ADK Review Board News
- EDITORIAL: INEXPENSIVE ENERGY, CLEAN ENVIRONMENT – Press Republican ( Plattsburgh, NY) Website
The editorial board states that the North Country’s increased production and use of solar energy between 2011 and 2014 has led the state.
**Please note that a paid subscription is required to view the article online. A version of the article appears below.
New York state has always been around the front of the line when it came to signing on for inexpensive, sustainable power. That trend continues today.
According to a news release from Gov. Cuomo’s office, the production and use of solar energy increased more than 300 percent between 2011 and 2014.
The national average during that span was 146 percent.
And the North Country’s increase has led the state.
The cause for pride in that statistic is obvious: Using traditionally produced electricity from coal- and oil-fired plants is expensive, exhausts finite supplies and makes our nation reliant on foreign sources, some of which are anything but cooperative partners, for our energy.
And, as important as any of these considerations is the fact that digging for coal and oil violates the environment. Americans conduct spirited debates every time an energy company asks for permission to drill for oil or natural gas.
In the North Country, we have a history of seeking — and finding — alternative energy sources.
For decades, the communities of Plattsburgh, Rouses Point, Lake Placid and Tupper Lake have been the beneficiaries of electricity produced from the St. Lawrence Seaway Project.
Plattsburgh at one time claimed the lowest electricity rates in the nation, thanks to a long-term contract for cheap hydropower. Those rates are now not nearly as attractive as they used to be, but they still yield monthly electricity bills that are the envy of virtually all New Yorkers.
Wind power is established in the North Country, as travelers through areas of Clinton and Franklin counties can see. Magnificent windmills gracefully spin, cranking out megawatts that contribute to New York’s energy profile with little of the negative consequences some had forecast.
So it comes as no surprise to us in this region that New York is in the front ranks of the use of clean, affordable and sustainable energy.
According to the news release, a total of 314.48 megawatts of solar electricity was installed across New York by the end of 2014. If that number doesn’t mean anything to you, the percentage should: We are twice as productive in this regard as the average of the rest of the country.
The North Country’s solar capacity has increased 573 percent during that three-year period.
Cuomo credits his $1 billion NY-Sun initiative to build solar projects for the activity. As an ancillary benefit, thousands of jobs have been created.
And the future looks as bright as the past. A Clean Energy Fund has been proposed to invest $5 billion over the next 10 years in clean-energy programs.
We in the North Country treasure our environment, and we need and appreciate economical energy. We have proven we can have it both ways.
- LT. GOVERNOR PRAISES "COMMON GROUND" APPROACH IN THE ADIRONDACKS – North County Public Radio ( Canton, NY) Website
Reporter Julia Ferguson reports that Lt. Gov. Hochul praised the Common Ground Alliance approach, which has focused on issues ranging from broadband to invasive species.
- MARTENS HISTORIC LEGACY: ADIRONDACK LAND DEALS, FRACKING BAN – North County Public Radio ( Canton, NY) Website
Capital Pressroom interviewer Susan Arbetter spoke to Joe Martens, and says he will be remembered as the commissioner who signed the hydro-fracking ban, and opened up large tracts of the Adirondack Park to the public.
- YOU CAN NOW VIEW THE ADIRONDACKS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE – Country Living Magazine ( Birmingham, AL)
Reporter Rebecca Shinners reports that The Wild Center’s new Wild Walk is a unique and breathtaking way to view nature, and provides an educational opportunity to learn about the forest and the animals living within it.
- EDITORIAL: AS ADIRONDACK DEBATE MOVES FORWARD, INTRANSIGENTS ARE LEFT BEHIND – Post-Star ( Glens Falls, NY) Website
The Editorial Board writes agrees that conservation and preservation should be the top concerns when discussing land use in the Adirondacks, but thinks that “development and use” must also be part of the conversation.
**Please note that a paid subscription is required to view the article online. A version of the article appears below.
By demonstrating how intransigent they still are and how narrow their perspective is, the leaders of Adirondack Wild have shown, in their recent report, how much more constructive the debate over Adirondack land use has grown in the past few years.
