Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > Paddling in the Adirondacks
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-03-2008, 09:56 PM   #1
Woodspirit
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 109
Environmentalists Sue State Over Illegal Floatplane Use on Lows Lake

For Immediate Release: Contact:
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 David Gibson, (518) 377-1452
Michael Washburn, (518) 891-1002 ext. 16
Roger Downs, (518) 426-9144
Paul Ertelt, (518) 449-3870

Environmentalists Sue State Over Illegal Floatplane Use on Lows Lake

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, the Sierra Club and the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Albany on May 29. The suit asks the court to compel the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ban floatplanes on Lows Lake in the Adirondack Park.
The lawsuit was filed because DEC has failed to abide by legal commitments it made in 2003 to eliminate floatplanes on the wilderness lake. In January of that year, the DEC commissioner signed a unit management plan (UMP) for the area that committed DEC to phasing out floatplane use of Lows Lake over five years. The five-year window expired at the end of January, but DEC has not promulgated regulations to ban floatplanes. According to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, which is part of the state Executive Law, “preservation of the wild character of this canoe route without motorboat or airplane usage … is the primary management goal for this primitive area.”
“Lows Lake is a true wilderness within the ‘forever wild’ Forest Preserve,” said David H. Gibson, executive director of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks. “Eighty-five percent of its shoreline is bounded by designated wilderness. It is the true eastern border of the Five Ponds Wilderness Area. The public expects DEC to manage wilderness according to well established principles and legal guidelines, among which is the key provision that there shall be no public motorized use.”
“We take this action reluctantly and only after extensive discussions with DEC at the highest levels,” said Roger F. Downs, conservation associate of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “From the moment these lands and waters were acquired for the public in 1985, the state's verbal and written intent was to treat this body of water as wilderness and to close Lows Lake to all public motorized use. Finally, in 2003, DEC committed in the UMP to doing just that over the ensuing five years, providing floatplane operators with a long time to adjust their business plans. Five years constitutes a very generous and lengthy public notice. We act today because DEC has failed to follow through on a very public commitment advertised far in advance and involving extensive public involvement and debate.”


At 3,122 acres, Lows Lake, which straddles the St. Lawrence-Hamilton county line, is one of the larger lakes in the Adirondack Park. The lake stretches about 10 miles east to west and is the centerpiece of a roughly 20-milelong wilderness canoe route. Floatplanes were rare on Lows Lake until recently. Sometime before 1990, non-native bass were illegally introduced into the lake, and as public awareness of the bass fishery grew, floatplanes and motorboat use increased. Motorboats, except those for personal use by the few private landowners on the lake, are now prohibited on Lows Lake.

A recent analysis by the Residents’ Committee shows that only 10 of the 100 largest lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks are “motorless,” and three of these are in remote areas that are not easily accessible. The vast majority of lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks are overrun with floatplanes, motorboats and personal watercraft.

“Motorboats have already been prohibited on Lows Lake, making this decision by DEC inconsistent as well as illegal,” said Michael P. Washburn, executive director of the Residents’ Committee. “The park should be the place where people know they can find wilderness. That will only happen if New York state follows its own laws.”

DEC’s proposed permit system would limit flights into the lake and allow DEC to designate specific areas for take offs and landings, but the plan creates a number of problems. For one thing, floatplane operators would be allowed to store canoes for use by their clients on Forest Preserve land designated as wilderness, an inappropriate and unconstitutional commercial use of public land. Floatplanes would also have to beach on the wilderness shore to drop off and pick up clients at the canoe storage sites.

During the peak paddling season, July through September, floatplanes would be prohibited from landing on and taking off from Lows Lake on Fridays and Saturdays and on Sundays before 2 p.m. This would increase pressure on the area because visitors coming in by floatplane would have to camp for at least three nights on weekends during the busy season. Floatplane customers would also be coming in on Thursday, allowing them to quickly fill up camping sites before weekend paddlers have a chance to get there.

DEC attempts to justify the proposal by manipulating the results of a survey of paddlers who visited Lows Lake in 2007. Generally, the survey results do not support continued use of floatplanes on Lows Lake. For example, 68 percent of the paddlers surveyed said they believe it is inappropriate for floatplanes to use the lake and 85 percent said floatplanes diminished their wilderness experience. These figures are consistent with the hundreds of letters the state received in 2002 supporting a floatplane ban.

