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Old 11-20-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
Bill I.
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PTA! Wilderness Proposal

Wow, this proposal for a new wilderness area on the Hudson River is so ... incredibly tepid.
http://www.protectadks.org/2012/11/p...lderness-area/
This would accomplish nothing. It's a wilderness designation with permanent road corridors for recreational motorized access. What is the point? What on earth is gained? Are we simply supposed to be impressed by the amount of the acreage--as if when it comes to wilderness, quantity matters more than quality?

If you want the wilderness designation, then you have to accept that it will come with road closures.

If you want wild forest corridors for continued motor vehicle access, then advocate for a wild forest designation for the entire tract.

Sorry, but this is a proposal that lacks vision. Whoever authored it doesn't know what they want. Bob Marshall must be rolling in his grave. Pick a direction and go with it, people! If your principles for state land management tend toward the motorless end of the spectrum--which I'm pretty sure is the case with PTA!--then have the courage to stand by those principles!

(I realize that not everybody gets as bent out of shape over these things as I do, but nevertheless I find the mediocrity of this proposal discouraging ... and I see no reason to mince words over it. A dumb idea is a dumb idea. Thus concludes my rant of the day. :sigh: )

Last edited by Bill I.; 11-20-2012 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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I agree, wilderness areas should be without motors.
If this goes through, then why not leave Indian Lake Road open all the way to Indian Lake?
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:21 PM   #3
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The name doesn't bother me. What would is if in the future a tract which would be more appropriate to be designated a Wilderness Area is designated a motorized Wild Forest by someone successfully arguing there is an imbalance of WA to WF because of this inappropriate designation.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:11 AM   #4
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Actually, quantity does matter more than quality. And, the folks that authored this know exactly what they want. They want to parade how many acres of "wilderness" they protected to their big money donors in NYC, who never set foot in the Adirondacks, and don't know or care about the quality of what's preserved - just as long as it's a big number of acres, the checks will roll in.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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I think the purpose is pretty clear on two fronts. First, this is the concession that the conservationists made to Cuomo to get this deal.

More importantly, this will set a precedent for paved access in other wilderness areas and a step toward allowing development in the Adirondacks in the future.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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Keeping float planes out sounds like a good idea to me.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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I think the purpose is pretty clear on two fronts. First, this is the concession that the conservationists made to Cuomo to get this deal.
That's an interesting and plausible theory. I'm afraid our wild areas are starting to be viewed primarily as recreational resources that are supposed to generate tourism revenue, rather than as places to be protected for their inherent value.

But I think that's an inevitable compromise when you are asking the taxpayers to foot the bill.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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Well they way I see it, when you take the Finch Pruyn purchase in its totality--the easement lands as well as the pending Forest Preserve additions--there is already something for everybody. The easement lands are crisscrossed with roads that are going to still be needed for logging and lease camp access. So you want a motor vehicle access route for hunting/disabled/general recreation? Isn't this what the easements are for?

My own personal views on how the land should be designated aside, PTA!'s proposal just strikes me as dumb. They want the wilderness acreage, but they don't want to offend anybody by suggesting that roads should be closed. So they are suggesting a wilderness with roads.

So, knowing that at least one PTA! board member pays attention to this forum, I'm just saying plain and simple that anyone who claims to be a wilderness advocate should be ashamed this was even discussed as a valid idea, let alone issued as a press release. I suggest they go back and reread their Bob Marshall, Aldo Leopold, and Howard Zahniser. Clearly they've forgotten some basic, fundamental ideas of what a wilderness should be.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #9
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That map is not very good: http://www.protectadks.org/wp-conten...oposal-Map.pdf

It's got way more information than is necessary to convey their message.

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Old 11-23-2012, 08:03 AM   #10
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That map is not very good: http://www.protectadks.org/wp-conten...oposal-Map.pdf

It's got way more information than is necessary to convey their message.
Having reviewed all of the UMPs for the last 12 years, the APA & DEC have been getting more sophisticated with their GIS capabilities over time. I know some of the conservation groups have obtained GIS software, but lack the dedicated staffing to become good at using it.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:19 AM   #11
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This is what happens when you become beholden to financial contributors and have to produce something in order to keep them happy and show that you have been hard at work with thier donations.

Unfortunately, PTA! seems to have been going in the wrong direction for some time now, and this is just the latest example of it. Eventually, if they stay this course, the money will start to dry up and people will just give to a different organization that more appropriately reflects thier values.

