January, 2017

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates Issues Boreas Analysis

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates has sent the Adirondack Park Agency a detailed paper, replete with photos, maps, and charts, arguing for a Wilderness classification for nearly all of the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract. The 46-page document also contains recommendations for several other lands recently added to the public Forest Preserve. The first half of the document is devoted to the Boreas Ponds Tract, the most controversial and largest of the classification decisions facing the APA. Adirondack Wilderness Advocates was formed last year by Bill Ingersoll, Brendan Wiltse, and Pete Nelson to counter classification proposals from environmental groups that they say fail >>More


August, 2012

Grimditches seek to appeal boathouse case

The larger of the two Grimditch boathouses. Photo by George Earl.

A family that built two boathouses on Lake Placid without a town permit wants to take its legal case to the state’s highest tribunal, the Court of Appeals. William H. Grimditch Jr. and his children contend that the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court erred when it ruled in June that town law applied to the construction of boathouses on the lake. In its 5-0 ruling, the Appellate Division partially reversed decisions in two similar cases in which it held that municipalities have no jurisdiction over construction on the state’s navigable waterways. Click here to read more about the ruling. >>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


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


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


January, 2011

DEC move called risky

The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s plan to move its Adirondack emergency dispatchers from the Lake Placid region to Albany is creating quite a stir. Critics contend the move will make the public less safe. The argument is that dispatchers in Albany will be less familiar with the Adirondack—and its bewildering nomenclature—and this could slow the response time of search-and-rescue crews. State Senator Betty Little, who represents the North Country, is among those questioning the change. “Obviously, the state is looking at ways to be more efficient all the time,” she told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, “but in the Adirondacks, >>More


January, 2011

New twist in McCulley case

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has granted a request by its own staff to clarify an agency decision that the Old Mountain Road in Keene—now part of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail—had never been legally abandoned and therefore could be open to motorized use. The decision by DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis in 2009 raised questions about the status of other old woods roads in the Forest Preserve.  Many such roads are now foot trails and closed to vehicles. DEC attorney Randall Young had filed a motion for clarification, contending that Grannis misinterpreted the law and that the decision could lead >>More


November, 2010

McCulley testifies against train

Jim McCulley traveled to Albany this week to testify against the state’s continuing subsidization of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. A short article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise generated a lot of online comments from readers. Click here to read the article. McCulley, the president of the Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, wants to see all or most of the tracks pulled up to create a corridor for biking, hiking, and snowmobiling. Snowmobilers do use the corridor, but McCulley says the rails and ties limit its usefulness. Proponents of the train argue that removing the tracks would be shortsighted at a time >>More


September, 2010

The case against cairns

Earlier this week, I wrote a short item for Adirondack Almanack on cairns. Many people are fascinated by these heaps of stone often found on bare ridges and summits. Tom Woodman, our publisher, wrote about cairns in a column in the Explorer last year. Adirondack Life ran a photo feature on cairns last year. And Mary Thill wrote about cairns in an earlier Adirondack Almanack piece. Not everyone, though, likes cairns. I discovered this after posting my piece. As one reader commented, “The last thing I want to see on public land is someone else’s form of personal expression, whether >>More


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


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