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Adirondack Explorer

June, 2010

Changes planned for Moose River Plains

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has two interesting proposals for the Moose River Plains. One should make local officials happy. The other should make environmentalists happy. The Moose River Plains is now classified as Wild Forest. DEC wants to reclassify twenty miles of dirt road as an “Intensive Use Area,” a designation usually reserved for state campgrounds. The department does not intend to create a full-out campground, with showers, bathrooms, paved roads, and other modern amenities, but it expects to maintain up to 150 roadside campsites with fireplaces or fire rings, picnic tables, and outhouses. The Intensive Use classification will >>More


May, 2010

Moose River Plains roads to open

Under pressure from local officials, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced today that it will open the roads in the Moose River Plains.   Earlier this month, DEC angered local officials when it said state budget cuts would keep it from opening the forty-mile system of dirt roads. Local towns rely on the Moose River Plains for tourism. Following is the full text of DEC’s news release: Thanks to a creative state-local partnership, the Moose River Plains Road — which provides access to one of the largest blocks of remote lands in the Adirondack Park — will be open >>More


May, 2010

County official protests to governor

Hamilton County’s director of economic development and tourism has written Governor David Paterson to protest the state’s plan to close to vehicles all the roads in the Moose River Plains Recreation Area. In his letter released today, William Osborne asserts that the closures “will have a devastating effect on the Hamilton County business community and a local economy already teetering on the brink.” He also contends that the state should not purchase any more land for the Adirondack Forest Preserve unless it can guarantee it can pay to maintain the land. “Why is the State of New York buying more >>More


May, 2010

DEC sticks by tower decision

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is standing by its decision that the fire tower on Hurricane Mountain should be torn down to comply with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. DEC’s recommendation apparently is at odds with the wishes of the Adirondack Park Agency board, whose members indicated last month that they’d like the tower to stay. The APA commissioners directed the agency’s staff to explore the legal and fiscal ramifications of keeping the fire towers on both Hurricane and St. Regis mountains. The APA will discuss the towers again at next Thursday’s meeting. In keeping with the >>More


May, 2010

Officials angry over road closures

Hamilton County officials are livid over the state’s plan to close the Moose River Plains Recreation Area to motor vehicles, saying it will hurt the region’s economy, intensify political tensions, and harden stances against land acquisitions by the state. “It’s one of the worst ideas I’ve seen in recent times,” said Bill Farber, the chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors. Farber said the county plans to press Governor David Paterson, the state legislature, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to open the roads before Memorial Day weekend. “It’s going to be a fight like none we’ve seen since >>More


May, 2010

Moose River Plains closed to vehicles

Because of the state’s fiscal crisis, the Department of Environmental Conservation doesn’t plan to open the roads in the popular Moose River Plains Recreation Area this year. The large tract of state land, located between the hamlets of Inlet and Indian Lake, has forty miles of dirt roads and 140 primitive campsites. The sites are often used by car campers, anglers, birders, and hunters. DEC spokesman David Winchell said people will still be able to hike, bike, or ride horses on the roads, but the roads will remain gated to prevent access by motor vehicles. The roads are usually opened >>More


April, 2010

Domtar deal draws fire

The New York Post has raised questions about the state’s purchase of Lyon Mountain from the Nature Conservancy in late 2008 for $10 million. Four years earlier, the conservancy paid $6.3 million for the same twenty thousand acres. In an editorial on Wednesday, the Post called the rise in price “a staggering 57 percent profit . . .  at a time when property values were collapsing.” At the request of Governor David Paterson, the state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has opened an investigation into the matter. Fred LeBrun will write about the controversy in the next issue of the Explorer. >>More


March, 2010

Gibson out as Protect’s executive director

David Gibson has stepped aside as executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, but he is continuing to work for the organization as an adviser on conservation issues, the Adirondack Explorer has learned. Gibson had been the executive director of Protect since its creation last year, when the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks merged with the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks. Before that, he had served as executive director of the Association since 1987. Gibson confirmed that the board changed his title at its March 6 meeting, but he referred most questions to board members. In another change, >>More


March, 2010

Rally for the VICs

Andy Flynn, local writer and publisher, is organizing a rally at the Adirondack Park Agency to save the state Visitor Interpretive Centers at Paul Smiths and Newcomb. Flynn has served as the VICs spokesman until he left the job last year. Below is an e-mail from him: To all: I invite you to join us for a peaceful rally to protest the Adirondack Park Agency’s planned closure of the Visitor Interpretive Centers at Paul Smiths and Newcomb. The “Save the VICs” Rally will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, March 11, 2010 in front of the Adirondack Park >>More


February, 2010

OSI protects 1,400 acres

Our March/April issue, which should be mailed in a few weeks, includes a profile of Joe Martens, the president of the Open Space Institute. In the Adirondacks, Joe is best known as the guy who engineered the institute’s purchase of the ten-thousand-acre Tahawus Tract in 2003, but he also has been involved smaller projects in the Park. Recently, a landowner donated to OSI a conservation easement on 1,400 acres near Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain.  As a result, the land is protected forever from development. The owner, Eric Johanson, starting acquiring the land decades ago when he was just nineteen years old. “I >>More