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Old 07-22-2019, 09:32 PM   #1
mphilli2
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Float Plane Trips (article)

I'm not happy with some of this article (New York Times Magazine) but the photos of the Adirondacks are lovely:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/22/t...section=Travel
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:30 AM   #2
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it reads like a modern version of "Murray's Fools".
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:01 AM   #3
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So now are we going to hear millennials clamoring for floatplane access to high peaks? Also, where are these DEC campsites that are outfitted with a fire ring and a canoe, I thought there was a pretty active campaign to get rid of stored boats? Not a mention of a pit privy, or how sanitation needs were met, I can just hear the pilgrims asking a pilot dropping them off at Sargeant's, "Where are the bathrooms located?" WLDRNS nailed it, a whole new wave of unedumacated newbies will be heading north from the Big Apple!
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:41 AM   #4
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I know from 1st hand observation that the float plane operators do not limit themselves to the areas where they are legally permitted.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:02 AM   #5
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no doubt the NYT will report the tragic event(s) in Labrador https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfo...-men-1.5220314
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:30 AM   #6
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Experiencing such remote corners of the Adirondacks wouldnít have been possible witho

Not really
you can hike to all these places
without the loud, annoying sound of a floatplane
destroying yours(and anyone elses) camping experience
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Old 07-23-2019, 12:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by madison View Post
I know from 1st hand observation that the float plane operators do not limit themselves to the areas where they are legally permitted.

They also store gear (read: canoes) for the season in locations where "they" have clear cut trees.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:19 PM   #8
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I found the article to be well written, with fantastic photos.
Unfortunately, such press will only attract more campers that will continue the violations described, perpetrated by the float plane operators.

Anyone with legs, or even those without, can visit Pine Lake without the aid of a float plane, just hike or wheel in on the old roads.

Personally, I'm extremely frustrated that NYS has set aside several campsites in the Essex Chain complex exclusively for float plane customers.
Is it state land or not!!??

What would be the outcome should I decide to cut open some forest along the Rock River, stash some canoes and gear, and put up signs that this campsite is for my exclusive use, banning all others?
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:51 PM   #9
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Personally, I'm extremely frustrated that NYS has set aside several campsites in the Essex Chain complex exclusively for float plane customers.
Is it state land or not!!??
Same here. I am also curious how (if?) a "float plane operator" gets approved for exclusive use. What if multiple operators have a conflict over "exclusive use", how is that mitigated and mediated. I bought a 1/32 scale model float plane. I will rent it out for 1cent/year. As a "float plane customer" you will get exclusive use of those campsites.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:48 PM   #10
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Here is my story of my experience with a float plane.

It was a Memorial day weekend several years ago. At the time float planes were still allowed to fly into Lows Lake. Thankfully that has ended.

I had early in the morning paddled into Grass Pond on Lows Lake and stashed my canoe in an obscure primitive camp location not far from Site 32, a nice site on the north side of Grass Pond. My intent was to bushwhack to a couple of remote ponds that day. As I was standing at site 32, in the open and within clear view of the sky, a float plane buzzed over from the north. I was in the process of observing a pair of loons swimming not far from me. After the plane passed, it turned around and landed, taxing up to a spot on the shore just below me. They had to have seen me standing there and anyone reasonable could/should have thought that the site was already occupied by me. The pilot and two guys started unloading a bunch of gear from the plane to the shore about 50 yards from me. I guess the pilot assumed it was his permanent site to drop his clients. They must have seen me, but did not know whether or not I had a tent set up in the woods behind me. The plane then taxied away, but interestingly one of the loons loudly swam and then flew after it, as if to chase it away. I assumed the plane had landed near a nest and the loon's response was to chase the plane away.

I left the scene before the two guys came to me. After my bushwhack I returned a couple of hours later to the campsite, only to find a roaring fire going. I called out, "hello" several times. I heard no response and assumed the guys had left the site. I began to think I should extinguish the fire when I noticed a bottle of Wild Turkey 3/4 gone sitting on a log. Then I heard snoring from a tent set up with a blue tarp covering it. I peered inside to see two cots one occupied wit the snorer, the other with a rifle.

At about that time I heard the other guy shouting "I got another one" as he rushed up from the location where the plane had beached. He had a stringer full of bass, still alive. When he got to me I told him that it was not yet open season for bass (it was Memorial Day). I happened to be dressed in clothing that could have been mistaken for a Ranger or an AFR. I told him that I knew the local ranger well (which I did, Will Benzel). After I mentioned that it was not bass season a couple more times, he reluctantly returned the still barely alive fish to the water.

