Monday, September 23, 2013

The NYCO Amendment and Forest Preserve Value

View of NYCO from Mt FayThis November, voters in New York State will be asked to either approve or reject six separate constitutional amendments. Two of them are related to the Adirondack Forest Preserve: Proposal 4, which would provide a legal process to resolve long-standing title disputes on the shores of Raquette Lake; and Proposal 5, which would allow NYCO Minerals, Inc. to acquire a portion of the Forest Preserve in exchange for land elsewhere.

Proposal 4 is largely non-controversial, because it is designed to resolve a situation that has benefited no one. But Proposal 5, the NYCO amendment, has exposed an ideological rift in the Adirondacks—with sides lining up not in the way that you might expect.

The proposed amendment could allow NYCO to acquire 200 acres of the Jay Mountain Wilderness known as Lot 8, for the purpose of extending an existing open-pit wollastonite mine. The company does have other nearby properties it could move to, but it thinks that extending the life of the current mine makes more operational sense. In exchange for Lot 8, NYCO would give a greater amount of land to the state. (The full text of the amendment is available online.)

One might assume at first glance that any proposal to dig an open pit mine in the Adirondack Forest Preserve would be dead on arrival in the eyes of the conservation groups—specifically those with a raison d’être of defending the sanctity of the preserve from things like snowmobile groomers and floatplanes. While they might be willing to entertain a proposal to sacrifice a small piece of the preserve to continue a municipal service, that flexibility would only go so far. Their programmatic idealism would fall short of resource removal—a subject that gets to the heart of why the Forest Preserve was created in the first place.

Indeed these groups did just that 30 years ago, when NYCO last made a constitutional bid to acquire Lot 8. A bill to exchange land with NYCO passed the state legislature in 1981, was reintroduced in 1983, but never reached a vote due to underwhelming support.

There are perfectly valid arguments in favor of supporting the NYCO amendment, but they are all either political or economic in nature. One expects these arguments from some quarters and not others. For instance, it is only natural for local government leaders to support the proposed land swap because this is consistent with their known objectives. Of course a state senator would want to protect jobs in her district. No one can fault her for acting toward that goal. It would be highly unusual if she told her constituents that wilderness was more important than their livelihood.

But less easy to comprehend is why not one but two of the Adirondacks’ major Forest Preserve advocacy groups, the Adirondack Mountain Club and Adirondack Council, would choose to endorse the NYCO amendment as well. Whereas a politician is answerable to her constituents, advocacy groups have the luxury of maintaining a certain level of idealism. They are not the decision makers, but merely voices in the decision-making process that speak for a particular cause. So when two of these groups endorse Proposal 5 and two of their peer groups—Protect the Adirondacks and Adirondack Wild—oppose it, this lack of unanimity exposes a flaw in the way conservationists measure constitutional amendments.

In the past, successful amendments to the “forever wild clause” have been narrowly defined and limited in scope. Open-ended or vaguely defined proposals tend to go nowhere. For example, the amendment passed a few years ago allowing a power line to Tupper Lake was specific to that project, and it involved only a tiny amount of acreage; it was not a broad statement that allowed power lines everywhere. This has therefore been the test that conservation groups have been using: a proposed amendment must be specific and limited to be considered worthy of approval.

Proposal 5 does satisfy this test for the most part: it establishes specific conditions under which NYCO can conduct test drilling in Lot 8, sets a ceiling of 200 acres of state land that can be mined, and sets a minimum value of $1 million for the new land to be offered in exchange. There are two vagaries in the amendment’s language: it does not define where this new land has to be (hypothetically, the amendment could be used fund an acquisition the state has already been committed to buying); and there is no sunset provision, meaning that the exploratory, extraction, and reclamation processes could be conducted indefinitely.

The question is therefore whether a conservation-minded organization should support such a proposal. What are the values at stake? The “specific and limited” test merely determines whether there are any legal loopholes, but it does not offer guidance on the proposal’s substance. This partly explains why four groups with similar agendas applied the test to Proposal 5 and arrived at two opposing conclusions.

