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Adirondack Explorer

May, 2010

County official protests to governor

Hamilton County’s director of economic development and tourism has written Governor David Paterson to protest the state’s plan to close to vehicles all the roads in the Moose River Plains Recreation Area. In his letter released today, William Osborne asserts that the closures “will have a devastating effect on the Hamilton County business community and a local economy already teetering on the brink.” He also contends that the state should not purchase any more land for the Adirondack Forest Preserve unless it can guarantee it can pay to maintain the land. “Why is the State of New York buying more >>More


May, 2010

Officials angry over road closures

Hamilton County officials are livid over the state’s plan to close the Moose River Plains Recreation Area to motor vehicles, saying it will hurt the region’s economy, intensify political tensions, and harden stances against land acquisitions by the state. “It’s one of the worst ideas I’ve seen in recent times,” said Bill Farber, the chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors. Farber said the county plans to press Governor David Paterson, the state legislature, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to open the roads before Memorial Day weekend. “It’s going to be a fight like none we’ve seen since >>More


December, 2009

Revisiting Crane Pond Road

In the next issue of the Adirondack Explorer, we plan to publish an article by Adam Federman on the implications of the Old Mountain Road decision on the state Forest Preserve. Federman notes that probably hundreds of old roads crisscross the Preserve. As a result of the Old Mountain Road case, observers are asking whether towns could reopen these roads to snowmobiles and/or other motor vehicles. Any attempt to open these roads is sure to put the state Department of Environmental Conservation in the crossfire between local governments and environmental groups. Remember Crane Pond Road? The dirt lane penetrates nearly >>More


November, 2009

How big is the Forest Preserve?

Local officials in the Adirondack Park have long complained about the amount of land owned by the state in the Park. The state constitution decrees that this land, the Forest Preserve, “shall be forever kept as wild forest lands.” In other words, no development. The critics see this as bad for the region’s economy. Environmentalists, however, argue that the Preserve attracts tourists and boosts the economy. This debate shows no signs of letting up. During the Pataki administration, the state started saving vast tracts of timberlands not by acquiring them for the Preserve, but by purchasing conservation easements. Such easements >>More


November, 2009

Shingle Shanty decision a ways off

Don’t expect the state Department of Environmental Conservation to reach a quick decision on the Sierra Club’s request to force landowners to remove a steel cable that stretches across Shingle Shanty Brook. In a recent letter to the club, DEC Regional Director Betsy Lowe says the department plans to provide “a comprehensive response” to the request. “As you can imagine, this will take some time given the careful consideration required by the Department’s technical and legal staff, possible coordination with the State Office of the Attorney General, and the need to balance a variety of demands with limited resources,” she >>More