Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Frontier-era delay at campground

Top photo: Frontier Town campground gate.


Following up on last week’s newsletter about the state’s progress toward protecting 30-percent of its lands and waters by 2030, we have more to share on an odd conservation easement issue playing out in North Hudson.

During the Feb. 7 environmental conservation budget hearing before the state Legislature, Kathy Moser of the Open Space Institute, mentioned how title insurance would be a beneficial tool for the state to use. She pointed to North Hudson’s Frontier Town campground as an example, where an 1850s bankruptcy case was holding up a conservation easement.

It turns out the 1850s bankruptcy case isn’t the only title issue the state found. It also discovered a 1901 mortgage foreclosure where heirs retained 3/8ths interest of more than 200 acres, including the campground. The state requested the town to clear the title. This set Town Attorney John Silvestri on a lengthy legal journey of hiring a private investigator to map out a family tree, find the heirs and serve them with a quiet title lawsuit. Read more on that here.

Adirondack Park Lobby Day

It’s not Adirondack Park Lobby Day without plaid. Around 100 people attended last week at the state Capitol in Albany, many donning red-and-black plaid scarves, to advocate for more park funding and for the above issue on title insurance.

Our past coverage has included some of the funding and legislative priorities emphasized during lobby day, including a boost in clean water funding and $10 million for forest preserve stewardship.

Thanks to Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve for sharing a photo and providing a list of the participants. They included: ADK Action, Adirondack Council, Adirondack Diversity Initiative, Adirondack Experience, Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack North Country Association, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, Ausable River Association, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Environmental Advocates NY, John Brown Lives!, New York League of Conservation Voters, Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute, Protect the Adirondacks!, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Newcomb Campus and Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter.

Group of people at Adirondack Park Lobby Day

Group of people at Adirondack Park Lobby Day. Photo by Ken Rimany, Adirondack Wild.

Adirondack Mountain Reserve

In case you missed it, we recapped last hiking season’s data from the Adirondack Mountain Reserve’s reservation system in Keene. The 2023 season finished at the end of October. It is the last year of the three-year experiment. We continue to wait for the state Department of Environmental Conservation and AMR to verify if it will continue in 2024, and if it will become permanent. Both the state and AMR trustees seem to think the system worked well.

Read more here.

DEC news

Another “in-case-you-missed-it” post here, about DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos stepping down. Seggos is expected to stay on through the state budget season. The DEC said he is the longest-serving DEC commissioner. Read more here.

Adirondack Park Agency

The APA released its preliminary agenda for a March 14 meeting. The board is expected to vote on two permits. One is for the use of Procellacor EC, an herbicide that treats invasive Eurasian watermilfoil, on Brant Lake. The other is for a four-lot subdivision in the town of Corinth. You can read the full agenda here: https://apa.ny.gov/Mailing/2024/03/FullAgency/DraftMonthlyAgendaMar2024.pdf.

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

  • The town of Jay is seeking a permit to allow for continued operation of an existing sand and gravel extraction on Dry Bridge Road in Ausable Forks. Comments are due by March 21. To view site plans and to submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2024-0036.
  • Applicant Ricky Joseph Adragna is seeking authorization to operate a 2,240±-square-foot commercial use wedding venue constructed in 2020 off of state Route 86 in Wilmington. The venue will operate seasonally from May to October and will hold no more than 10 weddings a season. The venue will host one wedding per weekend on Saturdays and has a max capacity of 120 people, according to the project description. Comments are due March 21. To review site plans and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2024-0024.
  • Applicants Patrick and Donna Miner are seeking authorization for a three-lot subdivision on Antone Mt. Road in the town of Hadley. Each lot has an existing mobile home and water and wastewater treatment systems. Comments are due by March 28. To review site plans and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2024-0033.

Environmental Notice Bulletin

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

  • The DEC is applying to revise its own discharge permit at the Adirondack Fish Culture Station in the town of Santa Clara. The Department has prepared a draft permit and made a tentative determination, subject to public comment or other information, to approve a proposed discharge of 4.1 million gallons per day, up from 3.6 million gallons per day, of treated process wastewater to Hatchery Brook from a primary treatment plant at 103 Fish Hatchery Road, Santa Clara. The facility is a fish hatchery that raises fish for the purpose of game fish stocking. Comments are due by March 29. To learn more and submit comments, go to https://dec.ny.gov/news/environmental-notice-bulletin/2024-02-28/completed-application/town-of-santa-clara-adirondack-fish-culture-station.

Photo at top: Frontier Town campground gate. Photo by Melissa Hart.

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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