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Adirondack Explorer

Friday, January 20, 2012

APA approves Tupper Lake resort

The Adirondack Park Agency voted 10-1 today to approve the controversial Adirondack Club and Resort, the largest development ever to come before the agency. Several commissioners said they had concerns about the project—including what they described as the developers’ optimistic sales projections—but they concluded that it fell within the APA’s regulations. The commissioners agreed with the agency’s staff that the resort would not cause an “undue adverse environmental impact” and expressed hope that it would boost the fortunes of Tupper Lake. “This brings the opportunity of economic development to Tupper Lake, something that’s badly needed,” said Commissioner William Thomas. Tupper >>More


Friday, January 13, 2012

APA writes draft permit for Tupper resort

After six years of public debate, the Adirondack Park Agency’s staff has written a draft permit for the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake, finding that the resort would comply with the law if it meets all the conditions of the permit. The APA board, which is scheduled to vote next Friday, could approve the draft permit, approve it with modifications, or reject it. Among other things, the board must decide whether the project will cause an “undue adverse environmental impact.” Two environmental activists disagree on whether the project as described in the permit passes the test. Brian Houseal, >>More


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kathleen Moser named assistant DEC commissioner

A longtime conservationist has been named assistant commissioner for natural resources at the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Kathleen Moser was picked to replace Christopher Amato, who left the post earlier this month after four and a half years on the job. Moser’s new responsibilities include oversight of the Forest Preserve in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Adirondack Council spokesman John Sheehan applauded the appointment. “She’s a capable person and has a good knowledge of the Forest Preserve, especially in the Adirondacks,” he said. Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, got to know Moser when she was head >>More


Friday, December 9, 2011

Ex-IP official to head DEC Region 5

A former International Paper official has been named director of the Region 5 office of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In his new post, Robert Stegemann will oversee an office that, among other things, manages the eastern two-thirds of the Adirondack Park. He begins on Monday, replacing Betsy Lowe, who  resigned last month. “Bob’s impressive record in working to create a sustainable society and to preserve New York’s resources make him a natural fit for DEC,” said state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens. “In both professional and volunteer capacities, Bob has proven to be an exceptional environmental steward. Bob >>More


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Adirondack Council: Protect Poke-o tract

The Adirondack Council wants the state to purchase or otherwise protect a 2,257-acre parcel near Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain that is on the market for $2,275,000. Dubbed Burnt Pond Forest, the tract lies just southwest of Poke-o-Moonshine, bordering state Forest Preserve. It is being marketed by LandVest, a real-estate company that deals in timberlands the Northeast. In an online brochure, LandVest says the property contains six peaks, several trout streams, an eighteen-acre pond, and a trail system. The brochure touts the property’s timber value but also suggests that the pond would be suitable “for the development of a recreational cabin or second >>More


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christopher Amato to leave DEC

Christopher Amato is resigning as the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s assistant commissioner for natural resources. He said will return to practicing law in the private sector or go to work for the state attorney general. Amato told the Explorer that he expects to remain in the Albany region, where he lives. He said he will stay at DEC for “at least a week” longer. “It was time for me to move on,” he said. “I very much enjoyed my time here.” Amato had been in private practice before joining DEC four and a half years ago. Earlier in his >>More


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Groups spar over Lake Placid train

Two nonprofit groups are sparring over the future of a rail corridor near Lake Placid, each accusing the other of spreading misinformation. The spat began this week when Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) issued a news release in support of keeping the railroad tracks in place. AARCH noted that the corridor is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. In response, Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates wrote a letter to AARCH, asserting that placement on the historic registers is no bar to tearing up the tracks. “We are writing to suggest that whatever legal advice you are getting on this >>More


Thursday, November 17, 2011

The APA’s slippery criteria

Resource Management is the most restrictive zoning category for private land in the Adirondack Park. In the debate over the Adirondack Club and Resort, one of the big questions is whether the proposed resort is suitable for RM lands. Essentially, RM lands are timberlands. The Adirondack Park Agency Act says the primary (or best) uses of such lands include forestry, agriculture, and recreation. Housing developments are considered “secondary uses.” The law says that residential development on RM lands is permissible “on substantial acreages or in small clusters on carefully selected and well designed sites.” The developers contend that their design >>More