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For Release: Thursday, June 30, 2016

DEC Announces Motor Vehicle Access to Forest Preserve and Easement Lands in the Northern Adirondacks

Beginning Friday, July 1, the public may once again use motor vehicles and bicycles on Madawaska Road to access the eastern portion of the Santa Clara Tract Easement and Forest Preserve lands in the Madawaska Flow-Quebec Brook Primitive Area, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

"Paddlers, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts who have anxiously awaited the reopening of the road can now once again access Madawaska Pond, Quebec Brook and the thousands of acres of surrounding forest preserve and conservation easement lands," said Commissioner Seggos. "We are pleased to open this access in time for the Fourth of July and Canada Day Holiday weekends which signal the start of the summer season."

Madawaska Road is located in the towns of Duane and Santa Clara in Franklin County. The road extends six miles from State Route 458 to a parking area and trailhead for a hand launch onto Madawaska Pond. Paddlers can paddle the picturesque 228-acre pond and more than two miles of Quebec Brook above the pond to the boundary between Forest Preserve lands and private lands.

Public use of the road ended in 2012 when the landowner of a strip of land along State Route 458, through which Madawaska Road passed, refused to allow any further public access. More recently, a client on behalf of The Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC purchased the land, which began negotiations for a right of way for public use on Madawaska Road. An agreement has been finalized allowing the road to be open for public access.

Madawaska Road is located on private lands which are actively managed for timber. Drivers should expect to encounter logging trucks, skidders and other logging equipment. Drive slowly while watching and listening for trucks and equipment. The road will continue to be closed to public motor vehicle traffic during the winter months, as it's a critical connection in the Franklin County snowmobile trail system. The road will reopen in the spring once the road has dried out from the mud season and any needed maintenance and repairs are completed.

Directions, maps, descriptions of all access and outdoor recreation facilities, and other information are available on the Santa Clara Tract Easement webpage at DEC's website.

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