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DEC reschedules public hearings

RAY BROOK - Public hearings that will deal with the future of two historic fire towers have been rescheduled.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has set new dates for public meetings dealing with proposed changes to Unit Management Plans for the St. Regis Canoe Area and the Jay Mountain Wilderness and Hurricane Mountain Primitive area.

Both meetings, originally scheduled for Feb. 25, had been cancelled due to poor weather.

Among the changes proposed is the removal of fire towers atop Hurricane Mountain and St. Regis Mountain, both of which are listed on the State and National Historic Registers.

DEC officials say the towers must be removed to comply with the Wilderness designation of the forest preserve lands where they're located. Also, stairs to the towers have been removed, making them inaccessible to the public.

However, many groups are intent on keeping the towers, namely private organizations that have been working for their preservation as historic landmark.

The public meeting dealing with the St. Regis Canoe Area UMP will now be held Wednesday, March 10, 6:30 p.m. in the Freer Science Building Auditorium at Paul Smith's College.

The meeting regarding the Jay Mountain Wilderness and Hurricane Mountain Primitive Area will now be held Thursday, March 11, 6:30 p.m. in the Keene Central School auditorium in Keene Valley.

A presentation on Adirondack Park Fire Tower Study will be made at both meetings, followed by a presentation on the draft UMPs or draft amendment. Afterward, public comments will be taken. Comments for the draft UMPs or the draft amendment will be taken at either meeting.

For more information about the proposed amendments, contact the DEC Region 5 office at 897-1291.

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