Fort Drum-based soldiers and helicopter pilots in the 10th Aviation Brigade and 10th Sustainment Brigade may begin utilizing an airport near Saranac Lake, cleared timberlands and state lands outside of the Adirondack Park for training exercises, reports Times Union.

Army officials reaffirmed to local environmental groups and regional officials, who expressed concern, that the proposed training-area expansion would fall outside state forest preserve or wilderness lands.

The specific areas include:

• The North Lake Tract Easement, privately owned in Herkimer County
• Sevey’s Easement, privately owned timberland in St. Lawrence County
• Cobb Creek State Forest, state-owned land in Lewis County
• Land in the town of Pierrepont, owned by St. Lawrence County
• Sand Flats State Forest, state-owned land in Lewis County
• The Adirondack Regional Airport, owned by the town of Harrietstown in Franklin County

The new training space would be in addition to Fort Drum’s current 100,000-acre training area.

A coalition of stakeholders including local environmental groups, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York Air National Guard are reviewing the information and have future discussion meetings planned with the Army.

Photo by Michael Strasser / Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs