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Adirondack Explorer

March, 2011

Driving to Marcy Dam?

Imagine how the High Peaks Wilderness would change if people were allowed to drive to Marcy Dam or Indian Pass. The Adirondack Park Agency raises this possibility in a legal brief filed last week in the long and convoluted dispute over the Old Mountain Road in the Sentinel Range Wilderness. The Old Mountain Road is now used as a trail for hiking and cross-country skiing, but in May 2009 the state’s environmental conservation commissioner ruled that the route was never legally closed and thus, theoretically, could be reopened to motor vehicles. If allowed to stand, the decision could be cited >>More


March, 2011

The politics of wind

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report today on 341 energy projects around the nation that the chamber says have been delayed by red tape (and are often opposed by environmental activists). The chamber’s website lists sixteen projects in New York State. It’s interesting that six of the sixteen are wind projects, including the proposed Adirondack Wind Energy Park near Gore Mountain. Wind is usually seen as a clean alternative to burning fossil fuels, but even many environmentalists object to constructing giant turbines on rural landscapes. Just this morning, North Country Public Radio aired a story about the controversy over >>More


February, 2011

AG intervenes in paddling lawsuit

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING NOTICE WAS POSTED BY TOM WOODMAN, OUR PUBLISHER. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has moved on behalf of the State of New York and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to intervene in the navigation-rights lawsuit filed against our editor, Phil Brown, by the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association. Schneiderman is defending the position of DEC that the waterways in dispute are open to the public for paddling. The state’s motion also discloses its intent to make counterclaims against the plaintiffs, including a claim that they have created a public nuisance by hindering >>More


February, 2011

Tupper Lake opposes Follensby purchase

The Tupper Lake Town Board voted this week to oppose the state’s acquisition of Follensby Pond, one of the largest privately owned lakes in the Northeast, and some sixty-five thousand acres once owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co. Both properties are now owned by the Nature Conservancy, which intends to sell them to the state. Jessica Collier, writing in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, says the town’s resolution closely mirrors the one passed a few weeks ago by the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. Franklin County passed a similar resolution, and the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages is considering >>More


February, 2011

AATV to vote on land deals

The Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages has drafted a resolution opposing the state’s purchase of Follensby Pond and some 65,000 acres formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co. Wells Supervisor Brian Towers, the president of AATV, said the draft resolution has the “same general thrust” of a resolution passed a few weeks ago by the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. Unlike the Review Board’s resolution, Towers said, the AATV’s draft measure does not speculate on the number of jobs that might be lost if the lands are added to the Forest Preserve. Rather, Towers said the AATV focuses >>More


February, 2011

Review Board replies to Adirondack Council

Last week the Adirondack Council criticized the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board for urging the state to abandon plans to buy Follesnby Pond and some 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands. The council argued that the board had overstepped its legislative mandate in commenting on state-land purchases. It also suggested that Fred Monroe, the board’s executive director, and George Canon, who until recently was the board’s chairman, had conflicts of interest in that both belong to hunting clubs that will be forced to shut down or move if the state buys the Finch, Pruyn lands. Monroe has issued >>More


February, 2011

Franklin County opposes land deals

The Franklin County legislature has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the state’s proposed acquisition of Follensby Pond and some 65,000 acres once owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co., according to this story in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. The action follows a similar resolution adopted last week by the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. Yesterday, the Adirondack Council accused the board of overstepping its authority. The council also accused Fred Monroe, the board’s executive director, of having a conflict of interest, since he belongs to a hunting club that would lose its lease if the state buys the Finch, Pruyn >>More


February, 2011

DEC lawyer files brief in McCulley case

A lawyer for the state Department of Environmental Conservation argues that his former boss misconstrued the Highway Law in dismissing a ticket against a Lake Placid man who drove his pickup truck on an abandoned road in the Sentinel Range Wilderness. Randall Young, the top attorney in DEC’s Region 6, is asking the commissioner of DEC to clarify a decision handed down in 2009. The decision was made by then-Commissioner Pete Grannis. Jim McCulley, the president of the Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, sparked the legal dispute after driving his truck on the Old Mountain Road in 2005. The road, now >>More


February, 2011

Council calls for Review Board probe

The Adirondack Council is accusing the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board of misleading the public in its critique of the state’s plan to buy Follensby Pond and former Finch, Pruyn lands. In a news release this morning, the council asks that the Review Board withdraw a resolution calling on the state to back out of the land deals.  Moreover, the council is calling for an ethics investigation of Fred Monroe, the board’s executive director, and Newcomb Supervisor George Canon, the board’s chairman. Both Monroe and Canon belong to hunting clubs that would lose their leases if the state buys the Finch, Pruyn >>More


January, 2011

Board seeks to block land deals

The Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board this week passed a resolution urging the state not to go forward with plans to purchase Follensby Pond and some sixty thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands. The resolution, adopted Wednesday, argues that the purchases would violate the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, hurt the local economy, and burden state taxpayers. “In these dire financial times, with the state facing bankruptcy . . .  the priorities of the state should not include buying any more land,” the board declares. It estimates that the deals will cost the region 165 jobs. The >>More