SHATAGEE WOODS CHAPTER ADK

FALL 2021

 CONSERVATION REPORT

MEETING WITH CATHY PEDLER, DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY ADK

I set up two meetings this summer/fall with Cathy Pedler cathy@adk.org to see if she could bive us direction and assistance in finally getting a Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Chazy Highlands which is the name for the state owned lands in our area. Without a UMP no trails or other improvements can be made. The process of writing the UMP started before the first Gulf War and several of us from Shatagee Woods Chapter attended the 3rd public hearing in 2013 in Saranac by DEC Forester Dan Levy.   It is stalled, according to Dan Levy somewhere between DEC and APA.

     Cathy had never been to this area and was eager to see it.  She came to visit twice this summer and fall.  I toured her around all the areas and voiced our concerns.  There was only one place where ATV’s  were crossing state land ( a possible point of conflict that was holding up the UMP).  That place is a short section where an old rail trail crosses Standish Brook near the South Inlet of Upper Chateaugay Lake and then the ATVs use the Hunter’s Home ROW, made a path around a locked gate to access Wolf Pond Road.  Cathy is thinking two things are holding up our UMP.  One is a shortage of staff which has many things backed up. Another hold up has to do with an  issue between APA and DEC tat they need to work out. What that is I don’t know. And as we saw on the ground, ATV proponents want to be able to ride through state land on that rail line.

    Cathy said she would be meeting with the DEC Deputy Commissioner and Lands and Forest Director on October 20th and she will bring this up and see if we can make a path forward.  It was also suggested Cathy speak with the Forest Preserve Advisory Council (FPAC).

     Advocay Shatagee Woods could do:  Cathy suggested setting up meeting with Senators and Assembly  members who represent us to advocate for the trail crews, trail work, increasing staff at DEC, increasing funds for stewardship (education and outreach) etc.  Also, identify opportunities to volunteer with DEC on projects such as our trail rebuild at High Falls with Forester Dan Levy.

     “And identify and help facilitate opportunities to get youth involved in recreational experiences with

the education program is so important.  Schools can now participate with the education program on line. Adk.org/explore-adkthreeseasonsatheartlake/

MEETING WITH SEAN REYNOLDS DEC AND CHRISTI BARBER DEC  SABLE HIGHLANDS EASEMENT LAND  MANAGERS

We met along with Cathy Pedler and Bob Conway, Chair of ADK conservation committee in Merrill.  Then we drove to the sugar operation to look at the closed gate.  Sean and Christi made it clear that we can walk on the Cobble Hill Public Use Area (PUA) in spite of there being a gate there.  The gate is to stop motor traffic. We have permission to park in the sugar house parking lot. Stay on the road to the left as you make your way to the iron bridge over Owlyout Creek.

      We have permission to ski there in winter and can ski the whole snowmobile trail from Bigelow Road.

      They want to improve the Owls head trail and would welcome our help

Susan Smith

Shatagee Woods ADK

Conservation