DEC, APA seek public comment on Moose River Plains proposal

INDIAN LAKE - Concerned citizens filed into a designated room at Indian Lake Central School last week to make their voices heard to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding a series of comprehensive, integrated management actions proposed for the Moose River Plains Wild Forest.

The management proposals include:

• Creating the Moose River Plains Intensive Camping Area along the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road.

• Expanding the West Canada Lake Wilderness, which borders the Moose River Plains.

• Closing certain trails and roads in the wild forest to snowmobiling, many of which are dead-ends or spurs, or receive little or no snowmobile use.

• Creating a new community-connector snowmobile trail from Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road to Lower Sargent Pond, which will provide connections to Indian Lake, Inlet, Raquette Lake and Long Lake. Resulting overall snowmobile mileage would be approximately 59 miles.

• Creating the Beaver Lake Special Management Area, which includes areas south of the South Branch of the Moose River and west of the proposed intensive use area boundary along Otter Brook Road.

• Discontinuing public motor vehicle and snowmobile use on Indian Lake Road and the former Otter Brook truck trail.

The plans have been in the developing stages since 2001 and have already undergone one round of public comment in 2006.

Both the management plan and the classification proposal are a collaborative effort and will need to be approved by Gov. David Patterson after being completed by the DEC and APA.

"We feel that collaborating on this is a more efficient way of accomplishing our goals," Jim Connelly, deputy director, APA. "The process is a good one."

Located in the central and southwestern portion of the Adirondack Park, the Moose River Plains Wild Forest offers many year-round recreational opportunities including hiking, fishing, canoeing, skiing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, horseback riding, hunting and camping, making it an ideal destination for recreationists with varied interests and abilities.

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