Its too bad Peter gave up that nice job at The FUND to go over to PTA! He probably didn't know at the time he was taking a step towards the unemployment line.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:30 PM   #12
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I agree that this proposal for wilderness designation is indeed "tepid". The boundaries have been "gerrymandered" to try and include all user groups while at the same time taking credit for "creating" more wilderness. My preference would be that this entire area be classified "wild forest". Some of the lakes could still be designated "motorless" and the rest would have horsepower restrictions. Even though this area would be "merely" wild forest, it will still be "forever wild" Forest Preserve, which is more restrictive than most other classifications for public land.
When it comes to classifying the Boreas Tract, much of that area should be designated wilderness. Road access to the ponds (and the dam), however, should be preserved so that this area receives a decent level of use. Not many will carry a canoe seven miles to paddle these ponds. Remember that public use is important in keeping public support for the Forest Preserve.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:57 PM   #13
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When it comes to classifying the Boreas Tract, much of that area should be designated wilderness. Road access to the ponds (and the dam), however, should be preserved so that this area receives a decent level of use. Not many will carry a canoe seven miles to paddle these ponds. Remember that public use is important in keeping public support for the Forest Preserve.
I guess where I get lost is the part where people are tying "public use" of the Boreas Ponds with canoeing. When I hear people talking about a waterbody 7 miles in from a public highway I think "backpacking opportunity," a la the West Canada Lakes or Siamese Ponds. But this would depend on how aesthetically attractive the road is, too, or whether the state would be willing to cut a foot trail up along the river.

But bear in mind that there is more than one way to get a canoe into the woods. Just up the road from the Boreas is Newcomb, where there is an outfitter operating in the Camp Santanoni area. He hauls people + camping gear + canoes into at least Newcomb Lake, if not Moose Pond as well. The people that I have observed utilizing this service were of an age and ability level not normally seen in remote backcountry locations. Would it be possible to extend this service there? Or even southward from Newcomb to the Essex Chain? I don't know, but if the roads are left open to motor vehicles we'll never find out.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:30 PM   #14
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He hauls people + camping gear + canoes into at least Newcomb Lake, if not Moose Pond as well.
****. I helped clear blowdown on the dirt road to Moose Pond.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #15
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If adopted this is great news. I was orginally against this purchase for the very reasons you state. Seems to me that by limiting access to just those that can hike in and camp is no better than keeping it a private hunt club.
Thank goodness someone finally sees the light and is making it accessible to all the public.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:59 PM   #16
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If adopted this is great news. I was orginally against this purchase for the very reasons you state. Seems to me that by limiting access to just those that can hike in and camp is no better than keeping it a private hunt club.
Thank goodness someone finally sees the light and is making it accessible to all the public.
Nothing wrong with keeping roads open for motor vehicle access if it's designated as a "Wild Forest Area", not a "Wilderness Area" which is what is being proposed here.

There is, and always should be a difference between these two different classifications.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:07 PM   #17
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The clubs were good stewards for soooo long....with such a personal interest.. to be taken away by a instant STATE mandate...to allow the tax base to shrink.. it is a mix of State and Private.....
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:41 PM   #18
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Nothing wrong with keeping roads open for motor vehicle access if it's designated as a "Wild Forest Area", not a "Wilderness Area" which is what is being proposed here.

There is, and always should be a difference between these two different classifications.
Indeed and if this proposal was to go forward as submitted it would muddy those waters. Something that can't be allowed due to the potential of watering down the original intent of wilderness designations.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:06 PM   #19
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Nothing wrong with keeping roads open for motor vehicle access if it's designated as a "Wild Forest Area", not a "Wilderness Area" which is what is being proposed here.

There is, and always should be a difference between these two different classifications.
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Indeed and if this proposal was to go forward as submitted it would muddy those waters. Something that can't be allowed due to the potential of watering down the original intent of wilderness designations.
This is all the more frustrating because the people making the proposal are the ones who should know better. There are plenty of people out there who would love to smudge that line, and I suspect they aren't the demographic that would likely send an annual membership check to PTA.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:10 AM   #20
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This is all the more frustrating because the people making the proposal are the ones who should know better. There are plenty of people out there who would love to smudge that line, and I suspect they aren't the demographic that would likely send an annual membership check to PTA.
I'd love to hear ol' Woodspirit's thoughts on this rather confounding proposal (coming from PROTECT!) as he? she? seems to be an admirer of their 'hard advocacy' approach. This proposal seems to be anything but...

There's not much other than twigs and spruce needles in the pockets of bushwhacking wilderness idealists - the money is in the middle.

Those who want to preserve and promote "true" wilderness in the Adirondacks - as in places where few Homo sapiens tread and alter the natural order of things - might want to consider figuring out how to guide privately protected tracts towards the ideal. It just ain't happening on public land.
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