May 31, 1929 – JSA to Herbert H. Lehman

  • May 31, 1929 – JSA to Governor Herbert H. Lehman:

Dear Governor Lehman:

I have just returned with several companions from a trip over the Paradise Bay land as referred to in you letter of the 20th, and you may like to know that Mr. Knapp’s keeper assured us that no camping was allowed anywhere on these nine miles of shore. We did, however, find two points where picnickers occasionally land, and are invited to do so by the owner. We also found an armed guard protecting the streams and small lakes with a rifle to keep the public from fishing. We were informed that no trails had been built for the public, but that the public were allowed to use certain trails built for the owner; also that the trail up Black Mountain was built for the old Black Mountain House, before the present owner was born. While these details conflict with those contained in your letter of the 20th, they are only recited to assist you in obtaining a true picture of the situation as a whole.

I neglected to comment on the question of expenditures, and it might be helpful to know that year after year for many years appropriations amounting to several million dollars were made for the Adirondacks, but not one cent was spent for land to protect the public’s interest at Lake George, and since 75% of the moneys referred to in your letter of the 20th came from the old 1916 Bond Issue and current appropriations, it seems only fair to consider such expenditures as overdue allowances and not part of the recent park appropriation. Apparently less than 1% of the five million dollar item for the Forest Preserve appropriated in 1925 has been spent at Lake George and no moneys from any source have been used to protect the Paradise Bay land which inspired so many public spirited citizens to help combat the strong opposition to this appropriation. Friends of Lake George therefore feel that they are very reasonable in expecting the State to acquire this land without further delays, and I trust you will agree that this is a fair attitude under the circumstances.

Hoping I may have the opportunity of spending a few hours with you at the Lake sometime, where we can discuss this subject more advantageously., I remain,

Cordially yours,