UPPER HUDSON RECREATION HUB
For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 12, 2016
The 5 Towns of Minerva, Newcomb, North Hudson, Indian Lake, and Long Lake comprising the UPPER HUDSON RECREATION HUB would like to publicly acknowledge their support of Governor Cuomo’s vision of making the Adirondack Park one of the most sought after destinations for paddlers, hikers, hunters, sports people, and snowmobilers, and that opening these lands to public use and enjoyment for the first time in 150 years will provide extraordinary new outdoor recreational opportunities, increase the number of visitors to the North Country and generate additional tourism revenue. We also express our gratitude to former DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and present DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos and their staff for their support in sharing this vision.
The 5 Towns believe and are in complete agreement that in order to fulfill this vision, we must provide the utmost public access to the ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and trails and that access should be provided to all citizens including the elderly, handicapped, disabled and physically challenged. The 5 Towns UPPER HUDSON RECREATION HUB is also in agreement that all forms of recreational activities to include, but not be limited to, hiking, canoeing, camping, skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, horseback riding, and dog sledding be permitted. While some believe that this access is for a privileged few, we believe that it is the right of every New Yorker to have reasonable access.
The 5 Towns strongly oppose any land use and classification that does not allow for reasonable access to all, young and old, the physically fit and the disabled, and that does not allow for all forms of recreational activities to include, but not be limited to, hiking, canoeing, camping, snowmobiling, skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and dog sledding.
The 5 Towns are willing to work in good faith to find the true balance and common ground that we all talk about, but has eluded us through these many years. We must consider our local economies just as we consider and protect the environment. We feel that our proposal finds balance between community needs and the preservation of our environmental assets. It allows for both Wilderness and Wild Forest classifications and makes possible the joining of the Dix Mountain and High Peaks Wilderness areas, making this one of the largest Wilderness areas in the Northeast. It also allows for reasonable access for all and recreational activities such as bicycling, horse back riding and snowmobiling, as well as hiking, hunting, fishing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Motorized access will be limited to only some of the existing road infrastructure that has sustained the use of logging trucks on them for over 100 years.
The 5 Towns therefore ardently support a land classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract, the MacIntyre West Tract and the MacIntyre East Tract of both Wild Forest and Wilderness allowing the DEC to work with local governments and other stakeholders in the development of a UMP that both provides for access for all, all forms of recreational opportunity and preserves the priceless beauty of our park and its fragile ecological infrastructure. A Wilderness classification will not allow for reasonable access for many and will not permit many of the recreational opportunities we feel essential to increased tourism revenue. For example, not even mountain biking is permissible in Wilderness areas. A balanced classification of both Wild Forest and Wilderness of these State Land acquisitions is the only classification that will allow for a fair and reasonable UMP to be discussed.