“Lows Lake provides a rare wilderness paddling experience, but that experience is greatly diminished by the intrusion of floatplanes,” said Neil F. Woodworth, executive director of ADK. “It’s frustrating, after a hard day canoeing or kayaking, to discover that your favorite campsite has already been grabbed by someone who can afford to hire a plane.”

The suit is returnable on July 11 in Albany. Attorney John W. Caffry of Caffry & Flower of Glens Falls is representing the coalition in the case.
__________________
Woodspirit
Woodspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 01:02 AM   #2
LifeOutside
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hastings, NY
Posts: 185
Ironically, I just had read the UMP on this and the amendment 2008 regarding surveys. It seems the DEC agrees but the problem is parts of the lake are still privately owned and are most likely pressuring to not declare the entire lake as Wilderness as the result. Most of the time unless there isn't a public presense or 'structures' it isn't classified as wilderness. I agree as a result, it is sort of defeating the purpose, one side or the otherside of a river is vaguely different than an enclosed portion body of water.
I recall several disputes even over canoe routes threw the waterway to there as private land on either side, even though a right of way exists by law. I guess it depends on where the definition of the Bog River ends/starts with the northern shoreline..
Regardless of the DEC statements and agreements, I don't think the lake itself can be declared wilderness as parts of the shoreline is privately owned and would prohibit a right of way and denying their own property rights in a way. It would be a situation similar to Cat Mountain in this regards..
__________________
Tech by Day. Nature by Night.
LifeOutside is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 07:12 AM   #3
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeOutside View Post
Ironically, I just had read the UMP on this and the amendment 2008 regarding surveys. It seems the DEC agrees but the problem is parts of the lake are still privately owned and are most likely pressuring to not declare the entire lake as Wilderness as the result.
There are only two parcels of land in private holdings on Lows. The Boy Scouts, who maintain a motorboat for emergency use only (along with a DEC Ranger), and the Parker camp, which is the only prominently visible structure on the entire lake. The Boy Scouts have no interest in float planes or recreational motorboating. Mr Parker has made his anti-wilderness designation argument well known at public hearings and elsewhere, and he also happens to be the Hamilton County Sheriff. Go figure.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 08:24 AM   #4
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspirit View Post
For one thing, floatplane operators would be allowed to store canoes for use by their clients on Forest Preserve land designated as wilderness, an inappropriate and unconstitutional commercial use of public land. Floatplanes would also have to beach on the wilderness shore to drop off and pick up clients at the canoe storage sites.
They store boats there now long term. A couple years ago I witnessed a plane pull up 200 feet from the campsite where I had just dropped my pack. The pilot discharged two men with gear where two boats were stashed. I know they saw me, but never asked if the site was occupied before the pilot just left them and took off. Luckily I had not intended to stay there. When I later asked the ranger about the boats I was told that the DEC essentially looks the other way in this case.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

Last edited by Wldrns; 06-04-2008 at 08:44 AM..
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 09:36 AM   #5
timetohike
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I don’t have any problem with NYS voters deciding to exclude motorized craft, be it a boat or a plane, from a lake. The UMP and the APA Master Plan are, albeit indirectly, land use regulation by NYS voters because we have the power, through the ballot box, to increase or decrease their provisions. The plaintiffs may be right in this action in so far as the controling land use regulation appears to prohibit the activity they are complaing about.

But they go a bit too far in their arguments beyond those premised on the master plan and UMP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspirit View Post
For one thing, floatplane operators would be allowed to store canoes for use by their clients on Forest Preserve land designated as wilderness, an inappropriate and unconstitutional commercial use of public land. Floatplanes would also have to beach on the wilderness shore to drop off and pick up clients at the canoe storage sites.
The so-called “Forever Wild” clause does not prohibit commercial use of the Park. Its focus is on the trees in the Park. It prohibits the cutting of trees for any purpose other than for purposes associated with public recreational use and preservation of the forest. But it does not prevent commercial guides, commercial photographers, or any other person engaged in commerce from using the forest lands for commercial purposes. It would, however, prohibit the cutting of trees to build a private boat storage facility.

