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Old 11-16-2010, 04:03 PM   #1
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Moose River Plains controversy

Click here to read about DEC's proposal to allow mountain biking in corridor that cuts through a Wilderness Area. The corridor would be classifed as Wild Forest to make it legal.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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I don't have a problem with Mountain Bikes on this trail. I've hiked it several times, and as a hardened logging road that was open to vehicular traffic until quite recently in history, it can definitely withstand the impact of bikes much better than most other Adirondack trails.

It's also important to note that the trail currently is open to bike use, as it forms the border between a Wilderness Area and a Wild Forest. So it's not like they are suddenly opening up a trail to bike use that has been closed to bikes already. While it is true that the trail receives little use by bikers, it also receives little use by hikers too. The only time you are ever likely to encounter another human being on this trail is during hunting season in the fall.

It does bother me that they are using a trick with zoning to achieve this, however. I'd much rather see a system similar to what was done in the Catskills, with certain corridors in wilderness areas that are open to bike use. (Also, where was the ADK when that was done?)

PS: Post #1000!

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:19 AM   #3
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It does bother me that they are using a trick with zoning to achieve this, however. I'd much rather see a system similar to what was done in the Catskills, with certain corridors in wilderness areas that are open to bike use. (Also, where was the ADK when that was done?)

PS: Post #1000!
ADK actually supported those corridors. Yup, "Working for Wilderness".
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:53 PM   #4
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What D says is true. It gets liitle use and bikes have been on it for years.

ADK talks a lot, but does little. However, DEC & APA continue to chip away at Wilderness (fire towers, bike corridors, etc) and I wonder when they'll change something in an area that readers of this forum will really get pissed at.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:52 PM   #5
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What D says is true. It gets liitle use and bikes have been on it for years.

ADK talks a lot, but does little. However, DEC & APA continue to chip away at Wilderness (fire towers, bike corridors, etc) and I wonder when they'll change something in an area that readers of this forum will really get pissed at.
On what do you base that observation? ADK, over 20,000 members strong, is a major force in protecting the forests that many of us spend our time in for recreation. The organization also does plenty of trail work in addition to contributing funds to the DEC work crews to maintain and improve the trails that we all use in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and other regions in New York State.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:01 AM   #6
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On what do you base that observation? ADK, over 20,000 members strong, is a major force in protecting the forests that many of us spend our time in for recreation. The organization also does plenty of trail work in addition to contributing funds to the DEC work crews to maintain and improve the trails that we all use in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and other regions in New York State.
Excellent points. I think it's also worth mentioning too that (as I understand it) the DEC provides a lot of the funding for the ADK professional trail crew as well.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:49 PM   #7
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i believe the state tends to borrow from the sportmans fund when needed . to boycott the license fee for even a year would have terrible effect on the fund. A rise in illegal hunting is just what groups like peta and others would like to see to discredit the hunters and fishermen and make them out to be the criminals they are not. Any time you take fish or wildlife with out a license you are adding to the problem . As folks step up on there soap boxes and scream for more law enforcement and tougher fines you add all sorts of costs into the mix .More costs than the budget can handle and losss of services in other areas to offset the costs. Chain gang labor is a great way to cut costs for up keep and repair. Watkins glen state park has used local correctional labor many inmates are just a few month from release and considered low flight risk . They have re constructed hundreds of feet of stone wall and bulk heads from the c c c era and played a great role in the historic conservation of areas in the park . there are many ways to lessen the burden in ny and the adks . we foot the bill as tax payers for inmates 30 - 40 thousand a year in some cases per inmate. It would seem right they should be paying for the three hot meals and the bed they are sleeping in to, just like the rest of us . County inmates should do county work and state inmates should do state work . Imagine each inmate picks up 5# of trash a week .Do the math , better forget the math and picture the road sides and trails almost clear of daily litter. The cry for volunteer labor would be less and the improvements great. No problems just solutions the state needs to think out of the box. do what you want with my license fee but dont take it and tell me mid season you are reducing services or access to areas because they have not spent wise. Many in state positions keep there mouths shut afraid that he who makes trouble within there own house shall inherit the wind . Blow the whistle loose your job . Please dont badger me for the quote but i think it sums up how many below management see there positions in the state employment sector. Cut all state raises for five years stop rewarding people for poor leadership and start making the general employed state workers police the command . If they all want to be rewarded they have to stop the Bull and take responsibility . The state loves to mask there intentions with re classification weather it is in the adks or the beaches on LI. all areas are effected. Its sad but the state is run by alot of crooked crooks thinking only of what they get when there service is thru.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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The last time I camped at Sundown Wild Forest primitive campsites (Catskills) a crew from a prison came through in the morning and picked up trash, cleaned out fire rings, etc.
What a great idea. I'll bet they actually enjoyed being out; the weather was beautiful.
Are the prison systems involved in maintenance in the Adirondacks?
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:18 PM   #9
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I don't have a problem with bikes using this trail either as long as the trail continues to be classified as Wild Forest. Irregardless of how they juggle it.

