February, 2011

AG defends right to paddle

NOTE: THIS IS ANOTHER POST FROM OUR PUBLISHER, TOM WOODMAN. The attorney general issued a news release pertaining to the motion to intervene in the Shingle Shanty case. See our earlier post to download the legal documents.   ATTORNEY GENERAL SCHNEIDERMAN SUES TO PROTECT PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO TRAVEL ON ADIRONDACK WATERWAY State Seeks to Stop Property Owners from Using Intimidation Tactics Preventing People from Navigating Waterway Property Owners Used Steel Cables Across the Stream & Set Up Cameras to Intimidate Paddlers ALBANY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that the state has filed papers in Hamilton County Supreme Court to >>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


January, 2011

Editorial on Shingle Shanty

The Times Union ran an editorial this morning on the navigation-rights lawsuit filed against me by the Brandreth Park Association and the Friends of Thayer Lake. “Is it, and should it be, against the law to paddle through what’s posted as private property?” the editorial asks. “Or should centuries-old common law prevail, and with it the notion that waterways are just like highways?” The editorial points out that the state Department of Environmental Conservation agrees with us that the waterways in dispute—Mud Pond, Mud Pond Outlet, and a private stretch of Shingle Shanty Brook—are open to the public under the common-law >>More


January, 2011

Explorer answers paddling lawsuit

The Adirondack Explorer has filed an answer to the lawsuit accusing me of trespass for paddling through private property on my way to Lake Lila in May 2009. Essentially, we argue that the waterways in question—Mud Pond, Mud Pond Outlet, and a stretch of Shingle Shanty Brook—are open to the public under the state’s common law. The common law, inherited from old England, allows the public to travel any inland waterway deemed “navigable in fact.” But what makes a waterway navigable in fact? The complainants—the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association—contend that the common law applies only >>More


November, 2010

Brandreths sue in dispute over paddling rights

A few days ago, the Brandreth Park Association filed a lawsuit against me, alleging that I trespassed when I canoed through private land last year on my way to Lake Lila. As part of the suit, the association is asking the New York State Supreme Court to declare that the waterways in question—Mud Pond, Mud Pond Outlet, and Shingle Shanty Brook—are not open to the public. I did my two-day trip last May, starting at Little Tupper Lake and ending at Lake Lila, and wrote about it for the Adirondack Explorer. Click here to read that story. I believe the >>More


October, 2010

Revisiting the Beaver River

Our latest story about Shingle Shanty Brook has attracted some attention in the blogosphere and elsewhere. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has determined that the disputed stretch through private land is open to the public under the common law right of navigation. Click here to read the online version. The print version in our November/October issue will have a few more details. There’s a chance the dispute will wind up in court. If DEC prevails, it could be a big win for paddlers. Presumably, a ruling in DEC’s favor would affirm that waterways suitable for recreational paddling are subject >>More


December, 2009

Sierra Club on Shingle Shanty

Those of you who have been following the saga of Shingle Shanty Brook may be interested in an article that appears in the latest newsletter of the Sierra Club’s Atlantic chapter, written by Charles Morrison, the former director of natural resources at the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Morrison and two other Sierra Club members have asked DEC to force a private landowner to remove a cable strung across the brook to keep out paddlers. The club contends the public has a right to paddle the waterway. DEC says it is looking into the matter. In the article, Morrison describes >>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


June, 2009

Shingle Shanty update

Former DEC official weighs in.