About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen covers environmental policy in the Adirondacks. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or gwen@adirondackexplorer.org. You can also follow her on Twitter, @gwendolynnn1.

Reader Interactions


  1. Keith says

    Tax dollars fund the audit of a program administered by DEC.
    Tax dollar funded DEC excuse for allowing the obvious fraud is that DEC is under funded.
    I live adjacent to Day, NY “Livingston Lake Club”, an 800 acre Fisher Act tax exempt property that has 7 vacation homes surrounding a magnificent state lake.

    DEC seems especially sensitive to any action that would be contrary to influential landowners.
    Crack down on this fraud against NYS taxpayers. DEC excuse is outrageous.

  2. JT says

    My property is 82 acres so I meet the 50 acre requirement. I looked at the 480a program and decided I did not want to make the commitment to hire a professional forester and scheduling periodic harvests, that will benefit the local economy. I feel I do not have enough valuable timber at this point in time to to make it worthwhile.
    I guess having to follow the forest management plan is not a requirement to be in the program based on this article. I have heard the assessors do not like the program because the tax breaks people receive must be made up for by remaining property owners in the towns.

  3. John says

    This program has been around for 40-plus years, And I’ve been a participant for that long. Initially, some assessors were not enthusiastic about it because they did not control it, and feared that it would eat into local tax revenues. That turned out not to be true, because the management requirements put off most landowners. A forest owner must take the long view to realize any benefit. That’s a hard sell. Compliance costs money today, and the benefits — which are real — may not be seen for several years.
    Since 480-a is not widely used by landowners, many assessors are unfamiliar with the program with the result that adherence varies — as the Comptroller’s audit shows.
    My own impression, based on many years of participation, is that the majority of abuses have come about because of lack of coordination between DEC and local assessors. Related to this is the lack of DEC forestry staff. Warren County once had 3-4 service foresters working with landowners; now there is one.

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