Tuesday, January 11, 2022

First Major Test at Adirondack Park Agency for Gov. Hochul, Chairman Ernst

Will the new boss be the same as the old boss?

We’ll know the answer to this question when the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) meets on January 13-14th. On its agenda is a draft permit for a new granite quarry in White Lake in the town of Forestport in the western Adirondacks. This project is widely opposed by neighboring landowners, residents, and property owners in the general area. There have been very few private land development projects in the last two decades that have engendered such a high level of public involvement and concern.

The APA has received hundreds of letters urging it to send this project to a formal adjudicatory public hearing. The APA staff is recommending approval of a draft permit, and rejects the need for a hearing. The APA Board now has the decision of either approving this project or sending it to a formal adjudicatory public hearing. One longstanding weakness of the APA Act is that the APA Board does not have the authority to deny a project outright, similar to the power that every local Planning Board and Zoning Board across New York possesses. The only way the APA can deny a project is to first send a project to a formal adjudicatory public hearing.

The APA has stopped using adjudicatory public hearings in the last decade. From 1973 through 2008, the APA sent 151 projects to formal public hearings. Since 2008, there have been 0. The APA argues that it changed its practices and now uses the explicit threat of an adjudicatory hearing to reshape projects or bring applicants into compliance with the law. In the case of the new White Lake granite quarry, that did not happen since the project changed very little throughout its review and key facts remain disputed about a number of potential negative impacts to the rural quality of life in the area from this new industrial activity. No substantive changes were made, many issues remain in contention.

The application, submitted by Red Rock Quarry Associates, is located on a largely forested 56-acre tract on Stone Quarry Road, south of Route 28, in the White Lake neighborhood. Around 27 acres of this site will be actively mined over the life of the proposed new mine. The site has not been an active quarry for nearly 90 years, while there has been significant residential and small business development around the area’s lakes.

The new White Lake granite quarry is completely out of character with the area’s local residential and tourism economy. This large-scale industrial facility will disrupt the local quality of life and poses environmental threats. The APA review did not consider a number of factors.

The project will open large pits in an 8.8-acre area with 40-foot-high walls. Bedrock will be removed and topsoil stockpiled. Crushing will occur on-site. Large granite “bricks” will be cut using “diamond wire saws” and then loaded on trucks, which will run up to 20 loads per day. Blasting will be necessary to break apart or break open the bedrock for mining operations. The mine will operate all summer long, during the height of the White Lake tourist season, from April 1 through October 31, Monday-Friday, 7am-6pm and 7am-12pm on Saturdays.

Area residents are concerned about noise from mining operations, noise from blasting, truck traffic, fugitive dust, and water quality impacts. The long hours and weekend mining will also be disruptive to the local quality of life in the area. It goes without saying that the hundreds of properties around White Lake and Little Long Lake have not had to deal with blasting or noises from mining operations before echoing through the hills.

The purpose of a formal adjudicatory public hearing is to develop a record for the APA to use to make its decision. After the hearing is completed, the decision by the APA Board is made based on the record and the contours of a given project and draft permit conditions are shaped by information developed in the hearing.

A formal adjudicatory public hearing is not a standard “public hearing” where the public is invited to comment on a specific proposal. This is not a forum where speakers get three minutes to talk about a proposed action. A formal adjudicatory public hearing is a quasi-judicial proceeding that’s administered by a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Administrative Law Judge, where different interests can petition for party status, where independent expert testimony is introduced, where APA staff and experts can be cross-examined, and where an applicant’s experts can be cross-examined. Experts introduced by intervening parties can also be cross-examined. Some hearings take a day, some take weeks. All the safeguards around ex parte communications are employed.

The APA rules and regulations lay out the criteria for sending a project to public hearing. One criteria is the level of public concern and interest. The hundreds of letters and public comments submitted, unusual for a proposed private land development project, clearly meet that criteria. Other criteria involve disputed facts. The Adirondack White Lake Association has invested in independent mining experts that reviewed the application and raised serious questions about potential impacts from this project. An adjudicatory hearing is the best way, the only way at this point, to resolve these disputes and fully and openly assess the impacts of this project.

