Bog River Complex - Unit Management Plan
The Bog River Unit Management Plan (UMP) was completed in November 2002 and includes multiple parcels of Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement lands in the towns of Colton and Piercefield (St. Lawrence County), Long Lake (Hamilton County), and Tupper Lake (Franklin County).
This management unit is commonly referred to as the Bog River Complex as the area includes the: Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest, Hitchins Pond Primitive Area, Lows Lake Primitive Area, and Conifer Easement lands. The area begins the access to a wilderness canoe route leading from the Bog River above Lows lower dam into and across Lows Lake to the western shore in the Five Ponds Wilderness. The route is connected by a carry to the upper reaches of the Oswegatchie River. Many recreational opportunities exist at the Bog River Complex. Canoeing, hiking, hunting, fishing, bicycling, camping and snowmobiling are popular pastimes.
Bog River Complex Unit Management Plan - (2.56 MB pdf)
Lows Lake Amendment/FSEIS (June 2009)
In 2007, the Department commenced a re-evaluation of float plane access to Lows Lake and the potential impacts of such use on paddlers. As part of that re-evaluation, the Department contracted with the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (CESF) to conduct a Lows Lake Primitive Area Visitor Study. The Lows Lake Visitor Study was completed and a final report issued on April 8, 2008. The results of the study indicate user conflicts between paddlers and float planes are not as frequent or severe as previously assumed in the UMP, and that some paddlers support less restrictive management measures than an immediate ban on float planes.
In response to the Lows Lake Visitor Study, the Department evaluated the management alternative of controlling float plane access through a mandatory permit system. A Draft Amendment/DSEIS was submitted to the APA in January 2009 for consideration. The amendment proposed a revised timeline for phase out of commercial float plane access and, through regulation, imposing restrictions on landing and takeoff areas on Lows Lake, limiting flights per month, annually, and by time of day, specifying a drop off location and prohibiting high speed taxiing.
This Amendment/FSEIS provides that float plane access to Lows Lake would be allowed to continue until December 31, 2011 subject to restrictions set forth in an annual permit. The permit restrictions would be tailored to avoid or minimize potential conflicts between paddlers and other users who access Lows Lake by float plane.
Developed in consultation with APA staff, this Amendment/FSEIS includes a revised timeline for phase out of commercial float plane access and will, through regulation, require that commercial operators of float planes landing on Lows Lake obtain an annual permit from the Department.
The Department is committed to the exclusion of float planes from Lows Lake after December 31, 2011. Until that goal is achieved, the Lows Lake Visitors Study suggests that paddlers and float planes can continue to co-exist on the lake on a temporary basis as called for in this UMP amendment, particularly if potential user conflicts and resource impacts are further reduced through a mandatory permit system.