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Adirondack Explorer

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 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


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


January, 2018

Green groups laud APA proposal for Boreas Ponds

Boreas Ponds Proposal

Several environmental groups are applauding a recommendation by the Adirondack Park Agency staff to classify most of the 20,543-acre Boreas Ponds Tract as motor-free Wilderness. The APA board is expected to begin discussing the recommendation at its meeting next Thursday and vote on it the next day. The agency’s staff considered five classification schemes. The preferred alternative, called 2B, would classify 11,412 acres as Wilderness, 9,118 acres as Wild Forest, and eleven acres as Primitive. It’s expected that the Wilderness acres will be added to the High Peaks Wilderness. Boreas Ponds themselves—an impoundment of three ponds—would be Wilderness under the >>More


November, 2017

APA Puts Off Boreas Ponds Decision Again

Is the controversial idea of establishing huts at the ponds dead?


September, 2017

Wilderness Huts Are Not The Adirondack Way

On July 15, 1932, two giants of conservation met on top of Mount Marcy: Bob Marshall and Paul Schaefer. Marshall was partway through a marathon hike that would take him to the summits of thirteen High Peaks. Schaefer was taking photos to be used in a campaign against a proposal to allow cabins in the Forest Preserve. Schaefer’s account of the chance meeting appears in an appendix to my book Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s Adirondack writings. When informed of the cabin proposal and various assaults on the Forest Preserve, Marshall became agitated and paced back >>More


June, 2017

DEC Reopens Part Of Road To Boreas Ponds

The state has reopened Gulf Brook Road on the Boreas Ponds Tract as far as the interim parking area created last year. As a result, the public can drive 3.2 miles up the dirt road. From there, hikers must walk another 3.6 miles on roads to the southern end of Boreas Ponds. Mountain bikers will once again be able to ride as far as the ponds, but no farther. It’s a long haul for paddlers, but they have the option of shortening the portage by paddling a half-mile across LaBier Flow, a dammed stretch of the Boreas River. The flow >>More


May, 2017

Gulf Brook Road To Open After Mud Season

The Adirondack Park Agency met last week but did not take up the question of how to classify (and manage) the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract. It’s uncertain whether the APA will take up the issue at its next meeting in June. One of the big questions facing state officials is whether to allow the public to drive on the former logging road that leads to Boreas Ponds. The seven-mile dirt thoroughfare is known as Gulf Brook Road. Two environmental groups, Adirondack Wilderness Advocates and Adirondack Wild, want the entire tract classified as Wilderness, which would close the entire road to motor >>More


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