Governor Hochul has called on state agencies to practice greater openness and transparency in their actions. There is no better way for the Adirondack Park Agency to ensure openness and transparency and meet the great concern of the public about this project than through an adjudicatory hearing.

Will the new boss be the same as the old boss?

Click here to read a letter to the APA making the case for an adjudicatory public hearing.

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Peter Bauer is the Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks. He has been working in various capacities on Adirondack Park environmental issues since the mid-1980s, including stints as the Executive Director of the Residents' Committee to Protect the Adirondacks and FUND for Lake George as well as on the staff of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century. He was the co-founder of the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) in 1998, which has collected long-term water quality data on more than 75 Adirondack lakes and ponds. He has testified before the State Legislature, successfully advocated to pass legislation and budget items, authored numerous articles, op-eds, and reports such as "20% in 2023: An Assessment of the New York State 30 by 30 Act" (2023), "The Adirondack Park and Rural America: Economic and Population Trends 1970-2010" (2019), "The Myth of Quiet, Motor-free Waters in the Adirondack Park" (2013), and "Rutted and Ruined: ATV Damage on the Adirondack Forest Preserve" (2003) and "Growth in the Adirondack Park: Analysis of Rates and Patterns of Development" (2001). He also worked at Adirondack Life Magazine. He served as Chair of the Town of Lake George Zoning Board of Appeals and has served on numerous advisory boards for management of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve. Peter lives in Blue Mountain Lake with his wife, has two grown children out in the world, and enjoys a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout the Adirondacks, and is a member of the Blue Mountain Lake volunteer fire department.Follow Protect the Adirondacks on Facebook and Threads.

50 Responses

  1. nathan says:

    explosive residues are usually very toxic, dirt, dust, high volumes of diesel exhaust, all causing water and air quality issues. so many mines and quarries of the past are still polluting streams a 100 years later, long after the company is gone. The clean-up costs are left to tax payers. The idea of the adirondacks is to maintain a prestine woodland and nature preserve. with so many restrictions on activities and business, it has made tourism a major priority for many livelyhoods. the Quarry may provide a few jobs for a decade or two, but at the detriment of all surrounding business’s, tourism and possible wide running pollution spreading downstream. Is a few short term jobs really worth some developers dream of making a profit and run away leaving a devasting mess to yet become another tax payer clean-up?? i would vote absolutely no quarry be allowed.

    • JB says:

      Very good points. Explosive gases and residues do indeed tend to be very toxic and can enter the environment as significant persistent pollutants. Harmful dust containing crystalline silica and elevated radionuclides is known to be generated by granite quarries. There are plenty of experts who will downplay those concerns for specific projects–sometimes with good reason, sometimes not. It’d be interesting to dig deeper into that (no pun intended).

      Ultimately, if there are overwhelming numbers of affected landowners who oppose a major commercial project in their own backyard, that should be justification enough for serious scrutiny–not only by APA, but also by the Town Planning Board. Considering that the opposition to this is being spearheaded by such a group, this whole controversy can hardly be blamed on “environmental freaks”. Nobody likes bad neighbors.

  2. 8.8 acres ? People forget the Adirondacks is a place where people live and work. It’s not just a play ground for environment freaks. This is why towns need to start exploring ways to get land in their towns out of the park.

    • Boreas says:

      The Park is also an area where small and large landowners have the right to enjoy their properties. Are the neighbors not a consideration?? What will a nearby quarry do to their land values? Will they receive any compensation for noise and pollution? Will the Town buy their properties and relocate them to provide a buffer zone? Development always is good for some and bad for others. This is the minefield the APA is tasked to negotiate.

      The “environmental freaks” comment is simply stupid, a diversion, and goes against the reason most of us live here. I came here 20+ years ago for peace and quiet and love of nature. I pay taxes. I vote. I did NOT move here for industrial and extraction pollution and noise. If I wanted that, there are plenty of mines and quarries already in place that I could have snuggled up to. The Adirondack Park was not created as an Industrial Park.

      Landowners with mineral rights should indeed enjoy the rights to remove those materials, but only under the oversight of the APA – which, by charter and nature of its creation, should lean toward protecting environment – both natural and human.

