The Adirondack Almanack has removed the commentary by Tom Jorling “Weighing in on Saranac Lake Marina plans” because it contained inaccuracies brought to our attention by representatives of the Marina. For the record, Mr. Jorling’s comments are filed publicly with the Adirondack Park Agency. We regret the inclusion of incorrect and outdated information on the Almanack.
From a spreadsheet of facts provided by Matt Norfolk of Norfolk Law, Lake Placid, representing Saranac Lake Marina:
The protection and planning for the Adirondack Park’s six million acres, one-fifth of the state, rests in large measure on the motivation and independence of the Adirondack Park Agency’s staff and board members in Ray Brook. Seven members were just nominated by Governor Cuomo and confirmed to sit at the APA’s table by the State Senate. How should we think about them? How should we think about them in light of Governor Cuomo’s challenge to reimagine and improve public policies and practices – to “build back better”?
George Davis is a visionary and practiced land use planner and ecologist. In the early years of the Adirondack Park Agency, George helped to conceive, draft, and implement the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and the park’s Private Land Use and Development Plan.
George Davis comes to my mind now because of several proposed amendments to the APA’s Adirondack Park private land use map, the so-called “fruit salad” map displaying the private and public land classes. The proposed amendments to the map now up for a decision are for 34 acres to go from Moderate Intensity Use to Hamlet in Lake Placid, sponsored by the Town of North Elba, and for 105 acres to go from Rural Use to Moderate Intensity in Lake Luzerne, sponsored by that town.
After a quiet April, the Adirondack Park Agency has a number of projects open for public comment this month, from new cell towers to a proposal to weaken restrictions on a swath of land.
The public hearings and comment periods for these projects are separate from the agency’s monthly meeting, which is slated for 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 14. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting will be held remotely. The public may call in at 518-549-0500 and Access Code 613 297 758, or may join through Webex online.
The developers who want to turn the small, private Woodward Lake in the Town of Northampton into a housing subdivision have agreed to move a handful of lots away from the water and change some boundary lines. However, the overall plan still doesn’t conserve open space or protect wildlife habitat and should be rejected. » Continue Reading.
How has the Adirondack Park Agency fared under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 executive budget proposals? The question hasn’t received any media attention for obvious reasons. It’s a mini state agency, budget-wise.
With a proposed operating budget of $5 million – just .004 percent of the proposed state budget of $137 billion – APA hardly raises fiscal eyebrows. Budgeted for 54 full time staff, APA employs .03 percent of all state employees.
Yet, the Adirondack Park comprises one-fifth the acreage of New York State. It’s constitutionally protected wild lands are honored as a National Landmark and International Biosphere Reserve. It’s subject to one of the country’s earliest and largest regional land use planning laws. But the Park has just one legislatively authorized planning agency, the APA, congruent with all six-million acres. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook on Thursday and Friday, February 13-14, 2020. Thursday’s meeting will begin at 1 pm and Friday’s session will commence at 9:30 am.
The meeting will feature consideration of the installation of two self-supporting monopole towers in Long Lake, discussion of the alleged establishment of a tourist accommodation in the Hudson River Recreational River Area, and more. What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.
News came from New England’s north woods last fall that a large residential and commercial development on 17,000-acres near Maine’s Moosehead Lake conceived before the Great Recession has not begun and would not move forward.
The APA-permitted Adirondack Club and Resort near Tupper Lake has also not commenced, largely for economic reasons. The developer, Preserve Associates, is being foreclosed upon, their creditors are pressing for relief, and the new mortgage holders (Crossroads LLC) are trying to figure out what to do once they acquire the 6,200 acres.
The following essay was authored by Assemblyman Steven Englebright and State Senator Todd Kaminsky.
The 2019 legislative session was a great one for New York’s environment. As the chairs of the Environmental Conservation Committees in both houses, we were pleased to talk with Adirondack residents and visitors about the session in late September when we came to the park to discuss next year’s agenda.
The Adirondacks aren’t just New York’s largest park, they are a national treasure and a shining example of long-term conservation that serves as a model for the world. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency’s decision to classify the magnificent Boreas Ponds Tract to authorize motorized use of Gulf Brook Road is a done deal.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC’s) management plan to improve that road, establish parking, and allow permitted cars to drive to within a couple hundred yards of the Boreas Ponds is in the implementation phase.
In other words, the governmental custodians of the Boreas Tract will be allowing vehicular access deep into the Boreas Tract. Now the only question is whether the Adirondacks itself will allow vehicular access deep into the Boreas Tract. I would not be too sure about that. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY Thursday, December 12th, 2019.
The meeting will address consideration of a proposed telecommunication tower in Elizabethtown, a timber harvest plan for lands in Arietta and Lake Pleasant, authorizing proposed amendments to the Town of Indian Lake’s Local Land Use Program, and will get an overview of Adirondack Diversity Initiative’s six-month strategies and goals.
Many years ago my wife, our Newfoundland dog, and I paddled past what appeared to be many rather unnatural clearings on Long Pond in the St. Regis Canoe Area. Here and there, partially underwater, I saw a piece of plastic water pipe or an old rusty pipe that might have been a dock support. They are the remains of tent platform sites.
In the early 1970s, these camps on “forever wild” New York State Adirondack Forest Preserve Lands were built on leases to private individuals. There were somewhere in the vicinity of 600 individual leases throughout the Adirondacks at that time. Many tent platform leases were on Lower Saranac Lake, where there were 187 tent platforms leased in 1961, and on the various ponds that today comprise the St. Regis Canoe Area. There were also tent platform sites on such popular lakes as Forked, Seventh, Lewey, and Indian Lakes, along the Raquette River, and in many other areas. » Continue Reading.
At this month’s Adirondack Park Agency meeting in Ray Brook, senior APA staff presented a review of large-scale residential subdivisions permitted by APA between 2012 and today. By large-scale, they meant the size thresholds created by the APA, mirrored in pending conservation subdivision design legislation in Albany: five or more lots in Resource Management (colored green on the APA Land Use and Development Plan map), ten or more in Rural Use (yellow), and 25 or more in Low Intensity Use (orange).
Resource Management (RM) being the most protected private land use classification in the Park, I’ll restrict my post to what APA senior staff said about the four subdivision permits issued for projects of five lots or more in RM from 2012 until today. There have been four such permits issued: Adirondack Club and Resort, Tupper Lake, in 2012; Highland Farmers, Keene, in 2012; New York Land and Lakes, Bleecker, in 2015; and Barille family, North Elba, in 2017. » Continue Reading.
Noah Shaw, former general counsel for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), contributed to the drafting of New York State’s groundbreaking 2019 climate legislation. This September, he wrote an op-ed in the Adirondack Explorer, “What New York’s Bold Climate Law Means for the Adirondacks.”
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 “outlines a so-called ‘carbon offset’ program as a counter-weight to the 15 percent of emissions that may remain after all our other emissions-reducing actions are taken,” he wrote. “These will likely come from hard-to-clean-up activities like aviation, agriculture, shipping and heavy industry. New York’s most valuable carbon offset resource, also known as a ‘sink,’ is its forestland. This is good news for the Adirondack Forest Preserve.” » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments for an amendment to the Blue Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan.
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