Boreas Ponds: Scientific assessment of physical, biological and intangible characteristics.
The Adirondack Park is a six-million-acre expanse of public and private lands and waters located in Upstate New York. Founded in 1892, it is the largest intact, temperate deciduous forest remaining in the world.
About half of the Adirondack Park (roughly 2.6 million acres) is public land, known as the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Since 1894, Adirondack Forest Preserve lands have been protected from logging, sale, lease and development by the “forever wild” clause of the NYS Constitution.
All Forest Preserve is open to the public for various types and intensities of outdoor recreation. Consequently, when state officials purchase new public lands for the Forest Preserve, they must determine what levels of recreational use are appropriate.
State law requires that new lands be classified according to their characteristics. After classification, they must be managed using methods that are compatible with their ability to withstand use. Since Forest Preserve cannot be developed, in this case “use” means public recreation. Classification and management actions are intended to protect the Park’s open spaces, clean water, wildlife, and preserve the land’s ecological vitality for future generations.
Lands with similar characteristics are sorted into classification categories, ranging on a broad spectrum from Intensive Use Areas (the least fragile and least protected) to Wilderness Areas (the most fragile and best protected).
In this report, we assess the characteristics of the 20,494-acre Boreas Ponds tract, adjacent to the existing High Peaks Wilderness Area and Dix Mountain Wilderness Area in the towns of Newcomb and North Hudson, in Essex County.
We provide a scientific assessment
of the key land characteristics within three
major categories: physical, biological and intangible. These characteristics convey the “capacity to withstand use,” as required in the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.
We assess all available information, using transparent methodology. Our goal is to determine the best classification and management for the Boreas Ponds tract.