Posts Tagged ‘adirondack club and resort’

Monday, May 27, 2013

Big Tupper Resort Amphibian Study: Science After The Fact

Michael Klemens sampling for amphibiansWhile it has not attracted much attention yet, Preserve Associates has hired some biologists to conduct an amphibian study this spring to determine the presence of amphibians on some, but by no means all, of the lands proposed for subdivision and development at the permitted Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) site in Tupper Lake.

According to APA correspondence, this survey is taking place or has recently taken place within 800 feet of all wetlands on seven of the small eastern great camp lots, and along Lake Simond Road Extension and the proposed but not yet developed Bypass Road. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dave Gibson: The APA Says Science Can Wait

Adirondack_Park_Agency_in_Ray_Brook_NYIt’s happened again. The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has eliminated a permit condition for advance studies to assure no harm comes to sensitive wildlife from new development on four mountain summits.

The entire project – a new Emergency Communication system for Essex County – could have still gone forward and been completed by next winter according to New York State Police – even with the permit condition in place. It’s remarkable how little pressure is required to cause APA to abandon its statutory purpose to protect delicate biological and physical resources of the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Commentary: We Should Protect Vulnerable Vernal Pools

This Spotted Salamander just crossed Ski Tow Road, Tupper Lake, en route to a vernal poolWander into a wood with your ears open in early spring  and you are likely to quizzically turn your head to try and locate an indistinct sound, far off but not too far off, remarkable but subtle, an undertone of  – castanets? That’s how we described the sound 29 years ago when as new homeowners we explored our forest and discovered the breeding quacks of the wood frog.

I learned by wandering that wood frogs bred in the hundreds, not just in that one forest pond (a vernal pool), but in several others hundreds of yards apart – but not in every pool, just in some. Twenty-nine years later, they continue to breed just in those same pools between March 15 (the earliest date I’ve recorded their sounds) and April 15 (the latest), depending on temperature. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Dave Gibson: Benefits of Conservation Development

Over Tupper LakeCongratulations are due the Adirondack Park Agency and Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program for this month’s Adirondack Park Agency (APA) presentation on the benefits of Conservation Development in the western United States. Presented by Sarah Reed (of Colorado State University and WCS), the information showed the considerable extent of non-traditional subdivision and development going on in the 11 western states today.

Some form of conservation development, or “an approach to development design, construction and subsequent stewardship which achieves functional protection for natural resources and an economic benefit” is going on in about a third of this huge area of the country, Sarah Reed told the APA. Since conservation development is distinguished from traditional development as setting aside at least half of a buildable area as open space, while performing ecological site analysis to map what habitats deserved protection, it has also comprised a remarkable 25% of all private land conservation going on in the west, she said.
» Continue Reading.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Designing the Park: Updating APA Regulations

Averyville-2As the proposed Adirondack Club & Resort in Tupper Lake wound its way through the approval process, two planning consultants separately recommended in 2008 that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) require clustering of homes in the backcountry. Under a draft clustering policy written by one consultant, the resort’s “Great Camp” estates would have consumed 280 acres of forest instead of 2,800 acres.

“The same number of homes could have been constructed, but the project would have been largely concentrated near the [Big Tupper] ski area,” said Jeff Lacy, a consultant in Shutesbury, Mass., who proposed the policy on behalf of the Adirondack Council.  “My guess is it would be under construction today rather than under review by a court.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bigfoot: Myth or Economic Opportunity

The Adirondack region has a long and storied history of mysterious phenomenon. From the numerous haunted hotels, frequent unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings, a breeding mountain lion population and an unending horde of black flies, the Adirondacks have its share of paranormal curiosities. One of the most interesting and beloved of these is Bigfoot, the large, hairy hominid, with enormous feet that allegedly lurks within many of the most remote areas of North America and beyond.

Unfortunately, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently played the Grinch just in time for Christmas, stealing this beloved beast from the entire state when they officially designated Bigfoot a figment of the imagination. Instead, they should be looking at this as an opportunity to generate some economic activity in an area of the State where it is needed most.
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Commentary: At APA It’s Subdivide Now, Plan Later

Months after approving the largest subdivision in its history (Adirondack Club and Resort), the NYS Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has approved another residential subdivision on substantial acreage in Resource Management – the Park’s most protected private land use classification. In August, APA approved a 13-lot subdivision off Styles Brook Road in the Town of Keene, part of a beautiful farm and landscape of 1,336 acres lying between the Hurricane Mountain-Jay Mountain Wilderness Areas, parts of the NYS Forest Preserve.

Moreover, the subdivision lies in an area identified by the Northeast Wilderness Trust as important to protect a wildlife movement corridor linking the Split Rock Wild Forest along Lake Champlain to the Jay-Hurricane-Giant-Dix-High Peaks Wilderness areas to the west. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Legal Details On Tupper Resort Permit Conditions

Yesterday I wrote a post on the Adirondack Explorer website about the contention of Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club that the permits for the Adirondack Club and Resort have expired. Consequently, I found myself in the middle of a dispute over arcane (to most) passages in the Adirondack Park Agency Act.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the APA has not issued permits for the Tupper Lake project. Rather, the APA board approved the permits subject to certain conditions being fulfilled, such as a study of the project’s impact on amphibians.

Until the conditions are met, there are no permits, and so far the conditions have not been met. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: Revitalizing Tupper Lake

Amy and I have just returned from two magnificent weeks on Lost Brook Tract.  It was everything we could want and more, pure glory.  I am still digesting the experience, not yet ready to write about it.

