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jam66 08-02-2020 09:50 AM

Lake Lila’s Future?
This past July I was fortunate to take 2 trips to Lake Lila. I camped on Lila for a few nights the second week of July with my wife and son until the Horse Flies got the best of them. The last week of July, myself and a long time coworker camped on Lila for 3 nights. I first sank my toes into the sandy beach at the “put in” over 25 years ago.
While it’s one of my favorite places , it’s also becoming a favorite place of uninformed, ignorant and very selfish campers.
On my first trip this year, as we launched , my wife commented about the large amount of white smoke coming from Spruce Island. As we paddled closer, it was apparent that there was a forest fire on the west end of the island. A later conversation with a camper , who evacuated during the middle of the night confirmed this. Luckily he was awoken by a fellow camper across the way at a nearby site. Also spoke with an Assistant Ranger who said either fireworks or a rogue campfire started this. Is was put out with portable pumps and hoses..
On my second trip we took one of the open sandy beach sites. The fire pit was ripped apart and had been extended onto the “hollow ground”. There were fish carcasses, cigarette butts and a paper plate in the fire. The site was littered with live tree branches, many small trees and been slashed with an axe and several smaller live trees were cut down. I also picked up many butts out of the water. Last several trips before this year there were also met with nighttime fireworks and drunken yelling during the night.
My concern is that my son will not experience the same place with his son that I did 25 years ago. This year with COVID, Im sure more people have flocked to more remote places. I realize that Rangers can’t police every site in the Adirondacks but how do we stop this behavior?

jam66 08-02-2020 09:55 AM

2 Attachment(s)
My friend and I picked up the one campsite and made a stone bench/table

Woodly 08-02-2020 10:35 AM

Sad to read. We need more Rangers issuing more tickets.
More education.
Less alcohol and drugs.

dundee 08-03-2020 07:31 AM

It's happening everywhere, not just Lila. I don't know of an easy answer.

Dr_1400 08-03-2020 08:48 AM

How do rangers handle these cases of camping within 150’ of water (without being at a designated site)? A fine? I see this fairly often, and am not sure how much the depleted ranger forces even care to be informed of what must be countless instances? Or if they’re strung out fighting bigger battles?

As many have said, this year has been concerning. The combination of a warm, dry summer and Covid (no work, no money to go to normal far off vacations, a desire to be with friends outdoors, etc) leave me worried that more and more parts of the ADK are being loved to death. I worry that our areas like Lila can’t sustain the increased use. Fireworks, packed launches and trailheads, and roadside litter seem the norm this summer. I hope it’s a Covid anomaly and more “regular” usage returns in 2021.

Wldrns 08-03-2020 12:08 PM

I have heard of cases wherein the ranger says "move your site now or get a fine". I do not know of any actual fines that have been imposed for the 150 foot rule, but I would not doubt that there have been some. I suppose a lot may depend on how egregious the violation is, in combination with other offenses noted at the site, not to mention how many other violations the ranger may have encountered on that day.

I do know of at least one case however, where a large group of friends on a guided trip exceeded the allowed max size of 8 persons in a wilderness area. They did split into two groups, each with a different guide, but they tried to travel and hang out as one large group instead of camping one mile apart per the regulation. The friends insisted on congregating together even though the guides knew they could not do so legally. They were politely warned by a ranger twice to split up. Caught the third time, each guide received a ticket for $100.

Rich Lockwood 08-03-2020 01:47 PM

my experience
I was once camping 150' back from the water not in a designated site when a ranger visited me. He mentioned the 150' rule and I pulled out my 150' spool of fishing line I carry for this and explained that I had measured and offered to show him . He was amazed and wished me a good trip and thanked me for following the rules. . He was very nice.

DuctTape 08-03-2020 02:09 PM

Hi Turtle.

Nice running into you the other day.

montcalm 08-03-2020 05:23 PM

Boy, when the sky falls, it pours!

I wonder if we can get Mr. Marylou to take this and sell it to Jack Ma for us?

