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Residents air objections to float plane restrictions

"Why doesn't the agency try to keep some of the natives around, who are attempting to make a living in the Adirondacks," Payne said passionately. "I just can't see many generations remaining here much longer - we are part of the local heritage, too."

In the proposed land-use amendments, float planes will be severely limited as to when and where they can operate on the lake, with greater restrictions being levied during peak canoeing season, which the amendment classifies as June 1 through Sept. 30.

The Adirondack Local Government Review Board has repeatedly argued that designating Lows Lake as Wilderness Area would be inconsistent with the classification process because its existence hinges on two man-made damns.

Lows Lake is just a single example in a long-line of bodies of water in the Adirondacks which over the last three decades have been designated off-limits to float planes.

However, some parties view this move as a necessary step for assuring not only the ecological future of the lake, but also increasing eco-tourism in the area.

"We do not believe the serenity of the lake should be compromised because the state and the float plane operators can't agree," said Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks Chairman Bob Harrison. "Continued operation of float planes is a direct violation of the edicts of the state land master plan-we would like to see the lake designated as wilderness as soon as possible."

Harrison argued that the move will only work to increase tourist traffic, drawing people looking for nature in its purest form.

But Review Board Chairman Fred Monroe and Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages Chairman Bill Farber both argued that the proposed amendment, although better than an immediate ban, totally disregards the economic viability of Adirondack communities which are already struggling to survive.

"These two communities have a desire to control their own destinies and their wishes need to be considered as well - they have a desire to maintain their heritage," Farber said. "We believe the Adirondack Park is big enough to serve everyone in New York State."

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