In the News  Archive

Environmental groups seek wilderness tag for Boreas Ponds

Associated Press
April 25, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Environmental groups called on state regulators Monday to classify the newly acquired Boreas Ponds tract in the Adirondacks as wilderness, saying two scientific studies they commissioned demonstrate the need for the most protective classification.

The request is at odds with local officials who argue part of the tract should be classified as the less-restrictive "wild forest." Their proposal would allow people to drive to the scenic ponds and use snowmobiles, bicycles and horse-drawn wagons on part of the network of logging roads in the 20,758-acre tract purchased from The Nature Conservancy this month.

"We're working on a well-balanced plan that will include both wilderness and wild forest," said Ronald Moore, supervisor of North Hudson, the town that includes the Boreas tract. "We hope to have reasonable access and a wide range of recreational opportunities that will bring people in and enable economic growth in the surrounding communities."

A coalition including the Adirondack Council and Adirondack Mountain Club released studies Monday by the Adirondack Research and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The studies analyzed data about the tract and concluded it has ecological characteristics that merit the most protective classification.

The groups commissioned the studies to inform the Adirondack Park Agency's decision-making as it drafts a classification plan. The plan will be subject to public comment before it's sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for approval.

"This is a rare, fragile and globally unique treasure," said William Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council. "Only if it is protected as wilderness can we ensure that future generations will inherit this magnificent landscape in a condition as good as it is today."

The coalition advocates classifying the Boreas Ponds tract and several nearby parcels as wilderness to connect the adjacent High Peaks Wilderness Area and Dix Mountain Wilderness, creating more than 280,000 acres of contiguous wilderness.

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