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Old 12-29-2013, 08:39 PM   #1
Paleofreak
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Question Gull Lake 5PWA: public or private

I started planning a trip to the southern 5 Ponds and I came across a discrepancy in some maps. According to the ARGIS site it is clear Gull Lake is in a private parcel, on Google maps however Gull Lake is clearly in public land (I find Google maps to be very unreliable, Round Lake is labeled as private).

I decided to dig a little deeper. The SLMP sounds like Gull Lake is in a private inholding and APA maps from 2009 show a conservation easment on the parcel. That would have been that had I not looked at the Herkimer county tax map, which said the state owned it.

So which is it? If it is public when was it purchased/ donated?
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Paleofreak View Post
I started planning a trip to the southern 5 Ponds and I came across a discrepancy in some maps. According to the ARGIS site it is clear Gull Lake is in a private parcel, on Google maps however Gull Lake is clearly in public land (I find Google maps to be very unreliable, Round Lake is labeled as private).

I decided to dig a little deeper. The SLMP sounds like Gull Lake is in a private inholding and APA maps from 2009 show a conservation easment on the parcel. That would have been that had I not looked at the Herkimer county tax map, which said the state owned it.

So which is it? If it is public when was it purchased/ donated?
According to the SLMP that area shown on the APA map will be open to the public in 2029.
"The Partlow Lake Primitive Area is a 2.6 mile, privately owned roadway which connects the Nehasane Primitive Area with the private lands encompassing Gull Lake, Deer Pond and Partlow Lake to the west. This inholding is scheduled to pass to State ownership in the year 2029 at which time this primitive area will become part of the Five Ponds Wilderness Area."
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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Dam that's a long time to wait to do my trip.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
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Dam that's a long time to wait to do my trip.
There are plenty of ponds and wilderness to explore outside of that small private parcel in the meantime. I've been going to that area for a long time, and I'm not finished in there yet.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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There's no doubt I will have plenty to do in the meantime, I would really like to search for the site of George Muir's old cabin on Gull Lake. Its one on a long list of planned bushwhacks.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:17 PM   #6
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Well, if you have to wait that long, then there's basically no foreseeable scenario in which you'll find yourself saying: "I wish I had planned better".

To check very careful on the status of public vs. private lands, I'd suggest using the NYS government website:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/45415.html
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:19 AM   #7
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I just thought it was really weird, because the state doesn't seem to own the parcel, but evidently pays taxes on it.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:41 AM   #8
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I just thought it was really weird, because the state doesn't seem to own the parcel, but evidently pays taxes on it.
Probably part of the easement deal.

Speaking of which, where does one get a list of the allowable activities on different easement lands?
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:00 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=DuctTape

Speaking of which, where does one get a list of the allowable activities on different easement lands?[/QUOTE]

If it's fun, it's got to be illegal!
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:37 AM   #10
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Probably part of the easement deal.

Speaking of which, where does one get a list of the allowable activities on different easement lands?
As always, the first source for such things is the NYSDEC website. There is an incredible amount of information on hundreds of sub-pages. A simple search from the main page will do it.. Conservation Easements.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:20 AM   #11
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Thanks Wldnrs. I usually use the DEC website first. Not sure why I didn't.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #12
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Is is possible that while ownership will pass to the state in 2029 but there is presently an easement on it that would permit public access?
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:17 AM   #13
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Is is possible that while ownership will pass to the state in 2029 but there is presently an easement on it that would permit public access?
I think the easement is the other way around- the private club on the parcel holds the easement, not New York State. It sounds like NY owns the land, and the Gull Lake parcel is an easement for a private camp.

It is not unheard of with state acquisitions that you see easements for hunting and private clubs that were negotiated with the original land owners, prior to state acquisition of the land. Typically, these easements have been negotiated for a set period of time. When NY purchases the land, it must honor those easements until that timeframe is up.

This was the case with the cabin on Little Moose Lake in the Moose River Plains- the land was state owned for decades, but there was something like a 100 year easement that didn't run out until 2009.

With the state easements on private land, it can be kind of frustrating figuring out what is allowed and what isn't- each is different. Some don't allow public access at all. Many allow day use only. The only easement I know of that allows overnight camping is the Paul Smith's College easement (there are 8 lean-tos that are available for public use). The DEC website does have information on most of the easements, though, including what is and isn't permitted on each.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:26 AM   #14
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You are correct about the easement "rules" being difficult to figure out. I am familiar with the Conifer easement which allowed for public access all year with the exception of hunting season when sole access rights were retained by the hunting clubs on that easement for a period of 15 years. Those years have passed now on that easement, so the public has access year round. Perhaps Paleo can investigate to see what the easement rights say for that parcel.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:18 AM   #15
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DEC says there is no public access on the parcel. Looks like that trip will be on the back burner for a little bit.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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It's 16 years to wait, but tomorrow it will only be 15.
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