September 24, 2012

Cuomo and Cabinet visit Boreas Pond

NORTH HUDSON — There isn’t even a road-sign marking the distance from Elizabethtown south on Route 9 to North Hudson.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought heads of every state agency into the wilderness some 16 miles beyond this quiet town on Sunday.

They had traveled north from Albany together in a state bus.

Team Cuomo — as the governor tagged his Cabinet’s mission — spent the day exploring forests and inlets around Boreas Pond, the central water corridor of a 22,081-acre parcel slated for addition to the state Forest Preserve.

It is the largest — and will be the most expensive — of 10 tracts in the 69,000 purchase Cuomo announced in August.

Many agency directors wore jackets emblazoned with a seal: “Team Cuomo” and the text “Performance. Integrity. Pride. I work for the people.”

There were fishing poles ready when they arrived at the former Finch, Pruyn and Company lodge, a modern sort of log cabin built in 1995.

Canoes were stacked, hiking treks marked. And a bushwhack was planned to the Grandmother Tree – an old-growth white pine nearly 400 years old.

“These places haven’t been opened to the public in 150 years,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said in welcoming remarks.

“In five years, they will all be open. We want to make sure it’s accessible.”

The day-long adventure was part team-building, part publicity, part history. The day was chronicled by some dozen news reporters.

Cuomo said he wanted statewide leaders to understand the value of Adirondack resources.

“I wanted you to see it. I wanted you to see it personally. I also want to publicize it. From an (urban) point of view, there is a Northern New York,” the governor said.

“Teambuilding across departments,” he said, pulling from his experience with former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s staff, “made you more effective as a government.”

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