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Adirondack Explorer

June, 2018

Adirondack climbers want voice in High Peaks plan

Chapel Pond Slab

The Adirondack Climbers Coalition is urging its members to submit comments to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that the rock-climbing community’s voice is heard as DEC prepares changes to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan. The ACC is concerned about DEC’s plan to ban parking along the shoulders of Route 73, which passes by many of the region’s premier climbing cliffs. “Don’t reduce parking. In fact only increases in parking should be considered,” ACC President Will Roth writes in a notice posted on the group’s website. DEC is proposing to build two parking areas near Chapel Pond >>More


May, 2018

Motorized access to Boreas Ponds debated at DEC hearing

Boreas Ponds

If proposals for new state lands win approval, people could be driving most of the way to Boreas Ponds later this year. The state Department of Environmental Conservation wants to build a six-car parking area a tenth of a mile from the ponds and a ten-car parking area about a mile away. Rob Davies, director of DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests, said the department hopes to build the parking areas this year. “I think they will be ready for Columbus Day and hopefully sooner,” Davies told the Adirondack Explorer after a hearing in Albany Wednesday on various proposals for >>More


May, 2018

APA fast-tracks proposals for High Peaks

The Adirondack Park Agency board voted Thursday to fast-track a number of proposals for the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderhacker Wild Forest, including tens of thousands of acres of newly acquired state lands. Some environmental groups contend the agency is moving too fast. Among other things, the proposals call for parking lots that would allow easy access to Boreas Ponds; new hiking, biking, ski, and equestrian trails; new campsites, canoe launches, and kiosks; and relocating the trailhead for Cascade Mountain. The APA and Department of Environmental Conservation will hold two public hearings on May 23: 10 a.m. at DEC headquarters, >>More


May, 2018

DEC hopes to reroute Wright Peak Ski Trail

Several years ago we skied two High Peaks in spring with Ron Konowitz. We did a few laps in the bowl on Algonquin Peak, climbed over Wright Peak, and descended the Wright Peak Ski Trail. The Wright Peak trail is one of the few trails designed for down-mountain skiing in the Adirondacks. It was built in the 1930s, fell into disuse, and then was restored in 1980s by volunteers, including Tony Goodwin, the longtime executive director of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. But there was a problem. After a mile or so, the ski trail converged with the Algonquin hiking >>More


May, 2018

DEC proposes put-ins along upper Hudson

Opalescent River

Soon after the state purchased the MacIntyre East Tract, Brian Mann and I explored it by paddling the Hudson and the Opalescent rivers. We launched our canoes beneath a bridge over the Hudson and took out at a spot where the river abuts the Tahawus Road. From the bridge we paddled down the Hudson through Sanford Lake (a widening of the river) for a mile to the confluence with the Opalescent. We then went up the Opalescent, enjoying a great view of Allen Mountain, one of the remotest of the High Peaks. After lunch, we drifted back down the Hudson >>More


May, 2018

DEC issues Boreas Ponds management proposals

Boreas Ponds

Hikers will be able to drive to within a tenth of a mile of Boreas Ponds, but most probably will have to park farther away, under a draft management plan written by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The Boreas Ponds parking area is just one of numerous proposals for other parking areas, trails, canoe launches, campsites, kiosks, and other facilities in the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest. Most of the facilities would be on former Finch, Pruyn lands or other tracts acquired by the state in recent years. One major recommendation on pre-existing Forest Preserve calls for >>More


March, 2018

APA slates hearings on railroad corridors

The Adirondack Park Agency’s board gave preliminary approval Thursday to an amendment to the State Land Master Plan that will enable the state to create a thirty-four-mile rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. The board voted unanimously to send the proposed amendment to public hearings. It will vote again on the amendment after the hearings. The hearings will be held at APA offices in Ray Brook at 7 p.m. April 11; at the View in Old Forge at 7 p.m. April 24; and at the Department of Environmental Conservation offices in Albany at 11 a.m. April 25. The >>More


March, 2018

APA seeks to revive Lake Placid rail-trail proposal

The Adirondack Park Agency will consider amending the State Land Master Plan next week to allow the state to create a thirty-four-mile rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. The APA approved the rail trail in 2016, but a state judge ruled last fall that the trail would violate the State Land Master Plan. At issue was the plan’s definition of Travel Corridor. The APA said the railroad corridor would remain a Travel Corridor even if the tracks were removed, but acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main Jr. disagreed. “The SLMP expressly defines travel corridors in terms >>More


February, 2018

APA approves Boreas Ponds classification

After years of public debate, the Adirondack Park Agency voted 8-1 on Friday morning to approve a classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract that splits it into two main categories, Wilderness and Wild Forest. Most environmental groups applauded the decision, characterizing it as a compromise that will protect the ponds, streams, wetlands, and mountain slopes on the 20,543-acre tract while giving the public reasonable access. Under the proposal, the lands north of two former logging roads—all told, 11,412 acres—will be Wilderness. The lands south of the roads, 9,118 acres, will be Wild Forest. The main difference between the two classifications >>More


February, 2018

State to merge High Peaks and Dix Wilderness Areas

Boreas Ponds

The state plans to combine the High Peaks Wilderness and Dix Mountain Wilderness after the Adirondack Park Agency classifies the Boreas Ponds Tract and other nearby lands. Kathy Regan, the APA’s deputy director, told the agency’s board Thursday that the expanded High Peaks Wilderness would encompass 274,000 acres, making it by far the largest Wilderness Area in the Northeast. The expansion is possible as a result of the state’s acquisition of the Boreas Ponds Tract, MacIntyre East Tract, MacIntyre West Tract, and Casey Brook Tract. The last tract provides a crucial link between the existing High Peaks Wilderness and Dix >>More


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