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A Motorless Movement

June 3rd, 2008 · 3 Comments · News

The NYS DEC announced the formation of an interagency “Quiet Waters Working Group for the Adirondack Park”.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis and Adirondack Park Agency (APA) Chairman Curt Stiles today announced the formation of an interagency “Quiet Waters Working Group for the Adirondack Park.” The working group will evaluate lakes, ponds and rivers in the Park for potential designation as “quiet water,” meaning that motorized craft would be prohibited.

The working group will be comprised of staff from DEC and APA, and will actively solicit input from local officials, community groups, outfitters, sportsmen, and other stakeholders.

Alright everyone, form a circle, join your hands, and let’s do some inputting!

“There are too few places in the Adirondacks where paddlers can experience the tranquility of a motorless water body,” Commissioner Grannis said. “With the increasing popularity of paddling, DEC wants to explore the possibility of expanding ‘quiet waters’ opportunities. This is part of our effort to increase opportunities for all recreational users of the Adirondacks. DEC is committed to involving local communities, outfitters, sportsmen and paddlers in this process.”

OK, I think this is right on.

“The Adirondack Park has long been viewed by visitors and residents of New York as a place of both exceptional beauty and a location where they can find solitude, a connection with the natural world and a break from the working world. More and more communities in the Park are embracing a common theme that the attraction of the Adirondacks is the quality recreational experiences, the scenic vistas and the tranquil way of life that we enjoy,” Chairman Stiles said. “The St. Regis Canoe Area is one excellent example of the few locations in the Park which provide a motorless backcountry paddling experience. Recent state land acquisitions, as well as numerous opportunities along our Wild, Scenic and Recreational River system in the Park, need to be evaluated and assessed for additional camping facilities to effectively respond to increased use and demand for traditional forms of water-based recreation, including canoes, kayaks and guideboats.”

Yes! It almost sounds like a branding message.

The working group will develop draft recommendations for lakes, ponds and rivers to be potentially designated quiet waters. The recommendations will be developed with input from local communities, sportsmen, outfitters, paddlers and other stakeholders, and will be subject to public comment and review.

The Adirondack region boasts thousands of lakes, rivers and streams, and a wide variety of habitats, including unique wetland types and old-growth forests. Currently, the St. Regis is the lone designated canoe area. It represents just 1 percent of the lakes in the Park and 0.6 percent of acres – but has had a very positive effect on small businesses and outfitters in Franklin and, Essex Counties.

We could use more paddling waters and the motorless aspect is surely a big selling point. Question is: Will the losses from motorboat restrictions be made up by gains in paddling? I don’t have a motorboat, nor will I like ever own one, so it’s easy for me to not care.

Add restricting float planes, atv’s, snowmobiles, and I think we do have a motorless movement happening.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • City Mouse

    This is an interesting issue. A humble part-timer’s opinion – I really do believe that “There are too few places in the Adirondacks where paddlers can experience the tranquility of a motorless water body.”

    Of course, I am a mellow paddler, and the mellowest, at that. So I like things mellow. That said, I have nothing against small electric motors. I wonder if engine size precedents have been set elsewhere – Me, I don’t mind a little trolling motor going by me when I’m on the sidewaters of St. Regis, but a larger outboard (especially used inconsiderately) bugs the hell out of me.

  • TourPro

    There are some proposed changes that may impact electric motors, though I’m not sure what it really means.

    I haven’t been out paddling this year yet. I’d say I’m mellow, with a tinge of masochism. Born to be a Clydesdale.

    It would be really cool if we became as well-known as the Boundary Waters.

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