Essex Chain of Lakes is one parcel that the state of New York will be buying over five years from the Nature Conservancy. It was once owned by the Finch, Pruyn paper company. The initial purchase of about 18,000 acres (out of 69,000 acres) was made in December.
continued The Councilman noted the difficulty with coming up with written historical documentation that proved it to be a public motor access road. If that were the case, Valentine asked whether the road could be rerouted around what has been presented to be a short distance of concern to then allow access. He was told that would have to be looked into and depends on the APA’s classification. If it were classified “wilderness,” the point would be mute.
Martin acknowledged that it was clear from the issues raised in the meeting how important access is to the town of Indian Lake.
It was not clear whether the DEC’s presentation was the final recommendation for land classification in the area or if it was still in the draft stage. However, both Martin and Indian Lake Town Supervisor Brian Wells said the final decision will be with the APA.
It was strongly suggested that the members of the community call and write APA officials, state legislators and the governor to voice their concerns about the access to these newly acquired lands.
Supervisor Wells suggested that people also contact or write him with ideas or information that they believe has an impact on the access issue. He, in turn would make sure that the community was made aware of APA hearing dates and any additional information regarding the decision on classification.