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Old 05-11-2006, 11:41 PM   #61
Wildernessphoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug
Hey, Gary,

I hiked in to Duck Hole yesterday from Upper Works. It really is a beautiful spot. While there, I ran into some NPT hikers that reported that a couple of weeks ago some DEC surveyors came in by helicopter and reported they were doing advance work for repairing the dam. Do you think this is the case?
Hi Doug!
I'm glad you finally made it in!

Larry Nashett informed me that The head of region 5, Regional Director Stuart Buchanan and Forest Ranger Kevin Burns hiked into Duck Hole to conduct an informal inspection in mid-November. On December 13, 2005, Regional Director Buchanan held an in-house meeting among Forest Rangers, Environmental Quality Engineers, Lands and Forests staff on what they are going to do.

They looked at these points for the future:
An updated dam safety inspection of the facility will be scheduled next summer.
- The Department will prepare a cost-benefit study of the dam.
- This study may be included in an amendment or update to the High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC) UMP.
- A public process will be undertaken (perhaps via UMP amendment/update) that would include an opportunity for public comment, and would be used to decide whether or not to replace, repair or de-water the dam.

These are excerpt from an email from Larry.

Larry Nashett has been very helpful in giving us any info we have asked for. I did a FOIL request, and got a pile of paper from the DEC with a 4 page cover letter with an outline of a plan for the future. Because the UMP makes provision for the replacement of the Duck Hole Dam, There are very few obsticals to getting this done. The biggest is money. We are hoping to help the DEC by following through with www.backcountryheritage.com .

Things are happening...
I'm encouraged!
We still need to keep the pressure on by writing letters to the people who control the purse strings. Unless the money is there, nothing will get done.
If they don't see the public desire to get this fixed, they won't allocate funds...So please keep writing!

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Old 05-12-2006, 12:22 PM   #62
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When Gary and I went into Duckhole last Sept. we ran into four men who also came in buy canoe, We talked to them and they new Gary from the forum, We asked them a couple of questions and come to find out they were engineers with a guide, Thet could tell you anything about the dam, he had all the figurs, Gary asked him his name and where he was from , They would not tell us except they were from the Albany area. They were there just one night.
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:16 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildernessphoto
We still need to keep the pressure on by writing letters to the people who control the purse strings. Unless the money is there, nothing will get done.
If they don't see the public desire to get this fixed, they won't allocate funds...So please keep writing!

This really can't be stressed enough. The letters you send are kept and read. The letters specifically written to the DEC are added to the Duck Hole file, so what we have to say could impact decisions (pro and con) regarding this dam's future.

The people to write are:

http://www.saveduckhole.com/#How
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:20 PM   #64
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I have been hiking in the Adirondacks since I was a child and my parents own a home on Lake Champlain, but now I only get up there for about one week a summer.

My question is this, has anyone tried to get federal money appropriated to repair the dam? I am a lobbyist in Washington, DC and would be happy to help out on the federal front as much as I can. The one thing I would mention is that the appropriations request would need to be made sooner rather than later. As it turns out, Congressman John Sweeney, who represents at least part of the Adoirondack Park, is on the House Appropriations Committee. Please let me know if I can help! Regards,
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:40 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by schnervel
I have been hiking in the Adirondacks since I was a child and my parents own a home on Lake Champlain, but now I only get up there for about one week a summer.

My question is this, has anyone tried to get federal money appropriated to repair the dam? I am a lobbyist in Washington, DC and would be happy to help out on the federal front as much as I can. The one thing I would mention is that the appropriations request would need to be made sooner rather than later. As it turns out, Congressman John Sweeney, who represents at least part of the Adoirondack Park, is on the House Appropriations Committee. Please let me know if I can help! Regards,
This is most definitely an avenue we will be exploring. Our main issue right now is becoming incorporated or becoming affiliated with an organization already incorporated. We have been told, point blank, that there is no way we will be considered for grants if we do not have some legal means of accountability. Unfortunately we're on the third referral to a new york state agency for incorporation, and there's nothing guaranteeing they'll incorporate us either. The problem is what type of not-for-profit we are, no one in new york's government seems to know for sure and we keep getting passed around. Now we're being told to incporate through the education department. It would have been easier to say we were 'for-profit' than not-for-profit, but we don't expect to have the revenue to support the burden such an incorporation would entail.

