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For Release: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DEC Extends Public Comment Period For The Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Unit Management Plan And Draft Community Connector Multiple Use Trail Plan

Public Comments Will Be Accepted Through July 25

The public will have an additional seven days to comment on the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Unit Management Plan (Draft Essex Chain UMP) and Draft Community Connector Multiple Use Trail Plan (Draft Trail Plan UMP) the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC extended the comment period until July 25 in response to stakeholders seeking additional time to review the plan and provide comment.

The Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex includes the 6,956-acre Essex Chain Primitive Area, the 2,788-acre Pine Lake Primitive Area and a portion of the 42,537-acre Blue Mountain Wild Forest. The complex of lands is located in the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County, and towns of Newcomb and Minerva in Essex County.

The Draft Essex Chain UMP proposes to:

  • allow mountain bike use on select roads within the complex that are used by lessees;
  • allow seasonal motorized access to the Chain Lakes Road South and Camp Six Road for big game hunting;
  • construct public parking near Fourth and Fifth Lakes, including parking for persons with disabilities;
  • designate canoe carries; and
  • construct a bridge over the Cedar River for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and equestrian use.

A portion of the 85,058-acre Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest, located in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb in Essex County, is the focus of the Draft Trail Plan UMP. The Draft Trail Plan UMP also serves as an amendment to the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest UMP, the Camp Santanoni Historic Area UMP, and the Lake Harris Public Campground UMP.

The Draft Trail Plan UMP proposes locations for multiple-use trails between the communities of Newcomb, Minerva and North Hudson, as well as connecting to the recently acquired state lands in the vicinity of the Hudson River. The Draft Trail Plan UMP also proposes the construction of a bridge over Palmer Pond outlet and the designation of campsites in the vicinity of Great Camp Santanoni and the Hudson River near Northwoods Club Road.

Both the Draft Essex Chain UMP and the Draft Trail Plan UMP also serve as the Draft Environmental Impact Statements for the proposed actions in compliance to the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

The Draft Essex Chain UMP is available for viewing and downloading on DEC's website. Comments on the Draft Essex Chain UMP and Draft Trail Plan UMP may be sent to Josh Clague at NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4254 or e-mailed to adirondackpark@dec.ny.gov.

The Draft Trail Plan UMP is available for viewing and downloading on the DEC website. Comments should include the full name of the Draft Essex Chain UMP and the Draft Trail Plan UMP in the subject line.

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