To the Editor:
One cannot help but feel sympathetic to the plight of hunting clubs whose lodges will be taken down on the Long Pond Easement. They partake in a wholesome family-oriented activity that has been part of the North Country for generations; many have enjoyed exclusive opportunities on timber company property for years.
On the other hand, the taxpayers of New York paid millions to acquire easements, and people from all walks of life are now gaining access to these lands, as they should, given that they paid for it. The DEC doubtless has a difficult job negotiating the interests of birders, mountain-bikers, snowmobilers, hikers, ATV-users, and others.
Hunting clubs have known for years that the timber company would be phasing out recreational posting leases and that some camps would be removed. The company was happy to make such an arrangement in order to get money from the state. Your article says the "state made bad decisions years ago." Why blame just the state?
In my opinion, local clubs got squeezed by the motivation of timber and international investment corporations. That's how I felt about an easement on land I once enjoyed under a lease from International Paper. Of course I was sorely disappointed at the time.
Several years later, it's hard for me to understand how the local economy has suffered. More people now use that land for more purposes at all times of the year, compared to the past.
Our thinking on this topic needs better balance.