A state judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Environmental Conservation’s construction of “community connector” snowmobile trails in the Forest Preserve. Protect the Adirondacks argued that the trails—up to twelve feet wide on curves and graded smooth—violated Article 14 of the state constitution, which declares that the Preserve “shall be forever kept as wild forest lands.” Protect contended that the snowmobile trails detracted from the wild-forest character of the Preserve and required the cutting of an unconstitutional number of trees. In a decision dated December 1, acting State Supreme Court Justice Gerald W. Connolly disagreed with both arguments. >>More
Four environmental groups and two Adirondack towns urge Governor Cuomo to take immediate action to stop the storage railroad tank cars in the Adirondack Park.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s closure of the Wakely Mountain trail once again raises questions about the future of the fire tower on the summit. DEC closed the tower in December because of structural defects and this week closed the hiking trail too, lest the tower collapse and injure someone. “The condition of the tower has worsened and it is possible the tower may collapse in heavy winds,” DEC said in a news release. DEC spokesman Benning Delamater said two of the tower footings and their anchor bolts (which attach the tower to the footings) are damaged. The department >>More
Peter Bauer, a longtime environmental activist, has been named executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, an organization formed in 2010 with the merger of two green groups, one of which Bauer ran. In an interview with the Explorer, Bauer said he was drawn to Protect by the strength of its board of directors. “It was the right job at the right time with the right group of people,” he remarked. Bauer will start his new job in early September. He is currently executive director of the Fund for Lake George, where he delved deeply into water-quality issues. Bauer went to >>More
Resource Management is the most restrictive zoning category for private land in the Adirondack Park. In the debate over the Adirondack Club and Resort, one of the big questions is whether the proposed resort is suitable for RM lands. Essentially, RM lands are timberlands. The Adirondack Park Agency Act says the primary (or best) uses of such lands include forestry, agriculture, and recreation. Housing developments are considered “secondary uses.” The law says that residential development on RM lands is permissible “on substantial acreages or in small clusters on carefully selected and well designed sites.” The developers contend that their design >>More
David Gibson has stepped aside as executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, but he is continuing to work for the organization as an adviser on conservation issues, the Adirondack Explorer has learned. Gibson had been the executive director of Protect since its creation last year, when the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks merged with the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks. Before that, he had served as executive director of the Association since 1987. Gibson confirmed that the board changed his title at its March 6 meeting, but he referred most questions to board members. In another change, >>More