My fear would be that if an area is classified as Wilderness and then you make an exception for some activity normally not allowed, you then set a precedent.

As far as the DEC or APA is concerned, whatever they do thay always get someone upset. I doubt if they will ever do anything that upsets EVERYONE because usually one group or another benefits from the changes.

As for the ADK. I dropped my membership a long time ago because I found their priorities to be heavily weighted to the High P3eaks wilderness and peak baggers in general. I think their membership may have suffered in recent years because of their priorities and as a result that are getting more involved in other areas like the NPT, etc. I don't know if they still oppose saving the Duck Hole Dam. That turned a lot of people off to them.

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Old 11-16-2010, 05:59 PM   #10
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Allowing bikes on a trail like this appears to make sense, because the decision is based on a real understanding of the nature of the trail, not on artificial designations. There are lots of trails like this in wilderness, just as there are lots of trails in wild forest where bikes are probably not appropriate, even though they are allowed. It's good to see a decision being made based on a real understanding of the resource.

(ADK is getting rapidly left behind. They admited in an editorial in their magazine a few years ago that most of their money comes from the city, and they were shifting their priorities based on that. So their priorities are driven by either peakbaggers, or by folks who never set foot in the woods. I'm still a member becasue I enjoy reading the local club newsletter, and we occasionally lead hikes. But as an organization, they ome down on the "wrong" side of most issues. I do applaud them for their work on the Marcellus Shale issue, however.)
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
As for the ADK. I dropped my membership a long time ago because I found their priorities to be heavily weighted to the High P3eaks wilderness and peak baggers in general. I think their membership may have suffered in recent years because of their priorities and as a result that are getting more involved in other areas like the NPT, etc. I don't know if they still oppose saving the Duck Hole Dam. That turned a lot of people off to them.

Hawk
ADK has always been involved with the NPT, because they completed it in 1923, their second year of existance. The 90-year anniversary is approaching and you can expect some major trail work there, and there is a new NPT website on line now. Some ADK trail crews work under the direction of the DEC, and the emphasis there has not been focused on the high peaks to the extent that more work up there is still needed. Regarding your comment - naturally, if most of the use is on trails in the high peaks, most of the needed trail work will also be on those same trails. I have heard no recent discussion about the dam at Duck Hole, but if that area ended up looking more like Flowed Land, would that be so bad? NYS has been diverting money from the EPF for at least 9 years now, and there is little there to rebuild a dam.
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Last edited by ALGonquin Bob; 11-25-2010 at 10:39 AM.. Reason: correction of dates 1923, 90-year anniv., etc.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:21 AM   #12
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and the emphasis there has not been focused on the high peaks to the extent that more work up there is still needed
The ADK professional crew worked almost (if not completely) exclusively in the High Peaks this summer- although that was due more to lack of funding for transportation elsewhere, than due to a need for work.

