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Old 10-27-2016, 07:32 PM   #1
ADKWhaler
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Loon Lake Mountain Trail closed

Through December 31st, 2016. Lyme timber is logging in that area.
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:07 AM   #2
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I just had a great hike up there. Do you know how much land they own and or logging?
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Old 10-31-2016, 03:45 PM   #3
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Looks like they own 18,989 A.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/95009.html

Don't know how much is actually being logged currently.
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:28 PM   #4
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Pretty sad, I just started exploring this area in August and went back up earlier this month and couldn't wait to get back. I really hope it is not too extensive. What are the general feelings around this site about that company? I see that they lease areas they own at any given time they could wipe out the woods where you build.
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:44 PM   #5
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I'm delighted that they have been willing to negotiate a recreational access easement with NY State. (Considering it's the company's private land, which it paid for, they don't have to do anything at all. They would be within their rights to fence it all off and make it "No Trespassing" forever.) There is a lot of very good recreation on a lot of Lyme Timber land around the area, and I think that's great.
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Old 11-02-2016, 02:52 PM   #6
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I agree with TCD. It's private land, and the public having access to it is a concession they've given to us (the outdoor recreation community).

Also, timber harvesting is not really "wiping out the woods." It's removing an older, mature generation of trees to make room for the next generation to grow into. Harvest methods (single-tree selection, shelterwood, seed tree, clearcut, etc.) are chosen based on our ecologic knowledge of the tree species desired in the next cohort. It's also worth mentioning that since these lands are under easement with the state, the DEC has oversight of the forestry operations to ensure that they are being conducted sustainably by Lyme Timber.

The next generation will grow in remarkably fast. A few years after a timber harvest, you'll see a dense stand of young trees taking the place of the older generation. I'll also add that a lot of the lease camps on timber lands are used primarily as hunting camps, and since young forests tend to attract deer (more browse for them), the users of these camps probably aren't as disappointed to see timber harvesting occurring nearby as you might expect.

I'd never want to see timber harvesting on state land in the Adirondacks, but I am very glad to see it happen (responsibly) on private land within the park. It provides communities with important societal and economic values. As a society, we are all dependent on wood products, in more ways than we realize or ever think about.

To be clear, there's absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to see "untouched" forest more so than actively managed industrial timber lands while hiking. We all have different values (and desires for what we hope to experience) with regards to why we hike and go outdoors. I just think that even if timber harvesting isn't high on our list of "desired sights" while hiking, it's nevertheless important to understand that these areas are still fulfilling important functions that we all benefit from.

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Old 11-02-2016, 05:18 PM   #7
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What is a ballpark interval between responsible harvests of hard and soft woods?
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Old 11-02-2016, 05:53 PM   #8
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What is a ballpark interval between responsible harvests of hard and soft woods?
It depends on so many different factors that there really isn't a single figure. Even within hard and soft woods you have a lot of species variability. You've also got to consider the local climate and growing season. The extent to which a stand has actively been managed can also influence the rotation length. You've also got to take into account exactly what the desired product is.

In the Adirondacks, rotation lengths of 75, 100, or even 150 years aren't uncommon when you're dealing with hardwoods being managed for saw timber.

In actively managed pine plantations in the southeastern US, it's not uncommon of to have rotation lengths that are as low as 30-40 years (and even rotation lengths in the upper 20's aren't unheard of).

When you're looking at biomass production, then your rotation lengths are even shorter- often on the order of a 2-3 years. (This is kind of a different thing, though, and not something you'd see on a large scale in the Adirondacks.)
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:08 PM   #9
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Here at the farm we have a timber management plan that was drawn up by a DEC forester, back when the had the people power to do that kind of thing. It's a very nice detailed plan, and notes that our priority is healthy woods management over profit. Some areas were scheduled to be cut ASAP after the plan was made, and then were scheduled to be cut again in the 15 year range. Uneven aged management means cutting more often but cutting fewer trees each time, and being quite selective. We had one timber sale as advised but once we got the sawmill I have been able to keep up with what needs to be done, for the most part. Around here a lot of people practice diameter limit cutting, which means not cutting any trees under 14", or whatever the target size is. This is supposedly "good" forestry because it leaves trees for the next generation, but what also happens if this is done repeatedly is that the fastest growing, healthiest trees get cut and the slow or sick ones get left, and trees have genetics, just like people. If you cut the good ones then the bad ones seeds will be all that is left to sprout and over time the quality diminishes, according to my understanding. I try to cut the trees with problems and leave healthy ones unless they are really over-crowded. Another wild card in forest management is the emerald ash borer. About 30 percent of the forest in this county is white ash and it is supposed to be all or mostly killed in the next decade or two, which means it will have to be cut fairly quickly once it dies or it will not be usable for lumber.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:29 PM   #10
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Yeah, high-grading or diameter limit cutting is a major problem in the forestry realm that most people are largely unaware of. To the uneducated eye, it looks great- only a few trees are being removed, so the perception is that the forest is largely left as is. It makes it easy for people who care only about maximizing their short term profit to take advantage of land owners by offering to buy just "some" of their standing timber. In reality, this "take the best and leave the rest" approach can be very damaging to the genetic stock of a forest stand.