One could argue that allowing a commercial float plan business to store canoes on forest land is an impermissible de facto transfer of that portion of the forest to the commercial interest. But if all members of the public were allowed to do so than it would be no different than a parking lot on state forest land where members of the public, including those engaged in commercial activities, can store their cars while hiking or canoeing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspirit View Post
“Lows Lake provides a rare wilderness paddling experience, but that experience is greatly diminished by the intrusion of floatplanes,” said Neil F. Woodworth, executive director of ADK. “It’s frustrating, after a hard day canoeing or kayaking, to discover that your favorite campsite has already been grabbed by someone who can afford to hire a plane.”
Mr. Woodworth has to do better than this. By that logic people who live closer to the high peaks wilderness area should be prohibited from starting an overnight hike until Saturday morning on major holiday weekends to give those of us who live a day’s drive from the Park and opportunity to get a good campsite at Marcy Dam. It’s frustrating to drive all day to get to the Park and then find that your favorite lean-to has been occupied by someone who lives close by.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 10:22 AM   #6
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by timetohike View Post
The so-called “Forever Wild” clause does not prohibit commercial use of the Park. Its focus is on the trees in the Park. It prohibits the cutting of trees for any purpose other than for purposes associated with public recreational use and preservation of the forest. But it does not prevent commercial guides, commercial photographers, or any other person engaged in commerce from using the forest lands for commercial purposes.
You can't store unattended personal equipment on public lands. From the regulation covering use of state lands, Part 190.4.:

a. Temporary camping in one location for four nights or more is prohibited except under permit. Except during the big game hunting season, no temporary camping permit will be issued to any person for a period in excess of 14 consecutive nights. No temporary camping permit may be renewed, or a new permit issued, to the same person for the same location in the same calendar year.

b. Temporary camping is restricted in certain posted areas and no person may camp on such areas without a permit.

c. Upon termination of camping all equipment and supplies must be removed from State land. The storage of personal property on State lands is prohibited.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 11:09 AM   #7
timetohike
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
You can't store unattended personal equipment on public lands. From the regulation covering use of state lands, Part 190.4.:

c. Upon termination of camping all equipment and supplies must be removed from State land. The storage of personal property on State lands is prohibited.
Yes, that reg would prohibit the storage of canoes on state forest land except for the permissable 4 day camping period. That alone should be enough for the DEC to prohibit the activity.

But it is a regulation not the "forever wild" clause that prohibts that activity. When the legislature gave the DEC power to regulate use of the state forest lands, it gave them the power to adopt that regulation even without the "forever wild" clause. And you are right, it should be enforced or a proposed exception posted for public comment in accordance with the SAPA. the DEC should not take it upon itself to "look the other way" as a matter of course.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 12:18 PM   #8
Bill I.
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,587
Quote:
Originally Posted by timetohike View Post
The so-called “Forever Wild” clause does not prohibit commercial use of the Park. Its focus is on the trees in the Park.
Then you haven't read Article XIV:

"The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed."

A commercial venture claiming exclusive occupancy of any portion of the Forest Preserve is unconstitutional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timetohike View Post
By that logic people who live closer to the high peaks wilderness area should be prohibited from starting an overnight hike until Saturday morning on major holiday weekends to give those of us who live a day’s drive from the Park and opportunity to get a good campsite at Marcy Dam. It’s frustrating to drive all day to get to the Park and then find that your favorite lean-to has been occupied by someone who lives close by.
Your logic, such as it is, only applies if those of us who live nearby were being flown in to Lake Colden.
Bill I. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 01:17 PM   #9
timetohike
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
[QUOTE=wildriver;98919]Then you haven't read Article XIV:

"The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed."

The use of a lake by float planes and the use of any portion of the forest preserve by a commercial operation is not an exclusive use. You would be correct if the float plane operators had exclusive use of the lake or exclusive use of an area around the lake. But the "forever wild" provision does not prohibit commercial use of the forest preserve per se.

