In order to cut a lot more trees on the Forest Preserve for new snowmobile corridors, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation and the Attorney General’s Office have announced that they will appeal July’s court ruling against the State and in favor of Protect the Adirondacks.
That ruling by a 4-1 court majority declared that the extent of tree cutting for snowmobile trail construction, when considered cumulatively, violated our state’s constitutional limit on destruction of timber on the Forest Preserve “to a material degree” (Article XIV, Section 1, NYS Constitution, and court interpretations). » Continue Reading.
An analysis of per capita income trends was useful for evaluating differences between regions, especially when analyzed with a range of other economic indicators. Per capita income is the average income earned of a person within a specific geographic area, such as a city, town or state.
When adjusted for inflation, per capita income is an important measurement, though not as good as median household income, because it can be skewed by a few individuals with extremely high incomes in low population areas.
One of the best measurements of the overall economic performance of a region is median household income of its residents. Household income is the combined gross income of all members in a household. Median household income is the median of all households in a region. A comparison of median household income is a good way to study the economic experiences of different regions.
In the new report The Adirondack Park and Rural America: Economic and Population Trends 1970-2010 (2nd edition) we made a series of comparisons of long-term economic and population trends between Adirondack communities and other areas across New York, the U.S. and Rural America from 1970 to 2010. The U.S. Census provides median household income data as a standard field in its surveys. We only had to adjust the data for inflation.
It’s not every day that one gets to see a well-worn aphorism ring true. The philosopher George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In the Adirondacks this is now playing out at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area.
The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) manages this area for a variety of winter Olympic sports – cross-country skiing, biathlon, bobsled, and luge, among others. It’s also a popular cross-country ski area for the public, and starting in 2018 it became the staging area for a new trail to Cascade Mountain, where the public can start hiking in a safe parking area. The facility is located partly on land owned by the Town of North Elba Park District and partly on the State Forest Preserve. The Forest Preserve lands are protected as forever wild by Article XIV of the State Constitution. » Continue Reading.
Two Adirondack environmental groups have filed a lawsuit challenging a plan by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to construct a massive new snowmobile bridge over the protected Cedar River in a remote area of the Adirondack Park.
The Cedar River is designated as a “Scenic” river under New York’s Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act. The suit challenges DEC’s issuance of a permit to itself for the bridge construction as violating the Act’s prohibition of motorized recreation, including snowmobiling, in Scenic river areas. The lawsuit also claims that DEC failed to conduct the required environmental review prior to issuing the permit. » Continue Reading.
Protect the Adirondacks is hosting a Canoe-In for Motorless Waters on Weller Pond on Saturday, August 18, 2018. PROTECT is aiming to get 100 canoes and kayaks in a flotilla of protest calling for state action to make Weller Pond and Little Weller Pond motorless waters.
The protest is starting at 10 am. People who plan to attend should register online. Boat rentals are available in the area.
“Weller Pond and Little Weller Pond should be managed by the State of New York as a quiet waters area, made off-limits to motorized watercraft and only accessible by non-motorized vessels. These ponds should be managed by state agencies as a quiet and beautiful refuge and respite among the heavily motorized and extremely popular Saranac Lakes Chain,” Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, said in an announcement sent to the press.
PROTECT issued the following list of reasons why the Weller Ponds should be motorless: » Continue Reading.
Protect the Adirondacks is set to hold its annual membership meeting at The Grange in Whallonsburg on Saturday July 21st. The annual meeting includes the Conservation and Advocacy report, financial report, membership report, and election to the Board of Directors. » Continue Reading.
The Blue Mountain Lake Island Stewards will have a new boat for the 2018 season thanks to the Blue Mountain Lake Fund. The old boat was notably leaky.
The stewards monitor the state-owned islands and Castle Rock, educating the public in proper, legal and environmentally-sensitive practices. The stewards also monitor the lakes of the Eckford Chain for invasive species as well as educate the public in ways to reduce the spread of invasives. » Continue Reading.
