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Old 08-12-2010, 09:08 PM   #121
dundee
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A dam in a Wilderness Area named after him would be the last thing Clarence would want.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:37 PM   #122
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I certainly agree with all of you folks. Unfortunately it seems the ideologues who put imaginary wilderness ideals above all else - including the environment as it now exists - have the ear of the DEC at the moment.
Don't be so sure. The adk mountain club has not been supportive at all but were sure on the bandwagon for Marcy Dam.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:41 PM   #123
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A dam in a Wilderness Area named after him would be the last thing Clarence would want.
I don't think so. I think if someone talked about Building a dam and naming it after him, he would not favor it. But since he was involved with the construction/repair of this one, I don't think he would object other then he would feel no one should be 'making a fuss" over him.

I understand that he was in favor of saving Duck Hole because of the ecosystem there and if naming it after him would help accomplish that, i think he would favor it.

We've named peaks after some of the people who were key players in the Adirondacks, why not a Lake Petty or Petty Pond? Or Clarance's Clearing?

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Old 10-10-2010, 09:26 PM   #124
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I agree with you Redhawk.This isnt a Lake Fowel by any means.A lake Petty would be nice,but he wanted Duck Hole.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:31 PM   #125
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I just read this from another post

http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news...e=201010130730

If they can doit for one then why not Duckhole?
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:39 PM   #126
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I just read this from another post

http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news...e=201010130730

If they can doit for one then why not Duckhole?
There's a difference between fire towers and dams. Fire towers played an instrumental part in the protection of the forest preserve for much of the 20th century. The served to protect the forests from damage by fire (whether "protection" is or was actually necessary is a completely different debate), and they served as the very first hiking destinations when society reached a point when people actually had the free time to enjoy nature instead of exploit it simply to stay alive.

While the dams that were used for logging purposes, such as the one at Duck Hole, also have a cultural significance, it is definitely less than that of the fire towers. Additionally, I'm not sure that the dam at Duck Hole is original to the logging era (in fact, I'm pretty sure it's not).

There's also another difference between the fire towers and the dam at Duck Hole. With the towers, we are trying to save just that- the towers themselves. With Duck Hole, our efforts to have the dam maintained aren't really because we want to save the dam, rather, we want to save the body of water that the dam creates for us. Honestly, when you visit Duck Hole, do you spend hours gazing admiringly at the dam and how beautiful it is, or are you gazing at the view of the mountains afforded by the open body of water, and fishing and swimming in and on the pond? (Civil engineers aren't allowed to answer this question.) What we really want is the pond, not the dam.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:11 PM   #127
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There's a difference between fire towers and dams. Fire towers played an instrumental part in the protection of the forest preserve for much of the 20th century. The served to protect the forests from damage by fire (whether "protection" is or was actually necessary is a completely different debate), and they served as the very first hiking destinations when society reached a point when people actually had the free time to enjoy nature instead of exploit it simply to stay alive.

While the dams that were used for logging purposes, such as the one at Duck Hole, also have a cultural significance, it is definitely less than that of the fire towers. Additionally, I'm not sure that the dam at Duck Hole is original to the logging era (in fact, I'm pretty sure it's not).

There's also another difference between the fire towers and the dam at Duck Hole. With the towers, we are trying to save just that- the towers themselves. With Duck Hole, our efforts to have the dam maintained aren't really because we want to save the dam, rather, we want to save the body of water that the dam creates for us. Honestly, when you visit Duck Hole, do you spend hours gazing admiringly at the dam and how beautiful it is, or are you gazing at the view of the mountains afforded by the open body of water, and fishing and swimming in and on the pond? (Civil engineers aren't allowed to answer this question.) What we really want is the pond, not the dam.
That's a really good point, DeSettr Or whatever your handle is.(someday make something outta that one for me would ya?)
The dam is the cause of it all...without the dam ....what do you have? Will it be one long creek from Upper Preston to the river?...Will only Duck Hole be effected?
Doesn't seem like it'd be a big deal to reinforce it....so it's good to go for another 1/4 century...fix the sumabitch....I like it up there..people are used to it...it has a servicable purpose...let's make sure it doesn't go away...........
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:43 PM   #128
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If the idea is that it needs to be designated as a historical site before it can be preserved, Santa Clara built the dam in 1913 for logging purposes. See post 83 from this thread to see a picture of the dam from 1913.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:50 PM   #129
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If the idea is that it needs to be designated as a historical site before it can be preserved, Santa Clara built the dam in 1913 for logging purposes. See post 83 from this thread to see a picture of the dam from 1913.
Is the dam that is there now the original one?

Edit: Here's the picture again, plus a few pictures I have of the dam from recent years.

