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Old 05-06-2010, 05:19 PM   #1
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Moose River Plains closed to vehicles

Just got this news from DEC.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:30 PM   #2
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well, given that the state is drowning in red ink, I guess they've got to do what they've got to do. Although I can't imagine it costs much money to unlock a gate and put up a "enter at your own risk" sign.

But think of all the open campsites and peace and quiet available to those willing to hike or bike in to what is now suddenly a pretty remote area.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:38 PM   #3
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This is probably partially due to the fact that the state didnt have the money to hire any seasonal rangers this year- there was one AFR assigned to the MRP full time to patrol in a state vehicle.

I imagine that this is going to make a lot of people unhappy, and increase pressure significantly at other nearby primitive car camping sites, like Mason Lake.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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My girlfriend and I started a tradition to do our 1 car camping trip a year for our anniversary and we were in the MRRA last year and liked it so much that we had planned on going back every year, but I guess that's on hold for now. We also loved hiking in to Mitchell Ponds and Rock Dam quite a bit. Heard this is an area where you have a better-than-other-areas chance of seeing an elusive ADK moose......
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:30 PM   #5
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that's absolutely ridiculous. Great, there's a fiscal crisis, I get it... but come on, stop targeting upstate.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:49 PM   #6
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So I take it that the gates at Wakely Dam and Limekiln Lake are the gates that will not be opened?
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:07 PM   #7
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Yet another "asset" of "living in NYS" moved from the credit side of the ledger to a debit. Maybe it's time the state micro-managed a little less. Maine has many more miles of dirt roads without gates impeding public access.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:13 PM   #8
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That is correct Justin

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So I take it that the gates at Wakely Dam and Limekiln Lake are the gates that will not be opened?
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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Call me rosy eyed, but I don't see this one happening. The area is too popular, especially with hunters in the fall. If they really try to keep it closed, I predict a fight not unlike Crane Pond Rd a number of years ago.

And I agree w/ mikesill. The way out of this financial crisis is not to chase away all the tax-paying residents by removing everything that makes living here worthwhile.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:18 PM   #10
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I sure hope your right colden46, it's just hard for me to find my rose colored glasses lately. I know I can entertain myself with other interests but there is a certain aspect of TMRP that is not easily recreatable for other folks. Not everyone wants to backpack or canoe camp to enjoy the "deeper" woods.

On the lighter side, the barriage of biting insects will be bummed looking for the "elusive moose" in the plains with a stunted human population.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:26 PM   #11
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The DEC is closing state forest roads across the state. List of NYS Forests Roads Closed in Region 9

The focus seems to be on those that create the most secondary expense - trash removal, security, road grading, etc. - which also means those that are the most popular.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:47 PM   #12
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The focus seems to be on those that create the most secondary expense - trash removal, security, road grading, etc. - which also means those that are the most popular.
"Popular can also mean "abused". I've never been to those places in the Lake George Wild Forest. Anyone know anything about those?
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:09 AM   #13
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Although I can't imagine it costs much money to unlock a gate and put up a "enter at your own risk" sign.
Exactly my thoughts...
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:55 AM   #14
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Lake George Area closure(s)

In the detailed announcement, they reference blocking the Dacy Clearing Rd. That dirt rd goes N. from the "Hogtown" parking area (rough but passable by any car) and provides access to several primitive campsites (hike in 100yds or so) plus a parking area close to the trails to Sleeping Beauty Mt. plus some nice backpacking destinations.

The announcement also references Buttermilk - do they mean Buttermilk Falls Rd that goes past the Hogtown parking area to the Knapp estate? If yes, that too has campsite access and a way to get to Lk George for paddlers willing to carry a few hundred yards. With private in-holdings, I assume they'd have to have it accessible for those owners (like the locked gate at Lake Lila).

This area gets heavy use - and some abuse. I've chatted with the Asst. Rangers that patrol the area numerous times. They do a good job there, but I can see that it takes manpower to keep the place in good shape.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:31 AM   #15
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Buttermilk Falls Rd. actually turns into Sly Pond Rd. well before the Hogtown parking area. I believe the road to the parking area, and the road that continues to the left toward the lake are owned and maintained by the town of Fort Ann, (or maybe its West Fort Ann), but at any rate, the only road there controlled by DEC is Dacy Clearing. It must be some other Buttermilk Rd.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:37 AM   #16
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that's absolutely ridiculous. Great, there's a fiscal crisis, I get it... but come on, stop targeting upstate.
NYC sends a lot more tax money to Albany than it ever gets back.

Quite the bombshell! My own slight suspicion is that perhaps the DEC is making this highly unpopular cut so it will get us all riled up and demanding more money for the agency. But maintaing 40 miles of roads and facilities certainly is expensive.

NYS residents have demanded way too much over the years, while at the same time griping about the taxes. Wall Street tax money and other sources of revenue have disappeared, forever, and we can't afford all that we've gotten used to. We need to either deal with the cuts, or let Albany know that we'd be happy to pay more taxes.

It probably wouldn't help in this circumstance, but the DEC has a stewardship program - http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2568.html - more cuts are certainly on the way and this is a proactive way for some of us to take care of the places we love, rather than just whining about the cuts. By volunteering, we can pick up some of the slack.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:46 AM   #17
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If I recall correctly, this same thing happened 15+ years ago. By the end of June that year, the gates were open when the towns of Inlet and Indian Lake took over maintenance of the roads. Hopefully this will again be the case as there are many who would love to wilderness camp again, but because of age or infirmity can't backpack into the woods to enjoy it. It's not just us old guys with bad knees and irregular heartbeats that would like to take advantage. My son and daughters first wild camping experience was in Moose River at age 2 and 3. As they got older, there were long canoe trips, back packing into more remote leantos, and high peak adventures. Moose River is still a favorite though, and I'm hoping to introduce some grandchildren to the plains in a couple of years.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:48 AM   #18
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IMO, the Moose River Plains has perhaps the highest ratio of Park resident vs. visitor usage of all recreational regions of the Park. It would not surprise me if campers, fishermen, and hunters take down the gates to gain access. Being a public forum here, I will not type my opinion on this.

This closing is a huge disappointment to me. My favorite wilderness places to explore include Helldiver Pond, Icehouse Pond, etc.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:13 AM   #19
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(The "Buttermilk" in the Press Release is the one along the Hudson from Luzerne to Warrensburg.)
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:13 PM   #20
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Moose River Plains update

As expected, the county is planning a major fight over the closure of the Moose River Plains roads. Bill Farber, chairman of the county board, says DEC's decision may sour local officials even more against state land purchases. Read more in today's post.
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