Ray Brook With 4 minutes left of a two-hour meeting, Adirondack Park Agency (APA) State Lands Committee Chairman Richard Booth crushed local supervisors’ hopes of a wild forest classification for the Essex Chain Lakes in the Central Adirondacks, even though a decision has yet to be made.
“My opinion may be extreme and I may end up being in a very distinct minority,” Booth said. “I’ve looked at this enough, folks, to think that a wild forest classification, in my opinion, is not appropriate for this chain of lakes because of what the Master Plan says in terms on nondegredation and in terms of preserving the resources.”
In his final remarks, Booth spoke to the APA Board of Commissioners and staffers who were answering Board members’ questions regarding the former Finch, Pruyn company land.
“This is a sensitive group of resources,” Booth said. “I think that’s what we’re hearing from you guys in multiple ways. These are very small ponds. They’re really ponds. They’re not really lakes for the most part. So I would urge staff to think about some memo that comes through us.”
The memo Booth requested should clearly state the ramifications of classification based on the State Land Master Plan, which is a set of approved guidelines for using state-owned lands in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park.