Press-Republican

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November 19, 2012

Green group suggests new wilderness area

LAKE GEORGE — Protect the Adirondacks has called for creation of a new 39,000-acre Upper Hudson River Wilderness Area.

This area would be centered on 22 miles of the Upper Hudson River that stretches from the Town of Newcomb to North River. It would include more than 5 miles of the Cedar River and 4 miles of the Indian River, as well as dozens of lakes and ponds.

The new wilderness area would be created from roughly 19,000 acres of former Finch Paper lands to be purchased by the state of New York from the Nature Conservancy. As well, the state will buy 20,000 acres of existing Forest Preserve lands in the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area (17,000 acres) and in the Blue Mountain and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest Areas (3,000 acres).

FIVE-YEAR PLAN

Upon Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of that deal, the Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency began planning for the classification of the new lands.

DEC has stated that the 69,000 acres will be purchased over the next five years, with the 22,000-acre Essex Chain Lakes tract expected to be first.

“The creation of a new wilderness area that centers on 22 miles of the Hudson River would be a tremendous accomplishment for the state of New York,” Chuck Clusen, co-chair of Protect the Adirondacks, said in a news release.

“Wild country and wild rivers grow fewer each year, and a new wilderness area for the Upper Hudson would provide permanent protection for 22 miles of one of the greatest rivers in America.”

The proposed Wilderness Area would also include much of the new Essex Chain Lakes lands to be acquired by the state within the next few months.

Protect the Adirondacks “envisions a new wilderness area that protects the Essex Chain Lakes and Hudson River,” said Executive Director Peter Bauer.

More information is posted on the agency website: http://tinyurl.com/aj7ecc3.

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