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Adirondack Explorer

January, 2017

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates Issues Boreas Analysis

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates has sent the Adirondack Park Agency a detailed paper, replete with photos, maps, and charts, arguing for a Wilderness classification for nearly all of the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract. The 46-page document also contains recommendations for several other lands recently added to the public Forest Preserve. The first half of the document is devoted to the Boreas Ponds Tract, the most controversial and largest of the classification decisions facing the APA. Adirondack Wilderness Advocates was formed last year by Bill Ingersoll, Brendan Wiltse, and Pete Nelson to counter classification proposals from environmental groups that they say fail >>More


April, 2015

DEC Proposes Trail, Lean-to In Pepperbox Wilderness

The 22,560-acre Pepperbox in the western Adirondacks is one of the smaller Wilderness Areas in the Park, but it also is one of the wildest. It has no lean-tos and only two miles of foot trails. The State Land Master Plan observes that the lack of a trail system “offers an opportunity to retain a portion of the Adirondack landscape in a state that even a purist might call wilderness.” Now the state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing to create a 1.3-mile trail to Gregg Lake and build a lean-to at a primitive campsite on the lake. The trail >>More


March, 2012

Should floatplanes be allowed on Lake Lila?

Lake Lila in the Adirondack Park

The state attorney general is again asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that demands that the disabled be allowed to fly to remote lakes in regions of the Adirondack Park classified as Wilderness, where motorized use is prohibited. Among the waterways targeted in the suit is Lake Lila, long a prime destination of canoeists and kayakers.  Assistant Attorney General Susan Taylor argues, among other things, that the five men who filed the suit, though disabled, can access Wilderness Areas and many Adirondack lakes without a floatplane. But Lake Placid attorney Matthew Norfolk says his clients (who include Maynard >>More


November, 2010

ADK objects to Moose River Plains plan

The Adirondack Mountain Club is objecting to the state’s recommendation to allow mountain biking on an old road in a portion of the Moose River Plains that has been proposed to be designated Wilderness. ADK Executive Director Neil Woodworth said the mountain-bike corridor would set a bad precedent and could open the door for other uses, such as snowmobiling, normally prohibited in Wilderness Areas. “The harder it is to get into the Wilderness, the more protected it is,” Woodworth said. The state Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to establish the biking corridor in the latest version of its draft management >>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


February, 2010

DEC plans to remove two fire towers

In a controversial decision, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is recommending the removal of old fire towers on St. Regis Mountain and Hurricane Mountain. Environmental groups have argued that the towers should be removed because they are in areas that are managed, by and large, as Wilderness. The guidelines for managing Wilderness Areas require the removal of most man-made structures. Also, environmentalists point out that both summits offer wide-open views without the towers. Nevertheless, many local residents (and no doubt many visitors as well) want the towers to remain. They see the structures as reminders of the region’s history. >>More


December, 2009

Revisiting Crane Pond Road

In the next issue of the Adirondack Explorer, we plan to publish an article by Adam Federman on the implications of the Old Mountain Road decision on the state Forest Preserve. Federman notes that probably hundreds of old roads crisscross the Preserve. As a result of the Old Mountain Road case, observers are asking whether towns could reopen these roads to snowmobiles and/or other motor vehicles. Any attempt to open these roads is sure to put the state Department of Environmental Conservation in the crossfire between local governments and environmental groups. Remember Crane Pond Road? The dirt lane penetrates nearly >>More


November, 2009

DEC’s vote on Lows Lake

  You haven’t heard the last of Lows Lake controversy—at least not from me. Unfortunately, I missed the discussion that preceded last week’s vote by the Adirondack Park Agency on the proposed classification of the lake. (The APA changed its schedule at the last minute, so I arrived after the vote). As you may recall from my earlier post, the agency commissioners voted 7-4 to reverse a decision in September to classify the lake as Wilderness or Primitive. The reason the classification proposal failed last week is that the three designees representing state agencies—namely, the departments of environmental conservation, economic >>More


July, 2009

Adirondack Council joins McCulley fight

Group says DEC decision imperils Forest Preserve