As I understand it, anyone can use the lake to land a float plane whether for their personal use or commercial use. That is the same as commercial guides use the forest preserve to make money guiding people through it. Vehicles for hire that make money taking people and parking on the forest preserve parking lots. An equestrian business that rents horses for use on the trails.

When people overstate the reach of the "forever wild" clause they are in effect diluting it because it is being stretched beyond its limited purpose. And overstating its reach gives a false sense of security. We can't depend on the "forever wild" clause by itself to protect against public or commercial use of the forest preserve. To get that added protection we need to look to additional laws and regulations.

It appears that there is already a regulation that prevents storage of canoes in the forest preserve. And if the plaintiffs are correct in the assertion about the APA Master Plan and the UMP then float plane use should have come to an end this year. But those are entirely different from the "forever wild" clause, which, by itself, would not prohibit the use of float planes on the lake.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 03:12 PM   #10
Bill I.
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,587
Go back and read the original quote to which you were reacting. The issue that's unconstitutional is the long-term storage of commercial equipment (i.e. the canoes that the outfitters are loaning out to their clients) on state land.

In essence, DEC is telling the pilots, "This little spot on the shoreline is your storage area." Because DEC does not have the authority to grant such permission, they are being sued.
Bill I. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 03:25 PM   #11
Woodspirit
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 109
Maybe DEC's own regulation might add to understanding

§190.8 General
a. The use of State forest preserve land or any improvements thereon for private revenue or commercial purposes is prohibited.
__________________
Woodspirit
Woodspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 05:04 PM   #12
timetohike
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildriver View Post
Go back and read the original quote to which you were reacting. The issue that's unconstitutional is the long-term storage of commercial equipment (i.e. the canoes that the outfitters are loaning out to their clients) on state land.

In essence, DEC is telling the pilots, "This little spot on the shoreline is your storage area." Because DEC does not have the authority to grant such permission, they are being sued.
I don't think there is any allegation or proof that DEC is limiting the storage of canoes to a particular group. The cases and AG opinions have consistently held that the state can allow people to make recreational use of the forest perserve, including cutting of timber for such uses. Thus, thye DEC could probably allow everyone to store a canoe during canoe season without violating the "forever whild" clause. It simply is not a consitutional issue unless the DEC allows a select group to the exclusion of the public to make such a use.

Now, if the storage of canoes caused a significant detriment to the timber, the "forever wild" clause might come into play, but even then, the courts have allowed the DEC to undertake and allow a "reasonable" amount of detriment to the forest to facilitate public recreational use.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 05:17 PM   #13
timetohike
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspirit View Post
Maybe DEC's own regulation might add to understanding

§190.8 General
a. The use of State forest preserve land or any improvements thereon for private revenue or commercial purposes is prohibited.
That pretty much puts and end to the tourist industry in the Park. But I don't think the DEC would apply it to rafting, hiking, and climbing guides or instructors, professional photographers, guide book writers, and all other sorts of people who enter upon the state forest for purposes of making money.

I'll bet the DEC will say that it prohibits operating a business on state forest land, as opposed to being on state forest land as part of a commercial venture.

The specific regs that apply to everyone and prohibit equipment storage (including summit canisters BTW) resolves the canoe storage issue - it is just a matter of getting the DEC to enforce it.

The APA Master Plan and the UMP seem to resolve the float plane issue (I'm going by the facts stated in the press release on this issue.) If true, then float plans were to be eliminated by this year.

So the plaintiffs should win their case on those two points. Well, let me backup for a minute. The canoe storage might be more difficult because it could be deemed an enforcement discretion matter, but the elimination of the planes from the lake eliminates the canoe storage issue connected with them.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 06:21 PM   #14
chairrock
Indian Mt.Club
 
chairrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,647
So will they leave the boats there for us to use? Or will they chop holes in them? I sure would like a canoe waithing for me to use at Grass Pond after hiking in from Cranberry!
Will they take all the boats out of all of the other trout ponds that no one knows about? ( but that everyone likes to use)(worm can opener you guys are)
__________________
Be careful, don't spread invasive species!!