They don't really look like the same dam, although it's hard to tell for sure since there's so much water in one set of pictures and ice in the other picture.

If the dam has been replaced or even extensively repaired, that could be a major obstacle in getting it designated as a historical site. If some of the repairs were done by the CCC that might help, though.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:27 PM   #130
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CCC rebuilt the dam , But I don't know what year,
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:41 PM   #131
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Looks so damn innocent from this side, huh?....except for that big ol' floating Adirondack chair out there in the middle....
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:40 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
There's a difference between fire towers and dams. Fire towers played an instrumental part in the protection of the forest preserve for much of the 20th century. The served to protect the forests from damage by fire (whether "protection" is or was actually necessary is a completely different debate), and they served as the very first hiking destinations when society reached a point when people actually had the free time to enjoy nature instead of exploit it simply to stay alive.

While the dams that were used for logging purposes, such as the one at Duck Hole, also have a cultural significance, it is definitely less than that of the fire towers. Additionally, I'm not sure that the dam at Duck Hole is original to the logging era (in fact, I'm pretty sure it's not).

There's also another difference between the fire towers and the dam at Duck Hole. With the towers, we are trying to save just that- the towers themselves. With Duck Hole, our efforts to have the dam maintained aren't really because we want to save the dam, rather, we want to save the body of water that the dam creates for us. Honestly, when you visit Duck Hole, do you spend hours gazing admiringly at the dam and how beautiful it is, or are you gazing at the view of the mountains afforded by the open body of water, and fishing and swimming in and on the pond? (Civil engineers aren't allowed to answer this question.) What we really want is the pond, not the dam.
I think you're overstating the difference. First, the cultural significance of a dam vs a fire tower is completely subjective. Logging played a pretty pivotal role in the history of the Adirondacks (heck, it's half the reason the park is preserved as it is today).

Second, it's true I don't admire the dam while I'm at Duck Hole, but it's also true I don't spend most of my time on a summit admiring the fire tower either. What I really want on a summit is the view (which the tower affords), not the tower itself. This is subjective too of course; some people really are more interested in the tower itself.

(According to the dam assessment document attached way back in the thread, the current dam was "built in the late 1930's".)
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:17 PM   #133
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I think you're overstating the difference. First, the cultural significance of a dam vs a fire tower is completely subjective. Logging played a pretty pivotal role in the history of the Adirondacks (heck, it's half the reason the park is preserved as it is today).

Second, it's true I don't admire the dam while I'm at Duck Hole, but it's also true I don't spend most of my time on a summit admiring the fire tower either. What I really want on a summit is the view (which the tower affords), not the tower itself. This is subjective too of course; some people really are more interested in the tower itself.

(According to the dam assessment document attached way back in the thread, the current dam was "built in the late 1930's".)
The 30's would probably be a close round-up.....if it was built by the CCM corps that's when they were doing their thing....The CCM CORPS was a military like thing established during the depression years to do enviormental work, selective logging & replanting of new growth forest, the foundation of alot of back country & wilderness roads, some trail work & dam construction...It provided work for alot of unemployed men during that time period, but it was a very ridig & almost penal in tone(Like a get paid chain gang),....man made objects ....no matter what their history are ...are always a disappointment in the woods...I remember the first time I did the Prestons & Duckhole....after paddling & portaging all the way from Henderson it was kind of a bummer to find a wrecked dam & two leantos with all the usual suspect junk....not what I figured into a "wild-Pack boat trip"....

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:09 PM   #134
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If you ever get a chance.....one of the most vivid examples of the CCM's work is the Rennsalearville St. Forest in southwest Albany county.....In the 30's they pretty much clear cut this whole region....cut a whole bunch of roads that to this day are still red clay....after they seen the devastation they did, they replanted thousands of white pines ....a mistake that they made was putting them way close together....some of the the pine forests out that way are so thick you wouldn't believe it....but then again it's a great place to practice your compass skills....I do 2or 3 snowshoe bushwhacks there every winter just to stay honed up...there is a network of logging roads & stone walls from years ago that you can use as cheaters but I try to overlook them...but an extra treat is a bushwhack to an overlook of the Catskillls that makes it all worth while...
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:06 PM   #135
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I think you're overstating the difference. First, the cultural significance of a dam vs a fire tower is completely subjective. Logging played a pretty pivotal role in the history of the Adirondacks (heck, it's half the reason the park is preserved as it is today).
Cultural significance of artifacts in wilderness areas will always be subjective. Remember the discussion about graffiti vs. historic cave paintings a few weeks back? It's this subjectivity that means there will always be public debate over whether or not these artifacts should be allowed to remain.

