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Letter: Protect Boreas Ponds for future generations

Protect Boreas Ponds for future generations

Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Adirondack Park Agency concluded a series of eight, statewide public hearings regarding the classification of the Boreas Ponds Tract in North Hudson. At those hearings, the public spoke overwhelmingly in favor of a wilderness classification to protect the area.

As the review of public comments begins, the governor and his agency must follow the science, and the letter and spirit of the law, when making the final classification decision for Boreas Ponds and the entire tract.

Some spoke at the public hearings about wanting to maintain an old set of roads on the Boreas Tract to allow mechanized and motorized access. Rebuilding these dirt roads and allowing motorized vehicles and recreation will harm the lands, waters and wildlife with noise, pollution and invasive species. Most of these roads have already reverted to forest. The rest should be allowed to do the same.

In the past, these roads were never open to more than a few people. This area is now owned by 19 million people and located 20 minutes from an interstate highway. Overuse is a real danger. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand the Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness, and to protect water and wildlife while realizing its potential as a global attraction. Let’s uphold the Adirondack legacy entrusted to us by classifying Boreas Ponds as wilderness.

Barry Epstein

East Amherst

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