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Entries Tagged as 'forest preserve'

Status of Seasonal Access Roads in the Adirondacks

June 4th, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

As of June 3, 2015:

See the Adirondack Trail Information web pages for more information.

Blue Mountain Lake Wild Forest/Township 19 Conservation Easement

  • O’Neill Flow Road is open to motor vehicles to the gate at Barker Pond Road.
  • Barker Pond Road is be open to motor vehicles to the Barker Pond parking lot.

Moose River Plains

  • Moose River Plains (Limekiln Lake-Cedar River) Road is open to motor vehicles its whole length from the Limekiln Lake gate near Inlet to the Cedar River Gate near Indian Lake.
  • Otter Brook Road is open to motor vehicles to the Squaw Lake barrier.
  • Rock Dam Road remains closed.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm

  • All roads designated for public motor vehicle traffic on the Perkins Clearing and Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easements are open.
  • The section of Jessup River Road, in the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement, leading to the Spruce Lake Trailhead is soft and should only be traveled by four-wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles.

Essex Chain Lakes Complex

  • The Shadow Dam Gate and the Cornell/Deer Pond Road will be closed for 1-2 weeks beginning Monday, June 8 to allow for replacement of one of the bridges on the road which is in poor condition.
  • Chain Lakes Road South is open for motor vehicle access to the Old Gooley Club Parking Area.
  • Chain Lakes Road North and Drakes Mill Road are open to allow for public motor vehicle access to the Hudson River/Polaris Bridge Parking Area.

Lake George Wild Forest

  • Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Recreation Area is open to motor vehicles but is rough.
  • Buttermilk Road Extension in the Hudson River Recreation Area is closed to all motor vehicles.
  • Lily Pond Road off State Route 8 south of Brant Lake is open to motor vehicles.
  • Jabe Pond Road off Split Rock Road and State Route 9N west of Lake George is open to motor vehicles.
  • Dacy Clearing Road is open to motor vehicles from the Hogtown Parking Lot to Dacy Clearing, it may be rough in spots.

Reminder: Seasonal access roads are rough, dirt or gravel roads. Four wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended.

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DEC Submits Proposal to Amend Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan

April 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Action to Ensure the UMP is Consistent with Voter-approved Constitutional Amendment That Allows NYCO to Conduct Exploratory Sampling

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today submitted a proposed amendment to the 2010 Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan (UMP) to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to ensure the UMP is consistent with the constitutional amendment approved by voters in November 2013 that permits exploratory sampling on the state-owned parcel in the Town of Lewis, Essex County, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

The constitutional amendment authorizes NYCO Materials, Inc. to conduct sampling on the 200-acre parcel, known as Lot 8, to determine the quantity and quality of wollastonite on the site, which is adjacent to the company’s long-standing mine. The exploratory sampling will also provide information that DEC will use to accurately appraise the value of Lot 8 for a potential land exchange if NYCO decides to expand its mining operations.

“This is an important step in the process to evaluate the site for a potential land exchange between the State and NYCO that would expand public access and recreation opportunities in the Adirondacks, while also supporting the regional economy,” Commissioner Martens said.

The current Jay Mountain Wilderness Area includes Lot 8, which is part of the State Forest Preserve and is governed by Article XIV, Section 1 of the State Constitution (Article XIV). The property is also subject to the provisions of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) as outlined in the 2010 Unit Management Plan for the Jay Mountain Wilderness area.

The amendment is intended to:

recognize that a constitutional amendment approved by the voters on November 5, 2013 implicitly repeals APSLMP guidelines for Wilderness that otherwise would prohibit NYCO’s mineral sampling operations within the Jay Mountain Wilderness area;
make the UMP consistent with the constitutional amendment; and
note that detailed terms and conditions governing the mineral sampling operations will be set forth in a Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) issued by DEC.
If Lot 8 is ultimately conveyed to NYCO, an amendment to the APSLMP’s area description of the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area will recognize that Lot 8 will no longer be contained in the Wilderness Area.

The Constitutional amendment approved by statewide voters revised restrictions related to Lot 8 to allow NYCO to conduct mineral sampling to determine the quantity and quality of wollastonite on approximately 200 acres of Forest Preserve lands. Data and information from this the drilling sampling will be provided to the State so that a land appraisal can be made.

