TEMPLATE FOR CITIZEN COMMENT LETTERS
ON THE PROPOSED CLASSIFICATION OF FINCH LANDS &
THE NAMING OF A PAUL SCHAEFER WILD RIVERS WILDERNESS
Please use this letter as a suggested template. Please rephrase in your own words if possible, including your own sentiments about Wilderness classification, and complete and submit your letters, faxes or emails to the Adirondack Park Agency by the comment deadline - July 19, 2013. Thank you ! (Word Document can be downloaded here)
Address Your Letters to:
James E. Connolly, Deputy Director, Planning
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
1133 State Route 86
Ray Brook, New York 12977
Via Fax: (518) 891-3938
Via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: Classification of Newly Acquired Finch Lands
Dear Mr. Connolly:
As a resident of New York State, I am writing to express strong support for classifying the newly acquired Finch Pruyn lands as Wilderness according to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.
Wilderness classification for these lands and waters is important to me because only a Wilderness classification will truly prevent recreational overuse, and protect the sensitive Essex Chain of Lakes and other vulnerable areas from the negative impacts of motorized and mechanized human uses such as 4-wheel drive vehicles, motorboats, float planes, mountain bicycles, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles. Some of these uses could occur under a Wild Forest classification recommended by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.
Wilderness designation should be the primary classification designation for approximately 46,000 acres in total for these lands including new classifications and reclassified lands in the following areas:
- The Essex Chain Lakes
- The Indian River Tract
- The OK Slip Falls Tract
- The Open Space Conservancy Tract
- The Hudson Gorge Primitive Area
- The Blue Mountain Wild Forest (reclassification portion)
- The Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest (reclassification portion)
Together, these lands, lakes, ponds and rivers represent a range of sensitive ecosystems that include vulnerable wetland, bog, wildlife and fisheries habitats that could be seriously impaired by human over-use. These lands belong to all the people of the state. By law the Adirondack Park Agency must first classify these lands according to their characteristics, and ability to withstand human uses without being damaged or impaired.
A Wilderness classification would permit car and pick-up access to parking areas for a wide variety of recreational activities such as hiking, paddling, fishing, hunting, camping, bird-watching, cross-country skiing, rock and ice climbing, and mountaineering. Outdoor outfitting and guiding businesses in nearby towns would benefit. In addition, certain motorized and mechanized uses can occur at the perimeter of the new Wilderness and on adjacent lands. Also, the state has reserved floatplane use on two lakes at the edge of the Essex Chain, and snowmobile access can still occur within 500 feet of a Wilderness boundary. In short, a Wilderness classification would have significant ecological, natural, social, as well as economic benefits for local communities and the region as a whole.
I support a modified alternative 1B Wilderness classification for the above lands, totaling nearly 46,000 acres and providing sufficient wilderness lands to the north of the Essex Chain Lakes to insure their protection. Recreational paddlers should be able to drive no closer than one-half mile from the Essex Chain Lakes to prevent overuse of the sensitive shorelines, and loss of the trout for which these lakes are renowned. Roads that are not needed for recreational access, or which pose threats to natural resources should be closed and restored to natural conditions over time.
I support also protecting the wilderness character of the Upper Hudson and Cedar Rivers. The current steel bridge over the Upper Hudson River should be removed, and the number of rafts, canoes and kayaks should be carefully managed to optimize a wild river and wilderness experience.
Finally, I recommend that the entire area be renamed the “Paul Schaefer Wild Rivers Wilderness” in honor of Paul Schaefer and allies who during the 1960s prevented the Army Corps of Engineers from damming 14 miles of the Upper Hudson and flooding its shores and destroying its forests. Those actions more than forty years ago allow us all to contemplate adding to our great Wilderness resource today.
Thank you for your consideration.
Your Name and Full Mailing and Email Address
[Please CC or send Adirondack Wild your letter by sending copies to email@example.com and we will share copies with Governor Andrew Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens – Thank You!]