I don’t feel old but when most of my youth’s teachers and mentors have passed on, I know I’ve arrived. When it comes to the Adirondacks and the “forever wild” provision of our state constitution, a number of us just lost a great, very determined, and very influential teacher in that field of green. [Read more…] about A Tribute to Conservationist Charlie Morrison, 1928-2024
Paul Schaefer once told me that his mentor, “Forever Wild” advocate and organizer John Apperson, would occasionally dress in fur to be more noticeable when, during lobbying of the state legislature, Apperson opposed threats to Lake George, the Forest Preserve and its constitutional protection. [Read more…] about Beavers Changed His Life Forever: Adirondack Environmentalist Paul Schaefer
The dry language of the Adirondack Park Agency – Department of Environmental Conservation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning implementation of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan belies its contentious origins.
The MOU, first signed in 2003, updated in 2010, is found on the APA website. It has many “whereas” clauses, such as “WHEREAS, the AGENCY and the DEPARTMENT agree that it is in the interest of the State of New York to fully coordinate and integrate their respective program responsibilities as they pertain to the Adirondack Park for the good of the People of the State, State government, the Adirondack local governments, residents of the Park and Park visitors.” [Read more…] about An Investigation of Motorized Incursions into Adirondack Wilderness
During the Adirondack Park Agency’s October 12 meeting, I noted with appreciation the APA members who asked pertinent questions about the staff’s proposed permit for Carver Sand and Gravel in the town of Ephratah, Fulton County (Project 2022-0037). These questions and concerns included but were not limited to the proposed dramatic rise in the maximum number of daily truck trips out of the mine (from a maximum of 75 per day to a max of 200 per day).
For APA member Zoe Smith the letter from the Ephratah town board in the public comment file stood out to her because it is rare for a town board to raise detailed concerns about an APA project in writing. [Read more…] about An Awkward Moment at the Adirondack Park Agency
Although by 1973 Wilderness areas had been officially designated on about one million acres within the Adirondack Forest Preserve, the question of whether waterbodies within those million acres would be similarly free of use by motors was still highly uncertain. [Read more…] about Before There Were Motor-Free Lakes in the Adirondacks
The marina has a lengthy and complex history of regulatory and legal actions related to its actions since 2014 to remove wooden, dilapidated shoreline covered slips that predated the APA Act and replace them with modern boat slips out into the water, among other improvements. [Read more…] about Gibson: APA Failed to Ask Critical Questions of Saranac Lake Marina Project
Last April, Adirondack organizations wrote to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) asking to rediscover their discretionary power to hold adjudicatory public hearings on particularly complex, controversial Adirondack land use projects.
There was no response to our joint letter, but a rather resounding response has just come from a member of our state’s judicial branch. [Read more…] about Incompetence? Adk Park Agency Loses 2nd Lawsuit Within A Week
Well, it’s happened again. Another state budget is proposed by the Executive, wherein the Adirondack Park Agency’s legislated job is mischaracterized by this Governor’s (and former governors’) budget divisions as working “to achieve a balance between strong environmental protection and sustainable economic development opportunities for the residents of the Adirondack Park” (2023 Executive Budget Briefing Book).
Balance is an important goal to strive for in our individual lives. However, nothing in the Adirondack Park Agency law, now reaching 50 years old in May, calls for “a balance between strong environmental protection and sustainable economic development.” [Read more…] about The Adirondack Park Agency At 50: State Leaders Are Missing The Point
I think of Adirondack conservationist and forever wild advocate Paul Schaefer (1908-1996) during whitetail deer hunting season, actually in any season, but particularly in deer season at his Adirondack cabin. From 1921 on, over a century now, Paul Schaefer and his family, friends and hunting club comrades in the Cataract Club ventured into the wilderness from cabins in the Adirondack mountains. [Read more…] about The Sagacious Whitetail
At Adirondack Wild’s October meeting at the Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center, lakes and ponds came under the spotlight in a panel discussion about Cooperative Stewardship of Adirondack Lakes. Of particular interest was a given lake’s classification and subsequent comprehensive study, planning and management.
If Adirondack waterbodies are considered part of the Forest Preserve, and for the last fifty years the State Land Master Plan talks about land and water, then the law requires that lakes and ponds be classified, just as forests are. That raises important questions. [Read more…] about Gibson: DEC & APA Should Reform Managing Adirondack Lakes and Ponds