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I have heard no recent discussion about the dam at Duck Hole, but if that area ended up looking more like Flowed Land, would that be so bad? NYS has been diverting money from the EPF for at least 9 years now, and there is little there to rebuild a dam.
While I support the restoration of the dam at Duck Hole, I think that (regardless of whether or not funds available through the EPF) EPF money is better spent elsewhere.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:14 PM   #13
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Another fine example of why I can't stand ADK (and PROTECT!), but support the Adirondack Council, which does a much better job of choosing its battles. If ADK wants to fight some spot zoning that compromises a Wilderness area, they should be working to close the road to Lake Lila.

Of course the solution to this particular issue would be to ban MOTORIZED transport in wilderness areas, rather than MECHANIZED transport, as was discussed in another thread.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:00 PM   #14
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I think "Protect" is also on its way out. Two rapidly shrinking groups merged into one rapidly shrinking group. RCPA committed suicide with its ridiculous stance on the Gore Mountain interconnect.

But back to biking - I hope to do some more in summer 2011 (my knee's not great, so biking may have to replace running to some extent). Moose River area looks very promising, with long, relatively level distances on relatively hardened trails. Good stuff.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:55 PM   #15
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Likely we wouldn't have the Whitney Preserve, Tahawus purchase, Domtar, Follensby, the Finch Pruyn land( when it goes thru) and thousands of other acres if it weren't for the behind the scenes work ADK has done with DEC and various governor's offices. ADK has testified before congress on behalf of clean air and clean water issues, and at the same time been a tireless advocate for paddlers and hikers.
While the ADK's 25 chapters have many outings, the main club has by necessity ramped up it's efforts in lobbying for land in the Adirondacks and Catskills - land your grandchildren will enjoy.
Totally with you Peakbagr.

It's so easy to crap all over whatever organization is sticking its neck out for we who prefer self-propelled recreation. Speaking for myself, I have been privy to many of the ADK's efforts on behalf of those of us who prize those clean open spaces. Net result: the ADK Mountain Club gets my check every year.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:04 PM   #16
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Likely we wouldn't have the Whitney Preserve, Tahawus purchase, Domtar, Follensby, the Finch Pruyn land( when it goes thru) and thousands of other acres if it weren't for the behind the scenes work ADK has done with DEC and various governor's offices. ADK has testified before congress on behalf of clean air and clean water issues, and at the same time been a tireless advocate for paddlers and hikers.
While the ADK's 25 chapters have many outings, the main club has by necessity ramped up it's efforts in lobbying for land in the Adirondacks and Catskills - land your grandchildren will enjoy.
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It's so easy to crap all over whatever organization is sticking its neck out for we who prefer self-propelled recreation. Speaking for myself, I have been privy to many of the ADK's efforts on behalf of those of us who prize those clean open spaces. Net result: the ADK Mountain Club gets my check every year.
All excellent points. Without organizations like the ADK, the RCPA, the Association for the Protection of the Adriondacks, etc., things might look a lot different in the Adirondacks than they would otherwise. We might have fewer places to play in the great outdoors.

However, just because we (the users of this forum who enjoy wild areas in the Adirondacks) owe these organizations a debt of gratitude, doesn't mean we need to agree with every action these organizations take, nor agree with every stance they take on important issues.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:13 PM   #17
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Well, I guess a few mountain bikes will not create any more damage than the decades of logging that created the road. I guess we should consider ourselves blessed that this property is no longer being logged and now ours.

I would feel sorry for the poor soul who injures themself on their bike back this far in the woods.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:30 AM   #18
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Likely we wouldn't have the Whitney Preserve, Tahawus purchase, Domtar, Follensby, the Finch Pruyn land( when it goes thru) and thousands of other acres if it weren't for the behind the scenes work ADK has done with DEC and various governor's offices. ADK has testified before congress on behalf of clean air and clean water issues, and at the same time been a tireless advocate for paddlers and hikers.
While the ADK's 25 chapters have many outings, the main club has by necessity ramped up it's efforts in lobbying for land in the Adirondacks and Catskills - land your grandchildren will enjoy.
I'm all for land acquisition, trail maintenance and the "working WITH" part.