  3. LeRoy Hogan says:

    I have kitchen granite counter tops and my family members no longer with me have granite gravestones. I seem to be a quarry supporter.

  4. LeRoy Hogan says:

    Wasn’t there mining already been done in this area? So nothing is actually changing here. Imagine out of millions of New Yorkers, only hundreds are against it.

    • Jim S. says:

      Millions know nothing about it.

    • Louanne says:

      The mine you speak of was in the early 1900’s when the blasting was done in winter ( using water to separate the rock) then the granite was removed by rail. This is hardly what’s being proposed today! The quarry/mine will operate 5 1/2 days per week, Up to 20 trucks per day entering and exiting on a busy Highway with low site distance, more aggregate mining than dimensional. 300 feet from 27 properties many with wells, 900 feet from a spring fed lake, barely 100 feet from federally recognized wetlands, on an aquifer, near the lake outlet, operating from 7am – 6pm 5 days, 8-1 Saturdays from April through November. I could go on and on.

      • LeRoy Hogan says:

        and yet people move next door despite the mining history. Not too bright. Maybe moving next door to abandoned fracking property is a better idea.

        • Rlph Cossa says:

          There had been no mining there for over 90 years and when the property was originally sold future mining was prohibited. Residents had NO reason to believe the mine would be revived. Regardless, the applicant is responsible for demonstrating that the environment will not be harmed and has thus far failed to do so.

  5. Ryan says:

    These are very exciting times for Peter! His life has been lacking purpose since 2008. Nothing stirs up more emotion in Peter than an APA formal adjudicatory public hearing – whether it be for a single family dwelling or a granite quarry. In Peter’s view, every project in the park, no matter how big or small, meets the criteria.

    • Boreas says:

      Keeping proceedings above board and transparent should be a threat to no one. This is what the APA is supposed to do without being “reminded” by Peter and others. I think we all have seen recently what happens when cloaked, back-room agreements prevail and the consequences come to light only after the fact.

      • Ryan says:

        Unfortunately, the APA is a government agency stretched thin and starved of resources – and holding public hearings for every project in the park would be a massive burden on the organization and local councils. NYS voters, especially in the North Country, rail against any sort of increase in taxes to fund these agencies to actually enforce their mandates. Individuals like Louanne and her group, the Adirondack White Lake Associates, will gin up outrage and fear amongst neighbors in reaction to any proposed changes/development within the park that she personally does not align with (and Peter loves to pile on). Right now it’s against a quarry, next month it could be against a private individual looking to build a discrete hunting/fishing cabin on their own 8 acre parcel. If all the laws and regulations are being followed by the applicant, just because there is some manufactured public outrage does not mean that a formal public hearing is warranted.

        • Ralph Cossa says:

          Please point out any protest by Louanne against anyone’s cabin anywhere. Also please point to the existence of the necessary testing to demonstrate that there will be no harm caused by the mine. There has not been an adjudicatory hearing on ANYTHING since 2008.

        • Boreas says:


          I understand what you are saying, but it isn’t every day a new mining operation opens. This is exactly what the APA is designed and expected to do. If the APA does not or will no perform its function, it needs to be abolished.

  6. Keith says:

    Hey, it pays his bills.

  7. Todd Eastman says:

    If NYS residents can’t deal with rigorous environmental review…

    … Wild Wonderful West Virginia would gladly welcome there…

    … countertops made of coal dust are quite popular…

  8. Kate says:

    This proposed quarry is about 200 yards from my back door. My family has owned this property for 65 years of peace and quiet. Now we can look forward to 7am wake up calls 6 days a week, antique windows rattling, and dust all over our cars and in our lungs. I get that if you buy a property next to an airport you don’t get to complain about the noise. But that’s not what’s happening here.

    • LeRoy Hogan says:

      Do you have an environmental impact source stating this will happen with a granite quarry?

      • Kate says:

        That’s kinda the point, Mr. Hogan. The developer doesn’t even have an environmental impact statement. There’s been no study. He should have to show the impact. It’s should not be on home owners to fund one. Would you like a granite quarry in your backyard?