I left again on another bushwhack and returned a couple of hours later to see him cleaning fish in a bucket. i looked in and noted they were bullhead. Ok those are legal now. I wished them a good day and headed out along the shore to where I had earlier hidden my canoe. and made my primitive hammock camp up high on the sloping land about a quarter mile away from site 32.

In short order I heard a lot of shooting. I could not believe how that plane was able to fly with all that much lead on board. I feared for the loon family. Later I noted a Dec power boat heading toward them. It left a short time later.

On my way out the next day, I stopped at Dawn's home, the AFR. She lived a short distance up from the lake. I told her what I had witnessed. I told her the name on the plane was Payne. She told me that Payne was a pain, with a reputation. She said that Ranger Will Benzel had been in the boat I saw and checked on the pair that evening. But he did not find any official violations at the time.

So that is my experience with a float plane operator and the type of client that they have. Not a good or positive experience for the local float plane industry to leave with me.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:52 PM   #11
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Please keep posting, sharing, & reporting your evidence if youíve had a negative & illegal experience. DEC likely wonít do much about it, unless it becomes an ongoing issue with lots of other people who experience the same.
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:33 PM   #12
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Years ago, a buddy of mine and some friends were dropped off in Lows for a few days. The pilot (I won't say who) forgot them and picked them up a day later than he was supposed to. One of the funniest stories you'll ever hear when my buddy tells it.
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:10 PM   #13
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Unfortunately, it's not just float plane operators. A number of years ago we were at site 17 in Lows, and heard @11 people on the adjacent land just across from us. Not a camping site; a bunch of juveniles with a guide from I forget where now. After we pointed it out to him he grudgingly left the next morning.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:25 AM   #14
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Herbie Helms has been making trips into the West Canada Lakes wilderness routinely since the 1950ís. He was contracted by DEC to prevision the Ranger Cabin at West Canada. Herbieís sons were operating his business in the mid-80ís after his retirement. Iím not sure who owns it now.

While itís disappointing to see the existence of Ďhidden boatsí published in the NYT, itís not really a secret. Snowmobiles have been taking canoes into most Adirondack lakes for a long time. Iíve relied on them (along with a topp map, GPS and thermometer) to find trout in August.

When the barrier was closed on Ďthe military roadí five miles from Perkins Clearing, (two miles from the Miami River Lean-to), the drive from Speculator to Long Lake made a weekend trip into Northrop Lake possible.

Itís a multi-use Park.


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Old 07-24-2019, 06:37 AM   #15
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OK, I canít take this anymore. Besides a lot of bushwack & backpacking Iíve been flying with Helms since 1971, 48 years and counting. After Herb passed his son took over the business and runs it to this day. Other then the canoe controversy I have never seen or experienced any of the behavior described above by Helms. I have never ever seen Herb or Tom use a chainsaw to clear out a area to store canoes or any such gear. I have been to all of the lakes described in the article, and then some of the few left that are still available. I know for a fact that those airplanes carry out more garbage, garbage that is mostly left at trailheads and leantoís by lazy backpackers. Myself and my small circle of friends clean up this crap 2 - 3 times a year and fly it out at our own expense. It makes me just as angry as anyone on this forum to see this behavior. It also makes me angry to be stereotyped as being the problem just because I choose to fly with good people. I have my reasons for doing this and make no apologies. These Mountains are supposed to be for all of us, not just the elite few. This is my experience for the DEC to review!
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:04 AM   #16
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OK, I canít take this anymore. Besides a lot of bushwack & backpacking Iíve been flying with Helms since 1971, 48 years and counting. After Herb passed his son took over the business and runs it to this day. Other then the canoe controversy I have never seen or experienced any of the behavior described above by Helms. I have never ever seen Herb or Tom use a chainsaw to clear out a area to store canoes or any such gear. I have been to all of the lakes described in the article, and then some of the few left that are still available. I know for a fact that those airplanes carry out more garbage, garbage that is mostly left at trailheads and leantoís by lazy backpackers. Myself and my small circle of friends clean up this crap 2 - 3 times a year and fly it out at our own expense. It makes me just as angry as anyone on this forum to see this behavior. It also makes me angry to be stereotyped as being the problem just because I choose to fly with good people. I have my reasons for doing this and make no apologies. These Mountains are supposed to be for all of us, not just the elite few. This is my experience for the DEC to review!


