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Thursday, May 26, 2011

DEC proposes to ban gas motors on 13th Lake

The state Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to ban gas-powered motorboats on Thirteenth Lake on the edge of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness. DEC says it has received numerous complaints about the noise and pollution caused by motorboats on the lake. Under the proposed regulation, electric motors would be allowed on the lake. The agency’s news release, with links to more information, follows.

DEC PROPOSES THE USE OF ELECTRIC MOTORS ONLY ON THIRTEENTH LAKE

A proposed regulation that would limit motorized boating  on Thirteenth Lake to electric motors only was released for public comment today  by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  Interested parties have until July 2 to provide comments on the proposed regulation.

Thirteenth Lake lies in the northeastern portion of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area in the Town of Johnsburg, Warren County. The lakeshore is predominately state-owned lands classified as wilderness.  Some privately owned parcels adjoin the lake.

During the development of the Unit Management Plan for the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, DEC received numerous comments from private homeowners on the lake and from other users requesting that motorboats be prohibited on Thirteenth Lake due to noise, air pollution and water pollution issues. In response to these concerns, the Siamese Ponds Unit Management Plan calls for limiting motorized boating on the lake to electric motors only. This regulation implements that directive.

The use of electric motors will allow anglers to troll for trout and people with mobility disabilities to access the lake and adjoining wilderness lands.

The full proposed regulation and additional information regarding the purpose of the regulation can be viewed on the DEC web site (www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2359.html) Notices have also be posted in the DEC Environmental Notice Bulletin (www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20110518_not5.html) and the State Register (www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2011/may18/pdfs/rules.pdf).

Comments will be accepted until July 2, 2011.  Comments or questions may be directed to Peter Frank, Bureau of Forest Preserve, Division of Lands & Forests, by mail at 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4254; e-mail at pjfrank@gw.dec.state.ny.us or by telephone at 518-473-9518.

Phil Brown

Contributor Phil Brown was editor of the Adirondack Explorer from 1999-2018. When he isn't at his desk, he's usually out hiking, paddling, skiing, or doing something else important.

35 Responses

  1. Harvey44 says:

    I see no need for gasoline powered motors on 13th lake. I support this proposal.

  2. Anonymousness says:

    I had no idea that allowed gas motors on 13th Lake, as 3/4 of it is wilderness area, including all sides accessiable by the public. As far as I know there is no public motor vehicle access to the lake or dock, just a canoe put in from the 13th Lake Parking area, 150 ft from the lake on the wilderness boundary..

  3. Phil says:

    I have not used the launch at 13th Lake, but I believe it accommodates canoes and small motorboats. DEC refers to the launch in a recent update on conditions of trails and other facilities:

    “The boat launch area on the north end of Thirteenth Lake has been moved to the sandy beach area by the outlet of the lake.”

  4. FLsteve says:

    I think this proposal is long overdue. There is not nearly enough motor-free water in the Adirondacks. Personally I feel all motors should be banned, but this is a step in the right direction.

  5. ADKBike says:

    Great!!!!!Putnam Pond should be next!!!!

  6. Paul says:

    “There is not nearly enough motor-free water in the Adirondacks.”

    FLsteve, I disagree. In fact I think there are more motor free water bodies in the Adirondacks than motorized ones. By acreage of water perhaps not but by the number of lakes and ponds I bet there are more places without motors. On most ponds and many rivers you couldn’t launch a motor boat even if you wanted to. These are all open to paddlers.

    Phil, do you know the stats? A water body does not need to be labeled as such by the DEC to make it “motorless”.

  7. Paul says:

    For example the UMP for the Siamese Pond Wilderness lists 80 ponds or lakes in the wilderness area. 79 of those water bodies are, by law, motor-less. The one that is not is 13th lake which lies on the border with most of the lake outside the Wilderness boundary. It is restricted to small motors now. Perhaps this lake should be motor-less but I disagree with the idea that there is a lack of motor-less opportunities in the Adirondacks. I see from the UMP that they were discussing the idea of making this a motor-less water back when they drafted the UMP.