    • Ryan says:

      There’s a group out of Day, NY called the Livingston Lake Club. If you’re looking to relocate in the park, you can try to buy a plot of land adjacent to theirs and the lovely lakefront homes of its members. They do a fine job of using their environmental connections and money to make sure that nothing gets built near them (except of course for their own vacation homes and illegal driveways through the forest preserve). They, along with Peter, will ensure that your application for a single family dwelling gets dragged to a public hearing so that not even you will be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of your own property.

  9. E says:

    A small detail that Peter Bauer conveniently left out of his article, that is purposefully misleading, is that the NYS DEC did have an adjudicated law hearing on September 2nd 2021 at 4pm. This hearing was well attended and some 18 people gave testimony and a legal transcript is available. This article is typical of the opposition organized campaign of misinformation and fear mongering.

    • LeRoy Hogan says:

      I did a Duck Duck Go of “fear mongering” and one of the images shown was of Peter.

    • Ralph Cossa says:

      The Sept 2 public meeting was a legislative hearing not an adjudicatory hearing. The applicant did not speak and there was no opportunity to question him or the DEC or anyone else. No one was under oath. This is why an adjudicatory meeting is needed.

  10. JB says:

    Frankly, I can understand that Mr. Bauer is not a popular guy among the cohort of people that has coalesced against him. I disagree with some of his organization’s priorities as well. But the major source of disagreement between the most antagonistic factions here appears to be little more than an ideological inclination to exploit ANY resource in the way that caters to their own respective politics–“eco tourism” vs. “provincial industrialism”. Indeed, most of the battle is being led in absentia: the loudest voices of are coming from locales that are far removed from the wargrounds. That is a problem in and of itself, but let’s not allow it to become strawman that distracts from the much more serious hypocrisy of the ideological quarrel to begin with. Even if we look to the greater and broader ideologies from which the present dichotomy has devolved, they are far more meritorious and far less hypocritical–protection of the commons versus private property rights. Still, that is a false dichotomy–better than a manufactured dichotomy, but still false.

    Locally driven landowners’ associations are different. On the whole, their members are typically acting as direct stewards and are not driven by recondite ideologies. Collectively, they tend to oppose any enterprises that would hamper the continuation of traditional stewardship and break social contract, whether the aggressor is private or state. The Lens Lake landowners were a prime example of that. In fact, it was “landowners associations” in the form of Adirondack private clubs that laid the precedents for the foundational ideals of modern management of both the private and public lands within the Adirondack Park that we have today. If an organization such as Protect! throws in behind such a group, we should all be overjoyed. Many such advocacy groups have become so politicized in recent decades that I doubt that they would do as much and stray from their de facto goal of creating a cosmopolitan recreational mecca in alignment with the State. For example, I have not heard so much as a whisper from the Adirondack Council, which once supported Lens Lake residents in their plight (one that would be far more controversial today). Come on guys, these arguments are heading from facetious towards ludicrous.

    • JB says:

      EDIT: Okay, I googled it, and now I have heard my whisper from the Adirondack Council (there is still hope for them yet).

    • Dana says:


      Haters gonna hate. They don’t have an argument, so they just attack Peter. It is supposed to make him look bad, but it really just makes them feel better and ramps up emotions – the real end-game. None of the rhetoric is helpful or even useful.

    • Ryan says:

      20 years ago my father bought an 8 acre parcel on Lens Lake. He applied to build a small log home set back from lake so that our family could enjoy the peace and quiet of the park. Ironically, our closest neighbor and member of the Livingston Lake Club wanted that land for themselves and did everything in their power to prevent us from being able to build. Form letters sent from residents nowhere near the property all of a sudden flooded the APA – ultimately resulting in an adjudicatory public hearing. You mention that the Adirondack Council supported Lens Lake residents in their plight – what plight was that exactly? A small family from NJ moving into town to enjoy some hiking and kayaking?

      • Todd Eastman says:

        Sounds like due diligence was not conducted in relation to the permitting process…

        … giving the Club the ability to use legal means to stop the project…

        • Ryan says:

          “Public concern and interest” is an incredibly low bar to have an application be sent to an adjudicated public hearing – especially when the public and the Agency were manipulated by a disinformation campaign coming from our neighbor and backed by the Adirondack Landowners Association. I am all for transparency, but again, not everything that the public expresses interest in needs to be brought to a hearing.

