Join the Canoe-In for a Motorless Weller Pond on August 18th

July 23, 2018

Join a great protesting flotilla and come out and demonstrate for motorless waters in the Adirondack Park. Join the Canoe-In for Motorless Waters on Weller Pond on Saturday, August 18, 2018.

Protect the Adirondacks is hosting a Canoe-In for Motorless Waters on Weller Pond on Saturday, August 18, 2018. We’re aiming to get 100 canoes and kayaks in a flotilla of protest calling for state action to make Weller Pond and Little Weller Pond motorless waters. We urge you to join us in this protest and add your voice to this important issue. This event is free and open to the public.

Register below and help to spread the word and get your family and friends to join in. This will be a complicated event to stage so we need to know how many people are planning to attend this rally. Please use the electronic registration form below.

Weller Pond and Little Weller Pond should be a quiet waters area, made off-limits to motorized watercraft and only accessible by non-motorized vessels. These ponds should be managed by state agencies as a quiet and beautiful refuge and respite among the heavily motorized and extremely popular Saranac Lakes Chain. There are many reasons why the Weller Ponds should be a new motorless area.

1. The Weller Ponds would be the only motorless refuge on the popular and motorized Saranac Lakes Chain.

2. It would be easy to do. The State of New York owns the entire shoreline areas around both Weller Pond and Little Weller Pond. The state owns the lands around the navigable channel that connects these ponds to Middle Saranac Lake. The state has the authority to the close these ponds to motorized boat traffic; it simply needs the will to do so.

3. When we look across the Saranac Lakes Chain, from Lake Flower to the Saranac River to Upper Saranac Lake, the area totals over 9,000 acres of open waters. Weller Pond and Little Weller Pond are just 190 acres – just 2% of the waters of the Saranac Lakes Chain. Why can’t we set aside 2% of these waters as a motorless area?

4. Across the Adirondacks there are relatively few opportunities for motorless waters on large lakes and ponds. It’s important to note that most of the major Adirondack lakes are open to all manner of motorized watercraft. A report published by Protect the Adirondacks in 2013 The Myth of Quiet, Motor-free Waters in the Adirondack Park found that of the 100 largest lakes in the Adirondacks, from Lake Champlain to Beaver Lake western Adirondacks, 77 are open for all manner of motorized boating and floatplanes, 14 lakes are privately owned and provide no public access, and just 9 are motor-free. Boreas Ponds, number 95 among the Park’s biggest lakes, was recently purchased by state agencies and classified as Wilderness to create the 9th large public motorless waterbody. Of the nine motor-free lakes among the Park’s top 100, just six are relatively easy to access and motor-free. Just 17 of the biggest 200 lakes are easily accessible and motor-free. The demand is high for motor-free experiences, but the supply is low. The public deserves greater opportunities for motor-free waters across the Adirondack Park.

5. The administration of a motorless Weller Pond is manageable because there is only one entrance point – the 1,000-foot channel from Middle Saranac Lake. A sign stating that no motorboats are allowed could be placed at the entrance to the channel and a short distance into the channel. The DEC campsite reservation system could be changed to state that the lean-to and three campsites on Weller Pond are available only for non-motorized watercraft. DEC could also advertise the motorless state on its website.

Help us fund this event with our Go Fund Me page as we need to raise money for van shuttles, insurance, promotion and organizing.

We Need More Motorless Waters in the Adirondack Park

Wild places grow fewer each year. The Adirondack Park offers great opportunities for hiking in wild places, where the longer one hikes the more remote the country one can access, but opportunities to do this by boat are limited. For many, canoe or kayak access is how they get to wild places and enjoy Wilderness. Greater opportunities are needed for motorless waters in the Adirondacks and Weller Pond is one such opportunity that must be seized.

Join us and sign up to participate in the Canoe-In on August 18th. Bring your friends and family. This will be an important event in advocacy for wild and quiet places in the Adirondack Park.

A scene from the August 15, 1998 Canoe-In for Wilderness on Little Tupper Lake. This event helped to usher in a golden era of new motorless waters in the Adirondack Park. Picture by Nancie Battaglia
This event is being held in part to commemorate the successful Canoe-In for Wilderness that we held 20 years ago on Little Tupper Lake. August 15, 1998 was a wonderful day of protest. Over 300 people in over 200 canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and one small sail boat, rallied on the open sloping lawn of the Whitney Headquarters on the shore of Little Tupper Lake and then paddled out onto the lake in a massive flotilla in the Canoe-In for Wilderness at Little Tupper Lake. This event was the biggest environmental rally in a very challenging and divisive time in Adirondack Park history. Those who gathered that day were unabashed in their support for a Wilderness classification for the newly purchased Little Tupper Lake.

The wilderness classification of Little Tupper Lake that followed also saw the upgrading the classification of Lake Lila from Primitive to Wilderness. These decisions by the Adirondack Park Agency at the time, led in particularly by Jim Frenette of Tupper Lake, then an APA Board member, and the Pataki Administration, spawned a series of new motorless waters. The Little Tupper Lake classification marked one of the most active periods in the history of the Adirondack Park for the creation of Wilderness lands and motorless waters. The years after the creation of the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area saw the creation of the Round Lake Wilderness, the Madwaska Flow Primitive Area, classification of Henderson Lake as Wilderness, the reclassification of Low’s Lake, classifications of Bog Lake and Clear Pond as Wilderness, and motorless management of Thirteenth Lake, among other wildlands victories. Recent decisions for the Essex Chain Lakes and Boreas Ponds were influenced by this history.

Beautiful Little Weller Pond. This extraordinary and picturesque small pond would also benefit from the motorless protections for Weller Pond.
Please Register for the Canoe-In for a Motorless Weller Pond on August 18th

We need to know how many people are participating, so please use the form the below to register today and tell us how many people are in your group.

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Help us fund this event with our Go Fund Me page as we need to raise money for van shuttles, insurance, promotion and organizing.

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