What we need at this moment in time is a lawyer to file the incorporation for us. Noo\ne of us can spring even small amounts towards the $500+ fees involved with paying someone to do this. It's bad timing financially for all involved.

Please email us through the backcountry heritage or save duck hole sites so we can get in touch with you once this mess is sorted out.

More info on the status of this cause coming soon.
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:17 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
This is most definitely an avenue we will be exploring. Our main issue right now is becoming incorporated or becoming affiliated with an organization already incorporated. We have been told, point blank, that there is no way we will be considered for grants if we do not have some legal means of accountability. Unfortunately we're on the third referral to a new york state agency for incorporation, and there's nothing guaranteeing they'll incorporate us either. The problem is what type of not-for-profit we are, no one in new york's government seems to know for sure and we keep getting passed around. Now we're being told to incporate through the education department. It would have been easier to say we were 'for-profit' than not-for-profit, but we don't expect to have the revenue to support the burden such an incorporation would entail.

What we need at this moment in time is a lawyer to file the incorporation for us. Noo\ne of us can spring even small amounts towards the $500+ fees involved with paying someone to do this. It's bad timing financially for all involved.

Please email us through the backcountry heritage or save duck hole sites so we can get in touch with you once this mess is sorted out.

More info on the status of this cause coming soon.
Actually, what I was thinking is that the Federal government could appropriate $1 million to the DEC for the purposes of "repair of the duck hole dam in the Adirondack Park." This way they couldn't use the money argument and you wouldn't have to incorporate. Believe me, $1 million is nothing to the federal govt.
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:33 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by schnervel
Actually, what I was thinking is that the Federal government could appropriate $1 million to the DEC for the purposes of "repair of the duck hole dam in the Adirondack Park." This way they couldn't use the money argument and you wouldn't have to incorporate. Believe me, $1 million is nothing to the federal govt.
That's great.

We still need to incorporate, this doesn't end with Duck Hole - that was just the impetus.

I got your PM, I'm at work now and a phone call is not possible due to my being a tech support rep. I'll try after 5.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:18 PM   #68
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Kevin, what’s the issue concerning incorporation. Perhaps I missed something. Send a completed Certificate of Incorporation, together with the statutory filing fee of $75, to the Department of State, Division of Corporations, 41 State Street, Albany, NY 12231. Here are the Instructions for filling out the Certificate of Incorporation.

You don’t need no stinkin’ lawyer.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:21 PM   #69
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Willie, we're VERY MUCH past all those steps.

Now we do need an attorney, because it wasn't as simple as that. I rarely give up, but after the third referral and more paperwork and more time from my life with no results I didn't feel I had any other choice. It's not intentional by the state, it's because we are so unique to what is the norm of orgnaizations out there.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:24 PM   #70
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Roger. Carry on.
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:55 PM   #71
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We got some more press this summer with Adirondack Life doing an article in there September/October issue. We also had a story written by Jacob Resneck in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
Here's the link:
http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise...articleID=4848

and the text:
Navigating the necessity of Duck Hole dam
By JACOB RESNECK, Enterprise Staff Writer

SARANAC LAKE — Nestled in the heart of the High Peaks Wilderness Area, a remote 61-acre artificial pond known as Duck Hole has become the object of a campaign waged by outdoor enthusiasts.

Duck Hole, maintains a group advocating for its preservation, is one of the most beautiful — and remote — hiking or canoeing destinations in the central Adirondacks. Created by two dams that haven’t been maintained for at least six decades, the group is now lobbying the state to step in and save the pond lest it be lost forever.

“The best way to go in is by canoe, and it’s spectacular,” said Bob Bates, one of the organizers of www.saveduckhole.com, an online campaign urging people to write letters to state officials. Like many Duck Hole advocates, Bates lives outside the Adirondacks but has been returning there with friends and families for the past several years.

Its history goes back to early logging when the dams were built by the Santa Clara Lumber Company in 1912. It’s a naturally low plane in which at least four tributaries run together, creating a shallow, placid body of water that’s only three feet deep in many places. In the mid-1930s, the dams were re-enforced by the Civilian Conservation Corps but haven’t had much attention since.