          • Boreas says:

            “I am all for transparency, but again, not everything that the public expresses interest in needs to be brought to a hearing.”

            Seems to be a big contradiction in that statement.

      • JB says:

        Ryan, I agree that what happened regarding your father’s property on Lens Lake is at least worthy of debate–as everything that gets to an adjudicatory public hearing should be (in theory). As per, 6 CRR-NY § 621.8, mere public opposition is not enough to trigger an adjudicatory hearing: “Mere expressions of general opposition to a project are insufficient grounds for holding an adjudicatory public hearing on a permit application. In order to raise substantive and significant issues, written comments expressing objection or opposition to an application must explain the basis of that opposition and identify the specific grounds which could lead the department to deny or impose significant conditions on the permit.”

        Compar that to the burden of proof for a municipal board to hamper use of a property, which is typically far lower (they only need to comply with general state and federal law). I agree that the entire DEC/APA process is convoluted–some would argue that this complexity ensures fairness, but I am not convinced that the bureaucracy could not be simplified. I can also see how one would find it difficult to decipher the seemingly arbitrary and controversial APA regulations surrounding shoreline development. Again, the convoluted nature of the regulations is largely a result of compromises made to ensure “fairness”. If no compromises had been made at all in drafting the original legislation–and shoreline development had been more severely restricted as originally proposed–then the entire McHugh controversy could very well have been moot.

        I see how you would get the impression that your neighbor may have behaved inappropriately. But given the shortcomings inherent in any realistic implementation of land-use restrictions and given how badly we need them for environmental and economic survival, I think that organizations like Livingston Lake Club represent something close to–although not perfect–the best possible solution. It is difficult to complain about being denied peace and quiet when that exclusivity is only made possible by denying it to others.

        Given the current economic and political situation, the alternatives are either: the Park becomes overrun by sprawling private development or the Park becomes a cosmopolitan recreational unregulated commons–or both, assuming that we are not doomed to those fates already. Landowners’ associations (aided by environmental advocacy groups) prevent sprawl by opposing private development and prevent a tragic commons by opposing public acquisition when the state has not proven their ability to prevent misuse. Do you hunt or fish? Well, thank private clubs for pioneering game conservation, saving endemic brook trout strains and pioneering hatchery science. Do you post your property against trespass? Thank private clubs for getting that privilege codified into law. Do you enjoy having access to private property on the shores of Lens Lake? Thank Mr. Hutchens and the Adirondack Landowners Association for opposing State acquisition; it could very well be a mismanaged campground by now.

        These types of historically controversial hearings are extremely well known and watched by an eager public on both sides of the issue. Less publicized are the ultimate outcomes. Did your father ever get his permit? (I never learned what happened.)

        • Ryan says:

          1 year to complete the application consisting of a topographic map, full tree inventory, and professionally engineered septic system – conditions unheard of for a single family dwelling. 5 court dates spanning an additional 2 years and eventually the permit was approved – by then the public was no longer even interested evidenced by your own question regarding the outcome.

          I agree with much of your response, but for the Livingston Lake Club and Mr. Hutchens in particular, I’m not convinced their pursuits are as noble as you describe. Perhaps at one point in the early 1900s by his father, but over time not so much the case.

          The Livingston Lake Club land along with Hutchens property adjacent to my father’s was targeted for acquisition in the 90s as noted in the Vision 2020 report – it is a private in holding after all. The Adirondack Council and DEC knew that the only access to the property is via an illegal road crossing a mile long stretch of forest preserve which dead ends at a gate on the Club’s private property. Ironically, this road was constructed and maintained at the expense of the Stony Creek taxpayers, although the majority of the land and road are in Day, NY – a different town and county altogether. Sadly, the “plight” of the Stony Creek residents continues to this day. For decades, Stony Creek tax dollars have been funding an access road to the beautiful Livingston Lake for its members only (most of whom are out of state). To top it off, the 800 acres of Livingston Lake Club land is tax exempt. Consider the amount of money this Club has starved the state and local residents of both Day and Stony Creek throughout the last 30 years. Although this may all seem far-fetched, these details can be confirmed in Mr. Hutchens own self-authored book on the history of the Club – happy to lend you my copy.

