One of the stories I wrote for this past issue of Adirondack Explorer was about a “forever wild” case before the state Court of Appeals brought by Protect the Adirondacks against the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In case you missed it, last week the court heard oral arguments from both sides, which I wrote about here.
If you click on that link above, too, we embedded the YouTube clip of the hearing so you can watch it for yourself. No matter what side you might take, it is interesting to watch the judges ask so many good questions. This whole case can get very abstract when you’re looking at the question of what is a constitutionally protected tree. But I thought the judges also got to some very specific questions about constitutional amendments and work that has been impacted thus far from this litigation.
The Post Star newspaper had an editorial siding with the DEC. From previous coverage, we know that the Adirondack Mountain Club, Open Space Institute and the Nature Conservancy are also siding with the state. Other groups have also filed amicus briefs in favor of DEC, such as the Association of Adirondack Towns and Villages. The Adirondack Council, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve and the Sierra Club are siding with Protect. We should hear something on the court’s decision this spring.
We’re a few days away from the deadline for a timely state budget, April 1. It’s unlikely legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo will make that deadline exactly, but we should see something final very soon.
I have my own deadlines this week for our May/June issue of the magazine. We also have an upcoming Coffee and Conversation at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to talk about stories in our March/April issue. You can sign up here.
I’ll also draw your attention to a new series we’ve got online about the Adirondack Park Agency’s contentious history by writer Brad Edmondson. You can read the first part of the “Regulators and Rebels”series here.
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly policy newsletter. Sign up to receive “Adirondack Report” for free in your inbox!