January 27, 2013

What's next for Former Finch Lands?


Currently, there is floatplane access to First and Pine Lakes and Martin says that will remain through an easement with the towns. As for further floatplane access Martin said, “We’re considering seasonal floatplane access to Third Lake. We think that the paddling community in June, July and August and most of September, most of those folks want a quiet experience. They want solitude and we can provide that. But I also think we can provide floatplane access in the spring for trout fishing and in the fall for hunting season.”

“One other thing we’re looking at here is some of this existing road network. We’re proposing keeping some of that open just in the fall, just for hunters, for roadside drive-up campsites; primitive campsites under permit,” Martin also added.

This purchase also opens up a stretch of the Hudson River between Newcomb and Indian Lake — creating numerous rafting and canoe opportunities which could be available this spring. DEC believes that the Newcomb Town Beach is a sensible starting point for such trips but would also like to provide access to the Hudson near what is known as the Iron Bridge as well as at a point above the confluence of the Indian and Hudson Rivers. Martin says this is paramount for safety reasons.

As for classification, should these ideas come to fruition, DEC foresees a unique situation where parts of the tract would be classified as Wilderness and others as Wild Forest. Obviously the areas around roads and launches would need to be Wild Forest with the interior being Wilderness. Farther south of the Essex Chain is the OK Slip Falls section which is currently surrounded by lands classified as Primitive, similar to Wilderness. Martin believes once these two chunks are combined they would all be classified as Wilderness.

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