Posts Tagged ‘Forest Preserve’

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Lake Carrying Capacity – DEC Can Do This

Round Pond, Long Lake

Earlier this century, a group from the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) were asked by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC, to begin to tackle the problem of determining the carrying capacity of Adirondack lakes and ponds.

It had been four decades since the 1972 recommendation in the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan that DEC  “determine each water body’s capacity to withstand various uses, particularly motorized uses, to maintain and enhance its biological, natural, and aesthetic qualities.” The SLMP urged DEC to undertake this by prioritizing those lakes surrounded by public Forest Preserve and which were, even then, subject to intensive recreation pressures.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, January 15, 2024

State of the State to budget

Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers her 2024 State of the State address

Legislature

I was looking back at our coverage of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State speeches. During her first in 2022, she mentioned the Adirondacks in passing during her speech. In her accompanying agenda book, she made specific mentions of an Olympic Regional Development Authority venue and of managing visitors in the Adirondack forest preserve.

In 2023, there were no specific mentions of either the Adirondack or Catskill forest preserves in her agenda book, and no mentions of them in her speech. But she used the metaphor of climbing mountains in last year’s address and continued to use it this year. Before the Assembly chambers last week, Hochul made no passing mention of the Adirondacks and her agenda book included one mention of it.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 30, 2023

Citizen Pressure Leads to Investigation of Motorized Incursions into Wilderness

The dry language of the Adirondack Park Agency – Department of Environmental Conservation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning implementation of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan belies its contentious origins.

The MOU, first signed in 2003, updated in 2010, is found on the APA website. It has many “whereas” clauses, such as “WHEREAS, the AGENCY and the DEPARTMENT agree that it is in the interest of the State of New York to fully coordinate and integrate their respective program responsibilities as they pertain to the Adirondack Park for the good of the People of the State, State government, the Adirondack local governments, residents of the Park and Park visitors.” Other “whereas” clauses are followed by: NOW, THEREFORE, the parties do hereby agree to exercise their responsibilities and authorities through the cooperative arrangements created by this Memorandum.”

Cooperative agreements to coordinate and integrate program responsibilities between APA and DEC are, in concept, a very good thing – particularly regarding the protection of the Forest Preserve.  I write to thank DEC and APA for a recent, quite successful outcome of that agreement. I’ll get to that later, but first, some history.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

APA develops battery storage application

Battery modules

We have quite a bit of news to share with you out of last week’s Adirondack Park Agency (APA) meeting.

In light of a proposed battery storage system in Raquette Lake and the state’s working group studying battery fires, the APA announced it is creating an application for such infrastructure when it falls under the APA’s jurisdiction. You can read more about that, and the state’s working group update here.

 

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 20, 2023

Groups call for forest preserve funding

Potash Mountain in Lake Luzerne.

A widening number of organizations are banding together for funding requests for the Adirondack and Catskill Parks forest preserve. In a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul, 41 groups called for a $10 million allocation for forest preserve stewardship in the 2024-2025 state budget’s Environmental Protection Fund. Last year’s budget allocated $8 million.

The groups also call for additional investment in affordable housing and cellular and broadband infrastructure. They also hope Hochul will maintain funding for forest preserve visitor centers, support additional research and monitoring programs, develop an accessibility policy for state lands, clear a backlog of conserved land under agreement for public acquisition and add additional staff supporting forest preserve-related state agencies.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, July 24, 2023

DEC Seeks Public Comment on Draft Adirondack Foothills UMP

dec logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is encouraging public comment on the draft Adirondack Foothills Unit Management Plan (UMP). The draft UMP includes six State forests — HogsbackPopple PondWoodhullPunkeyvilleBlack Creek, and Hinckley — as well as 24 separate parcels of detached Forest Preserve in Oneida and Herkimer counties and will guide management of these properties over the next 10 years. DEC is accepting comments on the draft plan until Sept. 15, 2023.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Groups: Add Forest Preserve funding back into the budget

DEC sign

Following the release of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget, a Forest Preserve group comprised of 32 organizations and municipalities is calling on the governor and legislature to provide funding for the Forest Preserve in the state budget. This comes after a key item from the 2023 budget—a dedicated line for the Forest Preserve—was not retained in the governor’s proposed 2024 budget, which threatens important progress made in the Forest Preserve over the last two years.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, June 13, 2022

2021 Forest Preserve Court Decision Has Far-Reaching Implications

Recent pieces in the Adirondack Explorer (see here and here) have attempted to assess the implications of the decision by New York State’s highest court in Protect the Adirondacks v Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency. The Court of Appeals found that these state agencies violated the state Constitution in their efforts to build a network of new extra-wide snowmobile trails in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. These commenters have derided the decision because they say it’s focused on tree cutting, which they argue is a poor standard to evaluate the constitutionality of management actions by state agencies under Article 14, Section 1, the Forever Wild Clause.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 17, 2021

ADK applauds visitor use management proposal led by DEC, APA

Crowds of hikers in the high peaks of the Adirondacks

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) presented a draft of their joint Visitor Use Management (VUM) and Wildlands Monitoring tool during the State Land Committee Report at the APA Meeting in Ray Brook.