The report, “The Adirondack Park at a Crossroad: A Road Map for Action,” is a combination of scolding and crying wolf, as its authors lash out at state workers for doing their jobs and warn about environmental damage that is not taking place.
Adirondack Wild is a new environmental group, formed in 2010 by the hardest core of the Adirondack environmentalists who were interested in ideological purity and not in working together for the good of the region with people who disagreed with them.
In tone and content, their report is reminiscent of periods from the past when the divisions in the Adirondack land use debate were so deep the two sides would barely consent to being in the same room.
The report cites the state approval a few years ago of Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake as an example of what shouldn’t be happening. But the resort’s plans, which leave huge swaths of land as open space, follow the law and deserve the approval they got from the Adirondack Park Agency.
Adirondack Wild warns of the “fragmentation” of the wilderness through developments such as Adirondack Club and Resort, but over the past couple of decades, we have witnessed just the opposite: an expansion and consolidation of the Adirondack wilderness through state purchases of tens of thousands of acres of land.
Added to the outright acquisition of enormous tracts of land has been the state purchase of conservation easements, which preserve wilderness through the sale by private owners of development rights.
Meanwhile, at the Adirondack Club and Resort, nothing has happened yet. Perhaps some houses will be built there, eventually, but in any case, the ecosystem will remain wild and unpolluted.
Adirondack Wild also cited the zip line project on French Mountain in Lake George and Queensbury as a cause for alarm. But the zip line will do nothing more than clear a narrow path down the mountain. It will involve cutting down far fewer trees than logging operations that Adirondack Wild supports. It is a clean business that will have no lasting impact on the natural environment.
But, according to the Adirondack Wild report, the zip line “will be highly visible from many vantage points along state Route 9 and the Northway I-87.”
Just think — people driving up to the Adirondacks (in their pollution-spewing cars) might glance up and glimpse a kid having a blast on a zip line.
A thread runs through this report, a thread that rejects the concept of balance in the debate over Adirondack land use and insists on the primacy of environmental preservation.
The report cites the APA Act, which says the agency’s mission is “to ensure optimum overall conservation, protection, preservation, development and use of the unique scenic, aesthetic, wildlife, recreational, open space, historic, ecological and natural resources of the Adirondack Park.”
We agree that conservation and preservation should be the top concerns when discussing land use in the Adirondacks. But “development and use,” also mentioned in the mission statement, must also be part of the conversation.
Recent years have seen a move toward positivity in this debate and a greater willingness on both sides to compromise. Projects like Adirondack Club and Resort have demonstrated development is possible in an environmentally responsible context.
People have started working together to preserve the region’s ecology and improve its economy. Meanwhile, the few who refuse to move forward, like the leaders of Adirondack Wild, are left muttering to themselves, repeating refrains from the past.
- HIGH-SPEED INTERNET PLANNED DOWNTOWN – Adirondack Daily Enterprise ( Saranac Lake, NY) Website
Reporter Chris Knight reports that a new high-speed fiber-optic network could soon be coming soon to Saranac Lake.
**Please note that a paid subscription is required to view the article online. A version of the article appears below.
SARANAC LAKE – A new high-speed fiber-optic network could be coming soon to downtown.
The village is negotiating with Nicholville-based Slic Network Solutions on a proposal to string 3.15 miles of fiber on existing utility poles, primarily in the village’s downtown. The network would include 107 business and 355 households, allowing them to access high-speed fiber-optic Internet, according to a proposal the company has submitted to the village.
As part of the deal, Slic would provide free Internet service for 10 years at the village offices, police department, Department of Public Works, Mount Pisgah Ski Center, Saranac Lake Free Library and the Saranac Lake Youth Center.
Wireless hotspots would be set up in several public areas in the village, including the Adirondack Carousel, Riverside Park and Berkeley Green.
Most village residents and businesses currently get their Internet service from either Time Warner Cable or Verizon. Slic’s proposal
- GREEN GROUP BLASTS CUOMO ADMINISTRATION FOR ADIRONDACK PARK DECISIONS – North County Public Radio ( Canton, NY) Website
Reporter Brian Mann reports that Adirondack Wild, a conservation group, says the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation are compromising too often, going too far to promote economic development and tourism inside the blue line.
