The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) began a series of public hearings this week to collect comments for state land classification alternatives for former Finch Pruyn lands in the Central Adirondacks.
The first hearing was held Wednesday, June 12 at APA Headquarters in Ray Brook.
The rest of the public hearings will be held on the following dates at the listed times and locations:
•Monday, June 17: 1 p.m., Minerva Central School, 1466 County Route 29, Olmstedville
•Monday, June 17: 7 p.m., Newcomb Central School, 5535 State Route 28N, Newcomb
•Wednesday, June 19: 6 p.m., Downtown Conference Center at Pace University, 157 William St., 18th Floor, Manhattan
•Tuesday, June 25: 6 p.m., Indian Lake Central School, 6345 NYS Route 30, Indian Lake
•Monday, July 1: 7 p.m., The Harley School, 1981 Clover St., Rochester
•Tuesday, July 2: 1 p.m., NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany
•Tuesday, July 2: 7 p.m., Warren County Board of Supervisors Room, 1340 State Route 9, Warren County Offices, Queensbury
The classification proposals involve lands in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb, Essex County and the town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County. Detailed maps and the draft environmental impact statement describing the proposed action are available at the Adirondack Park Agency offices and on the APA’s website at www.apa.ny.gov.
The APA will hold public hearings throughout the Park and State to present alternative proposals and accept public comment. The APA will accept written public comment until July 19.
The purpose of the public hearing process is to afford an opportunity for public comment on the broad range of classification alternatives before the Agency. Any person may present an oral or written statement in regard to the proposed alternatives. Staff will be available to answer questions prior to each of the hearings.
Local towns favor Wild Forest
On June 5, Long Lake officials posted a story on their town’s blog saying that the five local towns favor a Wild Forest classification of all 69,000 acres of former Finch land, including the Boreas Ponds Tract, which has not yet been purchased by the state. These towns — Newcomb, Minerva, Indian Lake, Long Lake and North Hudson — have created a partnership called the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub “to facilitate and lobby for the only economically and environmentally viable classification” for the former Finch Pruyn lands.
“Wild Forest is the only classification of these lands that will sustain and grow the economy of the Five-Towns of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub located in the central Adirondacks,” the post states. “Viable economic opportunities cannot be leveraged without motorized access for users to increase visitor traffic in and out of the lands.“
Please submit all written comments by July 19 to: James Connolly, APA Deputy Director - Planning, Adirondack Park Agency, PO Box 99, Ray Brook, NY 12977. The phone number is 891-4050, fax number is 891-3938 and email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tracts of land
These unique and adventurous opportunities will attract more visitors to Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Long Lake, Newcomb and Minerva. Tourists will utilize these communities for accommodations, supplies and guiding services.
•The Essex Chain of Lakes and Hudson River: With 11 lakes and ponds interconnected or within portaging distance of each other, the Essex Chain will provide an outstanding canoe route and a much anticipated paddling experience. A long history of fish stocking that includes brook trout and landlocked salmon will ensure outstanding fishing. A five-mile stretch of the Hudson River runs along the east side of the Essex Chain parcel, completing an uninterrupted, “forever wild” stretch. The Essex Chain tract provides a premier opportunity for hunting, day rafting, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, overnight river trips, and camping.
•Indian River Tract, Towns of Indian Lake and Minerva, Hamilton and Essex Counties: One of the most exciting and popular whitewater rafting experiences in the Adirondacks starts on the Indian River and continues for nearly 15 miles down the Hudson River Gorge. The addition of this 940-acre tract to the Forest Preserve will preserve this wild experience for future generations. The tract is critical to enhancing rafting operations that draw over 25,000 people annually to this region. It is also a key tract in promoting new recreational opportunities by providing long-awaited access and take-out points that will make the upper Hudson River to the north a viable option for paddlers wishing to experience calmer waters but avoid the class III/ IV rapids of the Hudson River Gorge.
•OK Slip Falls, Town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County: OK Slip Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Adirondack Park and part of a 2,800-acre property that will soon be made available to the public for outdoor recreational pursuits. The tract contains 2.1 miles of the Hudson River, the Blue Ledges, the Hudson River Gorge, as well as Carter, Blue Ledge and Pug Hole Ponds. This area is home to more rare and significant mosses and liverworts than any other site in the Adirondack Park. This parcel is located within the Hudson River Gorge Primitive Area which is proposed for reclassification to a Wilderness Area.
For more information, visit the APA online at www.apa.ny.gov.