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August 26, 2013

APA looks to classify new state lands

(Continued)

All but two options form a Wilderness around the Hudson River Corridor. 

According to APA’s maps, classifications could partition each parcel, isolating the more sensitive land areas from lands crisscrossed by existing logging/camp roads, gravel pits or structures protected by permanent deeded rights for town, public and private use.

Maps of the four parcels offer a complex picture of how each classification might juxtapose another against the surrounding mix of state and private lands within town boundaries.

They look something like giant puzzles, but once assembled, they would depict long-reaching land-use strategy.

DEC STRATEGY

DEC has also developed a conceptual map of recreation and access strategy.

The DEC map identifies a Wilderness boundary pertinent to ingress and egress, with the northern two-thirds of Essex Chain Lakes and Indian River tracts set as Wild Forest areas.

DEC suggests access points on the northern side of each tract for different types of recreation, including handicapped-accessible areas, swimming, biking and snowmobiling. And its map marks several sites for visitor parking.

In DEC’s concept, OK Slip Tract is classified entirely Wilderness, except for a parcel of private land inside the boundary. That private property has been owned by Northern Frontier Camp, a Christian summer camp for boys, since 1946.

The southern third of the Indian River Tract is isolated as Wilderness in DEC’s concept, conjoining OK Slip as part of a larger Hudson Gorge Wilderness.

Most of the APA and DEC plans would establish a Hudson Gorge Wilderness region, requiring reclassification of easterly state land units.

The Hudson Gorge tract is currently a Primitive Area.

EASEMENTS

APA’s analysis of the scientific data and ecologically sensitive areas will govern, to large extent, what course DEC and the towns could chart in managing recreational use on the state lands.

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