The state Department of Environmental Conservation has temporarily closed all roads in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest between the towns of Inlet and Indian Lake to all public motor vehicle access.The Moose River Plains is the largest block of remote lands in the Adirondacks that is readily accessible by motor vehicle. It has over 40 miles of roads.Inlet Supervisor John Frey and Indian Lake Supervisor Barry Hutchins say they have both offered the services of their highway departments to do road maintenance in an effort to keep the popular Moose River Plains open.The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution May 6 calling upon the DEC to keep the gates open and asking for a meeting with DEC officials.Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Farber said what really burns most Adirondackers is, “The state should stop appropriating money to buy more land when what it should be doing is to appropriate the money needed to maintain what it already has.”These roads have already been closed for mud season, as they are each year. While the gates on them will remain closed and locked to prevent access by motor vehicles, the roads and surrounding lands are open for recreational use.The DEC has also closed Lily Pond Road, Jabe Pond Road, Gay Pond Road and Buttermilk Road Extension in Warren County and Dacy Clearing Road in Washington County.Each of the closed roads has parking near the gate. The public is asked not to block the gates or the roads, as DEC may need to access the roads for routine maintenance and emergencies.Disabled people with a DEC Motorized Access Permit for Persons with Disabilities (CP3 permit) will be allowed to use two of the Warren County roads that will otherwise be closed to the public, Scofield Flats Road and Pikes Beach Access Road, both in the Town of Lake Luzerne.Road maintenance generally includes adding gravel to maintain road surfaces, grading, replacing culverts and removing road hazards such as leaning or downed trees. Maintenance of campsites along and near these roads also requires a significant effort by DEC staff, including trash removal.Funding reductions will also delay construction of recreational facilities on easement lands and prevent hiring of assistant forest rangers this season, according to DEC.The DEC announced in March that seven campgrounds and two day-use areas in the Adirondack and Catskill parks will not open this year, including two in Hamilton County: Tioga Point in Raquette Lake and Poplar Point in Piseco.For information regarding the temporary road closures, call the regional DEC Division of Lands and Forests at (518) 897-1276 or a local Region 5 DEC office. Further information on road closures will be available at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/65004.html.
Moose River Plains roads are closed to traffic by the DEC