Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tracking 30-by-30 progress

OSI’s West Mountain Property in Saratoga County


One of our takeaways from the state Legislature’s joint environmental conservation budget hearing earlier this month, was land trusts’ concern over the backlog of properties they are holding for state acquisition.

Kathy Moser, chief conservation officer of the Open Space Institute, told lawmakers that over 90 land trusts are currently holding 100,000 acres with a fair market value of $150 million for the state. In 2022, New York protected just over 5,000 acres. It has more than 3 million acres left to protect to meet its conservation goals of 30-percent by 2030.

Read more about the issue here.

Battery storage

My colleague Chloe Bennett has some breaking news today about a proposed microgrid, or battery storage system, in Raquette Lake. Developers have officially pulled the project. You can read more here.

These battery modules, supplied by the battery company BYD

Photo courtesy of BYD.

Follensby follow

After the news that the state and The Nature Conservancy are under contract on two conservation easements, including one for Follensby Pond, we have been working to distill what that means for future access and research there. Mike Lynch and I put together a list of questions and answers, which we hope to bolster as more information becomes available.

Colleague Zach Matson also looked into the research consortium planned for Follensby Pond. Read more here.

USGS researchers working at Follensby Pond

USGS researchers working at Follensby Pond. Photo courtesy of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Adirondack Park Agency

Agents with the New York State Inspector General paid a visit to the Adirondack Park Agency recently, but as of writing this newsletter, we do not know the reason for it.

The Office of the Inspector General is responsible for investigating “complaints concerning allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse” in all state agencies and departments, according to its website. “The Inspector General provides procurement and contract management monitoring, and investigates allegations of fraud and abuse.”

You can read what we know so far here.

The Adirondack Park Agency’s headquarters in Ray Brook

The Adirondack Park Agency’s headquarters are in Ray Brook. The agency is studying a potential relocation to downtown Saranac Lake. Photo by Gwendolyn Craig.

APA comments

View all APA public comment and hearing opportunities at: https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/index.cfm.

  • The town of Duane is applying to treat Horseshoe Pond in four areas with ProcellaCOR EC, an aquatic herbicide used to control invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. Comments are due by March 14. To view a site map and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0038.
  • National Grid is proposing to install a new midspan utility pole along an existing electricity distribution line within the Tennantville Road transportation and utility right-of-way in the town of Edinburg. The new pole will be 38.5 feet tall with an additional pole-top antenna for National Grid communication equipment for an overall height of 43.25 feet above ground level. Comments are due by March 14. To review site plans and submit a comment, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2024-0032.
  • The APA has posted its official comment page on its revocation of a general permit involving wetlands and its issuance of a new one. Comments are due by March 22. Review the changes and submit comments here: https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=GP2024G-1.

Environmental Notice Bulletin

View all the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s weekly environmental notice bulletin projects.

A programming note this week: The ENB entries appear to lack a contact person for some of these public comment entries. I have reached out to the DEC press office. Hopefully the notice bulletin links will soon be updated.

Photo at top: OSI’s West Mountain Property in Saratoga County. Photo Credit: Bob Stone Courtesy of Open Space Institute.

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.

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