- VILLAGE OKS LAKE FLOWER TRAIL GRANT APPLICATION – Adirondack Daily Enterprise ( Saranac Lake, NY) Website
Reporter Chris Knight reports that the village has agreed to submit a grant application for one phase of a proposed waterfront trail on Lake Flower.
SARANAC LAKE – The village has agreed to submit a grant application for one phase of a proposed waterfront trail on Lake Flower.
The village Board of Trustees voted 3-1 Monday night to approve submission of the state Consolidated Funding Application for the project. Trustee Allie Pelletieri cast the lone dissenting vote.
As drafted by the LA Group, the proposed Saranac Lake Waterfront Trail would be a 12-foot-wide, multi-use trail running along the Lake Flower shoreline between Riverside Park and the corner of River Street, Lake Flower Avenue and Brandy Brook Avenue, with a spur connecting to the railroad corridor at the Brandy Brook Avenue crossing. The consulting firm estimated the project’s total cost at between $2 million and $2.5 million.
The application the village approved Monday is for Phase B, or the section of trail in Prescott Park, at an estimated cost of $946,000. The village would have to provide a match of in-kind services, material or cash.
Village officials have noted that a proposed Lake Flower shoreline trail was included in the village’s 2004 Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, although that plan calls for a much longer trail that would run beyond the Brandy Brook Avenue intersection, down Lake Flower Avenue, or state Route 86, and out to the railroad tracks east of the village.
Repeating concerns he’s raised before, Pelletieri said he’s “never been” for the trail.
“I know it’s not supposed to go any farther than what it says here, but I still don’t like it,” he said. “The second thing is, I believe that a trail just doesn’t fit in there. You have a sidewalk, you have a small, grassy area, and you have a lake. Just from the sidewalk, you’ll see the lake pretty good, and nothing stops the people from going down (to the lake).”
Pelletieri noted that the proposed trail would veer away from the lake to go around the state’s Lake Flower Boat Launch, “so it doesn’t seem that compatible there.
“Probably the most important thing is, I don’t think we have the money or the funds to do this at this time,” Pelletieri said.
Mayor Clyde Rabideau said the lakefront is a valuable tourism draw. The trail, which he calls a “promenade,” could create a new connection to the proposed Lake Flower Spa and Resort, a 90-room, four-story hotel planned on the site of three Lake Flower Avenue motels sit on the shore of Pontiac Bay.
Rabideau said he’s traveled to other communities around the country and the state, like Geneva in the Finger Lakes region, that have lakeside promenades filled with pedestrians and bicyclists.
“It’s a draw. It’s a magnet. It brings people there,” Rabideau said. “A 4-foot sidewalk doesn’t do it, but a nice 12-foot promenade with lighting and benches would be a real tourist attraction and an avenue. That’s why I’m for a trail. It promotes tourism, and that’s the backbone of the Adirondack economy.”
As for the potential cost to the village, “You might be right,” Rabideau told Pelletieri. However, he said the application is an opportunity to leverage thousands of dollars in state grant money with an in-kind contribution from the village.
Village Community Development Director Jeremy Evans said the village’s match would be approximately $350,000. He said the village plans to seek funding from three sources. Money for design and engineering of the entire trail would be pursued as part of a larger regional grant application spearheaded by the village of Tupper Lake. The other two sources, for construction of Phase B, would be grant programs run by the state office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Trustee Paul Van Cott said he thinks the trail would be a great amenity for the village. He noted that it’s not tied in to a proposal to move the village beach from Lake Colby back to Prescott Park on Lake Flower.
After the meeting, Evans pointed out that the waterfront trail would connect to the railroad corridor at Brandy Brook Avenue. The state has proposed removing the railroad tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake and converting that 34-mile stretch of the corridor to a multi-use recreational trail.
“Someday in the future, we hope there’s a recreational trail of some form along the railroad corridor,” Evans said. “How do we get the people using that corridor to our lakefront, the businesses that are there, and downtown? We’re trying to think ahead. A showcase promenade on our lakefront could really help draw people off of the corridor and experience the village.”
