it becomes overused and used more by people that generally do not treat the >>More


September, 2016

Walkers bring business

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Dennis Sullivan’s thoughts about “arranged” walks are intriguing [Letter to editor, July/August 2016]. Two years ago, I walked coast to coast in England along Hadrian’s Path and had the same excellent experience he described. A similar arrangement in the Adirondacks might boost the economies of many of the villages. I disagree with George Locker’s comments about biking on trails [Letter to the editor, July/August 2016]. Trail bikes often travel quite slowly; there’s not much danger of a collision. I’ve experienced them on the Colorado Trail and on the hundred-mile trail around Mont Blanc. But trails should be hardened if they >>More


August, 2016

Ban bikes for safety, not aesthetics

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In New York City, only bicycles with solid tires ridden by children under twelve are allowed on the sidewalks. The reason? A moving bike can injure and kill. And each year many do. Mixing bicycles with hikers on steep, narrow, and rocky Adirondack trails is a bad idea because the two activities are incompatible with one another. However, I do not believe allowing bicycles on Adirondack trails violates the “aesthetic” of the wilderness ideal, as Pete Nelson has put it [“It’s debatable,” May/June 2016]. When I go camping, whether by foot or by carbon canoe, I carry a flashlight and a butane stove. I wear shoes with Vibram soles, >>More


August, 2016

‘Arranged’ walks would draw visitors

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I read the article “Moose inspires idea for trail” [May/June 2016] with great interest. The Algonquin-to-Adirondacks trail, which is proposed to promote a wildlife corridor, could also provide economic benefits to nearby villages and hamlets. I’ve backpacked many times in the Adirondacks, including the Northville-Placid Trail. I also enjoy long-distance treks that enable hikers to spend evenings in B&Bs or inns along the way. I’ve done such walks in the British Isles, where the terrain and the existence of small villages along the way is conducive to such adventures. A local company provided me with multiple options based on distance, terrain, etc. They coordinated overnight lodging. They arranged the daily transport of my >>More


August, 2016

Use trestle to keep trail off road

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Bill Ingersoll’s “A flawed trail plan” [Viewpoint, March/April 2016] refers to the “inexcusable gap” in the state’s proposal for the North Country National Scenic Trail between North Creek and Minerva. The NCNST must cross the Hudson in this vicinity, where the only public bridge is at North Creek. Using this bridge would result in having “to route the NCNST along a portion of Route 28N that is very narrow and winding.” But the presently unused railroad trestle over the Hudson just upstream of the Boreas River offers a solution to this problem. The trestle connects on both sides to state land and would keep the trail in the woods. Surely a pedestrian walkway >>More


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