I agree that if it can be proven that the dam at Duck Hole is original to the logging era, it does have some historic significance. However, I also maintain that dams of historic significance are not at, and probably never will reach, the same level of interest as fire towers in the public eye. You don't see a guidebook dedicated to hikes that take you to logging dams from historic lumbering operations, or even a guidebook of hikes to any remnants of logging in areas that are now part of the forest preserve (although perhaps someone should write one- I'd certainly buy it!).

Of the 13 principles of wilderness management, there are quite a few that are involved here in the decision to either keep or remove the dam, for better or for worse. The principles were created to provide a framework for maintaining the two characteristics that are most important to wilderness areas: naturalness and solitude. (Most of the information I present here in regards to the principles of wilderness management is from Wilderness Management, 4e, by Dawson and Hendee.)

Manage Wilderness as the Most Pristine Extreme on the Environmental Modification Spectrum

This one is probably the most against our efforts to have the dam saved. Wilderness is meant to be wild, and human impacts and influences that modify the environment should be kept to an absolute minimum. It's quite easy to make the argument that a dam (and the resulting inundated lands) imposes a pretty significant alteration on the natural state of the area.

Additionally, for a project as large as restoring the dam, there will be social and environmental impacts. The environmental impacts, if the project is not carried out in a respectful manner in respects to the natural state of the area, could be long lasting and the natural character could be modified for the worse for some time. The social impacts of such a large project would affect the feeling of solitude in the area at least while the project is being carried out. Additionally, the sight of a newly restored dam could lessen the feeling of solitude for some people even after the project were completed.

Any proposal and request to maintain the dam would need to carefully address the social and environmental impacts in order to be effective. The work proposed would have to be carried out in a manner the absolute minimum in environmental damage. Standards here would be even stricter than if such a project was carried out in the front country. A good example of how to limit this impact would be to use draft horses for much of the heavy work rather than machinery. (Another principle that is applicable here is Apply Only the Minimum Tools, Regulations, or Force to Achieve Wilderness-Area Objectives, which I won't go into in depth as I think it is pretty self explanatory.)

As for lessening the social impacts, the project would need to be completed as quickly as possible to lessen the amount of time during which you'd have equipment and people on site, all of which take away from the feeling of solitude. This would require a lot of careful planning and preparation in advance. Additionally, future impacts that limit the feeling of solitude would need to be addressed as well. Ideas like using native and natural looking timbers where-ever possible, ensuring that the dam is a neutral color that blends in with the environment, and taking care to brush in the area as best as possible after the work is completed to hide as much evidence of the work done on the project as possible are all good ones and should be considered.

Manage Wilderness, and Sites Within, Following a Concept of Nondegradation

This principle basically calls for maintaining existing environmental conditions within wilderness areas, as long as they meet or exceed minimum standards, and restoring conditions that are sub-standard for wilderness. This could also be a tricky principle to address, but it does not provide as strong an argument against maintaining the dam.

At this point, the Duck Hole dam has been around for a long time, and conditions within and near the pond have certainly become quite naturalized. The ecosystem of the area has adjusted, and we see well developed riparian zones around the edge, and probably a well developed limnotic ecosystem within the pond (although the later could be affected still by acid rain). Allowing the dam to deteriorate and the pond to drain would force the area to go through yet another ecosystem change as a result of human activity, and definitely doesn't coincide with the idea of maintaining existing environmental conditions.

The key word here, however, is minimum standards. It could also be argued that the presence of a man-made dam in a wilderness area is not meeting minimum standards for maintaining that wilderness area. Any argument in support of maintaining the dam would have to address this as well. The best way to do this is probably to argue in defense of the value of cultural and historical artifacts in wilderness areas. Many wilderness areas have a lot of human history associated with them, and it is important to manage and preserve at least some of these artifacts for the public to experience and enjoy.

Manage Wilderness to Produce Human Values and Benefits

This is where the cultural aspect comes in. It is a given that most wilderness areas were established not only for the protection and preservation of flora, fauna, and ecosystems, but for the enjoyment of its values and benefits by those who visit them. The often intangible (but also sometimes physical) resources that wilderness visitors draw from in order to improve the enjoyment of their trip are just as important to preserve as are the natural character and the solitude of wilderness. In fact, in federally designated wilderness areas, managers are legally mandated to mange those areas in such a way as to also provide benefits (such as psychological restoration, physical challenges, and spiritual renewal) for people in addition to nature.

There are two schools of thought on this. Some say that the benefits humans derive from wilderness are due to the natural character of wilderness areas, and therefore they should be managed biocentrically (with an emphasis on using an hands-off approach to maintaining environmental integrity). The opposing viewpoint is that human enjoyment of wilderness is due to the increased access provided by facilities such as trails, lean-tos, etc, and that wilderness areas should be managed anthropocentrically (with an emphasis on creating and improving facilities to increase aesthetic pleasure of wilderness visitors). Allowing structures such as fire towers and the duck hole dam to remain or be maintained would certainly be an anthropocentric approach.

