Baker Mountain and Moody Pond

To the editor:

Baker Mountain and Moody Pond are wonderful natural resources for our communities. Forest Hill Avenue around Moody Pond is mainly in the village of Saranac Lake, with small portions within the domains of the towns of St. Armand and North Elba. The trailhead is controlled by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in hikers on Baker Mountain. This has exasperated the limited parking by the trailhead. It has also caused more traffic on Forest Hill Avenue. We have also seen an increase in pedestrian and bicycle use. Pedestrians and bicycles have been reported to be using both sides and the middle of the road.

Implementation of the Saranac Lake 6er program is one factor, yet as we know, all the trailheads in the Adirondacks have seen an explosion of use in the past few years. Having three municipalities and DEC with jurisdiction complicates any efforts to find solutions to issues: the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and hikers.

At this point, rather than look at how we got to where we are, we should look for a solution. I have been in contact with the village of Saranac Lake board; Davina Winemiller, supervisor of the town of St. Armand; Jay Rand, supervisor of the town of North Elba; and Joe Zalewski, DEC’s acting director of Region 5.

We have agreed to put together a task force with representatives from the village, the towns and DEC. The task force will discuss the issues, identify potential solutions and make recommendations to the towns, the DEC and the village of Saranac Lake board for actions needed to remedy the problems.

We would like to invite anyone interested in participating in this group to contact me at rich@gtgtandems.com or 518-354-3102. I am hoping to have our first meeting the week of May 24, so please contact me prior to then if you are interested.

All ideas and suggestions are welcome, even if you do not wish to be an active member of the group. Feel free to email me your comments, questions, and concerns.

Thank you.

Rich Shapiro

Trustee, Village of Saranac Lake


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