What I've got a problem with is how these groups shrilly denounce every good faith decision of the APA or DEC that they have a slight disagreement with, saying that it is the first sign that the sky is falling... when it isn't.

To quote Curt Stiles in a piece from Adirondack Almanack "Our biggest challenge is not allowing differences to undermine the combined interests we share and distract from the very real urgencies facing the Park."

Their objections are often backed up by lawsuits against the APA or the DEC. The APA and the DEC need to balance demands from the full spectrum of interest groups, and do their best with their limited resources. Its a tough job and it really irritates me that these groups are ready to second guess and denounce every decision they disagree with.

ADK and PROTECT! are both in the midst of a lawsuit with the DEC and the APA over the classification of Lows Lake, because they feel the agencies haven't moved fast enough. It is a complete waste of scarce resources for all involved, which include the taxpayers of NYS. Note that PROTECT! recently laid off all of its paid staff, and we all know the DEC has been slashed.

In contrast, time and again, the Adirondack Council consistently seems to take reasonable, common sense positions, wisely picking its battles. I can be confident that they aren't going to get into a fight "just because" and my donations, and my taxpayer dollars aren't going to be squandered on a fight over a relatively inconsequential issue.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:14 AM   #19
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Of course the solution to this particular issue would be to ban MOTORIZED transport in wilderness areas, rather than MECHANIZED transport, as was discussed in another thread.
Land used regulations in NY actually do differentiate between bicycles and motorized transport.

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1. Bicycle shall mean a vehicle with two or more wheels, a steering handle, a saddle seat, or seats and pedals by which it is propelled.

8. Motor vehicle shall mean a device for transporting personnel, supplies or material incorporating a motor or an engine of any type for propulsion, and with wheels, tracks, skids, skis, air cushion or other contrivance for traveling on or adjacent to land, water or ice. It shall include such vehicles as automobiles, trucks, jeeps, all-terrain vehicles, duffel carriers, snowcats, bulldozers and other earth-moving equipment, but shall not include snowmobiles.
I think it's the federal wilderness system that doesn't make that differentiation.

As for the ADK: Again, they've done a lot of great things when it comes to advocating for environmental protection and preservation of our wild areas. I think it's also worth remembering that all the ADK has done here so far is objected to the proposed plan in a written letter. None of us really know that the ADK is planning on putting forth time, money, and effort to fight the plan.

I find it interesting, however, that the ADK is against zoning this trail as Wild Forest to facilitate access, and they state (from the article):

Quote:
Spot zoning is tantamount to allowing a prohibited use in a Wilderness Area.
Yet apparently spot zoning is ok when it comes to fire towers? Here is the ADK's formal position on the Wakely Mountain Fire Tower, which is currently in a primitive area:

Quote:
ADK has formerly and will repeat its preference for a cleaner solution, transferring the tower and cabin with associated acreage to the adjacent Moose River Plains Wild Forest, with the balance of the primitive-zoned acreage incorporated into the Blue Ridge Wilderness.
I wonder- does the ADK ever poll it's member base before choosing a stance on issues like this? (Serious question) Sometimes I get the sense that opinions expressed by the ADK might not accurately reflect the views of the members of the organization as a whole.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:19 AM   #20
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I have to admit I have no idea whether the ADK is essentially a High Peaks/Urban type organization or not.

However, I do know they have taken the US govt. to court regarding the Clean Air Act, with the result of reducing Mercury poisoning within the Blue Line. I would think that fishermen, duckhunters, birders and paddlers can all appreciate the results of that.

Here's an example.

Someone mentioned closing the road to Lake Lila. Now that would cause a stir! I can just imagine the thread we'd have here.
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