Upper Hudson Recreation Hub calls for Wild Forest Classification

Map of the Essex Chain featuring some of the roads and driving loops.

The Five Towns of Newcomb, Minerva, Indian Lake, Long Lake and North Hudson have joined together as the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub to facilitate and lobby for the only economically and environmentally viable classification for the newly acquired 69.000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn lands. The lands are being added to the Adirondack Forest Preserve, publicly owned lands within the Adirondack Park. Wild Forest is the only classification of these lands that will sustain and grow the economy of the Five-Towns of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub located in the central Adirondacks.

The Upper Hudson Recreation Hub calls on a promise made by Governor Andrew Cuomo that the purchase of these lands will increase the economic opportunities of the 5-Towns by promoting unparalleled, all-access, year-round, four-season recreational activities for residents and visitors.

Viable economic opportunities cannot be leveraged without motorized access for users to increase visitor traffic in and out of the lands. The 5-Towns propose motorized use on an already-established extensive network of logging roads including already established motorized, historical entries at Indian Lake and Newcomb. Vast recreational activities should be permitted including, but not limited to hiking, canoeing, camping, snowmobiling tracked grooming, hunting, skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding, dog-sledding, seaplane activity and ATV riding.

In addition to promoting the active use of the lands, the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub seeks to preserve and maintain the Outer Gooley Farmhouse, and the Boreas Pond Lodge, which are historical brick and mortar assets available for immediate use and occupancy. These buildings have untapped potential and will afford opportunities including, but not limited to: working space for recreation, training, education, visitor information, outpost for rangers and safety personnel, or as a public facility to stage events or as lodging.

The Upper Hudson Recreation Hub recognizes land classification must be equal and fair to all citizens. Local entrepreneurial business owners must be afforded an economic benefit and see an increase in visitor traffic in all five-communities. Recreational opportunities must be all-inclusive and diverse to compete on a global stage.

The Upper Hudson Recreation Hub seeks support from the public, property owners, residents, students and interested citizens of all ages to attend hearings and have their voices heard. The Upper Hudson Recreation Hub seeks the newly acquired property to benefit all residents and visitors of New York State and not just an elite few. The Upper Hudson Recreation Hub vehemently believes in order to achieve the greatest economic benefit there must be maximum use of those lands, including motorized use to provide easy, up close access to ponds, lakes, rivers, streams and trails by all citizens, including the elderly, handicapped, disabled and physically challenged.

The Upper Hudson Recreation Hub fervently stands by their position that there is no other suitable classification for these public lands other than Wild Forest.

The Upper Hudson Recreation Hub invites the public to attend the hearings and support their position.

Following is the full schedule:
June 12. APA offices, Ray Brook, 6 p.m.
June 17. Minerva Central School, Olmstedville, 1 p.m.
June 17. Newcomb Central School, 7 p.m.
June 19. Downtown Conference Center at Pace University, 157 William Street, 18th Floor, Manhattan, 6 p.m.
June 25. Indian Lake Central School, 6 p.m.
July 1. The Harley School, Rochester, 7 p.m.
July 2. DEC headquarters, Albany, 1 p.m.
July 2. Warren County Board of Supervisors Room, Lake George, 7 p.m.