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Adirondack Explorer

July, 2018

DEC responds to backcountry skiers’ concerns

backcountry skier

Backcountry skiers have long complained that state agencies have given them short shrift when it comes to accommodating their sport in the Forest Preserve. One major complaint is that years ago the state Department of Environmental Conservation transformed part of the Wright Peak Ski Trail into a hiking trail; the subsequent narrowing and eroding of the trail has rendered it often unsuitable for skiing. In proposed changes to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan, DEC aims to address the problem by rerouting the lower part of the ski trail away from the hiking trail. The department also proposes a number >>More


July, 2018

DEC responds to climbers’ concerns over access

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has compiled 132 pages of public comments and responses regarding its proposals in the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. The Adirondack Park Agency is expected to vote on whether to approve DEC’s proposals this Friday. About ten pages of comments and responses pertain to concerns raised by rock and ice climbers, many of whom fear that efforts to address overflow parking along Route 73 will shut them out of popular cliffs. Below are all the climbers’ comments, with DEC’s responses in italic. We hope to post comments from other user groups later in >>More


July, 2018

Protect wants motorboats banned from Weller Pond

Weller Pond

Protect the Adirondacks wants motorboats banned from Weller Pond and Little Weller Pond near Middle Saranac Lake. If you agree, you have until Friday to submit comments to the Adirondack Park Agency.

In a draft unit management plan (UMP) for the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, the state Department of Environmental Conservation did not ban motorboats from the two ponds, but it is proposing to impose a 5-mph speed limit.


July, 2018

DEC finalizes proposals for High Peaks region

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has finalized its proposed changes to the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest unit management plans, and the Adirondack Park Agency is expected vote on them next week.


June, 2018

OSI protects 4,000 acres in southern Adirondacks

OSI deal

The Open Space Institute has acquired more than four thousand acres in the southeastern Adirondacks in a deal that will help protect the watershed for the city of Amsterdam. Known as the Hans Creek property, the parcel contains land within the watershed of Amsterdam’s Steele and Ireland Vly reservoirs, including frontage on the Steele Reservoir. It contains a network of forest roads that will serve as trails for hiking and snowmobiling and boasts views of Great Sacandaga Lake. In a news release, OSI describes the terrain as “a mix of well-drained ridges and valleys containing a mosaic of beaver ponds, >>More


June, 2018

DEC to close road to Boreas Ponds for repairs

Boreas Ponds

The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to close Gulf Brook Road, the dirt thoroughfare leading to Boreas Ponds, on weekdays so it can repair the road, which was damaged by deep frost and melting snow this past winter. The closure means people will have to hike or bike about seven miles to reach the ponds, which the state bought in 2016. Gulf Brook Road is an old logging road built by Finch, Pruyn and Company, the former owner of Boreas Ponds. When the road is open, people are allowed to drive 3.2 miles to the Fly Pond Parking Area, >>More


June, 2018

Lisa Ballard wins award for ‘Explorer’ story

Saranac Lake native Lisa Ballard has won a national award for a story about hiking with her brother that appeared in the Adirondack Explorer. Her article, titled “On Crane with Wayne,” won second place in the Outdoor Writers Association of America for stories in the Outdoor Fun and Adventure category. The award was announced at the association’s annual conference in June. Ballard, who now lives in Montana, wrote about climbing Crane Mountain with her brother, Wayne Feinberg, a Saranac Lake real-estate agent. Evidently, Wayne is not a big fan of hiking and had to be coaxed into going. “He was >>More


June, 2018

Adirondack climbers want voice in High Peaks plan

Chapel Pond Slab

The Adirondack Climbers Coalition is urging its members to submit comments to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that the rock-climbing community’s voice is heard as DEC prepares changes to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan. The ACC is concerned about DEC’s plan to ban parking along the shoulders of Route 73, which passes by many of the region’s premier climbing cliffs. “Don’t reduce parking. In fact only increases in parking should be considered,” ACC President Will Roth writes in a notice posted on the group’s website. DEC is proposing to build two parking areas near Chapel Pond >>More


June, 2018

Parked cars on Route 73 create safety hazard

Route 73 safety hazard

For the past few years, state and local officials have recognized that parking at busy trailheads on Route 73 has become a safety hazard. When the trailhead lots fill up, people park their cars along both sides of the two-lane highway and walk along the shoulders to get to the trail. It’s not uncommon to see dozens of cars parked along the road at the Cascade Mountain trailhead, Giant Mountain’s Ridge trailhead, and Giant’s Roaring Brook trailhead. As we reported earlier, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing changes in the High Peaks Wilderness unit management plan (UMP) to >>More


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




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