Unfortunately, these issues ain't new. I can recall 5? years back being on Lila and hearing loud fools late into the night. There was a Steward working who I talked to though, and perhaps he paid them a visit. He told me they mostly bust people for smoking weed (of all stupid things). Sites are sometimes a little dirty, but carry a trash bag and clean up if it's a mess. Some people are a-holes, and there's no always a maid - but I do believe those Stewards visit the open sites and clean them up if they are damaged or dirty.

It's unfortunate, but it seems all these areas need a Steward or AFR to patrol, at min.

TrailBlaser 08-04-2020 12:50 PM

In the early 90s, when I was an AFR first on the Oswegatchie and then on Bog River/Lows, I would go in on a Tuesday and come out on Sunday. The patrols on both Tuesday and Sunday included campsite inspection, cleanup and restoration; almost always picking up trash and rebuilding fire pits. Sometimes it involved more work - like filling in trenches that people dug around their tents or putting out smoldering fires that were left behind. The only bad encounter I had as an AFR was on Lows Lake. A party of 4 men were illegally camped on one of the islands reserved for the Boy Scouts. I noticed smoke coming from the island and knowing that it was in-between scout troop visits, I went to investigate. One of them was on the beach. Still floating offshore, I informed him (nicely) that public camping on the island during the summer was not allowed. He called his other three companions who emerged from the woods. After he informed them that I said they can't camp on the island, one of them asked me to come ashore and "help" them move their camp. Of course, I didn't do that and instead reminded them that they must move their camp before nightfall. Of course, they didn't move. When they left two days later, I radioed my supervising ranger and gave him a description of the men and their canoes. Later I learned that he met them at the lower dam take-out and ticketed all 4 of them.

montcalm 08-04-2020 01:08 PM

The first time I went up the Oswegatchie, I stopped and checked out most of the sites. They were all in top notch condition and I was surprised how many there were!

I believe I passed the AFR coming downstream on my return, so I do believe this was still happening not so long ago.

I've had the same experience at Lows. Never once saw a bad site and always saw an AFR.

Lila I've seen a little more haggard, but I'll also argue it's the easiest to get to the majority of campsites of those 3. I've also noticed people carrying A LOT of gear up and down that carry. To me, this directly correlates with issues. Big coolers of beer usually = disruptive and careless behavior. Unfortunately there's no real law against that, that I know of. If you're strong enough to carry it in, you can do it.

RichieC 08-10-2020 02:53 PM

Well A big cooler of beer very well may involve disruptive behavior, but not in every case ( pardon the pun). We seem to end up with a good bit, beer balls in the day. Sometimes more adult beverages. But we aren't a particularly loud crew, though are prone to a good laugh that may carry. Relegate that to the evening after a day of excursions.. Like up Frederika or up to Lowe's lake, Shingle shanty to the wire, etc.

We also leave everyplace we visit on day trips, beach landings and of course base camps- bereft of all visible trash down to bag ties and gum wrappers and cigarette butts ( people don't seem to realize those filters are forever and they are nothing but trash..) Not bragging, just we all like to find places in that condition. We filled three bags with empty cans at the train station at Lila. Then crushed them flat at the lean-to to finish the trip out. (That was snowmobilers no doubt).

Lake Lila has always been found in pretty good shape in my experience- seems like a lot of slickers have invaded places they obviously are not prepared to respect or want to conserve.

Anybody visited the Nehasane station building lately- wonder if it has completely caved in. A large hole in roof a couple of years ago.. usually a building does not last long after the roof fails like that- so I was wondering. First time way back in late 80's, it was in great shape, we even went upstairs for a peek. Second last time didn't feel safe walking in middle of rooms, and steps upstairs were apparently long gone. Last time only felt safe looking in the door... would have preferred they were able to keep it somehow. No money in it I guess.

backwoodsman 08-17-2020 11:54 AM

Eventually , like the state parks I think you'll have to buy a camping permit , give your ID and license plate numbers , so if there are problems the authorities will know who to question. Plus it will help pay for maintenance and enforcement .

