Paddles or Power: What Should Happen To New Areas Of The ADK Park?

Every single one of us has our reason (or reasons) for being here in the ‘Dacks. Whether you are a hiker, biker, boater, snowmobiler, photographer, kayaker, canoeist, hunter, fisherman or woman, swimmer, runner, snow skier, jet skier, or beach bum, (did we lave anyone out?) we all somehow get along in this mostly unexploited six million acres.

But what about future uses of the park? Should  a new parcel of land be left untouched or opened up to all? That’s the dilemma now facing the Adirondack Park Agency as it deals with 21,000 acres that were recently purchased by New York State from the Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit organization. (The state has agreed to buy 65,000 acres over five years from the Nature Conservancy and add them to the forest preserve).

None of the land in question is in Schroon, we hear from Joe Steiniger, when we asked him the question. From Joe:

“The Closest was the Finch Pruyn land along the Blue Ridge Road from exit 29 west towards Newcomb. Hoffman Fish and Game had the lease which they used for their hunting camp(s). Now the public has access. If you hike into the Hoffman Notch Wilderness from the south (Hoffman Road or Loch Muller trailheads), all of the trails head north to the Blue Ridge Road. The northern trailhead is on this (formerly) leased land, a few miles west of the Northway. (@ exit 29).

The story got traction in the New York Times last week. The paper reported that by October  the land will be entirely opened to the public for the first time in more than a century.  The Times story does a good job of presenting the arguments of those who want the new parcel to remain non-motorized, and others who want to jump on their snow mobiles and explore new trials.

The story quotes Sue Montgomery Corey, the Town Supervisor of Minerva, Schroon’s neighbor. She makes the case for allowing motorized vehicles, to help local economies. From The NYT:

“Making those connections is essential to building economic opportunity,” said Sue Montgomery Corey, supervisor of the town of Minerva, which includes part of both the Essex chain of lakes tract and Indian River tract.

“We would like to be able to snowmobile, ride or hike to the other communities,” Ms. Corey said at a public hearing held by the Adirondack Park Agency. “Hiking in three miles carrying a canoe from an access point will not work for most seniors or most young families.”

Where do you stand? Tell us in comments.