In the current issue of the Adirondack Explorer, we ran a debate on whether the state should fix the dam at Duck Hole in the High Peaks Wilderness. Now that the dam has been breached, the debate is whether the state should rebuild it.
This afternoon, we obtained several aerial photos taken after the rains of Hurricane Irene broke the dam. They were shot Monday by Kris Alberga, a forester with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The top photo shows Duck Hole as one looks southeast toward Preston Ponds. Much of the water has drained, exposing numerous mudflats.
The photo to the right shows water running over the broken dam. This is the start of the Cold River, a tributary of the Raquette. The structure on the right is a lean-to.
The photo below shows Duck Hole as one looks north toward the Sawtooth Mountains. The narrow bay is the Roaring Brook inlet.
Tom Martin, DEC’s regional forester, told me earlier today that he expects Duck Hole will dwindle into “a couple of small ponds with wetlands around them.”
Martin said he didn’t know whether DEC will rebuild the dam.
Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, said most hikers would like to see the dam rebuilt. Others question the wisdom of maintaining such a structure in an area classified as Wilderness.
When I have time I will post the debates that ran in the September-October issue of the Explorer. Tom Wemett of ADK’s Northville-Placid Trail chapter wrote in favor of repairing the dam. Bill Ingersoll, the guidebook writer, took the opposite side.