The board’s approval Monday allows Evans to submit an application to the state as part of its annual regional economic development competition. The application deadline is July 31.
- STATE BOAT INSPECTION STATIONS OPEN IN ADIRONDACKS – Times Union ( Albany, NY) Website
Reporter Brian Nearing reports that as part of a pilot program to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, Gov.Cuomo on Tuesday announced 12 new boat decontamination stations are open across the Adirondacks.
- NORTH COUNTRY VETERAN BUSINESS LOAN FUND ESTABLISHED – Press Republican ( Plattsburgh, NY) Website
Reporter Dan Heath reports that Adirondack Economic Development Executive Director Jim Murphy said up to $400,000 in loan funds have been dedicated for veterans looking to start or expand a small business in a 14-county region that includes Clinton, Essex
- ESSEX CHAIN PLAN IS PRESENTED – Hamilton County Express ( Speculator, NY) Website
Reporter Pete Klein reports that at a meeting on July 9th, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation did its best to explain the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Plan to a group of about 50.
INDIAN LAKE — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation did its best to explain the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Plan to a group of about 50 who gathered at Indian Lake Theater here Thursday evening, July 9.
The Essex Chain Lakes Complex is part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. The plan attempts to protect the environment while allowing access and recreational opportunities to the public who in theory own the land.
The Essex Chain Lakes Complex is in the Central Adirondacks, in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb in Essex County and the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County. It includes the Essex Chain Lakes and the Pine Lake primitive areas and portions of the Blue Mountain and Vanderwacker Mountain wild forest units.
The draft plan calls for trails for bicycles and horseback riding; extending the Upper Hudson Ski Loop to the Ord Road and ultimately to the Town of Newcomb; designated routes for public motor vehicle access, including parking; designated administrative routes to facilitate the maintenance of bridges and trails; a community connection, multiple use trail connecting Indian Lake to Minerva; construction of a bridge over the Cedar River to provide a route for four season recreation including hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing; campsites and waterway access for the disabled; additional canoe carries between the Essex Chain lakes and along the Hudson River; lean-tos; continued floatplane use at designated tent sites on First and Pine lakes; maintaining 2.5 miles of public motor vehicle roads for access and camping during big game hunting season; and maintaining the historic farmhouse at the Outer Gooley Club until a final decision is reached for the structure.
Of the over 50 people who attended the meeting, 22 made comments limited to three minutes each.
“No one gets everything they want,” Indian Lake Supervisor Brian Wells said, but, “The Town of Indian Lake supports the plan. It is a common sense plan.”
Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, said, “There is a lot to like about this plan.” He said ADK would support a bridge over the Cedar River but opposes the Polaris Bridge.
Some thought there should be more access, especially for the elderly and disabled. Others support the plan but think protecting the waters from invasive plants should be included.
Several people confined their support to the proposal to maintain the historic farmhouse at the Outer Gooley Club, but went a step further. They want the open view of the river from the farmhouse to be kept open.
Lou Spada of Indian Lake fully supports the plan, but wants preserving the buildings of the Inner Gooley Club added.
More were in favor of the plan than opposed, primarily due to the planned greater access for all. The main objections focus on motorized access and bridges for snowmobiles.
The strongest objection came from Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, who began by saying, “I am here to speak for those who have no voice, the trees and the rocks.” He went on to voice total objection to the plan, saying it violates the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act and the State Land Use Master Plan.
The DEC will accept written comments until July 27. Send them to Forester Corrie O’Dea, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 232 Golf Course Rd, Warrensburg NY 12885.
- PROPOSED CHAZY LAKE CELL TOWER UNDER APA REVIEW – Press Republican ( Plattsburgh, NY) Website
Reporter Ashleigh Livingston reports that the Adirondack Park Agency is considering Verizon’s request to erect a cellphone tower in Chazy Lake.
DANNEMORA — The Adirondack Park Agency is considering Verizon’s request to erect a cellphone tower in Chazy Lake.