When a dog runs at you,whistle for him.
Henry David Thoreau

CL50-#23
chairrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 07:31 PM   #15
Bill I.
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,587
Quote:
Originally Posted by chairrock View Post
So will they leave the boats there for us to use? Or will they chop holes in them? I sure would like a canoe waithing for me to use at Grass Pond after hiking in from Cranberry!
Will they take all the boats out of all of the other trout ponds that no one knows about? ( but that everyone likes to use)(worm can opener you guys are)
It's DEC that's opening the can of worms... besides, I own a pond boat now so what do I need of a cached boat?

As I understand it, DEC's proposal is to allow the outfitters to cache the canoes at or near Virgin Timber Landing. And as anyone who has ever been to Lows knows, if you can get to Virgin Timber Landing without a plane then you don't need to borrow a canoe.

For additional information on the proposal, DEC posted this on last week's Environmental Notice Bulletin:

Quote:
Positive Declaration
Franklin and Hamilton Counties - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Bog River Complex Draft Amendment/SEIS to the 2002 Unit Management Plan/EIS may have a significant adverse impact on the environment and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement must be prepared. The NYS DEC as lead agency, has prepared a Bog River Complex Draft Amendment/SEIS to the 2002 Unit Management Plan/EIS.

The Department proposes to amend the 2002 Bog River Unit Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (UMP/EIS) to allow for continued public float plane access to Lows Lake, in the Town of Colton, New York, for a limited period of time and subject to a mandatory permit system that will be established through regulation. Permit restrictions would be designed to minimize user conflicts and resource impacts by controlling the frequency, location of and timing of float plane access into Lows Lake. The Department proposes that the annual permit system be maintained for either (i) a period of ten years, or (ii) until such time as the State or any land conservation organization acquires through fee title, easement or other legally enforceable means the riparian rights for motorized access associated with the last major in-holding on Lows Lake (currently owned by the Hiawatha Council of Boy Scouts), whichever occurs first.

Possible adverse impacts are noise and visual impacts associated with continued float plane access to Lows Lake. Mitigation of these impacts will be achieved through permit conditions which will limit the location, frequency and timing of float plane access.

The Bog River Management Area is located in the Towns of Tupper Lake, Long Lake, Colton, and Piercefield, New York.

Contact: Peter Frank, NYS DEC, Division of Lands and Forests, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4254, Phone: (518) 473-9518, E-mail: lfadk@gw.dec.state.ny.us.
Bill I. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 07:38 PM   #16
Bill I.
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,587
From DEC's website. You can also download the actual plan.

Quote:
May 2008 Draft Amendment
The 2002 Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Bog River called for public float plane access to Lows Lake to be prohibited after a five year period due to user conflicts between float planes and paddlers and the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) goal that the wild character of the Lows Lake-Bog River-Oswegatchie wilderness canoe route be preserved.

In 2007, the Department began to reevaluate float plane access to Lows Lake and its potential impacts on paddlers. The Department worked with the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (CESF) to conduct a Lows Lake Primitive Area Visitor Study, the results of which indicated that user conflicts between paddlers and float planes are not as frequent or severe as previously assumed, and that most paddlers support less restrictive management measures than an immediate ban on float planes. With this new information, the Department evaluated instituting a mandatory permit system that would control the timing, frequency and location of float plane access.

Under the proposed permit system, the Department would require that operators of public float planes landing on Lows Lake, including commercial operators, obtain an annual permit from the Department. The permit would impose the following restrictions on float plane access:

  • During the entire flying season (May-November), the total number of trips into Lows Lake by all commercial float planes would be limited to 30 trips per calendar month (i.e., a ceiling on the maximum number of trips per month by all commercial operators combined);
  • During the period of May 1 through September 30 no float plane access will be allowed in Grass Pond;
  • During peak paddling season (July 1 through September 30), no more than 4 trips into Lows Lake would be allowed on any single day by all commercial operators combined;
  • During the entire flying season (May- November), the total number of trips into Lows Lake by all non-commercial (recreational) float planes would be limited to 5 trips per calendar month;
  • During the peak paddling season, no commercial or recreational float plane access would be allowed on Friday and Saturday ("no fly" days), and float planes would not be allowed to take off or land on the Lake before 2:00 PM on Sundays;
  • During peak paddling season, all commercial and recreational float planes would be required to land in a particular part of Lows Lake (e.g., landing permitted only in the western end of the lake from campsite 23 to Parkers Camp);
  • During peak paddling season, commercial float plane customers would be dropped off at a specified location on the Lake (not a designated campsite) from which they would paddle to a campsite, and would be picked up at the same location (i.e., no commercial float plane access to designated campsites allowed);
  • During peak paddling season, commercial float plane operators would be allowed to temporarily store canoes at the pick-up/drop-off location, provided that the canoes are not visible from the water or from any designated campsite (this will eliminate additional float plane trips for fly-in and fly-out of canoes);
  • During peak paddling season, flights for the sole purpose of equipment drops only would be prohibited;
  • During the off- peak season (May, June, October and November), no more than 6 trips by commercial and recreational float planes would be allowed on any single day; and
  • During all seasons, high speed taxiing would be prohibited except during take-off and landing.

