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Adirondack Explorer

April, 2015

DEC Proposes Trail, Lean-to In Pepperbox Wilderness

The 22,560-acre Pepperbox in the western Adirondacks is one of the smaller Wilderness Areas in the Park, but it also is one of the wildest. It has no lean-tos and only two miles of foot trails. The State Land Master Plan observes that the lack of a trail system “offers an opportunity to retain a portion of the Adirondack landscape in a state that even a purist might call wilderness.” Now the state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing to create a 1.3-mile trail to Gregg Lake and build a lean-to at a primitive campsite on the lake. The trail >>More


January, 2015

Green Groups Weigh NYCO Appeal

Environmental groups are threatening to take to a higher court their battle against a mining company’s plan to drill for wollastonite in the Jay Mountain Wilderness. On Thursday, Earthjustice filed a notice of appeal with the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, a step that preserves its right to appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit against NYCO Minerals, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Adirondack Park Agency. “The agencies’ determinations here really were illegal and null and void, and they shouldn’t be allowed to go forward,” said Hannah Chang, an attorney for Earthjustice, a nonprofit organization that specializes >>More


March, 2013

No charges for snowmobiler whose sled sank in lake

A snowmobile that sank in Lake Flower after its driver intentionally drove it over open water has been removed and apparently did not contaminate the water, according to a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. David Winchell, the spokesman, said the snowmobile was pulled out of the lake Friday evening, hours after the incident. “Examination of the snowmobile indicates all motor fluids are intact, so no fluids were released into the lake,” Winchell said in an e-mail. He added that DEC will not issue any tickets to the driver, whom he identified as Shawn Wales, 37, of Saranac >>More


March, 2013

Tupper Lake man admits illegal trapping

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued the following news release today: Franklin County man pleaded guilty last week to 31 violations of Environmental Conservation Law related to illegal trapping, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today. On February 11, DEC Environmental Conservation Police charged Terry J. Hurteau, 56, of Tupper Lake, for offenses including unlawfully setting 15 snares for coyote, multiple counts for unlawful use of body gripping traps on land and multiple counts of failing to tag traps. He was issued appearance tickets for the Town of Tupper Lake Court. DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) >>More


January, 2013

APA hires ex-commissioner as counsel

The Adirondack Park Agency has hired James Townsend, one of its former board members, to serve as the agency’s counsel. He will replace John Banta, who retired last year. A Rochester lawyer, Townsend sat on the APA board from 1999 to 2010. He left when he wasn’t reappointed by Governor David Paterson. APA Chairwoman Lani Ulrich made the announcement today. “For more than a decade, Mr. Townsend worked tirelessly on complicated Park issues and has a proven track record of accomplishments on behalf of the Adirondacks,” she said in a prepared statement. Environmental activists also voiced support for the appointment. >>More


December, 2012

Protect opposes change in clear-cutting policy

Protect the Adirondacks contends that a change in regulations proposed by the Adirondack Park Agency will lead to more clear-cutting. The APA is seeking public comment on the change in policy, which the agency’s board approved in November. “PROTECT believes that a decision by the APA to significantly loosen clearcutting rules will have wide ranging implications for long-term forest management in the Adirondack Park as well as seriously undermine public support for the state conservation easement program, among other negative consequences. ‘The Adirondack Park has largely avoided the clearcutting controversy that raged over policy for National Forest lands, in Maine >>More


September, 2012

Protect seeks APA e-mails with Cuomo staff

Adirondack Club and Resort photo by Carl Heilman II

Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club want to see e-mails between the Adirondack Park Agency and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s staff to determine if the governor’s office improperly influenced the APA’s approval of a massive resort in Tupper Lake. John Caffry, the attorney for the two environmental groups, said the APA acknowledges that the APA and Executive Chamber exchanged e-mails on the project, but the agency refuses to divulge them. “There is a school of thought that the governor’s office dictated the APA vote,” Caffry said, though he conceded that he doesn’t know that to be the case. “Obviously they >>More


September, 2012

DEC on track to buy Finch lands this year

Essex Chain of Lakes in the Adirondacks. Photo by Carl Heilman II.

The state is on track to buy more than nineteen thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands by the end of the year, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Karyn Richards of DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests outlined the department’s plans to the Adirondack Park Agency on Thursday afternoon. Over the next five years, she said, the state will purchase sixty-nine thousand acres from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy for $49.8 million. The land will be purchased in four stages and added to the forever-wild Forest Preserve. In the first stage, DEC will acquire the 18,318-acre Essex Chain >>More


September, 2012

Groups say ACR permits expired

Adirondack Club and Resort aerial photo

Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club contend that the permits for the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake have expired and the developer must begin the lengthy application process all over again. In January, the Adirondack Park Agency approved the permits with conditions. Among them, the developers were told to conduct a wildlife survey. John Caffry, the attorney for the two environmental groups, asserts in a letter to the APA that under the APA Act, permits expire if the conditions are not met after six months. He says the deadline passed on July 31. “If the Project Sponsor >>More


August, 2012

Cuomo pledges $640,000 for Keene fire house

Governor Andrew Cuomo pledges $640,000 for Keene fire house.

Governor Andrew Cuomo came to the rescue of Keene today, pledging $640,000 in state funds to rebuild a fire house destroyed by the floods of Tropical Storm Irene a year ago. Cuomo said the state had to step in after the Federal Emergency Management Agency reduced the amount of money it offered for replacing the fire house. “The building was cut in half, and we said not only will we build back, but we will build back better than before,” the governor said at a check-signing ceremony at the site of the future fire house on Route 73. The new >>More