Little noise over Quiet Waters

The January/February 2009 issue of the Adirondack Explorer magazine has a full page advertisement announcing, "Let's hear it for Quiet Waters! Now's your chance to be heard."

The advertisement is actually an Adirondack Explorer Action Alert imploring readers to register their support for "making waters peaceful." The Action Alert provides details on over a dozen ponds and some 36 miles of rivers which the organization has proposed for designation as motorless 'Quiet Waters.'

The advertisement concludes with a banner stating, "Mail your views to Curt Stiles, Chairman, Adirondack Park Agency...or email dick@adirondackexplorer.org and we'll pass it along."

The Quiet Waters Campaign has been championed by Dick Beamish of Saranac Lake through Getting the Word Out, Inc., a nonprofit, 501c, environmental advocacy group which publishes the Adirondack Explorer magazine.

The effort to establish more quiet waters( motorless) in the park has also been embraced by a number of advocacy groups, including the Adirondack Mountain Club, the Adirondack Council, the Sierra Club and the Resident's Committee to Protect the Adirondacks.

When I spoke with DEC Commissioner Grannis last year about the formation of a joint DEC/APA interagency "Quiet Waters Working Group," he explained, "I know Dick, he has been at this for quite a while. He's been to my office repeatedly and he's very passionate about this. I believe there's a place for quiet waters."

Initial concerns with the interagency working group were raised simply with their choice of a name, the "Quiet Waters Working Group for the Adirondack Park."

The working group, which is comprised of staff from DEC and APA, has held only two meetings to date.

APA Chairman, Curt Stiles explained that, "I'm not particularly fond of the (choice of ) name, but it is something that Commissioner Grannis and I had agreed to look at."

He continued, "We've set up a working group of APA and DEC staffers to conduct an analysis of waters that may be considered. We can recommend what the DEC has the power to regulate. However, it is important that we get the public involved in the decision making process."

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