Vote for Wild Forest: Boreas Ponds Classification Coming

This past month I attended another meeting of “Access the ADK Alliance” (www.accessadk.com ) to discuss strategies among user groups on how we can make our case that Boreas Pond Tract should be classified mostly Wild Forest and not Wilderness.  The group includes representatives of the Fish and Wildlife Boards, the Conservation Council, The Conservation Fund Advisory Committee, representatives of the NY Horse Council, municipal officials, local snowmobile clubs and of course, NYSSA.

The group is really starting to frame an united front to ensure that access is provided to the Boreas Pond property and one side does not dominate the discussions. The Boreas Pond tract provides a great opportunity to connect Newcomb with North Hudson without have to cut many miles of trail through the forest.

After the meeting in Indian Lake, I took the opportunity to drive over to Boreas Pond to experience the property once again under the interim use plan that NYS DEC has put in place.  I wanted another look before the classification hearings that start on November 9.    Vehicles can drive in some 3.5 miles on Gulf Brook Road to a parking area and the first gate and it is only a short distance (app. 3 miles) to the Four Corners.

"No Bicycles"

At the Four Corners, I encountered the first thing that I thought was odd; signs prohibiting bicycles from traveling west on Trout Pond Road, a continuation of Gulf Brook Road.  You see Trout Pond looks exactly like Gulf Brook.   I was trying to figure out, why this arbitrary demarcation of where mechanized traffic could go and why not further.  I walked a few hundred feet up Trout Pond and I discovered a York rake that had been dragged the length of the road.  Obviously someone thought bikes would cause more damage and erosion than dragging this rake up the road, pulling up rocks and debris along the way with a motor vehicle.  I subsequently found out that there are lease holders up this road that continue for some time.  So they can drive in while I can’t bike in?  The State’s logic is so strange!

York Rake

I then proceeded on to the main spill way (dam) that deepens this man made enhanced water body.   That is correct,

Bicycles chained to bridge.

the Ponds are not natural.  At the dam, I once again encountered those pesky “no bike” signs.  Two bikes were chained to the rail that goes over the dam.  Once again the randomness of this demarcation was apparent.  I had hoped to run into these folks but I ran out of time.

I have included some pictures of this dam and bridge in the Boreas Pond Gallery so that you can see the very natural area this is.  Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Bridges were built to carry 100,000 lb logging trucks!

Leaving the dam area I headed back to see a set of signs I rarely encounter in wilderness; “No Trespassing!”   For the life of me I could not figure out why?   Without admitting quilt, I did take a peek at what was behind the curtain.  It appeared to be a several acre site where demolition had taken place, the land leveled and grass planted.  Not so natural!   The State had made a decision out of the scope of SAPA to take the lodge that stood here down.  In other words they made a unilateral decision without public input.

The simple fact is that for about 100 years Finch Pruyn has been logging this area.  During the Nature Conservancy’s ownership additional logging has taken place.  Finch clear cut several areas and if you look at a Google Satellite image you can see the artifacts of that clear cutting. Sorry folks, but trees don’t grow naturally in rows.

Several groups are trying to make the case that most of the property should be wilderness.  They want to ignore the dozens of culverts, three spillways, many steel bridges, 50 miles of maintained road and the long history of logging and lease holdings that the property has been subjected to.  But that is exactly the point.  All of this has taken place and the land has remained a treasured jewel.  There is no reason why continued access under a Wild Forest classification can’t do the same for the future of this property.

Public hearings on the classification of this property begin on November 9th in Ray Brook, NY.  I hope you will make the time to attend one of the public hearings or to sit down and write a letter expressing your support for  a Wild Forest classification for all the property south of Gulf Brook Road and within the perimeter road around Boreas Pond.  The APA website www.apa.ny.gov  shows four alternatives for the property.  We will be supporting Alternative 1 and hope that you will also. Suggested talking points!

November 9, 2016,  7:00 PM
Adirondack Park Agency
1133 NYS Route 86
Ray Brook, NY

November 14, 2016   6:00 PM
Northville Central School
131 S. Third Street
Northville, NY

November 16, 2016  7:00 PM
Newcomb Central School
5535 NYS Route 28N
Newcomb, NY

November 21, 2016   7:00 PM
Scroon Lake Central School
1125 Route 9
Schroon Lake, NY

November 28, 2016  7:00 PM
Rochester Institute of Technology
Golisano Institute for Sustainability
Parking Lot “T”
Rochester, NY

November 29, 2016  6:00 PM
St. Lawrence County
Human Service Center
80 State Highway 310
Canton, NY

December 6, 2016 7:00 PM
Bear Mountain Inn
3020 Seven Lakes Drive
Tomkins Cove, NY

December 7, 2016  2:00 PM
NYS DEC
625 Broadway
Albany, NY

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