Chair John Barron
2010 started with a couple of key appointments. Tom Ortmeyer offered to succeed me as publicist, which was very good news. Harder to replace than I was Betty Peckham, stepping down after some fifteen years as archivist and taking with her a long, deep memory of events in the chapter and the club; but Carolyn Kaczka accepted my invitation to take on the role, and we’re very fortunate to have her.
In mid-January Peter O’Shea, Tom Ortmeyer, John Omohundro, and I met with local Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) personnel Pat Whalen, John Wood, and Peter D’Luhosch to make plans to improve recreational access to wilderness areas through recently-acquired conservation easements. We undertook to cooperate with the DEC in areas where our two organizations have capability. In general the DEC erects signs; builds kiosks, gates, parking lots, launches, and campsites; and repairs roads. The chapter provides some funds to buy supplies for trail improvements; provides volunteer labor for trail construction and maintenance; and organizes outdoor trips in particular areas to promote awareness of the opportunities.
Our first joint venture with the DEC will be improving the trails below Lampson Falls by building bridges over the tributary streams. Later ventures will include an upgrade of portage trails giving access to the Raquette River near Sevey’s Corners. Other short-term projects may include improving the trail to Copper Rock Falls from the Tooley Pond Road, and promoting the new DEC lean-to in Piercefield by scheduling an outing in the area.
Medium term projects may include leading outings to explore the easement lands around the Dean and White Roads, generally east of Lampson Falls; and helping develop brochures for information kiosks in the area. There is the long-term possibility of developing a new ski trail near Cranberry Lake.