ALBANY (AP) — New York State regulators have scheduled deliberations this week on classifying how new state land in the central Adirondacks can be used.
The woodlands and waterways in the towns of Indian Lake, Minerva and Newcomb were acquired by the state from The Nature Conservancy, which bought the land from the Finch, Pruyn timber company in 2007. The land includes the Essex Chain of Lakes, Hudson River Gorge, OK Slip Falls and a tract along the Indian River.
The Adirondack Park Agency will consider staff recommendations that include designating 33,000 acres as wilderness or primitive areas where motors are prohibited, a new snowmobile trail, a road to one lake in the Essex Chain for the handicapped and allowing float planes on First Lake and Pine Lake. Deliberations are scheduled for Wednesday through Friday in Ray Brook.
Adirondack Council Executive Director William Janeway said the group supports plans to protect in perpetuity some of the state’s most ecologically sensitive areas.
“These unique lands and waters deserve protection from the pollution and invasive species that motorized recreation would bring,” he said.
Neil Woodworth of the Adirondack Mountain Club, like Janeway, said he wants 38,000 acres designated as wilderness, but understands that the park agency is “committed to balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders.” That commitment includes building the proposed snowmobile trail largely along existing gravel roads that town officials say they need for their winter economies.
Some of the waterways and lands, long owned by the timber company and covered by hunting club leases, are opening to public recreation for the first time in 120 years, Woodworth said.