During this first phase to implement the constitutional amendment, Lot 8 will remain part of the State Forest Preserve, subject to Article XIV. However, for the limited purpose of the sampling operations, the amendment suspends Article XIV directives that Forest Preserve lands must be “forever kept as wild forest lands” and that timber situated on the lands will not be “removed, sold or destroyed.” This will allow for the creation of corridors and areas required for transportation of equipment, development of drill pads and the use of mechanized mineral sampling equipment. The second phase, conveyance of Lot 8 to NYCO, will occur after the State has appraised the value of Lot 8.

If NYCO decides not to expand its existing wollastonite mine onto adjacent Lot 8, then the company is required to compensate the State for the disturbance resulting from the mineral sampling operations. NYCO will be required to convey to the state an amount of land no less than the acreage and value of the portions of Lot 8 disturbed by the sampling operations. These parcels, to be added to the Forest Preserve, would be subject to approval by the State Legislature.

If NYCO opts to expand its mine onto Lot 8, the company must convey to the state other lands that are equal to or greater than the acreage and assessed land value of Lot 8, and the total assessed value must be at least $1 million. The lands to be conveyed also would require State Legislature approval.

In addition, when NYCO terminates all mining operations on Lot 8, the company will be required to reclaim the site and convey title to these lands back to the state for inclusion in the Forest Preserve.

Lot 8 was assessed by the New York Natural Heritage Program in July 2013 and inventoried by DEC staff in early 2014. These site visits helped to determine if any significant natural communities or unique forest traits are present and to obtain a general assessment of the existing forest stand relative to surrounding forest areas. The assessment did not identify any unusual or unique resources on the site, especially in the context of surrounding state lands.

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DEC to Use Helicopter for Transporting Lime to Remote Adirondack Lake

February 13th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Adirondack News

Effort Will Counteract Effects of Acid Rain and Facilitate the Return of Brook Trout to Lyon Lake

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will begin to deliver 80 tons of lime to an acidified lake in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area north of Stillwater Reservoir in the town of Webb, Herkimer County today, DEC Regional Director Judy Drabicki announced.

State police helicopters and their crews will be among the 40 plus staff required to complete this liming operation. From a staging area at Stillwater Reservoir on the ice near the boat launch site, sling loads of 2,000 pounds of lime will be hauled by helicopter for 3.8 miles into Lyon Lake. The lime will be left on the lake and helicopter will return to Stillwater for the next load. This trip will be repeated 80 times over four days, weather cooperating, to get all the lime out to Lyon Lake where DEC staff spreads it across the lake’s frozen surfaces.

Lyon Lake, Webb, Herkimer, NY

“This is largest liming operation DEC ever embarked on, an effort involving months of planning and coordination with DEC staff, Forest Rangers and the critical state police helicopters and pilots and crews,” Director Drabicki said. “Adding lime to the lake will allow brook trout to once again live in this waterbody. This is just the latest effort by Governor Cuomo and DEC to expand opportunities for the fishing and hunting community.”

When the lake thaws in the spring, the lime will combine with lake water and make the water less acid. This will be the first lime treatment for Lyon Lake. DEC plans to stock the lake with native Adirondack brook trout during this fall’s aerial stocking.

DEC has great hopes for reestablishment of brook trout in some larger Adirondack ponds and lakes. Fisheries staff has noted that the larger water bodies maintain a deep cold water layer right through the summer (referred to as stratification), unlike the smaller ponds which now mix right through the summer. This results in warmer water temperatures in these smaller ponds that are not as suitable for brook trout.

Anyone looking for additional information on DEC’s liming program or a list of Adirondack trout ponds can call the Watertown fisheries office at
(315) 785-2263.

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Environmental Organizations Raise Alarm Over Plan to Allow Unlimited Clear-cutting Without Public Review

December 14th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Park Agency Board & Public Would be Cut Out of Review of Clear-Cuts

Adirondack CouncilRAY BROOK, N.Y. – The Adirondack Park Agency is considering a plan to eliminate the requirement for a formal environmental review before the state grants permission to undertake major clear-cutting in the private forests of the Adirondack Park.

The damage done to the forests and waters of the Adirondack Park by widespread clear-cutting was the reason why the public voted to protect the park’s public forests via the NYS Constitution, declaring them to be “forever wild” in 1894. Private forests have been under the jurisdiction of the Adirondack Park Agency since 1971.