ADK applauds the formation and release of this document, which is seen as a big step towards establishing a visitor use management framework consistent with standards set by the Federal Interagency Visitor Use Management Council (IVUMC), something ADK has routinely advocated for over the years.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Understanding Timber on Protected Lands  

Abbott: Put that out.  There’s no smoking in here. 

Costello: What makes you think I’m smoking? 

Abbott: You’ve got a cigar in your mouth! 

Costello: I’ve got shoes on…. It doesn’t mean I’m walking.”   – One Night in the Tropics, 1940 

“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance  deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has  been carefully hidden.” – Phaedrus, 428-348 B.C.

Usually, when I hear someone refer to a “philosophical problem,” it is safe to assume they have stumbled upon  something contested or murky. Anything without clean  borders and an obviously correct side that good people can  agree on is often dismissed as a “philosophical problem.” Also  consigned to this fate are questions that seem simple until you  look closely and discover a thicket of overlap and conflicts.  In my experience this is usually because what appears to be  the question is either not the real question or not the whole  question. I’m going to try to untangle a situation that falls into the latter category, but before you chuck this column onto the philosophical slash heap, stay with me, and let’s talk timber. 

» Continue Reading.


Monday, June 22, 2020

The paths to Past and Present Constitutional Changes to the Forest Preserve

Editor’s note: This is Part 1 in a five-part series that will run over the next few weeks.

Article 14, Section 1, of the New York Constitution, the famed “Forever Wild” provision, has been amended 16 times since 1938. It has been amended five times since 2007, making this period the most active and intensive in Forest Preserve history for amendments.

Several Article 14, Section 1 proposed amendments are being drafted and organized by the Department of Environmental Conservation and Cuomo Administration that focus on bringing the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Winter Sports Complex (pictured here) into compliance with Article 14, removing the former Camp Gabriels prison complex from the Forest Preserve, and for locating an emergency communications tower on, and possibly providing public access, to Cathead Mountain in southern Hamilton County, which would involve neighboring Forest Preserve.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Viewpoint: State Facilitating Unlimited Access to High Peaks

It seems pretty clear at this point that the state agencies that manage the High Peaks Wilderness Area, and adjacent Wilderness areas, are not interested in limiting public use.

The state is investing in new parking areas, new hiking trails, and a new hiker transportation system that are all designed to facilitate ever-higher levels of public use in the High Peaks, not limit it.

Consider the change underway at Cascade Mountain.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

State Land Stewardship Award Nominations Sought

DEC logoDEC manages 4.6 million acres of public lands, including three million acres in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, more than 5,000 miles of formal trails, campgrounds, day use areas, and hundreds of trailheads, boat launches, and fishing piers. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Our Wilderness Has Answers To Questions Yet Unasked

Schaefer and LangmuirFifty years ago this August, Goveror Nelson Rockefeller’s Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondacks met at Eagle Nest, the great camp of its chairman, Harold Hochshild.

Members brought their spouses, and it seems as though the gathering was a long, country house weekend as much as it was an official meeting. There was horseback riding, water skiing and tours of the nearby Adirondack Museum, which Hochshild had created and which he subsidized until his death in 1981. And, no doubt, cocktails on the veranda at the violet hour.

Experts advising the Commission were invited to present talks on topics related to its work – protecting the Adirondacks from suburban sprawl, over-use and threats to the Forest Preserve. Among those experts was Vincent Schaefer. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 9, 2019

Advocates Warn: Snowmobile Trails In Wilderness Areas Violate Law

remsen lake placid travel corridor mapAlternative snowmobile corridors proposed in the Remsen – Lake Placid Travel Corridor Draft Amendment violate the law and the “forever wild” mandate of the NYS Constitution and should be immediately removed from the draft according to Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve.

“The Department of Environmental Conservation’s inclusion of highly controversial alternative snowmobile routes which violate the law and a July 2019 court decision in a document dedicated to a Travel Corridor makes no sense to us,” the group’s managing partner David Gibson said in a statement sent to the press.

“This plan should stick to its topic, meaning the future of linear Rail and Recreational Trail segments from Big Moose to Lake Placid, and avoid mapping snowmobile community connectors outside of the Corridor on Forest Preserve which needlessly raise red flags and which blatantly violate wilderness law and a recent court decision.” » Continue Reading.



Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox