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DEC, APA seek public comment on Moose River Plains proposal

"We hope to provide intensive use camping while preserving the rustic opportunities provided by the Moose River Plains," said Rick Weber of the APA. "A lot of coordination and planning as gone into these documents by both the DEC and the APA."

Local citizens were appreciative of the willingness to accept public comment and revise the documents by the two agencies. Some attendees did voice their displeasure, however, on the revisions of the proposals. Many were discouraged by the announcement of closures and wilderness reclassifications.

"Tourism is the only economic engine that propels Hamilton county and much of the Adirondack Park," said Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward. "Creating wilderness lands will only result in the loss of recreational uses."

Others joined Sayward in suggesting that the camping and recreation areas facing closure should remain open until replacements are open for use.

"Closing camps, trails and roads because of reclassification to wilderness will result in loss of access," said Fred Monroe of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

The two agencies were applauded for their efforts in connecting existing snowmobile trails to increase the total amount of local mileage. Local snowmobilers attended as well as Jim McCulley of the Lake Placid Snowmobile Club were present to voice their suggestions.

"There is no reason for any more snowmobile trails to be closed in the Adirondack Park," he said. "It's nice to see New York State land being used for something other than allowing trees to rot, but we need trails besides just connectors."

Lexi Biele, age 10, read a story that she wrote about a moose citing at Moose River Plains while fishing with her family. Community members joined her in asserting that reclassification would prevent families, the disabled and the elderly from accessing these popular recreation areas.

Public comments will be responded to and taken into consideration for revision of the existing plans, according to Dave Winchell of the DEC.

To request a copy of the documents, e-mail r5ump@gw.dec.state.ny.us or call 473-9518.

In addition, information may be viewed at, or downloaded from www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/mrpwfdgeis.pdf or www.dec.ny.gov/lands/22571.html

For more information on public comment, contact Josh Clague of the DEC at lfadk@gw.dec.state.ny.us or Richard Weber of the APA at apa_slmp@gw.dec.state.ny.us

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