Dannemora Town Supervisor Bill Chase told the Press-Republican he was recently notified by the APA that the cellular company’s permit application was under formal review.
If approved, the tower would occupy property behind the town’s Municipal Center in the town hamlet of Chazy Lake and provide cellphone service to that area.
Anyone wishing to write the APA in regard to the project may do so until July 23.
Letters should make reference to project number 2014-227 and be addressed to: NYS Adirondack Park Agency, Environmental Program Specialist, P.O. Box 99, 1133 NYS Route 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977.
- WARREN COUNTY URGES RELIABLE FUNDING TO COMBAT INVASIVE SPECIES – Lake George Mirror ( Lake George, NY) Print Article
Reporter Anthony F. Hall reports on a new effort for an Adirondack Park-wide program to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive aquatic species.
- DOWN WITH GREENIE DICTATORSHIP! – Adirondack Journal ( ) Website
In a Letter to the Editor, Don Sage of Schroon Lake writes that the Adirondack Council is pressing for extinction of the Adirondack towns and villages by banning all jobs, businesses and industry throughout the Adirondacks.
- ADIRONDACK PARK AGENCY APPROVES SNOWMOBILE CONNECTOR TRAIL PLAN – WAMC Northeast Public Radio ( Albany, NY) Website
Reporter Pat Bradley that during the APA’s monthly meeting, the Community Connector Trail Plan was approved.
- ADIRONDACKS HAVE BLOOMINGDALE BOG TRAIL – Times Union ( Albany, NY) Website
In a Letter to the Editor, Ballson Spa resident Benjamin Turon writes that instead of tearing up an active railroad the state should instead look to improving and expanding the Tri-Lakes Region’s existing recreational trail.
- REPORT: STATE POLICIES THREATEN ADIRONDACK PARK – Times Union Plus ( Albany, NY) Website
Reporter Chris Bragg reports that according to a report to be released by the nonprofit Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, the future of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park is seriously threatened by state government’s overemphasis on economic development, at the expense of environmental conservation.
The future of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park is seriously threatened by state government’s overemphasis on economic development, at the expense of environmental conservation, according to a report set to be released this week.
The report, issued by the nonprofit Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, argues that the state Department of Environmental Conservation is shirking its constitutional mandate to keep the forest preserve “forever wild.” For instance, the report says DEC has failed to take actions to limit public use of some heavily overused areas of the preserve.
“For more than forty years, natural resource planning as well as public land management has suffered in the competition for resources within DEC,” the report states.
In a statement released Saturday, the DEC said the report “has no basis in the facts. For the past four years, the DEC has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to protecting and managing New York’s forest preserve and all public lands in the Adirondack Park.”
The report is also critical of the Adirondack Park Agency, a governmental agency whose mission is to develop long-range land use plans for both its public and private lands. The report calls the agency a “politically reactive and compliant permitting agency and not the proactive guardian of Park resources that it was intended to be, and actually was in prior years.”
The nonprofit argues that state agencies are straying from their historical mission of science-based conservation and resource protection.
“The Adirondack Park is supposed to receive the highest level of protection, but our report shows that development projects in the Park are now receiving less environmental review than similar projects in other parts of the state,” said Adirondack Wild’s acting chair Christopher Amato in a statement.
For instance, APA should be conducting rigorous analyses of alternative development options for projects with negative environmental impacts, but didn’t during its review of the massive Adirondack Club and Resort project south of the village of Tupper Lake, the report charges.
Amato also said that “ecologically sensitive public lands are being opened to motorized uses that are inconsistent with resource protection and the wild forest character of the Park.”
More than 10 years ago, according to the report, DEC began to draft a policy that would publicly clarify that public ATV riding is not an approved recreational activity and is illegal. To date, DEC has failed to complete and issue the policy, the report says.
The report calls for reforms to how residential subdivision development is planned and designed, and the implementation of programs scientifically analyzing trends in the park, among other recommendations.
The DEC also said in its response that its management planning process, which is done in collaboration with the Adirondack Park Agency, “is rigorous, open and transparent, inviting the public to participate throughout the entire planning process, including local government leaders and all the diverse stakeholders who care strongly in how these lands will be managed in the future.”
- WARREN COUNTY GETS GRANT TO REVIEW CELL PHONE, BROADBAND INTERNET COVERAGE – Post-Star ( Glens Falls, NY) Website
Reporter Don Lehman reports that Warren county has gotten a $10,000 grant from the Adirondack Gateway Council to study cell and broadband service and identify problem areas.
Warren County leaders want to know how cellphone and Internet service is around the county.
The county has gotten a $10,000 grant to study cell and broadband service, similar to an effort being conducted in Washington County.
The goal is to formally identify problem areas so local leaders can seek some of the $500 million in state funding that is to be made available to improve service. Better high-speed Internet and cellphone service is viewed as crucial for economic and public safety reasons.
The funding for the study was awarded through Adirondack Gateway Council, which recently told the county it was eligible. Washington County also received a grant from the council to fund its study, said Brian LaFlure, Warren County’s emergency services director.
LaFlure said Washington County officials sent a survey to more than 30,000 addresses in the county in recent months, and has received more than 2,000 back so far. The county recently extended the deadline for responses until July 31.
LaFlure said it had not been determined as of Thursday whether Warren County will undertake a mail survey as Washington County has done.
The first part of Warren County’s effort will include a “drive test” around the county with equipment to map cellphone service signal strength. Gauging cell strength also allows experts to conclude at what strength wireless broadband Internet would transmit in the area, he explained.
LaFlure said Warren County’s broadband Internet coverage seems to be better than Washington County’s, but there are noticeable gaps.
“The terrain is obviously one of our big issues,” he said.
Those cellphone and high-speed Internet gaps are present not just in the less populated, more mountainous north end of the county, but in the south end as well. Numerous areas of Queensbury, the most populated town in Warren County, have limited cell coverage.
“I was surprised how much of Lake George has no service or poor service,” Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said.
Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe said regulations that limit tower construction in the Adirondack Park put the region at a disadvantage.
Adirondack Gateway Council is a planning and grant-writing consortium of local governments, economic development groups and planning agencies in Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties.
- STEFANIK: KEEP OIL AND GAS ROYALTIES FLOWING TO CONSERVATION – Post-Star ( Glens Falls, NY)
Reporter Maury Thompson reports that the Conservation Fund, a national conservation group, is seeking $710,000 in federal funding to preserve about 1,400 acres of private forest land in Fort Ann and to continue active logging, and that Elise Stefanik recently co-sponsored legislation to make the program permanent.
The Conservation Fund, a national conservation group, is seeking $710,000 in federal funding to preserve about 1,400 acres of private forest land in Fort Ann and to continue active logging.
Loggers for decades have cut trees on the property to supply pulp wood to nearby Finch Paper and International Paper mills in Glens Falls and Ticonderoga, said Tom Duffus, regional vice president of The Conservation Fund.
The federal and state governments have identified the request as a “priority project” for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund in the next federal fiscal year, that begins in October.
But the legislation that authorizes the program, funded from federal offshore oil and gas drilling royalties, expires in September, at which time the program would end unless new legislation is enacted.
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, recently co-sponsored legislation to make the program permanent.
Making the program permanent would end year-to-year uncertainty about its future amidst perennial debate about diverting a larger percentage of oil and gas royalties to the federal general fund.
In the Fort Ann project, the federal government would provide money to the state to buy a conservation easement on the property, which would stay in private ownership.
Funding would come from the Forest Legacy Fund, a sub-program of the Land and Water Conservation Fund used specifically for conservation easements.
“It’s on the tax rolls. It will stay on the tax rolls, providing not only jobs but also the habitat that can be afforded by keeping it in forest and not in a housing development,” Duffus said.
The Conservation Fund bought the property about 18 months ago from a real estate investment firm that wasn’t getting the return on investment it wanted and decided to sell it quickly.
“The Conservation Fund actually rescued this parcel as part of a 30,000-acre purchase we made across four states,” Duffus said.
The easement would prevent subdividing and development of the property, about five miles from Golden Goal soccer park, an area that has been eyed for housing and hotel development.