Old dams can be hazardous, and this one is no exception. According to reports from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, cursory inspections in 1995 revealed it has significantly deteriorated. The Adirondacks are littered with old dams, a vestige from the days of logging when bodies of water were created to hold logs felled for timber. One such dam, the Flowed Lands, was damaged by flooding in 1979 and was intentionally destroyed by the DEC rather than restored.

Advocates for Duck Hole are afraid their favorite spot could see the same fate.

“You have a whole ecosystem that is based on that dam now,” said Gary F. Dean, a wildlife photographer who lives near Syracuse and helped create the Duck Hole Web site. “It’s been there since the 1920s and creates a fish barrier and habitat for loons.”

So far, he added, DEC appears to be taking the matter seriously.

Under the High Peaks Wilderness Unit Management Plan — still a work in progress — conservation officials plan on surveying what lives in Duck Hole. This data would be part of a cost-benefit analysis required to justify investing money to repair the dams.

And it would be a lot of money; the DEC has put the price tag between $500,000 and $1 million to replace the two dams. That’s a lot of money, even for a state agency, so those who want to see Duck Hole saved say they’re making as much noise as they can.

So far, progress toward reaching a decision has been slow. The DEC had intended to complete a fish survey this summer as part of its cost-benefit analysis. An aircraft was reserved to use for a fish survey, but, unfortunately, wildfires in the southeastern part of the state tied up the helicopter and the project was postponed until next year.

A narrow basin, Duck Hole is rimmed by the Sawtooth, Seymour, Santanoni and MacNaughton mountains in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. Four trails: the Bradley Pond, Lake Placid-Northville, Henderson Lake and Ward Brook, all intersect at Duck Hole, though it’s a long slog getting there any way you go.

In DEC documents describing Duck Hole, the agency notes that its remoteness — about 7 miles from the nearest trailhead — is “one of its outstanding features.”

Guides familiar with the area said they agree.

“You’re finding that people like to get into these remote places because it’s more of a wilderness experience,” said Anne Fleck, co-owner of Raquette River Outfitters in Tupper Lake. “If the dam goes, obviously you’re not going to be able to paddle into Duck Hole, and this has been a waterway that people have used for a long time.”

Fishing guide Joe Hackett, who lives in Ray Brook, agreed that Duck Hole is an extraordinary place with excellent trout fishing. He said he spends about a week each summer with friends camping by its waters and makes a habit of cross-country skiing there during winter.

As a fisherman, Hackett said he’d be sorry to see the Duck Hole drain away and said the fishing in the Cold River could suffer.

“I think it would diminish the water levels in the Cold River itself and the river would probably develop some algae and probably warm it up too,” Hackett said.

According to DEC reports, without the dams, Duck Hole would revert to its former state: a smaller pond area with surrounding wetlands.

Peter Bauer, executive director of the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks, said he’d welcome restoring the wetland to its primal state. He pointed to the Flowed Lands as an example of an instance that created a wetland that he said is still attractive.

“For years it was this lake and now it’s returned,” Bauer said. “It’s actually quite stunning. You have this channel that runs through this huge wetland mat with stunning views.”

Another environmental group’s position is more nuanced. Preservation of the dams should at least be considered, said Dan Plumley of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, because of the scenic character.

“Duck Hole is a beautiful, wild area and certainly a most scenic water body, however unnatural,” Plumley said. “It is recognized as a special management area within the High Peaks Wilderness Area and as such ought to be safeguarded as much as possible for its wilderness conditions.”

If the dams are repaired, that should be done using traditional wooden and stone material, not poured concrete as was used to repair Marcy Dam last year in the eastern High Peaks, Plumley added.

“Marcy was restored with concrete and it’s really inconsistent with the wilderness characteristic of that area,” Plumley said, “and that’s something we would not want to see with Duck Hole.”

Last year, DEC spent $14,540 in labor and materials to keep Marcy Dam, a popular destination as it’s a short-hike from the Adirondack Loj Road.

“These were temporary repairs to patch a hole that had formed in the dam,” wrote DEC spokesman David Winchell in an e-mail. “An assessment of the costs for permanent repair of the dam has not yet been made.”

Dean said that fans of Duck Hole were dismayed that Marcy Dam was given priority over what they consider a much superior destination.

