Posts Tagged ‘EPF’

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Willie Janeway: NYS Budget Adirondack Impacts

nycapitolNegotiations over the NYS budget for fiscal year 2015-16 were messy and dominated by arguments over ethics reforms and education funding, but the final plan contained much-needed investments in clean water, wilderness, wildlife and communities of the Adirondack Park.

Foremost is a three-year, $200-million capital program to repair wastewater treatment and drinking water facilities. Under the program, the state would set aside $50 million this year and $75 million in each of the next two fiscal years to pay for matching grants to communities for up to 60 percent of upgrades for local drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

The 2015 State of State And The Adirondacks

Andrew Cuomo 2015 State of StateThe Adirondacks would benefit from some of the priorities expressed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State address on Wednesday.  The proposals are expected to help protect water quality, combat invasive species, bolster APA and DEC staffing, increase the Environmental Protection Fund, expand broadband locally, and cut the risk of explosive oil trains moving through the region.  The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States and contains most of the motor-free wilderness remaining in the Northeast. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gov. Mario Cuomo: His Final Adirondack Speech

Mario Cuomo at Silver Bay, 1994 1There will be many eulogies this week for Mario M. Cuomo. For me, the former Governor, like a certain white pine in our woods whose annual whorl of branches totes up the years I have lived here, is a measure of my time on this earth.

Thirty years ago last summer, Mario M. Cuomo gave that great address in San Francisco to the Democratic National Convention. I had just moved to upstate New York that year to be with Susan. As Governor, Mario Cuomo helped define the first eight years I worked for the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Low Turnout For Open Space Plan Hearing

IMG_0014Only five people showed up to comment on the Open Space Conservation Plan at public hearings held at the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook Thursday.

The Open Space Conservation plan outlines the state’s conservation priorities and lists lands the state should consider buying if they become available. It is written by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and DEC, with input from regional committees.

The plan lists four urgent priorities: promoting outdoor recreation; addressing climate change; ensuring clean water, air and land for a healthy economy; and protecting, using and conserving natural resources and cultural heritage. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

DEC Opens Backcountry Roads To Motor Vehicles

DSCN6009The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has opened new roads and facilities on nearly 25,000 acres of forest preserve and conservation easement lands in the Adirondacks.

New roads and facilities will allow motor vehicles to access the 18,000-acre Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands in Franklin County using the 3.3-mile Mountain Pond Road, and the 1,600-acre public use area of the Township 19 Tract Conservation Easement Lands in Hamilton County using the 2.6 miles of O’Neil Flow Road and Barker Pond Road. In the Essex Chain Lakes Complex gates have been opened to allow increased access to Camp Six Road in Newcomb, which will allow access for hunting, along with limited camping at designated primitive tent sites.  » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Conservation Advocates React to State Budget Agreement

nycapitolAdvocates for New York’s clean water, clean air and open space are applauding a weekend agreement on the next New York State Budget which  includes $162 million in appropriations for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).  This is a $9 million increase over the current funding level.

The EPF, which once stood at $255 million, suffered deep cuts in recent years during the recession, falling as low as $134 million two years ago.  Last year the EPF was increased to $153 million.  “This year’s dedication of additional funding to the EPF is a welcome use of the state’s budget surplus, and marks a continuation of the state’s reinvestment in environmental programs,” a statement issued to the press by the Adirondack Council said. “EPF programs create jobs, lower costs to taxpayers and protect clean water and other valuable community resources.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Willie Janeway: Restore Environmental Protection Fund

nycapitolIt was gratifying to see the New York Times’s March 7 editorial page encouraging the Governor and Legislature to use a portion of this year’s surplus to restore environmental funding to the State Budget.

The Times urged New York’s leaders make the kind of investments in clean water, green jobs and infrastructure that are needed, to protect the environment and stimulate the local economy. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

State Announces Purchase of More Former Finch Lands

Map_NYSFY2013-14transfersAllGovernor Andrew Cuomo has announced the latest phase of New York State’s acquisition of 69,000 acres, part of 161,000 acres of former Finch Pruyn lands (and others) purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 2007, as well as $875,000 in available grants for projects to develop tourism and recreation facilities within the Adirondack Park.

The State will pay $5.7 million to acquire the tracts from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), using the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) which is funded by real estate transfer taxes. Already, the state has completed two acquisitions from TNC totaling 30,037 acres. An additional 89,000 acres of the original TNC-Finch 161,00-acre purchase was set aside for logging and other motorized uses in 2010.

With this purchase New York State will add to the Forest Preserve 8,451 acres spread over 14 parcels in Fulton, Warren, Essex and Hamilton counties, along with a few parcels in Saratoga County that are outside the blue line. The Saratoga County properties include the Daniels Road tract (519 acres), the Penn York tract (241 acres) and the Town Line tract (176 acres). In addition, the Town of Edinburg will be able to move forward with the acquisition of 1,248 acres on Fox Hill Road. Another 154 acres known as Town Corners will consolidate wetlands in Greenfield. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Surplus State Budget, An Environmental Deficit

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens dedicates a new addition to the Forest Preserve above Lake George in 2013Given Governor Andrew Cuomo’s projected $2 billion surplus, his environmental agencies could have used a bit of a budgetary boost.

One can always hope. But readers already know this is not the case. Cuomo’s Environmental Conservation Commissioner, Joe Martens, made it explicit when he testified recently to legislative committees “Basically, this is a flat budget staff-wise,” he told legislators who politely questioned why his DEC budget appeared to be cut $43 million.

“Those dollars were non-reoccurring federal pass-through funds,” the commissioner answered. “Those are not cuts to our operating funds.” When questioned about the apparent loss of staff, the commissioner answered that those were DEC information technology personnel moved to a central IT office in Albany. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dave Gibson: The State’s Environmental Protection Fund

Forest Preserve - Conservation Easement TableIt’s state budget time, and the members of regional advisory committees on open space conservation from the Adirondacks to Niagara and Long Island will be watching that fraction of one percent of the state budget called the Environmental Protection Fund. Will the EPF continue to recover from the recessionary influenza it caught in 2009?

New York State’s extraordinary three million acre Forest Preserve in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, and its extensive State Park and Historic area system (330,000 acres) outside of these Parks are two big reasons why the state has been a national leader in conserving forests and open space since the 19th century.

Another is nearly million acres conserved through the use of conservation easements on private lands. The EPF and spending from the 1996 $1.75 billion Clean Water/Air Bond Act (expended years ago) has funded this growth: 85% growth in conservation easements since 1992, 5% growth in the Forest Preserve during that time span. » Continue Reading.


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