The easement would also guarantee the property, which straddles the border of the Adirondack Park, is available for public recreation.
About 60 percent of the property is outside the Adirondack Park and has no zoning that prohibits the property from being subdivided, according to The Conservation Fund.
The property is habitat for the peregrine falcon and provided scenic views to motorists driving through the region.
“It’s the forested connection between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains across the southern part of Lake Champlain,” Duffus said.
Stefanik said the legislation is an example of how she works in bipartisan fashion to address local concerns.
“It is important to the Adirondacks,” she said. “The issue came across my desk when I was talking to some of my Adirondack activists, in Essex County in particular.”
Rep. Raul Grialva, D-Ariz., introduced the legislation, which had 117 co-sponsors as of Wednesday.
- NINE NORTH COUNTRY TOWNS WIN MICROGRID PLANNING MONEY – North County Public Radio ( Canton) Website
Reporter David Sommerstein reports that nine communities in New York’s North Country have won the first stage of a competition to build more self-reliant electricity grids. So-called “microgrids” could help towns during storm-related power outages and help businesses save on energy bills.
- RAIL SUPPORTERS, TRAIL ADVOCATES REMAIN DIVIDED – Adirondack Almanack ( Online News Journal) Website
Reporter Phil Brown reports that after years of public debate and numerous public meetings on the future of the rail corridor between Old Forge and Lake Placid, railroad supporters and rail-trail advocates continue to disagree.
- FIRST OF TWO HEARINGS ON THE ADIRONDACK RAIL CORRIDOR PLAN WILL BE HELD TONIGHT IN TUPPER LAKE – North County Public Radio ( Canton, NY)
- ADIRONDACK EVENTS PLANNED FOR INVASIVE SPECIES WEEK – Adirondack Almanack ( Online News Journal) Website
Reporter Diane Chase reports on intensive, week-long programs to educate people on invasive plants and animals.
- REGIONAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT INVASIVE SPECIES ADVANCE – Adirondack Almanack ( Online News Journal) Website
The Editorial Staff reports on advances being made in the region to control the spread of invasive species in the Adirondacks, including outreach campaign efforts to educate boaters about decontamination in order to protect the waterways.
- THE FIRST OF TWO HEARINGS ON THE ADIRONDACK RAIL CORRIDOR PLAN WILL BE HELD TONIGHT IN TUPPER LAKE – North County Public Radio ( Canton, NY) Website
Reporter Chris Knight reports that public hearings will be held tonight in Tupper Lake and Monday in Utica to debate the best use of the railroad corridor that cuts 90 miles through the Adirondacks from Remsen to Lake Placid.
- COMMON GROUND FORUM SET FOR JULY 15TH – Adirondack Almanack ( Online News Journal) Website
The Editorial Staff reports that community leaders, entrepreneurs and Adirondack citizens will gather in Long Lake on Wednesday, July 15 to discuss constructive ways to enhance the quality of life in communities across the region.
- TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED ON CONTROVERSIAL ESSEX CHAIN LAKES MANAGEMENT PLAN – North County Public Radio ( Canton, NY) Website
Reporter Chris Knight reports that the DEC will hold the first of two public meetings tonight on its plan for a large swath of new state land in the central Adirondacks, which officials say will bolster tourism in nearby towns.
- ASIAN CLAMS SUFFER ANOTHER TOUGH WINTER – Post-Star ( Glens Falls, NY)
Reporter Don Lehman reports that researchers are trying to find out why clams in some parts of the lake died off at a much higher rate than other during the colder months.
Last winter was another tough one for the invasive Asian clams that have taken hold in Lake George. But researchers from RPI’s Darrin Freshwater Institute are trying to find out why clams in some parts of the lake died off at a much higher rate than other during the colder months.
Scientists from the institute performed an experiment last winter to see how controlled populations of clams did in three sections of the lake where there are clam infestations — near Chelka Lodge and the sites known as Lake Avenue Beach and Park Lane Motel.
They put clams into designated areas, and cordoned them off with bricks at three different depths of water to see how they did during the winter, said Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer, director of Darrin Freshwater Institute.
