The nonprofit advocate Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve hailed this week’s vote on a bill in the NYS Assembly in favor of an act requiring conservation subdivision design. Advocates say the bill will “preserve ecological integrity, wildlife and open space in the Adirondack Park.”
The bill was sponsored by Assembly Member and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright. It has an identical or companion bill pending before the State Senate.
The bill, Assembly 4074, would apply to only the largest residential subdivision applications, not small family subdivisions. In the past seven years, only four applications to the Adirondack Park Agency were large enough to be affected by the bill. The legislation favors early analysis of wildlife habitats, ecological systems and environmental conditions before committing to a preferred site plan.
“The bill is fair, climate smart and practical from an economic and environmental perspective, said Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson. “By requiring conceptual review of the Park’s few very large subdivisions, it will help protect Adirondack forests, conserve natural resources, manage blocks of working forests, farms and open space recreation and reduce the length and cost of roadways, electric, water and sewer lines. The bill also contains a variance provision and could authorize a density bonus depending on overall review by the Agency and the quantity and quality of open space conserved.”
In 2019, the bill was extensively studied, amended and eventually supported by a diverse group of Park stakeholders.
“If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the bill will avoid fragmenting economically and ecologically useful blocks of working forests, and promote sustainable forestry, hunting, fishing and other open space recreational pursuits,” added Rick Hoffman, Board Director with Adirondack Wild.
Hoffman is a former member of the Adirondack Park Agency representing the Secretary of State. He also served as an Agency staff member.
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is a not-for-profit, membership advocate acting to safeguard wilderness and to promote wild land values and stewardship. For more information visit their website.