          I respect Mr. Hutchens tenacity and cunning but I won’t be extending any thanks. His objections and environmental concerns regarding my fathers’s application were not some altruistic endeavor for the general well-being of the Park, but rather a pretext to weaponize various groups and the APA against us. He coordinated a disinformation campaign to bend the APA to do his bidding and protect the access to his Club – or what you describe of as “fairness” I suppose.

          I do still have faith in the state government and it’s agencies and would prefer to trust the APA to control land use rather than leaving it up to factions of landowners associations and families passing their properties between generations. I suspect the APA will be around far longer than the Livingston Lake Club and it’s aging membership.

          • JB says:

            Thanks for taking the time to tell your story. It is very helpful to get the “inside scoop”, since there are always far too many hidden layers to any Adirondack story. My experience has been that any Adirondack residential project involves at least one year of jumping through hoops, no matter what the letter of the law says. The process has become more important than the outcome–er, the outcome has become the process itself. That is the pitfall of bureaucracy.

            I have little doubt that the APA will be here for a long time to come. The real danger is that it will metamorphose into something unrecognizable that blows up in all of our faces; there are few safeguards protecting institutional memory. All organizations run that risk, but most Adirondack private clubs do have quite an impressive track record for longevity and memory, on the order of centuries. Even Livingston Lake Club almost certainly predates APA.

            I do understand that all organizations are imperfect, the people behind them more so. I am sure that Mr. Hutchens is as self-interested as the rest of us. But self-interest is not the problem, as I see it. Indeed, it has always been that good stewardship is only possible when direct self-interest coincides with environmental interests. The real problem is that economic individualism is the lot that Americans have drawn, and yet we continue to insist increasingly, per impossible, on *collective* self-interest. Maybe that brand of economic-determinist utilitarianism is fine and good for a short while, but in time it has created all of the major threats that the Adirondack environment has faced since the land was ceded by the European nobility (overhunting, clear-cutting, overdevelopment, overuse, over-recruitment). Today, even the best hierarchical bureaucracies fail to protect our common pool resources by themselves–the “American dream” is an existential threat to the commons and politics is subservient to ideology. Ideological righteousness is a very lofty aspiration. Ironically, the private Adirondack Park is slowly succumbing to an existential threat of its own in the form of parcelization–the “mission creep” of private stewardism–both caused by (taxes, appreciation) and necessitating the burdensome oversight of those very same bureaucracies. The silver lining is that having the best of both together shows us what greatness is possible. But it also shows us the worst. Are complicated things the most likely to fail, or the most likely to succeed? And which is worst: blatant nepotism, self-contradictory utilitarianism, or a combination of both? An awful lot to debate.

            • Ryan says:

              Glad to share. As you said, there is an awful lot to debate – the Adirondack Park is full of paradox like everything else in life. I simply hope that the readers of this publication exercise some skepticism and critical thinking. I am no expert when it comes to mining and the Forestport area, but I know from my experience that not all calls for an adjudicated public hearing are warranted. We should all hope that the parties involved are acting in good faith. Corruption and self dealing should not be tolerated – whether it’s coming from the pro business or pro environment sides.

  11. Charlie Stehlin says:

    JB says: “I can understand that Mr. Bauer is not a popular guy among the cohort of people that has coalesced against him.”

    Some people just cannot get past economy JB. Nor would some ever consider ‘environment first’ when a large, gaping hole can be blasted in the earth, no matter where it is, even if it was in the last sacred haven on earth, if dollar amounts are key in the makeup of their craniums, and that large gaping hole! These same ‘some people’ are also endowed with a bias against anything (or anyone), which goes against their narrow field of vision, even if that ‘anything’ is for the good of the whole, for future generations, for the only home we know…planet earth. Plain and simple….people just cannot get past themselves JB! There’s a price to pay for that which we are already paying for, and which we will continue to pay for, and which we have not yet learnt evidently!