There have been numerous successful amendments in the past authorizing the taking of Forest Preserve land over the 119-year history of the “forever wild clause,” and they read like a list of municipal map adjustments: the Saranac Lake dump (1983), the Piseco Airport runway extension (1965), the highway land bank (1957), the Great Camp Sagamore outbuilding exchange (1983), as examples. Analyzing these past exchanges suggests that the “specific and limited” test addresses only half the equation. All of these past efforts addressed a public need, and they resulted in a public benefit. They were not initiated by private entities or motivated by profit; they were intended to resolve administrative quandaries faced by local and state government agencies. This includes the Perkins Clearing land exchange with International Paper (1979), which eliminated a checkerboard ownership pattern that was cumbersome for both parties to manage. It also includes the more recent effort to secure a water supply for the hamlet of Raquette Lake (2007). And in all these cases, the “public benefit” resulting from the land exchange is the resolution of the original issue as well as the addition of new land to the Forest Preserve.

Therefore it is clear that “specific and limited” is an inadequate test that does not include all of the key factors of past amendments. From an Article XIV perspective the bar should be set higher. For people who believe that the Forest Preserve is one of New York’s finest achievements, the true test should be as follows:

Specific: The amendment should narrowly address a definable quandary.
Limited: The affected Forest Preserve acreage should be explicitly stated.
Necessary: The amendment should be motivated by a public need.
Beneficial: Since a land exchange by definition involves at least two trading partners, there should be as many tangible benefits to the public.

Here is where Proposal 5 falls flat. It fails the third test case because there is no public need being addressed. There would be no Proposal 5 if there was no NYCO, no wollastonite. There is no administrative flaw with Lot 8 that would motivate the state to dispose of it in exchange for something better. There is no title dispute, no checkerboard pattern of public/private ownership, no municipal water or power source at risk, no public issue that can only be resolved by taking the extraordinary step of amending the state’s constitution. There is no public need whatsoever for this exchange.

(Nor for that matter is there even a clear private need for the Lot 8 exchange, since NYCO owns wollastonite deposits elsewhere in Essex County.)

It also fails the fourth test case because the public benefit is one-sided. The only positive outcome for the public is the acquisition of additional lands; most of the state’s voters will have no vested interest in NYCO’s operations.

Without a documented public need for this amendment, and with only a partial public benefit, Proposal 5 stands out as unique in the history of Article XIV amendments. The facts reveal little more than a corporation seeking public land for industrial purposes. This is a transaction, plain and simple. A price has been set for Lot 8, and the fact that the payment is to be made in real estate rather than cash is immaterial.

This brings me back to the fact that two of the Adirondack conservation groups have come out in support for NYCO. What would motivate such groups to be concerned about the state of NYCO’s $6 million payroll? The Jay Mountain Wilderness, of which Lot 8 is a part, is an exceptionally beautiful area with many bald peaks—but it is also relatively small. Attractive peaks extend to the northeast of the state’s holdings, and this is certainly an area where land should be acquired someday. If Bluff Mountain was being offered, you might at least have a valid case that NYCO was giving us something that was more scenic than Lot 8.

However, the lots being considered for acquisition are all primarily lowland areas that would seem to do little to improve access to the Jay Range’s eastern slopes. There are streams here and there, but no wetlands, no new scenic vistas—nothing charismatic that conservationists could rally around. Proponents have stated that Lot 8 is a “plain vanilla” stand of second-growth hardwoods with little to distinguish it recreationally or ecologically. I find it hard to believe that the new lands would be significantly different.

It is more probable that the Adirondack Mountain Club and the Adirondack Council are making a political gambit. Recognizing that jobs are part of the NYCO equation, they are almost certainly hoping that a show of support here might inspire local officials to return the favor elsewhere—such as in not interfering with the Finch Pruyn land acquisitions and the hoped-for wilderness classifications. But as we have witnessed over the summer, this quid pro quo has not been honored. Essex County leaders want NYCO as badly as they want motorized access to the Essex Chain of Lakes.

This is a dangerous gambit, though, because although each constitutional amendment must go through the same rigorous approval process—and therefore do not set “precedents” for one another—they certainly can set examples for future actions. In 1985, the Adirondack Mountain Club published a book called The Forest Preserve of New York State: A Handbook for Conservationists to celebrate the preserve’s centennial. Author Eleanor Brown described a scenario in which the 1927 amendment to allow construction of the Whiteface Memorial Highway had an effect that reverberated for decades to come:

The ripple effect of a single exception to the “forever wild” concept is strikingly apparent in the Whiteface case. The rationale for [Hal] Burton’s seeking a constitutional amendment [to create a downhill ski center] for that particular area was the fact that one amendment affecting the mountain had already been passed. There is much room to doubt whether Gore and Belleayre would have been proposed and constructed without the Whiteface precedent. And it is hard to conceive of a 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid without a major downhill ski area already in place.

