On Thursday, March 16 at 5:30 pm, the Kelly Adirondack Center in Niskayuna will host a lecture and discussion with John W. Caffry on the debate over navigability on rivers in the Old Chapel at Union College.
In the mid-19th century, the rivers of the state were declared public highways to allow their use for transportation of logs to market, regardless of whether they ran over public or private land. This principle was “forgotten” late in the century. Since the late 20th century, recreational paddlers testing the public use concept have been arrested for trespass.
An exposition of both sides of the question that probes the age-old question of how a park composed of public and private land should be managed.
John Caffry is a 1984 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and was admitted to the New York State bar in 1985. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He graduated cum laude from Middlebury College in 1980. Caffry grew up in Queensbury and began his legal career in 1985 in Glens Falls. He served as outside counsel for the Lake George Park Commission from 1987 to 1990 and was village attorney for the Village of Argyle from 1988 to 1999.
He has lectured on environmental law issues and has authored environmental law journal articles. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York in 1996 and was awarded the Distinguished Volunteer Award by the Adirondack Mountain Club in 1995. He resides in Glens Falls with his wife and family.
Union College is located at 807 Union Street, Schenectady. Light refreshments will be provided beginning at 5 pm.
Photo: Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir transporting rocks to rip rap eroded Lake George islands (provided).