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Adirondack Explorer

November, 2009

New deal for hunters

When the state signed a deal a decade ago to protect 139,000 acres owned by Champion International, Adirondack residents complained that it called for the demolition of hunting camps that had been in use for many years. As a result, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing to modify the deal to allow the 220 camps to remain. In exchange, the current owner, Heartland Forestland Fund III, will donate 2,661 acres to the state. The company supplements its timber revenue by leasing land to hunting clubs. In 1999, the state bought 29,000 acres outright from Champion and protected the >>More


October, 2009

Land swap on ballot

On Tuesday, voters will be asked to approve the construction of a power line that’s already been built—through the forever-wild Forest Preserve in the northwestern Adirondacks. If Ballot Proposal One is approved, the state will cede to National Grid a two-mile strip, totaling six acres, along Route 56 where the line was built last year. In exchange, National Grid will give the state a forty-three-acre parcel along the South Branch of the Grass River. John Sheehan of the Adirondack Council says it’s a good deal for the state. If the line were not built along the road, Sheehan said, National >>More


September, 2009

Paterson urged to reject Lows proposal

The executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board has written Gov. David Paterson to urge him to reject a proposal to classify part of Lows Lake as Wilderness. At its September meeting, the Adirondack Park Agency voted 6-4 to classify the western part of Lows Lake as Wilderness and the eastern part as Primitive. Adjacent lands also were placed in one or the other of the two categories. To take effect, the proposal must be approved by the governor. Fred Monroe, director of the Local Government Review Board, argues in a letter to Paterson that the proposal >>More


September, 2009

Lows Lake proposal OK’d

The Adirondack Park Agency voted 6-4 Friday to classify most of Lows Lake and adjacent lands as Wilderness, despite objections from local politicians. Under the proposal, which requires approval from the governor, Lows Lake west of Frying Pan Island will be designated Wilderness. The rest of the lake, which is much narrower, will be designated Primitive. The two classifications do not differ much in their management guidelines. Both classifications forbid motorized use by the general public. In this case, the Primitive classification reflects a recognition that the eastern part of Lows Lake abuts private lands, access roads, and a large >>More


September, 2009

McCulley wants Grannis off case

State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis may have ruled in Jim McCulley’s favor in the Old Mountain Road dispute, but McCulley still wants him off the case. McCulley’s lawyer, Matthew Norfolk of Lake Placid, filed a motion Tuesday asking Grannis to recuse himself for engaging in in “ex-parte” communications about the case with the Adirondack Council and Adirondack Park Agency, both of which are seeking permission to intervene in the legal controversy. They want Grannis to reconsider the decision. This spring, Grannis ruled that the state never legally closed the Old Mountain Road, which runs between Keene and North Elba >>More


August, 2009

Paddling scenic Fall Stream

A few years ago, the Explorer published a story by Mark Bowie about a canoe trip on Fall Stream, a tributary of Piseco Lake. Mark did the trip with some volunteers from the Adirondack Mountain Club who were investigating the possibility of adding Fall Stream to the state’s Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers System. Mark concluded that all or most of Fall Stream should be classified as Scenic. After paddling the river to Fall Lake and Vly Lake last weekend, I heartily agree. Most of the river lies within the state Forest Preserve, but the put-in and some of the land >>More


July, 2009

The road to Pine Pond

Last Sunday, two friends and I paddled from Second Pond on the Saranac River to Oseetah Lake and then walked to the beach at Pine Pond for a swim. Although the weather was iffy throughout the afternoon (we got rained on twice, albeit briefly), the sun came out just as we returned to our canoes on Oseetah. Pine Pond is a beautiful body of water that lies just inside the High Peaks Wilderness, where motorized recreation is forbidden. We were somewhat surprised to find an all-terrain vehicle and a golf cart at the pond. But only somewhat surprised. The High >>More


July, 2009

APA loses court fight

A state appellate court has ruled against the Adirondack  Park Agency in its battle with an Essex farmer who constructed worker homes on his property without an APA permit. The APA had levied a $50,000 fine against Lewis Family Farm, owned by Salim “Sandy” and Barbara Lewis. The Lewises contend that farmworker houses are exempt from APA regulations that apply to other single-family homes. On Thursday, the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court ruled 5-0 in the farm’s favor. The court noted that the state constitution and various state laws reflect an intent to encourage agriculture. “Nothing in any of >>More


July, 2009

Lows Lake proposal meets opposition

On Monday, the Adirondack Park Agency held the first two hearings on classifying Lows Lake as Wilderness, and as expected, there was a lot of local opposition. Both hearings took place inside the Park: at the town hall in Long Lake and at the state Ranger School in Wanakena. The opposition was stronger in Long Lake. APA spokesman Keith McKeever said only eight people attended the Wanakena hearing, and their views were “split down the middle.” Eighteen showed up at Long Lake, where “there more people opposed to the classification than were for it,” McKeever said. Following are newspaper accounts >>More


July, 2009

Adirondack Council joins McCulley fight

Group says DEC decision imperils Forest Preserve