The health of a forest can take decades (or even centuries, we don't really know) to fully recover from the consequences of a high grade.

Uneven-aged management is incredibly tricky to do right (or well), and requires a good understanding of forest ecology (and some tricky math, including logarithms, to model forest composition). Fortunately, in the northeast we have a pretty decent knowledge base with hardwoods so it's not hard to draw from previous resources to more easily develop a solid model of what your forest should look like post-harvest. Even then, though, being able to take that model and translate it into a simple and easy to implement cutting plan is as much an art as it is a science. It also requires some pretty solid judgement calls made on the part of the timber marker when selecting which trees to remove and which to keep.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:37 PM   #11
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Note that the fire tower trail to Spruce Mountain in Corinth is closed annually during big game season (now) because it crosses private land that is leased by a hunting club. A friend of mine lives near the trailhead and says the boys in green were ticketing hikers recently who clearly disobeyed the signs and went through the lease anyway. Knowing it's closed might save someone a trip, and a ticket.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:04 PM   #12
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Yes, and Stillwater Mountain is also closed for hunting season, as is the Elk Lake access to the Dix Range and the Panther Gorge Area. All of these trails are public easements across private lands as well.
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:54 PM   #13
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Thank you all for the insight and information. I guess I need to be reminded that the Adirondack Park is not just one giant public land. It is subdivided by many private land owners, including large companies that use it for profit. I grew up in the suburbs of Albany not that long ago (late 80's and 90's). There was a lot of untouched wilderness and great places to hike, bike and camp. Sadly this is not the case anymore as farmers have sold off to developers and woods have be cleared. My own parents and friends parents are those people. I have seen what it does and I just somehow had the feeling that the Adirondacks were different. I do understand that they have better zoning laws and stricter environmental policies which make it hard for such developments to occur.
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jburn View Post
Thank you all for the insight and information. I guess I need to be reminded that the Adirondack Park is not just one giant public land. It is subdivided by many private land owners, including large companies that use it for profit. I grew up in the suburbs of Albany not that long ago (late 80's and 90's). There was a lot of untouched wilderness and great places to hike, bike and camp. Sadly this is not the case anymore as farmers have sold off to developers and woods have be cleared. My own parents and friends parents are those people. I have seen what it does and I just somehow had the feeling that the Adirondacks were different. I do understand that they have better zoning laws and stricter environmental policies which make it hard for such developments to occur.
One of the great things about the easements is that the state usually gets the development rights as part of the deal. That means that even though land isn't forest preserve (and may have limited or no public access), it can't be parceled off or developed on a whim. Even if it is an actively managed working forest, it will remain as a forest.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:57 AM   #15
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Random, loosely related comment - I was bushwacking on Loon Lake Mt earlier this summer and saw some of the fattest birch trees I've ever seen. And I grew up in the ADKs not far from there so "I know birch trees". FWIW I was way up high on steep slopes that I assume were beyond the scope of Lyme's timbering activity.
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:24 PM   #16
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Was it a paper or yellow birch? Yellow birch can grow to impressive sizes if given the chance. There's some nice ones in the High Peaks Wilderness on the Calamity Cutoff Trail.
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Old 11-06-2016, 03:26 PM   #17
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The logging companies Lyme Timber uses seem pretty responsible. This side of Loon Lake Mountain has not been harvested in over a decade. They tend to make "fingers" through the woods. After two or three years, you are hard pressed to see the logging. Modern techniques involve harvesting the whole tree-- little slash is left in the woods. This harvesting results in a healthier forest than the forever wild Forest Preserve.

I maintain the trail up Loon Lake Mountain, and went up Tower Road today. Much brush has been cleared along Tower Road. They have graded several former timber harvest landings. It apears they will be logging further up the mountain-- areas that have not been logged in about twenty years. They have flagged the trail, where it leaves Tower Road-- I think to keep the logger off that area.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:05 PM   #18
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I maintain the trail up Loon Lake Mountain

THANK YOU.









(my small part to try and make what is probably often a thankless job not quite as thankless)
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:29 PM   #19
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You are welcome! I love spending time on the mountain.
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Old 11-07-2016, 09:30 PM   #20
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Do you have any history on how they got the tower up there. I saw the poles and cable the whole way up and am intrigued. Also thank you for what you do. Hopefully I can soon find time to help out more.
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