Conservation Archive gene

Conservation Report

January, 2006

Gene Kaczka

At the September meeting of the Raquette River Advisory Council (RRAC), attended by John Omohundro and Mark Simon, three grants, totaling over $8000 for projects in Stone Valley, were approved. Included are projects to reduce unauthorized motor vehicle traffic, to repair or close unofficial herd paths, and to rebuild a number of bridges. John has also worked closely with Brascan’s engineer to design and install recreational improvements on the Grasse River in the Newton Falls area and along the Raquette River from Carry Falls to Raymondville. Improvements include canoe carries and put-ins, parking, a hiking trail on Rainbow Flow, and a picnic area at Raymondville. These projects were promised as part of the recent re-licensing of dams on the Raquette River.

The State released its update of the Open Space Conservation Plan in November (it has been required to update it every 3 years). While the opportunity to attend a public hearing has passed, public comments on the Draft will be accepted until 4:45 p.m. January 18, 2006. Written statements and questions regarding the Plan may be directed to Francis Sheehan, NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4250. A copy of the plan (a massive document) is posted on DEC’s web site at www.dec.state.ny.us. Chapter VI summarizes the priority projects under consideration throughout the state.

If you are considering a paddle on the Jordan River or are curious about debate over the APA’s recent land classification proposals involving the Raquette River Boreal Forest, there is a very good article in the November/ December 2005 issue of the Adirondack Explorer. It provides a description of a recent trip to the area with information on how to access it and what you’ll find there. The APA proposed a compromise solution that could allow motorized access in the western Wild Forest area while ‘protecting’ the eastern area as Primitive. While there is pressure from Colton town supervisor, Hank Ford, to open the Wild Forest portion to snowmobiles and ATVs, that decision depends on the state’s land use master plan for the area. As the Governor is yet to sign off on the classification proposals, there is speculation that Pataki may ask the APA to revise them. The future of the Jordan River Valley, a rare example of beautiful Canadian taiga, remains unresolved.