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Adirondack Explorer

March, 2012

Should floatplanes be allowed on Lake Lila?

Lake Lila in the Adirondack Park

The state attorney general is again asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that demands that the disabled be allowed to fly to remote lakes in regions of the Adirondack Park classified as Wilderness, where motorized use is prohibited. Among the waterways targeted in the suit is Lake Lila, long a prime destination of canoeists and kayakers.  Assistant Attorney General Susan Taylor argues, among other things, that the five men who filed the suit, though disabled, can access Wilderness Areas and many Adirondack lakes without a floatplane. But Lake Placid attorney Matthew Norfolk says his clients (who include Maynard >>More


February, 2012

DEC to build bridge over Marcy Brook

Marcy Dam pond after Irene.

Sometime this year hikers will have a brand-new bridge for crossing Marcy Brook on their way to Mount Marcy and other destinations in the High Peaks Wilderness. The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to build the bridge about a quarter-mile downstream from Marcy Dam. The old bridge at the dam was washed away during Tropical Storm Irene in August. After Irene, hikers had to rock hop across Marcy Brook at a place known as the Squirrel Crossing. The new bridge will be upstream of the Squirrel Crossing, according to DEC spokesman David Winchell. Winchell said the log-stringer bridge will >>More


January, 2012

The strange shape of Senate District 47

In North Country Public Radio’s blog the In Box, Brian Mann describes the proposed redistricting of the New York State Senate as a naked power grab by Republicans (click here to read his post). He writes that the plan “is really designed to do one simple thing: maintain a fragile GOP majority.” He points out that it pits six Democratic incumbents against each other in re-election races. “Meanwhile, not a single Republican lawmaker faces serious disruption or an intra-party battle,” Mann says. In other words, it appears to be a classic case of gerrymandering. I’m sure many of you know that >>More


January, 2012

Betty Little stands to lose Hamilton County

Betty Little's proposed Senate district.

State Senator Betty Little will no longer represent Hamilton County, one of two counties wholly within the Adirondack Park, under a redistricting plan released today. Little, a Republican, will continue to represent Adirondack communities in Essex, Franklin, Clinton, Warren and Washington counties—all located in the eastern or northern Adirondacks. She also will pick up six towns in St. Lawrence County, five of which are in the Park. (Essex County is the other county located entirely in the Park.) Dan MacEntee, Little’s spokesman, said the senator is disappointed to lose Hamilton County, as well as two towns in southern Washington County, >>More


January, 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


January, 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


December, 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


December, 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


December, 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


November, 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