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APA reclassifies Lows Lake as wilderness

Due to the suit, the agency preempted the reclassification by disallowing float-plane access to the popular bass fishing destination as of January 1, 2012.

Several canoeists had claimed that the presence of the float planes was ruining their wilderness experience.

The two remaining floatplane operators in the park -Helms Aero Service and Payne's Floatplanes - have reported that flights to Lows Lake account for around 35 percent of their annual revenue.

But for Adirondack Mountain Club Executive Director Neil Woodworth, the reclassification is essential in preserving one of the finest canoe corridors in the country.

"APA's action is a vital step in protecting the wild character of these canoe routes, which offer rare opportunities in the Adirondacks for quiet canoeing and kayaking," Woodworth said. "This is the proper follow-up to the agency's decision to phase out float-plane use on the lake by the end of 2011."

According to APA spokesman Keith McKeever, the agency is currently in negotiations with all of the stakeholders in an attempt to find an alternate location for floatplane access.

The move to reclassify the land will take effect immediately, pending the signature of Gov. David Paterson.

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