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For Release: Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DEC Issues Draft Unit Management Plans for Fire Tower Historic Areas

DEC accepts comments on Draft Unit Management Plans until November 15

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the draft unit management plans (UMPs) for the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area and the Saint Regis Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area, Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The UMPs contain management proposals for the fire observation towers located on the summit of Hurricane Mountain in the Town of Keene, Essex County, and the summit of Saint Regis Mountain in the Town of Santa Clara, Franklin County. If approved and implemented, the UMPs would result in increased tourism opportunities in Essex and Franklin counties.

"As Governor Cuomo continues his commitment to spur tourism, the release of these draft unit management plans is another step in ensuring these historically significant resources will be enjoyed for many generations to come," Commissioner Martens said. "Throughout the 20th century, fire towers played a critical role in the protection of New York State's natural resources, and resuming maintenance of these structures for educational purposes will attract travelers and provide the public a better appreciation of that legacy."

The Hurricane Mountain fire tower was discontinued for use as a fire observation station in 1979, and the Saint Regis Mountain fire tower was shut down in 1990. Both structures have been closed to the public ever since. The UMPs propose to restore the two fire towers to a condition that will accommodate full public access of the structures and include interpretive materials related to the towers' history.

UMPs for each unit of State land in the Adirondack Park are required by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, which was amended in 2010 to create the two new Historic Areas. Previously, the summit of Hurricane Mountain was part of the Hurricane Mountain Primitive (now Wilderness) Area, and the summit of Saint Regis Mountain was part of the Saint Regis Canoe Area.

The plans are available for public review at DEC headquarters in Albany (625 Broadway) and DEC Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook (1115 State Route 86). CDs of the plan will be available at these same locations, as well as the offices for the Town of Santa Clara in Franklin County and the Town of Keene in Essex County. View or download the the Hurricane Draft UMP or the Saint Regis Draft UMP.

DEC will accept comments on the draft UMPs today through November 15. Comments may be sent to Josh Clague, Natural Resources Planner, DEC, 625 Broadway - 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4254 or by e-mail.

  • Contact for this Page
  • David Winchell
    NYSDEC Region 5
    1115 State Route 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
    518-897-1200
    email us
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  • Page applies to Adirondacks region