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Smullen questions proposed early closure of some DEC campgrounds

Posted 12/2/22

Assemblyman Robert Smullen, R-118, Meco, questioned the proposed early closure of several state campgrounds in 2023, including some in Herkimer County as well as nearby Hamilton County.

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Smullen questions proposed early closure of some DEC campgrounds

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Assemblyman Robert Smullen, R-118, Meco, questioned the proposed early closure of several state campgrounds in 2023, including some in Herkimer County as well as nearby Hamilton County.

The state-operated campgrounds, which normally remain open through September, are now proposed to close on Sept. 4, 2023, Labor Day, a popular camping and outdoor recreation weekend, according to the announcement from the assemblyman’s office.

Among the campgrounds slated to close early in 2023 include Alger Island and Fourth Lake Day Use Area and the Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area in Herkimer County.

Also on the list for early closure are a trio of Hamilton County facilities: Lewey Lake, Lake Durant, and Forked Lake.

The season-ending date for the popular Nick’s Lake site in Herkimer County would be Oct. 9.

“Our campgrounds and outdoor recreation centers are an indispensable part of the Adirondack Region’s experience and I wholeheartedly disagree with the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) decision to close these areas early, especially before the highly sought-after fall foliage season,” said Smullen.

“Closing our local campgrounds in September would be a massive blow to our local tourism industry and the economies of Hamilton County’s small towns, which host well-attended events and festivities throughout the month. Citing budgetary restrictions for a sprawling government agency which receives roughly $1.7 billion in taxpayer money each year and still charges people to camp is simply not acceptable,” Smullen continued.

“I am calling on Commissioner Seggos and the DEC to keep our local campgrounds open as late as possible so as not to hamper our tourism and recreation industry, and I will be working with the DEC to find a solution,” Smullen added.

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