Thursday, June 16, 2022

The latest state, APA policy news

APA 50th anniversary logo

I know I previewed this in my last newsletter, but in case you didn’t get a chance to read it, here is my roundup of the four Adirondack Park constitutional amendments that didn’t get first passage this legislative session. The conservation design bill, legislation intended to protect more open space and natural resources when planning for some subdivisions, passed the Assembly but not the Senate. Also of note, a bill that brings forest rangers and environmental conservation officers’ retirements up to the same standards as State Police passed both chambers. We’ll see if Gov. Kathy Hochul signs it this time.

New High Peaks welcome center

My colleague Mike Lynch checked out the Adirondack Mountain Club’s new welcome center. Check out his story here, and below is information about an event we’re conducting. That will take place at the new welcome center so if you sign up, you can check out the place for yourself. I’ve had a couple of people ask me if we’re going to live-stream the panel. We’re working out details on that, and I’ll let you know.

Summer event: Straight talk about High Peaks management

The Adirondack Explorer with the Adirondack Mountain Club will host a conversation around education and hikers in the High Peaks region. This free event is happening from 7-8:30 p.m. on July 20 at the former Cascade Ski Center in Lake Placid. Click here for more info and to RSVP

APA news

The Adirondack Park Agency had an interesting variance discussion last week. Some commissioners found themselves torn because they felt a variance request didn’t meet the conditions to approve it, but then alternatives appeared to be more damaging to the environment. Ultimately the board chose to deny the variance for adding a new slip to a boathouse on Spit Fire Lake in Franklin County. Some called the need for the new slip “self-created” because the applicants had bought an antique boat in need of covered storage. You can read that story on our website.

I was glad to be back in person at the agency last week. It was a journey to get there after unfortunately there was an accident with trees and wires down across Route 73 in Keene. Add that to the construction work going on, and my two-hour drive became three-and-a-half. APA Chairman John Ernst hit the same snag I did. We made it to Ray Brook for the one-day meeting and it was great to be able to talk to people and meet face-to-face.

The APA also has a new logo in celebration of its 50th anniversary. (Photo at top)

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

One Response

  1. David Gibson says:

    Gwen, as an important form of communication the new 50th APA logo better represents the APA’s planning mission for the entire Park than what APA was forced to hang on their meeting room wall during Governor Andrew Cuomo’s terms – “Adirondack Park – 103 communities Open for Business.” Time for that banner to come down. As for the variance to expand the boathouse on Spitfire Lake, that was an open and shut case of not meeting what the law and regulations require of the APA to issue a variance. Staff did their job at pointing out that by issuing a variance here, shoreline regulations across the Park would become pretty meaningless. Some APA members were slow to get that.

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