DEC: Budget cuts close Adirondack roads, no assistant forest rangers this season

State environment officials say New York’s “historic budget shortfall” will force the DEC to close roads and defer plans to build recreational facilities this summer.

The cash crunch will also “prevent the hiring of Assistant Forest Rangers this season,” according to a statement released by the state a short time ago.

The DEC says it will work to provide ‘reasonable accommodation’ to persons with disabilities who need roads to access the Park.

Here are details from the press release issued on Thursday:

The following DEC roads will remain temporarily closed to all public motor vehicle access:

· Moose River Plains Road System (all roads) in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest, the Towns of Inlet, Arietta, Lake Pleasant and Indian Lake, Hamilton County;
· Lily Pond Road in the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Horicon, Warren County;
· Jabe Pond Road in the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Hague, Warren County;
· Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) of the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Warrensburg, Warren County;
· Buttermilk Road Extension in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) of the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Warrensburg, Warren County; and
· Dacy Clearing Road in the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Fort Ann, Washington County.
The following DEC roads will remain temporarily closed to general public motor vehicle access, but may still be accessed by motor vehicle by people with disabilities holding CP3 permits:
· Scofield Flats Road, in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) of the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Lake Luzerne, Warren County; and
· Pikes Beach Access Road in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) of the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Lake Luzerne, Warren County.

As in the past, the Bear Slides Access Road will be closed to motor vehicle use by the general public but will remain open to people with disabilities holding CP3 permits.

In addition, ongoing parking lot, road, trail, and public facility projects in the following areas will be suspended pending funding becoming available:

· Black Brook Easement Lands in the Town of Black Brook, Clinton County;
· Kushaqua Easement Lands in the Towns of Brighton and Franklin, Franklin County; and
· Altamont Easement Lands in the Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County.

5 Comments on “DEC: Budget cuts close Adirondack roads, no assistant forest rangers this season”

  1. tourpro says:

    I’m not sure this is entirely a negative. You forgot to paste this part:

    “While gates on these roads will remain closed and locked to prevent access by motor vehicles, the roads and surrounding lands will be open for authorized recreational use by the public.”

    With much reduced traffic, some of these places might be quite nice to visit. Moose River Plains could become “bike access only”!

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  2. Bret4207 says:

    I’m betting the Moose River Plains area roads could be maintained by the Towns. They bring in some fair money through the summer.

    One more reason for local control rather than State.

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  3. tim says:

    I seriously doubt Inlet has the money to maintain all of those roads.

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  4. MItch Lee says:

    From : Mitch Lee, Adirondack Storyteller, Columnist, Tourism Town Of Inlet
    Ltmitch3rdny@aol.com 315-357-5501

    Closure of the Moose River Plains Wild Forest, one of New York States and America’s largest primitive camping areas is shameful.
    On May 6th I learned that the New York State DEC is planning to keep the gates at the Inlet and Cedar River entrances to the Moose River Plains Wild Forest closed for the summer of 2010. The reason given is that DEC feels with the current budget situation prevents them from properly maintaining the road.
    This latest news on New York State’s decisions to limit access to this public Adirondack Park area follows a litany of sites across the state, both historic and recreational, that are slated for closure in 2010.
    But this closure is unique because it affects not only the recreation of thousands of users for brook trout fishing, tent camping, hiking, backpacking, bird watching and mountain biking, it also dampens the local economy of two communities that depend on the eco-tourism that so many people go to “the Plains” for.
    The Moose River Plains Wild Forest was created around a core of some 50,000 acres purchased from the Gould Paper Company in 1963 to be used as a primitive recreation area. 140 sites are available to primitive free camping along the 48 miles of hard-scape dirt roads that wind through the Plains.
    Add to that more than 27 miles of trails that lead to hikers to beautiful remote ponds, some with primitive sites. The terrain varies from flat grassy plains filled with berry bush and beaver vly’s along the south branch of the Moose River to forested mountains with spectacular unspoiled views.
    This from the DEC Web Site
    “The Moose River Plains Wild Forest is bounded on the north by the Pigeon Lakes Wilderness Area, Raquette Lake and the Blue Ridge Wilderness, on the east and the south by the West Canada Lakes Wilderness and the private lands of the Adirondack League Club, and on the west by the Fulton Chain Lakes and State Route 28. It is the largest block of remote lands in the Adirondacks readily accessible by motor vehicle and includes the Red River, the South Branch of the Moose River and the 675 acre Cedar River Flow.
    The Moose River Plains Wild Forest offers many recreational opportunities, including hiking, skiing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, canoeing, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and primitive camping. Miles of marked trails and numerous lakes and ponds make this unit an ideal destination for recreationists with varied interests and abilities.”
    Some of the best Adirondack brook trout fishing can be found at Ice house Pond & Squaw Lake and more good fishing is to be found at Lost, Helldiver, Mitchell, Sly & Whites pond as well. Beaver Lake, the largest body of water in the Moose River Plains, is one of the best mountain bike & camping destination rides in all of the Northeast. The five rivers that cut through the park have become home to a growing moose population. And great for a moose watch drive.
    The Moose River Plains also hosts four major outdoor events, The Adirondack Birding Festival safari drives, National Trails Day scenic day hikes, the Black Fly Challenge Mountain Bike Race, and the NYS Muzzle Loaders Primitive Rendezvous. Some of these events have been a part of the Plains for decades and are important to the thousands of people as well as the economies of Inlet and Indian Lake.
    The loss of use and access to these 50,000 acres would be a great sacrifice to so many visitors who are looking for a primitive experience like no other in New York and devastating to a local economy built on eco-tourism.

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  5. Bret4207 says:

    Not Inlet alone Tim, no, but Indian Lake and Inlet together, with some help from the County maybe, might be able to maintain the main road. For that matter there might be other private organizations willing to help out- snowmobile clubs, hunting clubs, ATV clubs. You never know till you propose it and see what happens.

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