APA OKs campground, bike trail proposals
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE
RAY BROOK — The state Adirondack Park Agency continued to avoid any decisions on the largest land classification package in its history this week, instead punting those controversial talks to approve a plan for three small campgrounds in the southern Adirondacks.
The eagerly awaited classification decisions have been repeatedly put off in the face of intense public inquiry. The Boreas Ponds tract is the focal point of this scrutiny, but the APA has still not made classification decisions on about 100 parcels of land around the Adirondacks.
The APA board did vote on Thursday to approve a state Department of Environmental Conservation plan for three campgrounds on Piseco Lake. The plan calls for the closure of one campground, converting it to a no-fee day use area and boat launch. The plan also calls for upgrades to two other campgrounds on the same lake.
The APA approved the plan on Thursday, but the DEC has already closed Poplar Point campground and it is currently being used as a free boat launch. Up until this summer, Piseco Lake had no free public boat launch. DEC staff told the APA board yesterday that boat traffic is up at the launch, despite saying earlier this summer that the DEC expected no such increase.
The State Land Committee, and later the full board unanimously found the DEC’s plan was in conformance with the State Land Master Plan.
DEC staff also gave a presentation on its guidance document for siting mountain bike trails on Forest Preserve lands, which will be sent out for a joint public comment period. The only change the APA requested is that all mentions of the Catskill Park be removed, making the document a guidance only for trail siting in the Adirondacks.
The board also gave its approval for two emergency communications towers in Hamilton County.
In addition to the aforementioned decisions, the APA heard a presentation on a recently discovered infestation of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) on Prospect Mountain near Lake George. DEC staff also gave a presentation on the department’s bear management in the High Peaks and Dix and Giant mountain wilderness areas.