This proposed permit system would remain in place for ten years, or until the last major in-holding on Lows Lake, currently owned by the Hiawatha Council of Boy Scouts, is purchased by the state or any land conservation organization, whichever comes first. As discussed in this proposed amendment, the proposed permit system will facilitate continued shared use of Lows Lake by paddlers and float plane operators pending its ultimate transformation to a wilderness canoe route.

To request a printed copy of the draft amendment, please contact the Department's Central Office at (518) 473-9518.

Public comments on the draft will be accepted until June 30, 2008.

Submit comments to:
Peter Frank, Forest Preserve Bureau Chief
NYSDEC
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4254
lfadk@gw.dec.state.ny.us
Bill I. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 07:54 PM   #17
Bill I.
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,587
From the DEC website quoted above:

Quote:
The Department worked with the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (CESF) to conduct a Lows Lake Primitive Area Visitor Study, the results of which indicated that user conflicts between paddlers and float planes are not as frequent or severe as previously assumed, and that most paddlers support less restrictive management measures than an immediate ban on float planes. With this new information, the Department evaluated instituting a mandatory permit system that would control the timing, frequency and location of float plane access.
From the press release quoted in the original post:

Quote:
DEC attempts to justify the proposal by manipulating the results of a survey of paddlers who visited Lows Lake in 2007. Generally, the survey results do not support continued use of floatplanes on Lows Lake. For example, 68 percent of the paddlers surveyed said they believe it is inappropriate for floatplanes to use the lake and 85 percent said floatplanes diminished their wilderness experience. These figures are consistent with the hundreds of letters the state received in 2002 supporting a floatplane ban.
The survey was mailed to paddlers that signed in at the Upper Dam register in 2007 (and who gave a usable mailing address). Among other things, they were asked which DEC management action they would support regarding float planes:
  1. No limits on float plane use (1.9% in favor)
  2. Voluntary guidelines for float planes (9.6% in favor)
  3. No limits now, but consider a permit system in the future (16.0% in favor)
  4. Mandatory permits now, and ban them in the future (34.0% in favor)
  5. Immediate phase out of plane access to Lows (38.5% in favor)

The problem is that the survey failed to mention that option 5 is already on the books. If this had been understood--that what is being proposed is a weakening of an existing management decision, not the enaction of a new one--then perhaps people would have responded differently.
Bill I. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 08:09 PM   #18
timetohike
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Who is the influential group driving thos amendment to the UMP? It seems like the matter was decided 5 years ago and now someone has convinved the DEC to give them an additional 10-year reprive. Are there that many float plan owners?

If it is the people being flown in, then couldn't they just have themselves and their equipment dropped from a helicopter instead?

Do the regs or laws prohibit people from being let down from a helicopter on the Forest Preserve?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 08:26 PM   #19
Woodspirit
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 109
There are two float plane operators whose ox is getting gored. The local governments are up in arms as a historical and traditional use of Lows Lake is threatened. It is pretty clear that DEC does not care too much that there are almost 20 million people in NY whose ox is getting gored by its proposal
__________________
Woodspirit
Woodspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 08:29 PM   #20
Bill I.
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,587
As for the wording of the regulation banning planes, I'm surprised you haven't read this page on DEC's site. The word "aircraft" is used, banning float planes, helicopters, hang gliders, and blimps, too, from the existing regs.
Bill I. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.