FacebookTwitterInstagram Youtube
Adirondack Explorer

May, 2011

Protect the Adirondacks! still a force

Category:

We at Protect the Adirondacks! believe Fred LeBrun’s commentary, “Park loses green voices” (March/April 2011) contains misleading statements that misrepresent the status of Protect.  Despite LeBrun’s pessimism, Protect remains very active in protecting the Adirondack Park. First, Protect is a major player in the Adirondack Park Agency hearings on whether to approve the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort development in Tupper Lake as evidenced by the press coverage of John Caffry, our legal counsel, and letters to editors by Protect board members published in local papers.  In the adjudicatory hearing, only Protect is presenting expert witnesses on the financial risks >>More


May, 2011

Trail would boost health and wealth

Category:

With the growing popularity of bicycling, and the lure of being the only long-distance, multi-use trail within the Adirondack Park, the proposed thirty-four-mile Lake Placid-to-Tupper Lake trail along the Adirondack rail line would be a major draw. Bicycling is now the second-most common form of outdoor recreation in the United States, with sixty million Americans enjoying the activity. More Americans bicycle than golf, ski, and play tennis combined. Twenty-seven million Americans have taken a bicycling vacation in the past five years. The economic benefits to the area would clearly be substantial. No less important are the ways a multi-use trail >>More


May, 2011

The false promise of a rail-trail

Category:

Would it not be wise to poll bikers and skiers to see if they would use the proposed rail-trail from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake? I for one would not. I have ridden on a rail-trail and, being a mountain biker, found it terribly boring. These trails work in places where they run from town to town over short distances and with easy access. That’s not the case here. Road bikes cannot ride on packed stone-dust trails; only mountain bikes and hybrid bikes can. Also, consider the best time to ride this trail would be black-fly and mosquito season. It >>More


May, 2011

Solace in wild places

Category:

Seven hundred out of 2,800-plus lakes closed to floatplanes does not seem unreasonable, nor does adding Lows Lake to that list [“Floatplane ban challenged,” November/December 2010]. New York needs to resist the argument that motorized access to these precious wild places is necessary to serve those with handicaps. My own Parkinson’s disease advances; my loss of balance, slowing of reactions, and pain and weakness have caused me to stop bicycling and driving. I still, fortunately, can walk a good distance. But as I increasingly join the physically challenged, don’t change wild-area protection and management for me. To the contrary, just >>More


May, 2011

Tower decision good for all

Category:

Spot zoning is generally a pernicious practice used in cities that impacts an individual or a small group. Picture a proposal for a variance to allow a gas station next to a residence. The homeowner would object, but many people two or three blocks away wouldn’t care and might even welcome a convenient gas station. If left to a majority vote the variance, or spot zoning, would go through. Establishing a small area around a fire tower to allow the tower to stay in spite of the general rules governing the area has been called spot zoning [“Out, out damn >>More


March, 2011

Floatplane argument doesn’t fly

Category:

Regarding the disabled veterans’ lawsuit to allow floatplanes on lakes in the Forest Preserve [“Floatplane ban challenged,” November/December 2010]: First, wilderness with motorized vehicles is not wilderness. This should be kept a separate issue from a person’s right of access to public lands within the Park and should also be kept separate from the American’s With Disabilities Act and their rights to access public lands. Second, the plaintiffs do not mention anything about people who don’t have the cash to hire floatplane pilots, whether they are disabled or not. Apparently they favor access by individuals that can pay—which is far >>More


March, 2011

Mixed message aids bad development

Category:

In looking at the proposal for a sprawling Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake [“Tupper developer perseveres,” November/December 2010], what I support is a redevelopment of the Big Tupper ski slope with a modest cluster of residential construction around the base of the mountain. The application for such a development would be relatively simple and might very well have galloped through the Adirondack Park Agency the first time around. This, I believe, is the vision that the Adirondack Council supports when its executive director, Brian Houseal, says he has “a mandate” from his board of directors to see that >>More


January, 2011

Facts debunk hunters’ complaints

Category:

Kudos to George Earl for his article “Deer numbers debated” [November/December 2010]. I would like to address three points in the article. First, Dan Ladd, who argues that coyotes have reduced the deer population, is a hunter who wrote a book on deer hunting. That makes him an author, not an authority. He deals strictly in opinions. Second, Ed Reed, who notes that studies show the deer population is increasing, is also a deer hunter and a Department of Environmental Conservation biologist. He presents the facts and statistics with evidence and records, not just an unsupported opinion. Finally, the real >>More


January, 2011

A forest-ranger’s legacy

Category:

As the founder of Lean2Rescue [the volunteer repair group featured in September/October 2010], I’m often asked about our cooperative relationship with the DEC. I credit this to my instinctive trust of the department based on the privilege of knowing Ranger Douglas King. I first met Doug in the spring of 1974 when I was nineteen. A few of us intended to spend the entire summer in the woods in secrecy because of the all-too-common myth that the DEC would “just hassle us.” When Doug showed up at the campsite, our suspicions were immediately disarmed by his respectful and friendly approach. >>More


November, 2010

Pitch in against phosphorus

Category:

As the director of education for the Lake George Association, I am writing in response to your editorial “Protect Park’s Precious Water” [September/October]. The Lake George Association can share with your readers extensive research and resources regarding water protection, phosphorus fertilizers, and the new laws in the town and village of Lake George. Earlier this year, we designed and presented a training course for municipalities around Lake George. This course was instrumental in explaining the dangers of phosphorus to town officials and convincing them to take action. This training program may prove helpful to other municipalities in the Adirondacks considering >>More