Moose River Plains Follow-Up
The following is a web version of the correspondence letter; a PDF version (45 kb) is also available to view.
September 16, 2010
Robert K. Davies
Director, Division of Lands and Forests
Albany, NY 12233-4800
RE: Moose River Plains Unit Management Plan
Dear Mr. Davies:
The letter will serve as a follow up to the original comment letter provided on August 24, 2010 by the Conservation Fund Advisory Board. Subsequent to that meeting Division of Lands and Forests staff contacted me and requested a meeting to present the long history associated with the Moose River Plains Unit Management Plan. That meeting occurred on August 31st at DEC Headquarters in Albany. In addition, Region 5 staff has provided me the details on the number of campsites located along a 5-mile section of road leading to Indian Lake in the Moose River Plains. Central office staff has also inquired into the use of this road by sportsmen during the year and have been informed that a significant number of people use this area.
Subsequent to that meeting I have been working on a reasonable compromise to closing the road that will still allow sportsmen and women the ability to recreate in this remote section of the Adirondacks. The Board passed a motion at their September 13th Board meeting offering a possible alternative to the closures proposed on the Indian Lake Road.
The Board is requesting that the proposed closure of Indian Lake Road be formally withdrawn from the draft Unit Management Plan. If vehicle access was provided to the Indian Lake gate as it has existed in the past the Board would support removing all of the campsites from the "T intersection" to the Indian Lake gate. In speaking with Tom Martin I believe there are 39 campsites from the T to Otter Brook Bridge and 13 campsites from Otter Brook Bridge to Indian Lake gate. These campsites would be relocated to the Intensive Use Corridor. In addition, since this is a dead-end road, snowmobile use from the T intersection to Indian Lake gate could be eliminated. The Board felt that a connector trail to Long Lake and beyond is much more important than a dead end trail on Indian Lake Road.
License-holding hunters and anglers would sacrifice their ability to camp along the Indian Lake Road, near their preferred activity destinations, provided they can access the remote area along the road by vehicle. In addition, if the majority of the campsites will be located in the proposed intensive use corridor then maintenance and patrolling of the Moose River Plains would be easier for DEC. The Board also requested that I reach out to the neighboring municipalities to explore the possibility of sharing in the responsibility of maintaining this road and keeping it open to vehicular traffic.
As was mentioned in previous correspondence, the Board believes that the proposed road closure will have a negative impact on sportsmen and women and will cause decreased revenues into the Conservation Fund. The Board also believes that the commitment made to the sportsmen by the Department during the acquisition of these properties should be adhered to.
Chairman, Conservation Fund Advisory Board