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Essex Chain of Lakes Open for the First Time in Over 100 Years!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
By Diane Fish

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/images/Essex Chain of Lakes.jpg
Formerly owned by the Finch-Pruyn paper
company,
the Essex Chain of Lakes were
purchased by the
Nature Conservancy in 2007.
The state purchased
the tract in 2012.

This summer, new state Forest Preserve lands surrounding the Essex Chain of Lakes are open to the public for the first time in over a hundred years. It’s exciting that people are getting to see firsthand this new acquisition in the Adirondack Park!

Surrounded by the central Adirondack towns of Newcomb to the north, Minerva and North Hudson to the east, Indian Lake to the south, and Long Lake to the west, the state is eager to accommodate people ready to explore the dozens of lakes and ponds and miles of rivers throughout the new Primitive Area.

Since 1989, the Council has advocated for the protection of the Essex Chain of Lakes and the surrounding environment. We cheered in 2014 when the Governor approved a motor-free Primitive Area, setting the stage for protecting the ecologically rich landscape and providing abundant new opportunities for non-motorized recreation.

Unfortunately, the recently released draft management plan for this area demonstrates that in the rush to provide public access, many resource protections are lacking. The plan doesn’t provide sufficient information on the natural resources nor does it reflect the intent of the Primitive classification. In addition, it leaves major issues for later, like the location of a proposed snowmobile route and only vaguely addresses important legal questions – most notably those involving motorized access. Disjointed planning will have long-range impacts that can jeopardize the future of this sensitive area.

You can read the Council’s comment letter HERE and the draft management plan HERE. Stay tuned. There will be additional opportunities for you to get involved in this process and comment on Department of Environmental Conservation management plans. Rest assured…the Council will be keeping a watchful eye on as this process as things move forward.

In the meantime, since this area is open now, make a plan to visit the Essex Chain of Lakes. Click HERE for information about the area.  Be sure to support the surrounding communities by patronizing area businesses. Enjoy!

 Would you like to comment on what you've read or viewed? We'd love to hear from you. Please click to send us a message.


Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/Forever Wild Day Blog/Diane FWD 14.jpgDiane W. Fish is the Adirondack Council's Deputy Director and Director of Fund Development.

Diane joined the Council staff in 2001 and works with the Board and Staff to raise the financial resources needed to support the Council's conservation and advocacy efforts on behalf of the Park. An important step in this process is keeping in touch with supporters in all 50 states to understand their interests and concerns about the Adirondack Park and to engage members in the Council’s advocacy efforts.

Diane holds a BA from Denison University and a Masters Degree from Skidmore College. She and her husband live in Lake Placid. Diane shares other Council supporters' love of the Adirondacks, enjoys the Park's many outdoor recreation activities, and appreciates the astounding beauty of the Park every day.

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