There is a strong argument that an anthropocentric approach attempts to make wilderness visitation easier, more convenient, and/or simultaneously accessible to a larger number of people, and that this can ultimate diminish the unique values of a wilderness area. Conversely, it has been shown that strict standards for maintaining environmental values ("purity in the extreme") has often triggered strong backlash and resentment of management agencies by persons and groups who regularly use wilderness areas and who might otherwise have been supportive of management actions.

The key here, I think, is finding an acceptable middle ground, and the use of common sense. In proposing to maintain the dam, it would be important to mention that doing so would maintain scenic and aesthetic values of the area, while certainly not improving access to that area.

Focus Management on Threatened Sites and Damaging Activities

This principle calls for having the flexibility to address problem areas within a wilderness area on a site-specific basis if necessary. The key here is obviously whether or not Duck Hole qualifies as a "threatened site." While it is easy to look at sites physically damaged by high recreational use such as the camp sites at Marcy Dam (or even the Eastern High Peaks as a whole before the fire ban, which is itself an excellent example of this principle being used in action) and label them as "threatened," it's a bit harder with Duck Hole. Again, arguments in defense of maintaining the dam would need to address the potential ecological ramifications of draining the pond, as well as the damage due to the loss of aesthetic values in order to show that the dam is indeed "threatened." Getting the press involved might be a good way to address this principle, and to at least get it on the radar of the general public.

Involve the Public as a Key to the Success of Wilderness Management

This, of course, is where all of us come in. Early on in, when federal wilderness areas and wilderness management were a new concept, many managers made the mistake of assuming that the public was not smart enough or did not have the experience necessary to understand the legal, ecological, and social complexities that are involved in management. This, of course, created a backlash and led to the passing of new federal laws that informed the public about how to get involved in wilderness and public land management. Now, public involvement is often considered the most important aspect of successfully developing and implementing wilderness management plans.

This, obviously, is where we would need to make ourselves heard and understood, not only with wilderness managers but each other, through effective written communication. A unified front, with many open lines of respectful communication both with outside groups as well as within, would be much more affective at achieving the goal of saving Duck Hole than a bunch of separate individuals working alone would.

Additionally, public involvement goes beyond providing input towards management decisions. Volunteer work is becoming more and more important not only in wilderness management, but in public land management as well. It has been shown that not only does volunteer work help out considerably with the management of wilderness and the preservation of wilderness resources, it also increases recognition and appreciation of wilderness values by the public.

In order to save Duck Hole, we would need to show managers that not only do we want it saved, but that we are willing to volunteer our own time, effort, and funds to help out with the project. It's certainly not enough to ask the state to save Duck Hole and then expect that the State will do all of the work. And then of course, we'd also need to actually follow through on that show of willingness should our efforts to convince the state to save Duck Hole be successful.

While I'm sure that there would be no shortage of volunteer work, another potentially crippling aspect is that of expertise and equipment. This is a project that would require significantly more technical know how than restoring a fire tower, and it's possible even that managers might not be willing to leave the details and direction of the project up to the public. Given the state fiscal situation now, this could result in approval for maintaining the dam but inaction for quite some time. Whether a person capable of planning for and leading such a project is provided by the public or the state, finding such a person (and the equipment necessary to do the work) could be difficult.

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Old 10-16-2010, 04:36 PM   #136
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Man.....nobody will ever accuse you of being someone that's stuck for words...

You must have a hell of "hand made podium", preacher...where do you find the time to come up with these lectures???
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:44 PM   #137
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Man.....nobody will ever accuse you of being someone that's stuck for words...

You must have a hell of "hand made podium", preacher...where do you find the time to come up with these lectures???
Haha, I wish I knew. I sit down to write a 2 or 3 paragraph response, and an hour latter, all this stuff is written down on my computer screen.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:04 PM   #138
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Man.....nobody will ever accuse you of being someone that's stuck for words...

You must have a hell of "hand made podium", preacher...where do you find the time to come up with these lectures???
I always learn something when Brendan posts something like this...I for one enjoy the discussion. You too Tom...
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:26 PM   #139
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I always learn something when Brendan posts something like this...I for one enjoy the discussion. You too Tom...
Yep .....yer right Mr. Warlock Scott Guy...I enjoy the discusions also... damn but but if some folks ain't long winded like my mother.....I tend to break it up into long winded segments....but life goes on...
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:49 PM   #140
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I like informative posts as much as the next guy.....but I can only read so many words before I get distracted....and my mind seems to wander........
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