“Duck Hole has an ecosystem, that’s built on the lake,” he said. “Marcy Lake is pretty much a dead watering spot. It’s very shallow — there’s a lot of silt but no wildlife and no fish.”

Because it’s a relatively short hike, Marcy Dam probably won the popularity contest, Dean said, which is why he said he believes writing letters to the DEC is the only way to save Duck Hole.

Contact Jacob Resneck at 891-2600 ext. 24 or jresneck@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.
Section: Community Date Posted: 11/10/2006
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:22 PM   #72
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My Letter

Here is my letter to commissioner Sheehan. Just thought I'd share it.

DigitalNY (Ric)



Commissioner Sheehan,

This letter is written in regard to the "Duck Hole Dam" located outside Newcomb, NY. I am sure that this is not the first correspondence that you have received regarding this subject and I'm sure it will not be the last. I am writing you because I believe that I, as well as the others that have written you, have very valid concerns surrounding the current condition of the dam as well as the DEC's plans to let the dam naturally degrade and fail.

The first concern I have is for the dam and surrounding areas recreational value. Although the dam and surrounding area is not the number one recreational destination in the Adirondacks it is nonetheless an area of spectacular beauty. A beauty that should be protected.

My second concern is for the health and well-being of the residents of Newcomb and those present to enjoy the recreational value that would remain in the surrounding area. Release of the water held by the Duck Hole dam would result in the addition of hundreds of acres of swampland to the area and give mosquitoes a wide expanse in which to lay larvae. This would without doubt have an impact on the spread and controllability of West Nile Virus.

My third concern is for the current wildlife that inhabits the area and areas downstream. It is inhabited by Loons, Ospreys, Herons, Duck and other bird species and wildlife. By allowing the dam to fail you will be responsible for the destruction of this habitat that is in use by the very protected species your agency is tasked with preserving.

It should be noted that I believe regional supervisor's estimates of $500,000 to $1,000,000 for construction of a new dam to be a bit off if volunteers are used for labor and if the DEC seeks out the support of other organizations and conservation groups in order to source supplies. On the other hand, the longer you wait to take action and the longer this debate goes on the more it will cost. How much has been spent so far in the studies surrounding whether or not to rebuild it?

I hope that my pleas do not fall on deaf ears. There has been much discussion regarding this matter from both sides and it is quite obvious even to those not involved that this is a matter of long deliberation. It is my hope that the DEC will find the funds and manpower necessary to replace the dam and maintain the current splendid beauty that is Duck Hole.

Cordially,

XXXXXX



How much damage can 159 million gallons of water do? I suppose if we wait we'll find out.*


* This figure is based on it's 61 acre area with an average depth of 8 feet, which I feel to be conservative.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:50 AM   #73
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Thanks for the help in writing the letter. They are heard as we have later found out .

Just a quick update - Backcountry Heritage is not gone or forgotten, we're still working (now through a professional incorporation agency) to gain our not-for-profit designation. We're 4-6 weeks from this after a recent set-back due to needed revisions in our original wording.

In early may we have a trail clearing event (the beginning of the NPT to Rock Pond). This is being organized by a forum member in conjunction with BHA. When the time gets closer we will likely open this up to more people, but group size still needs to be kept below limits (which is 12 for that area I believe). Right now we have 5 or so committed, so there's room for more.

This summer is the target for the DEC to start having public discussion about the future of Duck Hole and the other dams in the park. They are not willing to exercise the power in the current regulations that allows them to decide on such things and are asking for public input on the matter (can certainly see/understand why considering the tax dollars involved). Hopefully by then BHA can start taking donations and working towards applying for federal/state historical grants and such to help offset the cost of rebuilding this and other structures throughout the park in desperate need of repair.

It's been a slow process but it is in process, so be patient with us as we muddle through the next few months.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:02 AM   #74
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Also, I just noticed on at least one of the DEC write-ups about Duck Hole that acidification is becoming an issue in Duck Hole. If the dam is to be rebuilt they will also want to consider the acidification and reversing it if it becomes a hindrance to lake flora and fish life. Liming the lake to bring the pH back up is one solution. It would be a shame to see duck hole acidify and not support the fish that some of the wildlife in the area depend upon and that we enjoy fishing for. I've never fished Duck Hole, but I am sure that some do.