What follows is a statement sent to the press by Protect the Adirondacks:
Protect the Adirondacks opposes the new plan by the Trump Administration and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon the Clean Power Plan set up by the Obama Administration. This is an enormous set back for US policy on climate change and will have negative impacts in the Adirondacks as progress on significant reductions in acid rain over the past 20 years may be lost. The US EPA announced on October 9, 2017 that is was starting the process to take formal steps to officially repeal the Clean Power Plan. » Continue Reading.
The following statement was issued to the press on Monday by Protect the Adirondacks:
A new plan has emerged from the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, an arm of Iowa Pacific Railway Company, to store hundreds of old, dilapidated railroad cars, supposedly mostly boxcars, on siding track and unused rail lines in Warren and Essex Counties. These rail cars would be stored “indefinitely” on these rail lines. Saratoga & North Creek Railway leases rail lines from Warren and Saratoga Counties and owns the Sanford Lake Rail Line in Hamilton and Essex County. The plan was announced at a Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting last week.
Saratoga & North Creek Railway stated that it plans to store “hundreds” of old railroad cars. The Adirondack Park has never been used for this purpose. This is a critical moment in the history of the Adirondack Park and for all the reasons below, we urge you to take action and block this ill conceived plan. » Continue Reading.
On July 31, 2017 final papers were submitted in the trial in state Supreme Court in Albany over management of the Forest Preserve. The trial ended in early April. The trial focused on management of the public “forever wild” Forest Preserve by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency.
These agencies are currently building a network of 9-12 foot wide class II community connector snowmobile trails (Class II trails) on the Adirondack Forest Preserve that require cutting thousands of trees, extensive grading.
The lawsuit was filed by Protect the Adirondacks (PROTECT) against the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency in 2013, and alleges that these trails violate Article XIV, Section 1, the forever wild provision of the NYS Constitution. » Continue Reading.
Protect the Adirondacks has announced that the Howard Zahniser Adirondack Award 2017 will be given to Dick Booth, a former Adirondack Park Agency Board member and a professor in Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning, located within the University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.
The award will be presented at the 2017 annual public meeting for members of Protect the Adirondacks at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid on Saturday July 15th at 9:30 am. PROTECT also plans to honor Steve Englebright, the Chair of the State Assembly Conservation Committee, as the Legislator of the Year. » Continue Reading.
The 2017 New York State Legislative session ended on June 21st as both houses adjourned and left Albany. It remains unclear at this time if the two houses will return to complete unfinished business. The two houses were deadlocked over issues of “Mayoral Control” of New York City schools and extensions for local taxation districts across the state. Both of these issues are important for New York City and state residents and may require further action.
There was unfinished business for the Adirondacks as well. The two houses were close to reaching an agreement in the last hours of the session on enabling legislation for the proposed “Health and Safety Land Accounts” amendment to Article XIV, Section 1, the “forever wild” provision of the State Constitution. This amendment would provide access to 250 acres of Forest Preserve lands for maintenance of local highways in the Adirondacks bordered by Forest Preserve, and lands for municipal water wells, as well as authorize burial and colocation of utility lines and bike paths in state and local highway corridors. The “enabling legislation” sets in law the process for the implementation and administration of the amendment. » Continue Reading.
Protect the Adirondacks offered its first witness Wednesday in a civil trial that could clarify the meaning of Article 14, the section of the state constitution that declares that the Forest Preserve “shall be forever kept as wild forest lands.”
Historian Philip Terrie spent several hours on the stand, establishing his credentials and testifying about the meaning of timber circa 1894, the year Article 14 (then Article 7) was approved.
Article 14 mandates that timber on the Preserve shall not be “sold, removed or destroyed.”
Protect the Adirondacks contends that the state’s construction of “community connector” snowmobile trails violates this provision and will destroy tens of thousands of trees. The nonprofit group is suing the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency.
Some might wonder: What’s the big deal about Boreas Ponds? Yes, it boasts a fantastic view of the High Peaks, but you can paddle the waterway in less than an hour. And then what?
Unlike Lake Lila, Boreas Ponds has no sandy beaches where you can loll in the sun or go for a swim. Nor is there a nearby peak to climb for a lookout (though you could bushwhack to the top of Boreas Mountain).
Nevertheless, Boreas Ponds is a big deal. It’s one of our last chances to add a sizable water body to the Forest Preserve and declare it motor-free.
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