DEC commissioner Joe Martens has repeatedly dismissed the threat of the NYCO amendment engendering its own “ripple effect,” citing the uniqueness of the NYCO case. However, the only thing truly unique about NYCO is the ore that they are mining; “wollastonite” isn’t exactly a household name. The truth is that the lands in the Forest Preserve contain quite a few valuable resources: garnets, veneer hardwoods, maybe even some untapped pockets of iron. We all assume that these are permanently off-limits to industry thanks to Article XIV. But Lot 8 is expendable, Martens wrote in the May-June 2013 issue of Adirondac magazine, because DEC “has not identified any unique ecological or natural resource features on the property. Lot 8 has little recreational use: the parcel has no trails or campsites, and public access is limited.” Here we have the commissioner of environmental conservation establishing the criteria under which a part of the preserve might be deemed less valuable than the resources it contains—only to reassure us that no precedent will be set!

So it comes down to the fact that the only valid arguments for Proposal 5 involve calculations of dollars and cents. And while there is no doubt that the Adirondacks would benefit from job growth, should this come at the expense of the Forest Preserve? Shouldn’t the focus be on sustainable industries, not the extraction of non-renewable resources? These are the tough questions at the heart of the proposal, and the ones that its supporters should have asked first.

For these reasons, I find the NYCO amendment unacceptable. It is not necessary, provides an insubstantial benefit to the public, and would do more harm than good to the Forest Preserve. It should be rejected by voters in November.

Photo: View of the NYCO mine from Mt Fay.

Bill Ingersoll

Bill Ingersoll

Bill Ingersoll has hiked and backpacked in wildernesses across America, but feels most at home in the grand forests of the Adirondacks. He became a co-author (with Barbara McMartin) of the Discover the Adirondacks guidebook series in 2000 and is currently the series' publisher. Additionally, his articles and photos have appeared in Adirondack Explorer, Adirondack Sports & Fitness, and Adirondack Life magazines.

A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Ingersoll serves on the conservation committee for the Adirondack Mountain Club. You will find him exploring the North Country with his dog Lexie in all four seasons, by trail, snowshoe, and canoe.


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37 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    I think I would agree but for one thing. Doesn’t the mine also have to be reclaimed and also added to the Forest Preserve? What other type of private venture would require that? It would have been like saying once the Olympics are over we want Whiteface mountain back. Seems like a win win?

    Also on the other amendment. There I think it is mainly the private landowners on Raquette Lake that benefit. The state has basically prevented that land from being developed by keeping the deeds in limbo. You can’t even finance a place on those parcels without a clean deed. From an article 14 perspective the status quo is better especially since much of that is beautiful waterfront land. This will allow the financing for the some new development there. Why would we as a state want that except for the economic benefit which isn’t what we want from a swap right?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

    • Carolyn says:

      Just a couple of comments to correct some misconceptions about Township 40.. These properties have been bought, sold and the deeds recorded for generations. Some people have gotten mortgages because an abstract doesn’t turn up title problems. The majority of the property is already developed. This is not an economic question. It is a question of “justice.” These lands were mistakenly sold at tax sales in the 1800’s even though taxes had been paid. These tax sales were ruled illegal by the Court of Appeals in 1924. Everyone admits what happened was wrong but NYS can’t undo it without litigation or a constitutional amendment. Litigation hasn’t worked very well for the State or the landowners. It’s expensive, time consuming and the State has lost 8 of 10 cases. This solution will require land to come into the Forest Preserve that’s a “net benefit.” The present amendment represents ten years of negotiating a solution that works for everyone. Proposition 4 is supported by: Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack Wild and Protect the Adirondacks!.

      Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Paul says:

        Has it all already been developed? A few years ago I was looking at property on Raquette Lake that was part of this and it was about 10 acres with just a small camp on it? That isn’t very “developed”?

        Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

        • Carolyn says:

          The APA has classified all of the properties. In fact they are all shown as private on the APA map. Since I don’t know the classification of the property you looked at nor the type of soil conditions I honestly don’t know whether further development would be allowed or not on that particular parcel. Several parcels also have deed restrictions, which prevent further expansion. My point is that these properties have been developed just as they have everywhere else in the Park. The fact that they are contested has not been a deterrent to development over the years. Here’s the irony of the situation. We have one owner who wants to donate to the State a significant amount of prime, virgin forest with 2,500 feet of shoreline. He can’t because it’s contested. Prop 4 would make that gift possible.

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          • Paul says:

            With a clean deed, the property I looked at, could be developed with probably 10 or more single family dwellings. Private is just what they are (or will be) that is not an APA classification. Giving the land you mention to the state should not be an issue. You can always just say no I give up it is yours.

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            • Carolyn says:

              Several years ago a study was made by an independent group of the potential build out on each of the disputed parcels. The study was based on the “APA Land Use Class” given each disputed parcel. Their report shows no ten acre disputed parcel, or even one of twenty acres, that is able to develop even two additional dwellings.

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  2. Bill:

    Excellent article and the right conclusion. By the way, the DEC’s assessment of the value of these lands ecologically is entirely wrong – as if it was never visited or honestly assessed. Lot 8 includes tremendous old growth northern hardwoods across the site (becoming a two story stand with very healthy northern hardwood understory leading to climax conditions) and is a rich, calcareous site for its soils, diverse terrestrial plants and wildlife. It is indeed a rare forest stand within the whole of the Adirondacks. It has 2 or more large vernal pools that would be totally destroyed if mined that may contain rare plants and amphibian species. Significant whitetail deer and black beer denning and foraging habitat, as well. Moreover, the impact of expanding the mine further upslope into the Jay Wilderness would be devastating to bushwackers and backpackers enjoying the views from Slip, Bald and Seventy Mountains. First and foremost, the horrible and unequivocally unique precedent of ceding over “forever wild” lands to an international mining firm for their destruction should never be allowed by the voters of New York.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 7

  3. In response to Paul’s good question on reclamation:

    Its impossible for man to reclaim such a rich, biotic forest as exhibited across Lot 8 in even several lifetimes. The NYCO mine head at the border with Lot 8 is at least 4 or 5 stories deep into bedrock already. If this continues uphill, these lands will be nearly impossible to reclaim with any integrity ecologically for many generations, if not hundreds of years — as the history and poor practice of so called mined land reclamation demonstrates in park and nationally. The ecological, wildlife, watershed and scenic impacts will only be outpaced by the most damaging constitutional precedent in the history of Article XIV should this amendment be adopted. We must all work to be sure that tragedy does not happen.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 9

    • Paul says:

      Hundreds of years is actually faster than I would have expected for it really to be reclaimed. It takes even some timber stands that long to get back to where they were before they were cut. The point is that it will be eventually. At some point it becomes a NIMBY kind of thing. Mining companies are going to mine as long as you and I create demand for what they produce by using things like the computer that Dan and I are conversing with. Sometimes you take the best deal you can get.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  4. Response to Paul:

    Then, essentially what you are suggesting is that as long as there is demand, no wild lands are off the table for exploitation and resource extraction. That is exactly the antithesis to “Forever Wild,” and the Adirondack Park and we will not accept that fools game. Not this year, not ever.

    As for NIMBY, that too is a canard. “Forever Wild” sets a global high mark for humanity. Its way beyond local, though we locals if we look deep gain the greatest reward if we steward our wild forest preserve lands.

    Bar none period — and its only going to be more important for us.

    Thanks.

    Dan

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    • Paul says:

      Dan thanks for the reply. “Then, essentially what you are suggesting is that as long as there is demand, no wild lands are off the table for exploitation and resource extraction”

      Not suggesting that at all. I was suggesting that these materials that we need have to come from somewhere, and in this particular case this would INCREASE the amount of protected land in the Adirondacks? This is not just some run of the mill mining deal it is an exchange. Since we need the stuff why not get it in a way that increases the size of the Forest Preserve at the same time???

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  5. Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

    Yes, if NYCO mines Lot 8 they will eventually have to “reclaim” it and return it to the Forest Preserve.

