Bureau of Parks and Lands Planning Meeting
Introductions of State Employees and Advisory Committee
Handouts - list of staffers, list of advisory committee and agenda, Donnell Pond Unit Management Plan, Department of Conservation Integrated Resource Policy
Description of the Process - see agenda for list
• Similar to past years
• some procedural differences
Pre-plan phase - inventory of assets
Plan phase - definition of areas, wildlife units, trails, etc.
Presentations of the pre-plan documents
Vern Labbe - Overview
• new to the area
• main effort of the staff has been recreation
• challenges include
• ATV use - causing some environmental problems
• pick-ups driving to the top of Schoodic
• late night escapades,
• weekend groups causing problems (parties?),
• timber management - light impact, quality improvement - will put staff on hand more often
• people coming because Acadia is full - probably will get increasing use. Need to set some parameters.
Joe Wiley - natural resources
• Two ecological reserves - Downing Bog and Rainbow Pond
• Eagle, Loon and other nesting sites
• Tom Desjardin - Historical and cultural resources
• Expected artifacts, but have found very little
• Policy requires Maine Historic Preservation be consulted for pre-historic significance prior to any construction.
• If a site is discovered then Dept of Conservation would look into registering the site
• Catherines Mountain mine sites
• Wickyup Club
• Fish Hatchery
• would like to be told of any other features on the land
Steve Spencer - recreation
• much of the land is high and wet
• smaller ponds with brook trout
• exceptional scenic values
• recreational trails have been built in the older unit
• water access campsites on Donnell and Tunk
• Some trails already exist in the new area that may be incorporated and organized
• some of the access roads are designated for multiple use
Scott Ramsey - Off-road motorized recreation
• This is a popular area for snowmobiling and atv use
• There are no authorized and designated trails, but there is a lot of use. Visited Schoodic and Fiery Mountain
• Abandoned rail bed - difficult decisions lie ahead, used a lot last winter by snow mobiles. Mountain opportunities are rare in this area.
• There is no snowmobile club in the area to do this work. The existing clubs are pretty busy. Not necessary to have groomed trails.
• ATVs - no personal experience. A 700 mile trail system in this area is one of the best in the state. Successful in getting people to stay on the trails. Use is running ahead of BPL staffing. Need to provide facilities to manage use. Going to be a challenge. Need to improve law enforcement.
Tom Charles - timber management
• management attempts to cultivate large trees
• very little cutting has occured in recent decades
• soil is low quality
• softwoods in pretty good shape, hardwoods are low quality
• areas of visual concern are not harvested
• still a lot of damage to this unit during the 1998 ice storm
• BP&L has quite a large number of rental leases for platform tent sites on Long Pond and Spring River Lake
• Also have a small blueberry parvcel
Comments from the committee
Cathy - McMahon report indicated some importand plant communities
Limitations on use in the ecological reserves
- can use chainsaws, etc. for trail maintenance
- appreciate use of MNAP BWH maps - MNAP is doing additional survey work in the area
- interested in glacial geology for ice age trail
- concerned about acidification on the ponds
- there is long term monitoring by UMO on acid levels in some of the ponds. This additional information will be included in the appendices.
- Bass have been introduced into Round Pond and have traveled into Long Pond. May be a bad idea to re-establish the historic flow of Long Pond as this would spread the Bass further.
Hennig - concerned about coordination between the Byway Plan and the Unit Plan
• IFW cannot stock great ponds if there is not fair and equitable access to the lakes. If land owners have motor boat access, then public would need motor boat access.
• boat rental lakes are not considered public access
• would like to improve access to Long Pond and make it safer
• when Fish aren't stocked, then others stock the pond, often with non-native species.
Sally - rail road as part of the recreation plan
What are the plans for ATV trails? Not disclosing specific trails tonight. ATV spokesperson advocating a route from Sullivan to the area north of Route 182.
Fires during ice fishing season
Racing on the ice
Jeeps being used on the mountains - mostly on private property
Regulating ATV use may not cover other four wheelers - in New Hampshire all off road use is considered under the same laws.:
snowmobiles cut a trail into rainbow pond last winter across the private property along Tunk Lake
• Important to avoid denuding the viewshed
• The guidelines specify sustainable, low impact practices
- Dynamite Brook Road goes into a previously roadless area.
- concerned about inappropriate use of ecological reserves
- abandoned logging camp -littered with Chase and Sanborn coffee cans, old dug well
- hope that the plan can tie together the history and natural resources
Waltern Hennig - concern about graffiti
Ashby Bladen - what are the concerns about the old trail system on tunk Mountain
• some fixed ropes are there that arenot safe
• existing trails are not always well built
• each of the little ponds have potential campsites
• portage trails would be very helpful
• like to see more primitive trails, backpacking
• concerned that permitting ATVs on shared roads has encouraged intrusion into areas where they are not permited.
• Scott Ramsay - share roads policies have worked pretty well, with low accident rates and proper use
• biggest risk to the area is fire
• want to have a review about how to control fire.
• need to have planning, fire breaks, fire roads, etc..
• what is the criteria - IF&W scrutinizes taking away outboard motors
• need solid criteria for this
• is the driving factor noise?
Commercial gravel pit gains access through public lands in Sullivan
equipment is transported across old wooden bridge and up a steep hill.
Frank Dedman - operators have been careful and haven't had any complaints
Ashby - put Tunk into the name of the Unit
Meeting disbanded at 8:05 PM
Next meeting in the fist weeks of November