In the News  Archive

ADK Council presses for more Wilderness

Press Republican
September 25, 2016

BY JOE LOTEMPLIO

PLATTSBURGH — Leaders of the Adirondack Council are hoping to see an expansion of lands designated as Wilderness in the Adirondack Park in the near future.

“The park is ready for more Wilderness,” William C. Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council, told members of the Press-Republican Editorial Board in a recent interview.

Janeway was pitching the idea of creating another 31,000 acres of Wilderness, where no motorized vehicles will be allowed, on the Boreas tract of land near Upper Hudson in southern Essex County.

The state bought the land from the Nature Conservancy, including Boreas Ponds, a popular recreational site in the park.

DIVISIVE
As has happened frequently over the years, designating lands such as the Boreas tract as Wilderness has been contentious.

There is a faction that wants motorized vehicles to be able to drive right into the pond area, some 8 miles from the parking area off Exit 29 of the Adirondack Northway/ Interstate 87.

Others want to close the road off at the parking lot, forcing visitors to hike the 8 miles into the pond area.

COMPROMISE
The Adirondack Council and a coalition of varied organizations are supporting a compromise that would allow vehicles up to a mile away from the pond.

Janeway said that allowing motorized vehicles too close to the pond area could result in invasive species infiltrating the area, which could destroy the habitat.

“The fight will be really big over should the Wilderness go all the way down to here (parking area) or should it back up and allow motorized and mechanized vehicles into that area (pond area),” Janeway said.

He hopes a decision will be made on the plan this winter and be ready for implementation next summer.

“The plan is balanced,” Janeway said of the coalition proposal.

“It does include key components of what motorized advocates and towns want, but it is not the environmental extreme, but also protects these resources.”

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