The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has released the Fish Creek Pond Campground Management Plan for public comment, this time for feedback on whether the DEC’s plans conform with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. The Unit Management Plan (UMP) proposes infrastructure improvements to comfort stations, boat launch and day use areas, amphitheater, and bike path. Reconstruction and repaving of the main road will accommodate two-way traffic. The plan also proposes shoreline stabilization and planting trees and shrubs for environmental protection.
With 355 campsites accommodating up to 2,130 people, and with almost all having direct water access to Upper Saranc Lake, the campground has a significant impact on the watershed. Last fall the Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) submitted comments to the NYSDEC first draft of the UMP. These comments provided input to better protect water quality and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
Unfortunately, several important components were not incorporated in the proposed final plan. APA Board member, Zoe Smith conveyed similar views saying she did not feel the DEC’s proposal was explicit enough about managing and educating the public on aquatic invasive species, “This is the largest campground in our state, and I think we should be held to a gold standard in terms of how it’s managed”.
As the process moves toward approval the USF has submitted additional comments, now to the APA. The USF also encourages watershed users to provide their own input during the APA comment period that concludes June 14.
The USF is addressing items in the plan that do not conform with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, specific to “protection and rehabilitation of the area’s resources including the preservation of aquatic habitats.” and “minimizing adverse impacts on surrounding state lands and nearby private holdings”.
- Failure to incorporate preventive strategies to thwart the spread of AIS
- Lack of management proposals for current AIS infestations
- Lack of insight and an assessment of camper use impacts on the aquatic natural resources, the ecosystem, and the waterbodies social carrying capacity
- Lack of specificity on the effects of proposed management actions and public use with respect to physical, biological, and social conditions.
The USF recommendations:
- Mandate that all watercraft (car top and trailered) be inspected by Watershed Stewards upon entering the Campground (including those going to Rollins Pond)
- New Boat launch ramp usage allowed only during set Watershed Stewardship Inspection hours
- Provide the Watershed Stewardship Program a hot-water, high-pressure AIS decontamination station on-site at the newly located boat launch
- Conducting a comprehensive carrying capacity analysis for Fish Creek Ponds to determine the waterbody’s capacity to withstand various watercraft uses and boater traffic in relation to the impact of size, noise, speeds, wakes, and wave action on the natural resources and camper and residential social satisfaction.
- Implement findings and execute carrying capacity measures into the management of the Campground
Public comments should address if the proposed activities conform to the guidelines and criteria of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.
Please send comments to :
Deputy Director, Planning
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
PO Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977
If submitting a comment by email, please type the Unit Management Plan name (Fish Creek Campground) in the subject line of the email message.