April 1, 2017
Current local conservation issues we are looking at:
Tooley Pond Road Unit Management Plans (UMPs) – On behalf of the Laurentian Chapter, John Omohundro and I submitted comments about the UMPs for the Tooley Pond Road parcels late last year. As a follow-up, John, Tom Ortmeyer, and I met with Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 staff in January to talk about the plans. The draft UMPs seem designed as well as possible to protect the woods and waters, facilitate access by hikers, bikers, and paddlers, and limit the effects of motorized use. I hope to see plans finalized and work begun this year.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) – The proposed federal budget reduces funding for the GLRI from $300 million to $10 million. These funds are used to study and remedy environmental problems in the Great Lakes, St Lawrence River, and tributaries. Loss of this funding would cause the loss of many small, locally administered projects in our area as well as projects elsewhere in the region. The Chapter is considering how to respond to the proposed funding reduction.
Franklin County UMPs – DEC’s Region 5 office has begun preliminary work developing Unit Management Plans for the Debar Mountain Wild Forest, the Madawaska Pond/Quebec Brook Primitive Area, and the Deer River Primitive Area in Franklin County. Laurentian Chapter outings have climbed Debar and Azure Mountains and paddled the Osgood River, Quebec Brook, and Madawaska Pond. These parcels also include parts of the Deer and St. Regis Rivers; Hatch and Hays Brooks; Debar and Mountain Ponds; Meacham and Kushaqua Lakes; Loon Lake Mountain, and Kate Mountain. Email the DEC at http://firstname.lastname@example.org with thoughts or questions about these UMPs.
You can email your thoughts on these or other local conservation issues to me (email@example.com) to help us formulate the Laurentian Chapter’s positions.