Posts Tagged ‘APA’

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Things Fall Apart At The Adirondack Park Agency

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was rocked last week with the sudden resignation of Chad Dawson, who served as one of three APA Board members from outside the Adirondack Park Blue Line. Dawson is a Professor Emeritus at SUNY ESF, who not literally, but actually, wrote the book on the management of Wilderness and public lands. See Wilderness Management: Stewardship and Protection of Resources and Values (4th edition). Though Dawson was an authority on public lands management and is recognized widely across the U.S. as an expert, few at the APA and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would listen to him.

Dawson took words on paper seriously, especially the words of the APA Act and Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. One such case was where the Master Plan calls for carrying capacity studies on public water bodies during the development of Unit Management Plans (UMPs), a clause that the DEC has long refused to acknowledge and fulfill. The APA has never tried to uphold this requirement. At deliberations over UMPs in the last four years, Dawson would point to this section of the Master Plan and he would be met with yawns from other APA Board members that the APA has never asked for these studies before, so why start now.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Chad Dawson resigns from the APA

Last week’s Adirondack Park Agency meeting was a humdinger.

Board members, state Department of Environmental Conservation staff and APA staff all discussed two major projects that have led to plenty of passionate public comment. Those included visions for the Debar Mountain Complex and some changes to the Essex Chain Lakes area.

About three hours into this meeting, with the above-mentioned projects taking up the majority of the time, board member Chad Dawson announced his resignation. Dawson (pictured here) has been a wilderness advocate on the board, whose membership leans toward local government and economic development.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, December 11, 2020

APA, DEC announce new public comment period, public hearing for Debar

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), as co – lead agencies, have determined that the Integrated Series of Proposed State Land Management Actions in the Vicinity of Debar Mountain Wild Forest may have a significant adverse impact on the environment and have prepared a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) and Final Scope. NYS DEC and the APA announce an opportunity for public comment on the proposed actions.

The APA proposes re-classification of approximately 41 acres of land from the Debar Mountain Wild Forest to be classified as Intensive Use, on the shore of Debar Pond.  The reclassification proposal will be reviewed for compliance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and will be in conformance with the Programmatic EIS.  The proposed reclassification is located in the Town of Duane.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Government agencies in pandemic: Lack of connection, transparency

Since the Adirondack Park Agency’s monthly meetings went virtual, I have patched in to watch the fuzzy images and hear the fuzzy voices of the commissioners, on a feed that has the flavor of convicted felons appearing in court via closed circuit video.

And I’ve thought: This is a leading agency in a leading state in a leading country in the world and this is the best we can do? And the answer is, Yes! It is! Because other agencies, boards and panels are much worse. At least with the APA you can get a vague notion of what they are doing, as opposed to some remote Facebook feeds that are entirely inaudible or, in the case of one local government meeting, was broadcast upside down.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Corrections on Saranac Lake Marina Commentary

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:

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Did the Governor Appoint APA Members on the Basis of their Qualifications?

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”?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Amending the APA Map and the burden of proof

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.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

APA to hear cases, accept public comments this month

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.

Gwendolyn Craig gives a rundown of the projects under review this month in this Adirondack Explorer article: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/apa-projects.


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Woodward Lake Proposal Tests Park Agency

Woodward Lake courtesy Adirondack AtlasThe 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.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Viewpoint: Require APA To Track Climate Data, Trends

APA Building in Ray Brook NYHow 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.


Monday, February 10, 2020

APA Board To Consider Development Projects

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe 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.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Great Recession Changed Our Development Landscape

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.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

State Legislature EnCon Committee Chairs Talk Priorities

todd steven willie

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.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Viewpoint: Rethink Boreas Ponds Motor Vehicle Access

Large washout on Gulf Brook RoadThe 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.


Monday, December 9, 2019

APA Considering 95-Foot Tower, 500-Acre Logging, More

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe 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.

What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.