Chair Archive

Chair’s Report

October, 2011

Chair John Barron

When Hurricane Irene was lashing the Eastern seaboard it didn’t at first seem it would pose a serious threat to the Adirondacks and the North Country. In fact, I and three other chapter members were out watching birds in Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area as the storm blew in. As it turned out though, terrible damage was done to the towns, roads, and trails of the eastern High Peaks. Much work lies ahead to clean everything up, and if you are planning an outdoor trip in that region anytime in the next year it may be worth checking the status of your planned trail with the DEC rangers, and you should be willing to revise a destination if need be. You can help with the cleanup: on October 1 the ADK is organizing an all-Club maintenance day. Tom Ortmeyer has offered to be local coordinator for our chapter, and if you are able to come and help it would be greatly appreciated. Free camping is offered at the Adirondac Loj on both Friday and Saturday nights for those who want it. If you’re interested, please contact Tom at (315) 265-8219 or tortmeye@twcny.rr.com., by September 23 if possible but after that date too.

A long-simmering proposal to develop an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) trail network in St. Lawrence County reached the stage of producing a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) this season. Several organizations had much comment to make about the environmental and recreational impacts of such a proposal, among them the Adirondack Council, the St. Lawrence County Mountain Bike Association, the DEC, the Laurentian Chapter, and the ADK as a whole, which made its own comments on the report. It remains to be seen how the ATV trail proposal will fare, and what kind of precedent it will set. At least we feel the environmental protection and self-propelled recreation communities have done all they can to make their views known.

There has been notable progress on our cooperation with the local DEC office to take advantage of conservation easements for recreational purposes. We’ve led one organized paddling trip to a new DEC accessible-only-by-water lean-to at Piercefield Flow and another mountain bike trip on a network of very rough roads in the Grasse River Conservation Easement. The latter featured a swim at aptly-named Pleasant Lake. We’ve continued to survey the possibility of a new portage access trail to the Raquette at Sevey Corners, and we’re hoping to produce an attractive new route there in the near future.

The Outings program continues to amaze. All kinds of great new trips keep being run and attracting good turnouts. We hope to see you out on the trails as a participant, or even better as a leader!