  8. Phil says:

    Paul, there are hundreds of backcountry ponds that are “motorless,” but most are too tiny and/or too remote to paddle. How many people will bushwhack all day to paddle a one-acre pond? The debate is over waters that are reasonably accessible. What percentage of those are motorless? What percentage of the acreage is motorless? Whether your benchmark is number of waterways or amount of acreage, most of these waters are in fact open to motorboats. You can argue that this is justified, but when you assert that most Adirondack waterways are motor-free, you create the misleading impression that paddlers have no cause to ask for more quiet waters.

  9. Paul says:

    Phil, I think that even if you look at the waterways that are what you call “reasonable accessible” it still seems that there really isn’t much cause for paddlers to be asking for more water bodies that they can have exclusive use of. It usually requires a boat launching site of some kind to get a motor boat of any size into the water. That alone limits many (if not the majority of) water bodies to paddlers only. Take a trip from Paul Smith’s to Malone as an example. There are tons of opportunities for paddlers along that route and almost none of it is accessible by a motor boat of any size. I am talking about water that you can access right off the road. The “quiet waters” people are the ones that seem to be making the “false impressions” when you really look at what is out there.

  10. Paul says:

    Phil, also many places that even allow small motors are pretty much the domain of paddlers. The East Branch of the St. Regis river is a good example of one such water body.

  11. Paul says:

    When you look at the number of launch sites relative to the available water ways in the Adirondacks it looks like most of it is pretty “quiet” water. For example in Franklin county there are only 20 DEC boat launches (4 are for the same lake). Herkimer has 11 (5 are for the barge canal and several are for electric motors only). Essex county has only 16 and 6 of those are for Lake Champlain. Hamilton county has 17 launches. This is in a region where (not counting rivers and streams) you have about 700 lakes and ponds. So you have 65 launches or about 90% of the water bodies inaccessible by motor boat. 90% motor less is not that bad if you are a paddler that wants exclusive use.

  12. Paul says:

    Here is a 250hp electric outboard:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzfYAeXTOUk

  13. Harley says:

    Phil

    The rationale for banning outboard motors on Thirteenth Lake is hollow and rhetoric we continue to hear from the DEC. Complaints about noise, pollution, protecting the environment. We all know the real reason…elitist paddlers and hikers want their own private playground. New York needs to look at the policies of some other states that provide equal consideration for all recreational user groups. In essence this action will push the fisherman off the lake.

    Shame on you for your selfishness!

  14. I support this proposal. It’s a good compromise, preserving access for fishermen and the mobility impaired while protecting the environment of the lake. I’ve spent a good of time on and around Thirteenth Lake, and the proposed regulation reflects the wilderness-like character of the surrounding lands, public and private.

  15. Smitty says:

    The fact that motorized vehicles of any form are allowed at all in wilderness areas(other than emergency vehicles of course) is rediculous. I travel into the wild to get away from the incessant noise of modern living, and enjoy the tranquility that mother nature provides. I understand the need for mechanization in our world, but that doesn’t mean we should be accomodating it unnecesarily. There is no good reason for allowing motorized boats. I hope this ban is enforced, and enlarged to include all national parks.

  16. Paul says:

    Smitty, Some of the land on this lake is privately owned. The lake itself is not part of the designated wilderness area.

  17. Paul says:

    “I travel into the wild to get away from the incessant noise of modern living, and enjoy the tranquility that mother nature provides.”

    Smitty, you can paddle the other 79 water bodies in this same Siamese Pond WA for that purpose.

  18. Paul says:

    Another blog I saw on this indicates that this is aimed at one or two larger motor boats boats per year using the lake. Is this really an issue worth all this? I doubt it is worth kicking the hornets nest for 2 boats?

