In rebut to the village of Lake George Mayor Blais’ defense of the logging taking place on the cross country skiing/hiking trail system at the Lake George Recreation Center and along Gage Brook, I take some issue. The mayor states that many of the trails being logged are not formal trails. As a frequent hiker on these trails, I can attest that all of those being logged are marked and signed. Included is the Lake George Land Conservancy trail to Berry Pond, which is heavily promoted to tourists and residents through their brochures and website.
There is one person conducting the logging operation, presenting a number of safety and liability issues; not only to the logger in the event of an accident, but also to the visitors and residents who use these trails on a daily basis. There is no flagger stopping those who might be approaching active work areas, and the trails are not being cleared as the work progresses, leaving a snarl of debris to tangle the footing of hikers.
The mayor sites a 40-year-old forest management plan as the basis upon which the logging is being conducted. Since then, the village created the Lake George Recreation Center, including the cross country ski/hiking trails, dedicated in 2002. More recently, the Lake George Land Conservancy acquired adjacent Lake George watershed property and created the Berry Pond Preserve that can only be accessed through the village property in question. It is way past time to update the management plan.
The village is earning $45,000 for the disruption and ill will being created by this logging, a drop in the bucket compared to their overall budget. For a community that hangs its hat on tourism and recreation, the logging seems to be more than a little shortsighted.
Richard Dill, Lake George