From all that I have read and heard at public hearings and in interviews, the crux of the Mountain Club's issue was the noise. It wasn't pollution, it wasn't the transport of invasive species, it was just the noise the float planes produced while operating.
Are people really so fickle that they would let two or three minutes of engine noise ruin their day of canoeing?
A DEC survey of Lows Lake canoeists concluded that over 60 percent never even came into contact with a float plane.
The DEC realized the folly of the Mountain Club's argument. Hence they proposed a 10 year extension to float-plane access.
The parties who pushed this suit gave no regard whatsoever to the economic viability of the small Adirondack towns which are home to these float-plane businesses. Both Helms and Payne provided data to the DEC which stated that flights into Lows Lake constituted about 40 percent of their net incomes.
This will devastate their businesses and invariably hurt the revenue of the towns of Inlet and Long Lake.
All for peace and quiet?
I understand the Thoreau model. He after all was the guy who argued that others shouldn't enter the wilderness which surrounded Walden Pond so they wouldn't interrupt his "wilderness experience." It was fine for him to be there, just as long as no one else was.
It seems this mind-set has trickled down to the current movement, which views the park as their own little play-ground. God forbid if the locals actually try to turn a profit.
It is my opinion that the vast majority of Adirondackers are conservationists at their very core. They believe in sustaining the beauty and wild character of the land just as much as the Adirondack Mountain Club. What the local citizens understand and the Club doesn't is that there is a fundamental difference between conservation and preservation.