  19. larry says:

    I agree with Vick Sasse an the conservation councilan support motors on thirteenth lake. false internet publicity adds from kayak rental companies saying theres no powered engines on the lake doesn’t make it so.Generations of my family an friends familys have enjoyed the lakesites an the comfortabilty of using powered jon boats an 12’v bottoms to reach these sites with children an elderly campers, rarely in 40 years have i seen more than 2or 3 motor boats on the nearly 2 m lake .we pay big money for stocking an up keep.ivasive species can be brought in a number of ways including kayaks that is really lame statement, your greed is invasive.we have endured enough restrictions on thirteenth lake

  20. Alan Gregory says:

    Too many people these days have forgotten how to put their own muscles to work, burning calories instead of gasoline and oil. This is a good move. I support it.

  21. Real says:

    I’ve heard some of the Garnet Hill development folks say even electric motors on canoes bother them. I’ve encountered these same fools while camped on the State primitive sites along 13th lake’s shoreline. They feel it THEIR right to hug the shoreline in flotillas of sometimes 5 kayaks talking loudly about how terrible the sight of people actually camping on “their” lake offends them. I’ve seen them paddle up the the shore and take photos of campers minding their own business, like the campers were zoo animals. Hmmm, ever wonder where the septic systems from the mini great camps built uphill of the lake in Garnet Hill drains? Yeah, double standard whiners.

  22. HikingBlog.net» Blog Archive » DEC proposes to ban gas motors on 13th Lake says:

    […] Source: http://adirondackexplorer.org/out-takes/2011/05/26/dec-proposes-to-ban-gas-motors-on-13th-lake/ […]

  23. Troy says:

    Don’t fix what is not broken. When you buy a home in Garnet Hill you know it’s a public lake that allows motor boats. That’s it.

  24. Troy says:

    Don’t fix what is not broken. When you buy a home in Garnet Hill you know it’s a public lake that allows motor boats. That’s it. Enjoy it. Don’t complain to DEC that you are unhappy with your choice.

  25. robert says:

    i think everyone should pay to use this lake after all most of the money obtained to take care of these area s come from fisherman with liscences going up everyyear and then registration fees that are also collected for using these water ways how much is contributed to this from kayakers and hikers and tree huggers nothing thats right nothing and when it comes right down too it we all impact the enviroment in one way or another the real problem is people period maybe they shouldnt be building houses here either

  26. robert says:

    BESIDES THE FACT ITS NOT THAT EASY TO GET BIG BOAT IN THERE BECAUSE OF THE ROCKS SO AS NOT TO LET TRAILORED BOATS IN THERE I DONT THINK THAT ITS A PROBLEM HAS BEEN THIS WAY AVERY LONG TIME WITH NO ADVERSE EFFECTS IF ANYTHING LIMIT THE SIZE OF MOTOR ALLOWED

  27. robert says:

    this is stupid what pollution do they have proof of this some lakes yes there shouldnt be motors like morea it does not drainout so it could be problem but as far as thirteenth no way the lake tuns over 3 times a year whats it called the hydronics of the lake daaa there should be a limit of less then 10hp on the lake hence the 9.9 and if there is an accident on the lake were someone needs medical attention i’m sure any fisherman with a motor would be ready to assist it would be wrong to ban them for pollution without proof or evedence we register our boats and follow yur rules instead of some booksmart idiot why dont they listen to the people who have real expiernce with these things come up with plan that makes everyone happy ive been cming here for over 20 yrs and have no problem with smll motors on lake and never seen any evidence of the lake being polluted by the motor land of the free my ass if you got money and you whine loud enough you’ll get your way how about making kayaks with less offensive colors the stick out like some ugly sore on lake this sucks hope some one reads this probably big waste of time

  28. Gary A. Waddington says:

    Please allow mankind the use of God’s wonderful creation with a simple tool to enjoy it more. Other lakes that turn themselves over each year have no problem staying unpolluted. DEC, let your heart make the decision, not your minds or your wallet. Our ignorance towards each other has to cease, please make the rightous choice – thx for your time, Gary.