“The Adirondack Park is the first region of the United States where we learned what awful damage de-regulated clear-cutting can do,” said Diane W. Fish, Executive Director of the Adirondack Council. “Our forests, our water quality and wildlife all suffered. All of the park’s major rivers got muddy and slow. The Erie Canal and Hudson River were in danger of drying up.”

“Public notice of plans to clear-cut a forest would be eliminated under this proposal,” said Roger Downs, Director of Conservation for the Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter. “That would make it impossible for the public to react before the trees start to fall. No one outside the agency will know until after the permit is issued. Once a staff member declares an application is „complete’ he or she will have only 10 days to issue a final clear-cutting permit. If the APA doesn’t act within 10 days, the applicant can demand automatic approval under the current rules.”(Section 809-6a)

“Worse yet, the new plan contains no restrictions on how many acres may be clear-cut under a fast-track permit,” Fish of the Council explained. “So it is possible that hundreds, or even thousands, of acres could be cut bare without public notice or participation.”

“If that were not bad enough, these permits would never expire,” she said. “Once a permit is issued, the landowner is free to clear-cut that parcel over and over again. There are no limits to allow for regrowth and no requirement for future site visits by agency staff.”

The Adirondack Park Agency Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the fasttrack permit proposal at its January 10 meeting. The organizations urged the public to contact the agency and ask it to reject the plan.

Currently, timber companies and other landowners must get a permit from the Adirondack Park Agency for any clear-cut above 25 acres on non-wetlands. Clear-cutting is the practice of removing all of the trees from a parcel of land. An acre is about the size of a football field without the end zones.

In order to get that permit, current applicants must undergo a formal environmental review that includes public notice and public participation and approval by the Adirondack Park Agency’s Board of Commissioners. The new plan would eliminate those requirements by allowing agency staff to issue permits, without a vote by the board of commissioners.
This new fast-track approval process would apply even to lands where the state has purchased a conservation easement to ensure that the lands are managed responsibly and sustainably.

“Frankly, we are not persuaded that anyone really needs this expedited, general permit,” said Fish. “Over the past 20 years, timber companies have only requested permission for major clear-cuts from the park agency three times. All three permits were granted. All three resulted in numerous public complaints about abuse of the forest. People get mad about smaller ones too, much smaller than 25 acres.”

“If anything, that proves that the threshold for permits is too lax, and ought to be lower than 25 acres,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment. “Large clear-cuts in the Adirondack Park tend to outrage the public. Issuing permits in secret won’t hide a landscape devoid of trees, covered only in stumps and mud and tire tracks. It won’t stop the mud and silt from drifting downstream, burying trout spawning beds along the way.”

“Perhaps clear-cutting is a tool that some timber companies favor to regenerate a certain species of tree,” said Fish. “But in places like the Adirondack Park, with such steep slopes and thin soils, it can do real damage when it is not tightly supervised. Going from a formal review to having staff issue fast-track permits is not tight supervision.”

Under the plan, park agency staff members could accept as adequate almost any forest management plan, including those overseen by the timber industry (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) rather than independent third parties (Forest Stewardship Council).

The Adirondack Council is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the wild character and ecological integrity of New York’s 9,300-square-mile Adirondack Park. Founded in 1975, the Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action. Council members live in all 50 United States.

Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) was formed in 1985 by a small group of concerned citizens who recognized the need to provide public involvement to advance stronger environmental policy. Today, after 25 years as a not-for-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization, CCE has grown to an 80,000-member organization with offices in Farmingdale, NY, White Plains, NY, Albany, NY, Syracuse, NY, Buffalo, NY, and Hamden, CT. CCE continues to work to empower the public by providing members with opportunities to participate in the political process and thereby advance a strong environmental agenda.

The Sierra Club’s mission is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

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Proposed New 39,000 Acre Upper Hudson River Wilderness Area

November 15th, 2012 · No Comments · News

Proposed New 39,000 Acre Upper Hudson River Wilderness Area

(PDF via Protect the Adirondacks!)

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Governor Cuomo Hiked, Canoed, and Fished

September 26th, 2012 · No Comments · News

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New York’s Adirondack Forest Preserve

August 6th, 2012 · No Comments · News

Get’s 69,000 more acres– 180 miles of rivers and streams, 175 lakes and ponds, and six mountains taller than 2,000 feet.

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