    • JB says:

      Charlie, there is indeed a price to pay. If the first decades of the 21st century has had anything to teach, it is that greater economic activity does not necessarily correlate with greater inherent wealth. Hopefully we will learn our lesson soon, because the 2020s is shaping up to be a decade where that hits much closer to home. The sprawl, the scarcity, the strife are becoming simply unjustifiable.

    • Ryan says:

      When the economy stacks the odds against you your entire life, as it has for many individuals living in the small mountain towns of the Adirondacks, it is not surprising that dollars weigh heavily on their psyches. We all have biases – some of yours are clear from your comments.

      • Charlie Stehlin says:

        “When the economy stacks the odds against you……….”

        The odds are against most of us Ryan, no matter where we live. You should know that! I am very much aware how circumstances lead people to vote the way they do. Our political leaders are very much aware of the same, and so they know how and where to dangle their carrots. Recall the fracking debate in New York some few years back, how those poor rural folk, many of them landowners, took the bait and raised their voices…… because they saw gold at the end of imaginary rainbows. The only people who get rich are those who are already rich….generally speaking. Of course “rich” is a frame of mind because oftentimes no matter how much money people have they’re still not happy, and so they’re really poor. A true rich man is one who is contented with what he has! That’s easy for me to say but can I live that? I’m trying my darndest!

        The best interests of the people aren’t always at play when our erected officials make their decisions, though they make it look that way. I sympathize with anybody who struggles to make ends meet, but for us to keep hacking away at what little is left, to turn one more haven into another cesspool, for temporary appeasement, is not in the best interest of our progeny which is what some of us think about foremost! We all should be thinking about our progeny, what kind of world are we going to be leaving them!

  12. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “Come on guys, these arguments are heading from facetious towards ludicrous.”

    Yeah, but it’s not funny JB, and there’s no getting through to those whose psyche’s could use some major tweaking. Just look at ‘the big lie’ as per a current example, at how many are clung to it as gospel no matter how so fallacious it is!

    • Ryan says:

      It’s ironic that you argue to give the same public that wholly endorses Stefanik and “the big lie” such agency when it comes to the affairs of the Adirondack Park. You clearly question their psyche, why would you want them forcing the hand of APA and calling for adjudicated public hearings?

      • Todd Eastman says:

        The majority of Stefanick’s fan club live out of the Adirondacks…

        … gerrymandering…

        • Ryan says:

          Take a ride from Glens Falls out to the small town of Stony Creek. This is a GOP stronghold like many of the other small Adirondack Mountain towns. Ordinary individuals struggling to get by, but susceptible to misinformation – either from the GOP, Fox News, or a Landowner’s Association.

  13. Kate says:

    I am sick over this quarry. 65 years of peace, quiet, and clean fresh air destroyed for the ego of a few people. Habitats of animals. Putt’s Monument, a hiking and picnicking spot at risk. NO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY! No concern for the community, and no benefit at all to the community, but plenty of damage. Where is the water coming from for all the drilling and grinding, and where is it going when they are through with it? No study, who knows. White Lake, the White Lake outlet? This project was a deep dark secret from the community until it was well on its way toward approval. Why? People in power are friends with the developer? Why the fast track? Why no impact study? Why no public hearing? Why are more than 1,000 letters of protest ignored?

    • Boreas says:

      I feel your pain! It is yet another APA decision with little or NO impact study. Shameful.

      • JB says:

        A caustic mixture of politics, mission creep and crony capitalism. The APA seems to be doing all that it can to live up to its reputation as incompetent absentee rulers. Grassroots landowners’ associations and environmental advocacy groups are the only ones left keeping the baby alive. But the question is: Has Park management become a creature infected by business advocacy groups and quasi-privatized municipal bureaucracies (e.g., chambers of commerce)? Has politics once again overpowered the will of the constituency? The ball is in the Town’s court now…

  14. Kate says:

    Long time ADK fans around White Lake will remember seeing crayfish and turtles, newts and whatnot in and around the lake. Acid rain changed the lake ecology in one generation. But sure, lets have a working mine in our back yard.

  15. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “Why are more than 1,000 letters of protest ignored?”

    Money first is why Kate, or what they call “progress.” Till death do them, and all things else, part…..money first!

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