    Wonderful, until you realize that “reclamation” is a euphemism for seedlings on top of a landfill.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

    • Paul says:

      Yes, reclamation is a very long process. But if you can blow half a mountain away (for example Mt. St Helen’s) and the earth can reclaim that this little plot should be doable.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 17

  6. Pete Klein says:

    I will vote to approve everything.
    I only wish I could vote to approve the legalization of all drugs and prostitution.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  7. Woodchuck says:

    On the New York Now WMHT segment on NYCO last weekend, a NYCO employee admitted that there are only about 5 years of mining on Lot 8 and it is a matter of “convenience” to mine there now while the crusher and truck garage are still intact at the Lewis Mine, before they are moved to the Oak Hill Mine. Do you think they really care a fig for Article 14? Don’t give it a second thought.NYCO hasn’t. All they care about is the bottom line.

    Take a look at the video on WMHT and vote in the weekly poll for or against the prop. Go to NewYorkNow@WMHT.org

    Bill, you also talked about the “rigorous” process this proposed amendment went through in the Legislature. You didn’t watch very close.It was shoved through at the last minute by the Speaker in the Assembly and the Senate was no better. The voting was quite perfunctory, with most members on both sides not having the slightest idea what it was about except that it sounded like a “good deal,” the same reason given by ADK and TAC. They didn’t even have the facts, such as knowing that the Oak Hill Mine will phase in fully as Lewis phases out and there will be no lost jobs. Oak Hill was never mentioned to the Legislature, nor did they know that the Champlain Valley is the only place in the USA where wollastonite is found in commercially minable pockets and NYCO is currently prospecting for more of it.They have millions invested in Oak Hill and the mill. They will NOT walk away mad if the amendment fails.

    You and Eleanor Brown put your finger on it. The precdent is terrible and if this passes it will have repercussions away into the future. We are going back to where we were in 1894 when “forever wild” was created in the Constitutional Convention because commercial interests and the State couldn’t keep their hands off the Forest Preserve after it was created in 1885 in response to abuses going on for decades, decimating the Adirondacks.
    So in 1894 they closed the door but left it open a crack as a “relief valve,” such as is legally required in local zoning.

    If this passes, you can expect more greedy grabbing for Forest Preserve resources such as minerals and timber and land for resorts (as is happening at Belleayre where DEC is proposing 125 acres for Intensive Use at the ski center.)

    You came to the right conclusion but could have gotten there a lot quicker by saying that this is just a plain vanilla commercial sale of Preserve land.

    You forgot to mention that the Sierra Club is strongly against the NYCO deal.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  8. Woodchuck says:

    Sorry – the website for the video and the poll is:

    http://video.wmht.org/video/2365084758/

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Daniel says:

    I have been on the fence about this particular amendment for some while. At this point in time, I have made up my mind as being opposed to this proposal. Bill has made a well-organized and well-written explanation as to his concerns, and he states it far more eloquently than I do. However, it is clear from Article XIV that the lands of the CURRENT forest preserve are not to be exchanged. Perhaps it is appropriate in cases where we protect the livelihood of certain towns such as with ensuring power supplies, but this is simply in the name of corporate greed. It may not appear as such, but it is.

    If the mining company owned land around Lake Colden, and made this proposal in such a (more scenic) portion of the park. Would there be ANY debate about this? There would be an overwhelming ‘no’. In my opinion, this is only being considered because this is not a prime area of the park. This is setting a dangerous precedent for “defining” values of different portions of the park. The forest preserve IS the forest preserve. No one portion is more important or valuable than any other portion. Perhaps aesthetically, but certainly not actually.

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  10. Woodchuck says:

    Correction. The New York Now video and poll are at
    http://video.wmht.org/video/2365084758/

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Kirt Lapham says:

    There is a major fallacy with organizations such as ADK. They do not poll their 30k members about these issues. Rather, the Administrative Board makes their own determination and expresses its position while implying that they represent the membership when they do not.

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    • Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

      It would certainly be beneficial if more critical thinkers were able to give their time to these types of boards and committees. Without pointing out any groups in particular, what I tend to see are members who attend meetings to become educated on an issue, rather than seeking the information ahead of time so that they can bring an informed opinion to the table. The result is that the course of the conversation can be easily swayed by the person presenting the information, and then directed toward a preferred outcome.

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      • Matt says:

        Bill,
        Lots of “Critical thinkers” are out there that don’t agree with you all the time. Kirt, it should be noted that many folks who do not agree with Bill are also ADK members.

        “The result is that the course of the conversation can be easily swayed by the person presenting the information, and then directed toward a preferred outcome.”

        ^^^^^^Advocacy-spin 101. Your article is an indication that you are well versed in it. The appropriate response to this is a discussion of the facts.

