To the editor;
I'm glad that the Adirondack Park Agency finally arrived at a definitive decision on the fate of the Hurricane and St. Regis firetowers. Now the question is whether these two “Friends” groups can actually raise enough money. Given that these towers are badly deteriorated and that both are on more remote summits than most of the other towers that have been restored, I believe the $50,000 DEC cost estimate is closer to reality than the $10,000 estimate from the Friends group.
I’m glad that the AP decision allows the DEC to remove them if they become dangerous — i.e. if the groups don’t manage to take action to restore them.
I only wish the APA had further stipulated that only private money be used in the restoration. Given the state’s fiscal situation, these restorations should not be funded with member items. Further, the DEC should be fully reimbursed for all staff time involved in making sure that the restorations are done properly. Remember, they are still DEC towers on state land.
I agree with Brian Houseal of the Adirondack Council and Neil Woodworth of ADK that there is no reason to challenge this decision. It’s time to move on and see if the Friends groups can actually restore these towers so that they are again attractive and safe to use.