In the meantime I had prepared a set of Dispatches to run while we were gone so that you, dear readers, would not have the weekly streak interrupted.  I came off the land revitalized, ready to respond to any comments and rejoin the fray.  But as my columns were hardly controversial or provocative there were few comments to read (yes Catharus, looking for Bicknell’s up top is on our priority list).  No comments?  That’s no fun!   So this time I decided to write a column with a topic guaranteed to produce a reaction: revitalizing Tupper Lake.  I was motivated in part by the vitriol evident in a posting on the same topic just days ago. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 20, 2012

PROTECT Responds to Tupper Resort Lawsuit Critics

What follows is an essay sent to the media today by Protect the Adirondacks! regarding recent criticism over a lawsuit filed by the group and the Sierra Club against the Adirondack Park Agency over its approval of the 700-unit Adirondack Club & Resort project in Tupper Lake.  

For several months boosters of the Adirondack Club & Resort (ACR) project have criticized and even ridiculed the lawsuit brought by Protect the Adirondacks! and others to challenge the Adirondack Park Agency’s (APA) approval of the largest subdivision/development ever authorized in the Adirondack Park. They have criticized the lawsuit as frivolous in numerous public statements, lobbied the Cuomo Administration against the lawsuit, and even held a press conference in Albany with Senator Betty Little. The news media have provided ample coverage of these activities, while giving relatively little information about the substantive issues raised in the litigation (somewhat understandable, given the lengthy and complicated documents now before the court). » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dave Gibson: Authority to Protect the Backcountry

I write in praise of the scope and content of Adirondack Explorer’s current lead article “The Future of Open Space” by Phil Brown, but wish to add emphasis to one very important aspect. The article rightly notes that “it is vital to have an APA staff and board willing to use their authority to protect the backcountry.”

Attempts to strengthen or change APA laws and regulations that protect the open spaces of the park are for naught if APA lacks the will to use the legal tools available to it. That was the case with Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR), where APA had plenty of legal authority, but lacked the courage to deny ACR, greatly modify the project, or reopen the hearing to obtain evidence missing in the hearing. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Phil Brown: APA Replies to Tupper Lake Suit

Much of the lawsuit over the Adirondack Club and Resort boils down to a dispute over what kind of development is appropriate on land designated Resource Management, the Adirondack Park Agency’s (APA) strictest zoning classification for private land.

The developers want to build eighty homes on 4,740 acres of Resource Management (RM) lands in Tupper Lake, including thirty-five “Great Camps.” Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club contend that the resort would be incompatible with the purposes of RM lands as spelled out in the Adirondack Park Private Land Use and Development Plan.

Like most RM lands, the resort’s property is forested and has been logged for years. The land-use plan says the “primary uses” of RM include forestry, agriculture, game preserves, and “open-space recreation.” The plan lists single-family dwellings as a “secondary” use. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BREAKING: Tupper Lake Resort Approval Headed to Court
Protect, Sierra Club, Local Landowners Sue APA Over Resort

What follows is a press release issued late Tuesday evening by Protect the Adirondacks!, who along with the Sierra Club and three local private landowners, have sued to stop the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake. You can read all of the Almanack’s stories about the project here.

ALBANY–The grassroots environmental group Protect the Adirondacks!, the Sierra Club, and three nearby landowners today sued the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the developer proposing the 700+ unit “Adirondack Club and Resort” mountainside project in the Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County, which was approved by the Agency on January 20. The suit, filed in the Supreme Court in Albany County, and expected to be transferred by that court to the Appellate Division, Third Department, is returnable on May 11. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Commentary: APA Lacked Will, Not Authority

Will New York build upon its historic leadership as a steward of our protected Adirondack Park, home to people and wild nature, exhibiting the highest standards for ecosystem management? Or will that promise be lost to the lowest common denominator, where the most specious claims to the economic bottom line win the argument, a “go along-to-get along” mindset? Following the issuance of a permit by the Adirondack Park Agency for the sprawling Adirondack Club and Resort, citizens around the state are wondering.

Remember what APA permitted in January: 706 residential units, 332 buildings, 39 large “great camps,” 15 miles of new roads, sewer, water and electric lines, fences and posted signs spread across 6,200 mostly undeveloped forest acres – 75 % of which is in the most protected private land classification in the park, Resource Management. Remember what this permit jettisons: a variety of traditional backcountry recreational uses, including hunting leases as well as forestry operations. The permit sanctioned real estate estimates shown to be highly exaggerated and completely unreliable. The applicant’s payments in lieu of taxes scheme is probably illegal. This is speculative development at its worst. » Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Adirondack Council: Revise Development Rules

The Adirondack Council is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature to make sweeping changes to the rules for private land use and development in the Adirondack Park.

“The current rules for development are too weak and outdated to protect the park’s pure waters, wildlife and unbroken forests,” said the Adirondack Council Executive Director Brian L. Houseal said in a statement issued last week. “Conservation science and smart growth principles have advanced a great deal since 1971. Unfortunately, the Adirondack Park Agency’s regulations have not.”

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1971, after resort development and the construction of an interstate highway (I-87) through the Adirondacks prompted a public call to protect the park. None of those rules has been amended since 1978, when several were weakened, the Council asserts, adding that “a recent resort review illustrated why the rules need attention.” » Continue Reading.



Kid next to water

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