The largest new wilderness area in a generation was created this morning by a unanimous vote of the Adirondack Park Agency. The Hudson River Gorge Wilderness, at roughly 24,000 acres, will sit adjacent to a large motorless primitive area also established today.
APA chairwoman Lani Ulrich hailed the vote as historic, and cited unprecedented cooperation between environmentalists, local government leaders, and state officials.
This approval also marks a significant environmental legacy for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s first term.
Some environmental groups criticized the fact that the final compromise includes a proposal for a “wild forest” strip through the primitive area, with a bridge across the Cedar River, to accomodate snowmobile traffic between the communities of Indian Lake, Minerva and Newcomb.
Local government leaders, meanwhile, conceded motorless use on the Essex Chain Lakes, which will now be established as one of the park’s largest “primitive” paddling destinations.
NCPR will have more on this story Monday during the 8 O’clock Hour.