Misleading effort to reduce non-shore-owners’ boating
To the editor:
I would like to respond to Charlie Wilson’s letter, “Concerning Crescent Bay Marina planning,” published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise on April 12. I have many issues with the information and attitude presented in the letter.
First of all, it is inaccurate and misleading to use only the number of “commercial slips” on the lakes as an index of impact. This infers that if you are fortunate enough to own property on Lower Saranac (like Mr. Wilson does), it’s OK that your boats are there, whether you have one slip, four slips or rent slips to people. The problem arises from people who don’t live on the lake and rent a slip from a commercial marina. There is a disturbing attitude arising from Lower Saranac shore owners who appear to want to take advantage of this situation to limit public use of the water body. It is clear Mr. Wilson feels this way. That’s why he proposed a 10-fold increase in the cost of dockage on Lower Saranac to “slow local use.” I must remind him that more than 80 percent of the shoreline of Lower Saranac is owned by the state of New York. The public has the right to access the water by public launch or through commercial marinas, and you have no legal or ethical right to propose a method to “slow our use.”
As a member of the scientific community, I really appreciate Mr. Wilson’s use of data to get his point across. However, I must point out the errors in his back-of-the-envelope calculation. His analysis is completely off and is very misleading to the public.
You cannot look at this in terms of Lower Saranac; you have to consider the entire waterway. The Saranac chain is a connected water body that is navigable by boat from the dam at Lake Flower all the way through Oseetah, Kiwassa, Second Pond, Lower Saranac, Middle Saranac and the river that flows between them. Boaters can and do use all of this area. It is inaccurate to separate these water bodies or ignore certain water bodies in your “lake acres per commercial slip calculation.” The total navigable area is actually 5,259 acres. If we go ahead and use the commercial slips enumerated by Mr. Wilson, the lake acres per commercial slip value is actually 22.5, not 11.5, as stated in the letter. If the additional 112 slips were to be added, the index would be 15.2, still ahead of Lake Placid and still ahead of Mr. Wilson’s current calculation for Lower.
I certainly understand, and to some level agree, that the CBM project may be a bit too large in scale. However, as a Saranac chain user I strongly support the project and particularly appreciate the steps that are planned for the protection of the lakes from aquatic invasive species. I encourage all the locals who utilize commercial access to the waterway to show support for an appropriately scaled version of the project. Don’t let those fortunate enough to own property on the lake “slow our use” of a state-owned resource.