        Fact: Significantly more lands with greater habitat, recreational opportunity, aesthetic and open-space value will be protected in perpetuity in the Adirondack Park if the NYCO deal is approved.

        It seems to me Bill, you just don’t think it’s enough to justify the transaction as a significant enough benefit for the public good. Reasonable people may disagree on this point, but I happen to think it’s worth it in this case. Two respectable environmental organizations with lots of “critical thinkers” happen to feel the same way. The voters will decide, and if some company of the future wants to put up a proposal to mine Mt. Colden, well, I suppose we’ll have to see what they have to offer and vote on that too before they get to do it. Isn’t Democracy great? Personally, I love having these first-world problems to worry about.

        Thanks for sharing your opinion.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  12. Bob Meyer says:

    Bill, after much thought weighing the issues of law, economics and ploitics back & forth, i must agree with you. Vote NO!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  13. Tim says:

    In the words of Gertrude Stein, “A strip mine is a strip mine is a strip mine.”

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

      Wasn’t that Freud? “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”? But yes, same conclusion.

      Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Paul says:

    Does Commissioner Martens support the idea? Given his record and background I don’t think he is one to sell out article 14 as some here are claiming this would do? If the “dangerous precedent” being set is that any swap needs to increase the size of the Forest Preserve and the land being used needs to be reclaimed (even if not in a perfect way) and added back to the Forest Preserve than it doesn’t seem all that “dangerous”.

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  15. Debbie Thompson says:

    Have the mining company campout overnight and see how much wildlife will be destroyed with the mining. Maybe theres no people visible, but a nightcam with visible wild life using the land is one more reason to say No. And Bill thank you so much for your extremely intelligent coverage of the issues.

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  16. Woodchuck says:

    On something like this Martens is doing what the Governor’s staff tell him to do and say. He has no leeway for independent thinking. And the Governor’s staff doesn’t give a rat’s tail for Article 14.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    • Paul says:

      Really? And those thousands of acres he added to the Forest Preserve recently is a testament to their uncaring attitude. Get real.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  17. Smitty says:

    That there are two organizations in favor of the NYCO sale and two opposed doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with it. Rather, it reflects that two organizations are pragmatic and willing to take a reasoned stand on an important question and the other two are rooted in ideology. I really don’t know how you can look at the amendment and not see the larger good in it. Ideology-driven positions, be it on gun control or Article 14 or whatever, are too common these days, just like this whole tea-party mess we’ve gotten us into but this one is on the left rather than the right.

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    • John Warren John Warren says:

      What’s too common these days is declaring people that you disagree with simply ideologues.

      There can be positions that you disagree with that are as valid arguments as yours, or maybe, you’re simply wrong and they’re right.

      Either way, people taking these positions are just as smart and thoughtful as you claim to be.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    • Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

      The issue with the tea party is not that they have principles and ideals that they firmly believe in, but that they constantly conflate those issues with things that are completely unrelated. Failing to approve a CR over heath care is a perfect example.

      I have no problem with principled, idealistic people — even those who disagree with mine — so long as their ideals and principles are consistent with their actions. This is where the NYCO situation begins to fall apart in my analysis, for the reasons stated in my commentary.

      Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  18. […] an excellent editorial in the Lake George Mirror that makes the case for a no vote. See an terrific op-ed in the Adirondack Almanack by a noted Forest Preserve writer who supports a no vote on Proposition […]

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  19. […] an excellent editorial in the Lake George Mirror that makes the case for a no vote. See an terrific op-ed in the Adirondack Almanack by a noted Forest Preserve writer who supports a no vote on Proposition 5. See op-ed by PROTECT in […]

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Bill Ingersoll Bill Ingersoll says:

    There is a relatively new Facebook page set up in opposition to Proposition 5.

    If you are inclined to think that this opposition is little more than “one person and a website,” here is your chance to test your theory.

    If you would like to add your own voice, then “like” away!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Forever-Wild-Vote-No-on-Proposition-5/543671509045152

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  21. […] authorizes a land exchange between a State Forest Preserve and NYCO Minerals.  A friend sent me this article and challenged me to reconsider my position on Proposal Number Four, which is a long standing title […]

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. […] a terrific op-ed in the Adirondack Almanack by a noted Forest Preserve writer who supports a no vote on Proposition […]

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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