Despite the APA Board's decision, it appears the DEC commissioner is taking it upon himself to administer Lows Lake under a wilderness classification - even though, based on the APA's most recent vote, the commissioner's promise is not a legally binding agreement.
Grannis told WNBZ Radio it is the agency's duty to classify all recently acquired lands and the State Land Master Plan allows for waters to be included in classification packages.
However, the commissioners statement is in direct conflict with 7-4 decision handed down by the APA's Board of Commissioners.
DEC Commissioner Grannis further promised in a letter to Woodworth: "Effective immediately, the department will manage Lows Lake as a wilderness lake, subject only to existing riparian rights and the limited floatplane access recently provided for. I am writing to reconfirm the department's commitment to establishing a wilderness canoe route through Lows."
Lows Lake was created when Gus Low created two large dams on the Bog River in the late 1800s. The dams were rebuilt by the state in the 1980's. The region contains several private tracts on the lake for which grandfathered riparian rights continue to allow motorized use. By no means, does the region's character remain consistent with wilderness standards.
Motor vehicles are still used to access a Boy Scout Reservation on the lake via a dirt road that circumscribes mile of shoreline. The in holdings, with their motorized traffic, combined with the numerous man-made structures are inconsistent with a wilderness designation.
The banning of floatplane use on Lows Lake was accomplished when the Adirondack Mountain Club sued the DEC for allowing their continued use on the popular paddling route.
The float plane ban was driven by paddler's complaints the noise caused by the roar of the float plane's takeoffs was ruining the peace and solitude of their "wilderness experience."