  29. robert says:

    YOU PPLE ARE CRAZY ,LETS REMEMBER THAT IT BORDERS THE SIAMESE WILDERNESS AND IS NOT PART OF IT AND WHEN YOUR ON THE LAKE IN EARLY SPRING OR UP ABOVE HIKING OR FISHING AND SOMETHING HAPPENS YOU FALL IN LAKE OR TAKE A FALL AND CANT PADDLE IT MAY BE THAT GUY WITH A MOTOR THAT GETS YOU OUT SAFELY,AND ILD STILL LIKE TO SEE PROOF OF THE POLLUTION THEY ARE CLAIMING WE ARE NOT AS STUPID AS YOU THINK THOSE FEW MOTORS THAT ARE ON THE LAKE JUST MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE SOMEDAY AND WERE DOES IT STOP SELFISH SELFISH PPLE THIS DECISION SHOULD BE 86 AS FOR AS I’M CONCERNED

  30. robert says:

    OK SO WERE AFTER FISHERMAN BECAUSE OF THE MOTORSHERES ONE FOR YOU PERHAPS WE SHOULD BE CHECKING THE KAYAKS FOR LEAD IN THE PLASTICS THIS CANT BE GOOD FOR THE LAKES IM SURE MAYBE THEY SHOULD BE BANNED ALSO IS THERE A TEST FOR LEAD IN THE LAKES WE BANNED SINKERS WHY NOT YOUR KAYAKS THIS IS WAR RIGHT

  31. robert says:

    THERE ARE NO HOUSES ON THE LAKE SO HOW COULD THEY COMPLAIN IF THEY MOW THERE LAWN THERE CREATING ABOUT AS MUCH NOISE AS MOST MOTORS ON LAKE NEVER SEEN MORE THAN A CPLE OF MOTORS ON LAKE STILL WOULD LIKE TO SEE PROOF OF YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT POLLUTION WE HAVE RIGHTS TO AND WHO DO YOU THINK PAYS YOUR SALARY THIS STATE GETS IN TROUBLE AND THE FIRST THING THEY WANT TO DO IS CLOSE THESE AREAS WHAT MAKES YOU RIGHT AND THE REST OF US WRONG SHOULD ONLY LIMIT THE SIZE OF MOTORS ON THE LAKE I HAVE MONEY INVESTED TOO AND SOUNDS LIKE THERE WILL BE MORE YOU WANNA PAY ME FOR MY MOTOR.

  32. John Elitist Canoeist says:

    The Great Northern Loons are gradually coming back.

    Saw a Merganser duck with 13 chicks following.

    Gasoline Motors are still used on the lake because ENCON never ordered the signs to inform any one.

    Camp sites recently NUMBERED in advance of FUTURE FEES payable on Internet.

  33. Hogenese says:

    Again as usual taking up issues because people are selfish and say why not me. I want my own playground! How many Motor boats a year do you see on any of these ponds really. You people have no consideration for society unless its your way! Fricking amazing! I am all for the great outdoors and love my canoe but the reason you all have access to any of this is cause its the right thing for all but as usual you gotta make it about what you want and by restricting this and any body of water in the Adirondack Park your proving my point by saying to all the “I want this or this is my playground”! You rarely ever hear the everyday user complain or make a fuss untill you all about what I want people try and take more and more for yourself. Remeber the nice thing about the park is that anyone can use the land but you people are the ones that say “I want this for me” thats the big problem and why the public has such a negative outlook toward you. I suppose thats my two cents but alot a good that’ll do!

  34. glogadget says:

    Wow, that is a really impressive set up. I had a friend that did a custom set up like this for his canoe, but I haven’t seen one like this on a kayak. It’s awesome.

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