The average cost to lime natural lakes (up to 5m in depth) is around $250 / Acre by helicopter or $50 / Acre by boat. That would put the cost of liming Duck Hole at around $15,250 by helicopter, $3,050 if done by boat.

This however may not be of significant benefit at Duck Hole however. A study would have to be done to see what effect the flow rate of the Duck Hole Dam and the replacement waters coming in would have on the pH and the ability to lime it. It may have to be performed upstream.

Anyway, I didn't really want to rain on anyones parade but if we're going to talk about preserving Duck Hole we have to look at all the issues.

My $0.02

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Old 03-11-2007, 02:55 PM   #75
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I been in touch with Trout unlimited about Duckhole trying to get them interested in what would happen if the dam went, It would ruin the brook trout fishery ,
Dec is clamping down on siltation, They slapped the farmer with a fine when his manure strage broke and went into thhe river, in New York Outdoor news Oct issue They did the same thing to a guy that let the water out of his dam and silted a river, My question is who is going to police Dec if this happens to duckhole and does this to the Coldriver?

Dec is on a big push to bring back brook trout this is why I hope people write trout unlimited and get them involved, Here is a email address of Ron Urban of Trout unlimited,

Ronsgonefishing@aol.com


Some of you trout fishermen on the forum Drop him a line and tell him about saveing this fishery.

Last edited by Cold River Bob; 03-11-2007 at 03:11 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:16 PM   #76
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CRB- What have you heard from TU on this? I could be wrong but doesn't usually TU work towards REMOVING dams and other unnatual obstructions?

If not, that's great...they would certainly be an asset to the effort.

I'd be willing to help pack in supplies for a reconstruction/liming effort.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:49 PM   #77
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Forever wild is forever wild. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

The state has been pounded on to increase restrictions for a long time. The dam is a man-made / non-conforming structure so why should the state spend lots of money fixing it? Especially when all the rules and restrictions in place regarding construction, tree-cutting, motorized equipment, etc., will make it 10 times more difficult than it otherwise might be.

I had hoped they would fix the Cedar Lakes dam too, but no such luck. Actually, now that the water level has been down for a while and some grass is growing and the muck has dried out somewhat, it doesn't look too bad and you can actually walk aroung the shoreline.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:56 PM   #78
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Quote:
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Forever wild is forever wild. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

The state has been pounded on to increase restrictions for a long time. The dam is a man-made / non-conforming structure so why should the state spend lots of money fixing it? Especially when all the rules and restrictions in place regarding construction, tree-cutting, motorized equipment, etc., will make it 10 times more difficult than it otherwise might be.

I had hoped they would fix the Cedar Lakes dam too, but no such luck. Actually, now that the water level has been down for a while and some grass is growing and the muck has dried out somewhat, it doesn't look too bad and you can actually walk aroung the shoreline.
Then why sink money into Marcy Dam?

The forever Wild is sometimes a cop out. Since it has already been altered and now supports fish and waterfowl then why alter things again.

However, Marcy Dam only supports a hiking population in a sense, much of which we could do without and be more "forever wild".
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:04 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete N View Post
Forever wild is forever wild. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

The state has been pounded on to increase restrictions for a long time. The dam is a man-made / non-conforming structure so why should the state spend lots of money fixing it? Especially when all the rules and restrictions in place regarding construction, tree-cutting, motorized equipment, etc., will make it 10 times more difficult than it otherwise might be.

I had hoped they would fix the Cedar Lakes dam too, but no such luck. Actually, now that the water level has been down for a while and some grass is growing and the muck has dried out somewhat, it doesn't look too bad and you can actually walk aroung the shoreline.
The Dams are conforming structures in a wilderness area...
http://www.adirondack-park.net/histo...tical/apa.html
http://www.adkforum.com/showpost.php...2&postcount=50
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:36 AM   #80
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I've heard it said that a draft horse team would be necessary to aid in the repair of the dam. For what its worth, Paul Smith's College owns about 4 draft horses, and is only about 30 miles to the north of the Coreys Trail Head. If an actual plan to repair the dam were to be developed, it's a resource that could definitely come in handy.
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