Posts Tagged ‘APA’

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Discussion time: the APA at 50

We’re gearing up at the Adirondack Explorer to run a series looking back over the formation of the Adirondack Park Agency 50 years ago, as well as looking into the future of the agency.

Here are a few recent posts that are critical of the APA:

Things fall apart at the APA

Local government club at the APA

Now it’s time to weigh in and share your thoughts: What role should the APA play in the next 50 years? What’s working, what’s not?


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A different kind of lobby day

lobby day 2020It’s hard to believe it’s already March 2021. One year ago I was getting my feet wet at the state Capitol, setting up shop at a table in the Legislative Correspondent’s Association offices on the third floor. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was beginning to hold more “Red Rooms,” meaning press conferences, about the coronavirus.

As of mid-March, I had stopped going to the Capitol. Since then, as with so many other folks, I have made home my workshop. While I am lucky to be able to conduct my job over email, the phone, Zoom and a few distanced in-person visits, I noticed just how different things are when advocacy groups posted on Twitter about the Adirondack Park lobbying day last week. 

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Proposed campground for Hinckley and more from this month’s APA meeting

hinckley day use areaIn case you missed last week’s Adirondack Park Agency meeting, here are a few highlights.

The APA is collecting public comments on the Hinckley Day Use Area unit management plan proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Specifically, the APA will look at how this plan meshes with the Adirondack State Park Master Plan. DEC is proposing a revamp of the area, including new multi-use trails, additional camping opportunities and a pavilion at Price’s Point. Click here for more info, including how to comment.

» Continue Reading.


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.

» Continue Reading.


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.

» Continue Reading.


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”?

» Continue Reading.


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.

» Continue Reading.


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.