About Zachary Matson

Zachary Matson has been an environmental reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park. Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.

Reader Interactions


  1. Sailboat Scotty says

    Mr. Jorling has the right to appeal, but it is concerning when any single waterfront land owner may believe that they have the power to negatively affect an activity that has been a part of the Adirondack DNA since the last century.

    Some may see this issue no different than to what’s playing out in overuse of the High Peaks – I get it.

    The difference here, is that Mr. Jorling is doing to Saranac Lake what many private, and yes, wealthy waterfront property owners have tried to elsewhere in other popular boating states, notably Florida.

    Owners of these waterfront parcels believe they have manifest right to assert control over navigable waters in front of there homes -sometimes feeling every thing in their view out over the water is within their control. They simply don’t want recreational boating activity – sights, sounds or people – to affect their privacy.

    However, what is different from Florida is the economic activity associated with recreational boat ownership in the Adirondacks takes place in just a few short months. Boat owners also need marinas and ones that aren’t falling into the water. Supporting recreational boating economic activity must be a priority. Recreational industry jobs – including those at marinas – are important to the 130,000 New Yorkers who call the park home.

    Sailboat Scotty

  2. Walt Linck says

    Well Scotty, my friend, you’ve said at least one right thing: Mr. Jorling has the right to appeal. That’s because this is a legal matter, and Mr. Jorling (who is credentialed in this realm, quite obviously) believes APA and DEC acted illegally. It seems pretty clear to me, now that I’ve read his appeal, is that his basic premise is that 50 years of INTENTIONAL EVASION of the law amounts to breaking the law!

    Section 816 of the APA Act (see the APSLMP appendices) directed APA to classify the State lands of the Adirondacks according to their “capacity to withstand use” (with “lands” defined as INCLUDING WATERS), to write the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan [APSLMP] to direct DEC’s management of these lands and waters ACCORDING to such APA classification/categorization, and to ensure that a meaningful integration of private land and State-land planning and management occurs in the Adirondack Park in order TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC’S LANDS AND WATERS HERE. It seems to me fairly easy to argue that, for all intents and purposes regarding APA’S and DEC’s authorities and responsibilities swirling around this marina case, it has ALL been evaded here.

    Have the waters of the Saranac Lakes ever been classified or categorized according to their capacity to withstand use (i.e., according to their “carrying capacity” in APSLMP terms)? Nope. Is there good guidance set forth in the APSLMP concerning how DEC should manage these lakes so as to protect them from overuse? Nope: not possible without appropriate classification/categorization AND some study. Did APA staff follow the mission of the Agency in working to the extent possible and required to integrate State-land planning and protection mandates into their permit review process? Seems like another big “Nope.”

    The laws here in the Adirondacks were not written to protect wealthy waterfront owners down south at some Florida lakes! (Huh? Where’s the “Forever Wild” Forest Preserve down there, anyway?) And if you’d ever spent any time with Mr. Jorling and heard him tell great stories of being an International Paper Company boss responsible for taking over certain major, challenging operations in Russia and Poland, you certainly wouldn’t be likely to characterize him as some spoiled and rich lakefront owner who cares only about himself and his privacy on the lake. That’s really an unfair characterization of the man, in my view. I see his reputation as stellar, and that’s probably why he was chosen by Governor Mario Cuomo to be the Commissioner of DEC back in the ’80’s.

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