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 right of navigation.

It also suggests that the state attorney general should heed DEC’s request to intervene in the lawsuit.

Click here to read the editorial in its entirety.

The Adirondack Explorer will be running an update on the lawsuit in its March/April issue. Since our last issue, there have been two developments:

First, we filed our answer to the lawsuit. Among other things, we argue that recreational use is sufficient to establish that a waterway should be open to the public (assuming it can be legally accessed). Our opponents contend that a waterway must have a history of commercial use, which we see as an overly narrow reading of the court cases.

Second, the Explorer started a legal defense fund. As a small nonprofit publication, we will have a hard time paying the legal bills, but we must stand up for the right of paddlers to travel on the state’s navigable waterways. Click here for details about the fund.

Phil Brown is the editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine.

About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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