Posts Tagged ‘Adirondack Park Agency’

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Adirondack Wild calls on Governor to Strengthen the APA

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve logo

The nonprofit advocate Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve has written to Governor Kathy Hochul asking her to strengthen the make-up of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) this spring. The organization asks the Governor to nominate individuals who will add urgently required  legal, planning, and environmental perspectives, expertise, independence, and competence to APA decisions about major projects having large, regional impacts. The organization is also asking the State Senate to scrutinize the Governor’s APA nominations prior to confirmation.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Solar eclipse

girl scout wear eclipse glasses

Eclipse

Explorer staff and correspondents were stationed across the region to bring you solar eclipse coverage. Check out our website and social media accounts for updates, photos and more. Read our story here.

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Thursday, April 4, 2024

Sue for the study

Saranac Lakes Chain

Environmental groups and unhappy neighbors in recent years have challenged a pair of proposed marina expansion projects in the Saranac Lakes Chain by accusing the state of failing to uphold a decades-old requirement to study how much use forest preserve lakes can withstand.

The requirement (mandate? obligation? suggestion?) resides in the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, which controls how the 6-million acre park is managed. The master plan has called on the Department of Environmental Conservation to complete a “comprehensive study of Adirondack lakes and ponds” aimed at determining “each water body’s capacity to withstand various uses, particularly motorized uses, and to maintain and enhance its biological, natural and aesthetic qualities.”

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Camp Santanoni access in question

Santanoni Great Camp Newcomb lake Historic Preservation farm ADKs

Great Camp Santanoni

There’s a difficult situation playing out in the town of Newcomb. Under a court settlement, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is required to provide access to Great Camp Santanoni for people with disabilities. But the horse and wagon operator it contracted with to provide those services, cannot provide them at the level required.

So now the operator’s contract has been terminated, though he may be able to operate under a different permit later this year. It still leaves the question of how the state will comply with its court settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read our update here.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Hochul approves 2023-24 Adirondack Park State Land classification package

APA logo.

Action Includes the Classification and Reclassification of 6,050 Acres of State Land in New York State’s Adirondack Park

Ray Brook, NY – Governor Kathy Hochul approved the 2023-24 Adirondack Park State Land classification package. The action includes 25 state land classifications totaling approximately 5,800 acres and 11 state land reclassifications totaling an estimated 250 acres. The Adirondack Park Agency, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Conservation, advanced recommendations to the Governor after completion of a rigorous review process with extensive public comment opportunities in accordance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. The lands involved in this classification action are in the counties of Clinton, Essex, Fulton, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, St. Lawrence, and Warren.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

State Agencies Have Clear Authority To Act On WhistlePig Whiskey Fungus Pollution


In March, Protect the Adirondacks called upon the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to launch enforcement investigations into an invasive “whiskey fungus” in the Mineville area in the Town of Moriah, Essex County. The Adirondack Explorer reported that DEC has demanded that WhistlePig Whiskey submit plans for mitigating “the effects of its operations on neighboring properties” by April 20th. WhistlePig Whiskey owns and operates a warehouse facility in Mineville that is the apparent source of vapors that create what’s come to be known as the whiskey fungus that has coated homes in the area with a slimy black mold-like fungus.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tests: Whiskey fungus is more widespread

The WhistlePig Whiskey facility in Moriah

Whiskey fungus

Results from November fungus samples taken from homes near WhistlePig Whiskey in the town of Moriah were released last week. The state Department of Environmental Conservation said “the samples matched the morphology of the whiskey fungus from the WhistlePig facility.”

Read our update here.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Adding Adirondacks back into budget

Students learn about history of Timbuctoo Institute

Legislature

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed $233 billion budget included some program cuts relevant to the Adirondacks. The state Assembly and Senate released their one-house budgets last week, adding some of those funds back.

Here are some of the takeaways:

  • Reinstated Clean Water Infrastructure Act funding to $500 million for the fiscal year.
  • The Assembly proposed dedicating $10 million from the Clean Water Fund for road salt management.
  • Restored funding to the Timbuctoo Climate and Careers Institute at $2.1 million.
  • Restored funding to the Survey of Climate Change and Adirondack Lake Ecosystems at $2 million.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

4 High Peaks rescues, 3 days

Rescue on Basin Mountain

Ranger rescues

It’s officially mud season, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation has asked hikers to avoid climbs above 2,500 feet. Two weekends ago, forest rangers were already dealing with the difficulties of conducting rescues in the mix of mud, ice and snow. I spoke with a ranger about his assistance on four rescues that weekend, two of them involving a team of 30 rangers.

You can check out that story here.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Herbicide season

Eurasian watermilfoil

Fighting invasive milfoil

The planned use of the herbicide ProcellaCOR in the region’s long fight against invasive Eurasian watermilfoil continues to grow as lake communities across the park seek permission to use the product this spring.

The Adirondack Park Agency board at its meeting next week will be considering a permit application from the Brant Lake Association to use the herbicide to treat its worst milfoil beds later this spring.

John Dunn, the lake association president, told me the goal is that the herbicide can rein in the lake’s worst infestations, leaving sparser areas for dive teams to harvest by hand.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Frontier-era delay at campground

Top photo: Frontier Town campground gate.

Legislature

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.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tracking 30-by-30 progress

OSI’s West Mountain Property in Saratoga County

Legislature

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.

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Monday, February 26, 2024

APA Transparency Still An Uphill Climb

adirondack map

Transparency is defined as the quality of allowing light to pass through so that objects can be distinctly seen. When considering the transparency of public agencies, take the Adirondack Park Agency for instance, it is not just about the APA making information publicly available, but making that publicly available information understandable, intelligible, discernable, truly seen. In recent years and months, APA has made information much more publicly available on its website. However, it has not done a good job in making that information intelligible, discernable, distinctly seen.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The Incredible Shrinking Adirondack Park Agency Board

When the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was created over 50 years ago, it was at the forefront of environmental protection and regional land use regulation and planning for the Adirondacks, New York State, and the United States. The APA was established to “insure optimum overall conservation, protection, preservation, development and use of the unique scenic, aesthetic, wildlife, recreational, open space, historic, ecological and natural resources of the Adirondack park.” No small task, for sure. The APA Board, made up of eight individuals nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate and three representatives from state agencies, has “responsibility for developing long-range park policy in a forum reflecting statewide concern.” The APA, led by its Board, is supposed to be the lead agency for planning in the Adirondack Park and is supposed to oversee the management of the Forest Preserve.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Lawmakers want clean water funds

State Senate

Legislature

On Wednesday I attended part of the state Legislature’s joint environmental conservation budget hearing in Albany. State leaders and lawmakers cram the future of New York’s agriculture, parks, environment and energy into one day. You can watch the whole 13 hours and 20 minutes of it on YouTube.

I’m unclear why the state doesn’t separate energy, the environment or agriculture into their own days. The sheer number of topics legislators fly through, however, provides a fascinating snapshot of what’s happening across the state.

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