I would agree. While there times Helms wouldnít come pick us for a day or two (He wouldnít leave the dock until he could see the end of Long Lake), his dedication to ADKís was legendary.




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Old 07-24-2019, 07:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jack View Post
OK, I canít take this anymore. Besides a lot of bushwack & backpacking Iíve been flying with Helms since 1971, 48 years and counting. After Herb passed his son took over the business and runs it to this day. Other then the canoe controversy I have never seen or experienced any of the behavior described above by Helms. I have never ever seen Herb or Tom use a chainsaw to clear out a area to store canoes or any such gear. I have been to all of the lakes described in the article, and then some of the few left that are still available. I know for a fact that those airplanes carry out more garbage, garbage that is mostly left at trailheads and leantoís by lazy backpackers. Myself and my small circle of friends clean up this crap 2 - 3 times a year and fly it out at our own expense. It makes me just as angry as anyone on this forum to see this behavior. It also makes me angry to be stereotyped as being the problem just because I choose to fly with good people. I have my reasons for doing this and make no apologies. These Mountains are supposed to be for all of us, not just the elite few. This is my experience for the DEC to review!
Helms aero is one of the best. It also provides for those of us who love to camp and visit the remote areas that us older and less fortunate enough health wise to enjoy.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:59 AM   #18
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I don't think you can make the float plane operator responsible for "filtering" his clientele so that he does not get any out of season fishers or irresponsible gun users, and Wldrns does say Low's was still open to float planes. And it is still open to motor boats and multiple uses associated with the large private holding to the south, maybe the source of a "guide" with a party of 11. As many say, multiple use. I hate the sound of all my neighbor's lawn mowers, so while they are running them, I wear the Earplugs I use when I run mine.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:05 AM   #19
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I will also point out, for the individual who says they have seen float planes on off limits water bodies, that not every plane in the Adirondacks is a "livery" service. There are a couple of private planes on Fulton Chain 4th Lake alone, I recall seeing at least one last time I was on Big Moose, and I would imagine that there are lots up around Placid and Saranac with all the wealth concentrated up there. I think the commercial guys would be a lot less likely to land a party on a "no planes" lake for fear of impacting their business.
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:26 AM   #20
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I don't think you can make the float plane operator responsible for "filtering" his clientele so that he does not get any out of season fishers or irresponsible gun users, and Wldrns does say Low's was still open to float planes. And it is still open to motor boats and multiple uses associated with the large private holding to the south, maybe the source of a "guide" with a party of 11. As many say, multiple use. I hate the sound of all my neighbor's lawn mowers, so while they are running them, I wear the Earplugs I use when I run mine.
Also the Paynes have participated in SAR efforts and provide a service to people who like to appreciate the Adirondacks from the air. I highly recommend this service. They also fly sportsmen to other locations outside of the Blue Line. Jim Payne and his son Tom run the service although Jim, who started the business doesn't fly anymore due to back problems. They have also provided service to DEC in a variety of ways through the years. They are well known throughout the park and have every right to continue their business as they have for years. Recently on Seventh Lake some renters brought about ten jet skis and scared our resident Loons away while they were tearing up the lake and annoying folks with their hobby. After they left the loons came back with their young. When the motorcycles arrive for "Thunder in the Park" they can be annoying too. When over 700 bikers run the Moose River Plains Black Fly race they close down my favorite trail to everyone. Campers often leave horrendous litter when they depart from their drunken spree. Hikers park illegally and clutter up the forest roads and when they depart they too leave their calling cards in the many footprints which have worn trails to the point that when it rains it can be very slippery and dangerous traversing the existing trail. My point is this. The Adirondacks are here for all to enjoy and some choose conveyances which can be annoying to others. That's just the way it is. I would like to fly into these lakes too with a modern STOL amphibious plane but with increasing restrictions it's hard to know where it is still legal. With six million acres one might think that there was space for all. Sometimes we take the attitude "I'm in my fort, screw you". Tolerance is needed because some may say for a true "wilderness area" it should be "off limits" to everyone. Think it can't happen? These mountains and forests and its denizens have been here for millions of years. Yes, we need to be good stewards of this wonderful area, but we need to be tolerant also. Now I'll retire my soapbox.
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