November 28, 2007
DEC to Hold Public Hearings on Proposed Adirondack Route for North Country National Scenic Trail
DEC will hold three public hearings on the incorporation of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) into the Adirondack Park trail system. The NCNST is a federally recognized National Trail that is expected to stretch across 4,600 miles in the northern United States. About 2,000 miles have been completed. The Draft Adirondack Park Trail Plan for the NCNST describes a proposed route for the NCNST across the central region of the Adirondack Park.
ADK supports DEC’s preferred Central Route, which would cross the following nine Adirondack Forest Preserve units:
- Black River Wild Forest
- West Canada Lake Wilderness
- Moose River Plains Wild Forest
- Jessup River Wild Forest
- Siamese Ponds Wilderness
- Hudson Gorge Primitive Area
- Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest
- Hoffman Notch Wilderness
- Hammond Pond Wild Forest
This route follows approximately 70 miles of existing foot trail in the Adirondack Park. Approximately 47 miles of new trail construction would be required to complete the proposed route. Another 27 miles of temporary connectors would be used initially to make connections along the route. It is important to note that the Central Route requires less new trail construction than the Northern and Southern Route alternatives.
According to the Draft Plan, the Northern Route was the initial route designated by Congress, but met wide opposition in the 1980’s. The route would traverse the High Peaks Wilderness, which at the time was already being heavily used by visitors. For this reason, the Northern Route was abandoned as a viable route in the early 1990’s.
The Draft Plan states that the Southern Route, although a very scenic route through the southern Adirondacks, would require extensive new trail construction and crossing major waterbodies. The Draft Plan also states that the Southern Route crosses more private land, and also has the potential to receive the greatest pressure from illegal all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use. William Ingersoll, Chair of ADK’s Subcommittee on Wild Lands Stewardship, disagrees with these last two points.
DEC is currently accepting public comments on the Draft Plan. Public hearings are scheduled as follows:
- Wednesday, December 5th, 6:30-8:30pm, DEC Office, 232 Hudson St., Warrensburg
- Thursday, December 6th, 6:30-8:30pm, Town/Village Office Bldg., 13149 State Route 12, Boonville
- Friday, December 7th, 2-4pm, DEC Central Office, PA-129A, 625 Broadway, Albany
If you cannot attend one of the public hearings and would like to comment on the Draft Plan, please send your written comments to:
Peter Frank, Bureau Chief
NYSDEC Bureau of Forest Preserve Management
Albany, NY 12233-4254
Or e-mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written comments are due by January 4, 2008.
Please send a copy of your comments to: Marisa Tedesco, Adirondack Mountain Club, 301 Hamilton Street, Albany, NY or e-mail a copy to email@example.com.
You can read the Draft Plan at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/39658.html.
Nov 28, 2007: Hearings on National Scenic Trail