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APA to tackle Frontier Town, Saranac Lake Wild Forest

RAY BROOK — The state Adirondack Park Agency will have an abbreviated monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook this week, but all three items on the agenda are likely to draw interest.

Beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday, the Regulatory Programs Committee will vote on whether to approve new trails at the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area off of Interstate 87. APA staff have recommended approval of the permit with conditions. The new campground, which officially opened last year, was built by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, although the town of North Hudson owns the land and is expected to go through several phases of construction.

The vote will be on a permit for trails, and includes a variance for a setback from the Schroon River for a stone staircase.

The permit is for “construction of a stone stairway (also requiring a variance), a timber foot bridge, additional accessible and non-accessible trails, and four viewpoints. The timber foot bridge is located 50 feet from the Schroon River and crosses an intermittent stream. The foot bridge measures 4 feet 10 inches wide, with 5-foot-wide steps on either side, by 30.3 feet long including the steps.”

At 2:45 p.m., several professors from Paul Smith’s College — including Celia Evans, Curt Stager and LeeAnn Sporn — will present what is known about climate change and its impacts on the Adirondack Park.

The meeting continues on Friday at 9 a.m. when the State Land Committee will vote on whether the DEC’s unit management plan for the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest conforms with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. The UMP was released in 2017, and governs the use of about 75,000 acres in the Tri-Lakes area.

The APA had been set to vote on the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest UMP in December, but that vote was delayed due to a packed agenda. The APA did not meet in January.