Lucky13 08-21-2020 10:37 AM

This is likely on the horizon now that Emperor Cuomo has shut down so much of the state's economy and created huge revenue shortages. I'd also be wary of anything constitutional proposed, because a constitutional change followed by a land sale could solve some of the shortfalls. User fees would be preferable to long term loss of acreage, but NYS has never been famous for taking the long view! But I saw plates from Alaska and Arizona while I was up there last week, and I think it is time we charge non residents for the use of our playground. And if you can require hunter safety and teach it via internet, a camping course requirement would seem like a no brainer. Not that that will cure laziness or downright insensitivity and selfishness.

cutbait 08-21-2020 12:28 PM

[QUOTE=Lucky13;282839]This is likely on the horizon now that Emperor Cuomo has shut down so much of the state's economy and created huge revenue shortages.

Yes, be very wary. Perhaps our King could take the taxpayer money budgeted to advertise the NY outdoors - including the ADKs, and use it to hire more Rangers or increase education for those using the outdoors.

Not sure if advertising was even needed to begin with (perhaps some hidden agenda such as funneling money to some cronies at an ad agency?), however, there is ample evidence that no more NY taxpayer money needs to be spent on marketing the ADKs to other New Yorkers.

montcalm 08-21-2020 05:14 PM

This is getting pretty political and I'm not sure why one side is able to be political and the other not, but here goes...

Those "ads" are all over. They pertain to all parts of New York and i believe are meant to be information for tourists within and out of state. I won't say whether it's a good idea or a bad one, but I believe it was meant to try to boost the economy of upstate.

cutbait 08-25-2020 10:08 AM

Not at all political - not sure what you mean by sides. The only "side" that I'm on is that of the taxpayer and making sure that our tax dollars are allocated as efficiently as possible.
I offered a practical solution that involved the reallocation of wasted tax dollars - stop spending money where not needed and put it where it is needed.
Each time I drive on RTE 390 North right before it goes into 590N near Henreitta,NY I see a tacky looking 20' circle of outdoor carpet on the side of the road with an I Love NY logo in it - this is just one example of many, of how tax dollars are wasted on marketing by our state. Stop the wasteful spending and put the $$ where it will actually be of benefit.

montcalm 08-25-2020 10:55 AM

It didn't have to be political but you made it so by referring to the Governor as "King".

Listen, I don't agree with everything that Cuomo does - some of it seems entirely stupid with regards to upstate, but I think think they were actually trying to accomplish something with this. I don't know if the big "I love NY" signs work, but the metal signs are actually pretty informative to tourists. Again I think the idea is to "grab" people zooming through the state via I90 and direct them to areas of interest in the state. If people from Mass and Ohio zooming through don't know it's there, then they don't know the businesses that rely on tourism are there.

Not sure it actually works... but get used to it, advertising has been part of our culture for I don't even know how long, but I wouldn't expect it to leave any time soon.

Where would you direct the money that would be more effective? Medicare/aid? Suburban integration? Public land works? Environmental protection? Infrastructure?

cutbait 08-25-2020 02:23 PM

Yes, the directional signs are good and are actual benefit for those using the roads - and infrastructure is at the top of list of proper use of taxpayer funds. Our state was beyond broke before this pandemic, so no to more waste in these areas: Medicare/aid? Suburban integration? Public land works?

Advertising being a part of culture for a long time is true, however, the longevity of something is not a valid argument for the wasteful use of government (taxpayer funds) on said activity.

Here's my suggestion that you may have missed from the first post: take the taxpayer money budgeted to advertise the NY outdoors - including the ADKs, and use it to hire more Rangers or increase education for those using the outdoors.

I at least offered a practical use of tax dollars in my first post to help the situation.

Check out an interesting article in the ADK Enterprise publication today on the 36K acre Whitney estate . The owner is reluctant to sell to the state because he is doubtful that they can care for it properly.

He is right to be cautious. Several years ago, the state bought Hemlock and Canadice lakes from Monroe County and the level of oversight and care for these two jewels is nowhere near what it was when the county owned it.

Please note: this will be my last post on this, and I can only hope our state employees at the top will treat our tax dollars as if they are spending money out of their own personal pocket, and not a bottomless pit that they constantly try to fill by taxing the hard working people of this state.

DuctTape 08-25-2020 03:10 PM

just a note, Hemlock and Canadice were owned by the City of Rochester. Prior much of thr surrounding land was private. To improve water quality, the city purchased the land and used eminent domain to acquire from unwilling sellers.

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