Overall, 84 percent of the clams in the designated areas died off during the winter. But one site, near Park Lane Motel, saw only a 30 percent mortality rate, Nierzwicki-Bauer said.
It was unclear why that site had a higher survival rate, but it is possible that there was a groundwater infiltration that insulated them, Nierzwick-Bauer explained.
“We know there are other factors impacting the die-offs,” she said. “What we are trying to do is discern what factors are important.”
Studies will likely be conducted next winter to see what impact groundwater has on winter kills.
Taking out the one site with a 30 percent mortality rate, the die-offs occurred at a 92 percent clip, she said.
Nierzwicki-Bauer said there have not been any other new clam infestation sites found on the lake. In all, 13 sites where the clams have taken hold have been identified around the lake.
A widespread winter kill was reported during the cold winter of 2013-14, but how much of a die-off was seen at the other sites around the lake after last winter had not been determined as of this week.
Lake George Park Commission Executive Dave Wick said surveyors plan to do the annual end-of-summer check of the lake for new clam sites and to see how the existing sites are faring again this year, working again with volunteers from different lake advocacy groups.
Nierzwick-Bauer said work is ongoing to determine the impact that a predatory flatworm has on clams, and a report on that effort is likely later this summer.
The clams can degrade water quality, but their history in Lake George so far has made researchers believe the Adirondacks are the northern edge of where they can survive winter weather.
- ADIRONDACK INVASIVES PLAN TO RAMP UP IN 2016 – Post-Star ( Glens Falls, NY) Website
Reporter Amanda May Metzger reports that Adirondack officials are working on a framework agreement for 2016 for the Adirondack-wide Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Pilot Program.
By mid-July, a dozen boat decontamination sites are expected to be active in the Adirondack Park as part of a new aquatic invasives prevention program.
In the meantime, as the pilot year continues to roll out a little later than initially planned, Adirondack officials are working on a framework agreement for 2016 for the Adirondack-wide Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Pilot Program.
“It’s a way to get everyone in agreement to plan for how we move forward in 2016. The plan is what it is in 2015. There’s not much that can be done to change that,” said Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe, also executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board.
Monroe and Fund for Lake George Executive Director Eric Siy, along with several other organizations, have been working on the framework that “gives definition for what a successful program has to have if we’re going to have a serious opportunity to stop invasives,” Siy said.
Monroe said last he heard there were six stations up and running.
The next stop for the framework agreement, which calls for more decontamination stations, inspectors seven days a week and an advisory committee, will be the Adirondack Lakes Alliance Lake Association Symposium on July 28.
Monroe said a representative from the governor’s office is anticipated at the symposium and the framework will be discussed further with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the governor’s office.
“Of course, the devil is always in the details. We’ll have a lot of valuable experience in the program this year to see what works and what doesn’t and how it can be improved for next year,” he said.
Monroe is also chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors Legislative Committee, and the Board of Supervisors was the first to act on it with unanimous support at its June meeting.
Warren County is also the largest regional contributor to the two-year pilot Lake George Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program, requiring mandatory inspections, providing $150,000 in 2014 and another $150,000 this year.
“The reason they took this step is they know full well to win the war on invasives, it’s going to take more than building a fort at Lake George. We need an entire army region-wide,” Siy said.
The framework calls for an advisory committee to be co-chaired by one state and one regional official with 12 to 15 members from a variety of agencies, including government, sporting groups and regional invasive species programs. It also calls for purchase and deployment of 25 to 30 stations at gateway and interior locations and to have trained inspectors working seven days a week from ice out to ice in.
It calls for a 2015 budget of $1.6 to $2.5 million.
- STATE TO CHOOSE MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWERS IN MID-JULY – WGRZ Channel 2 ( Buffalo, NY) Website
Reporter Danny Spewak reports that among the applicants for medical marijuana licenses is Etain, LLC, which, if approved, would create a 22,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Adirondacks in Warren County.
- YET ANOTHER BLOW TO THE COMMON MAN, SAYS ADK. PARK LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEW BOARD – The Chronicle ( Glens Falls, NY)
A report provides the reaction of Fred Monroe, Town of Chester Supervisor, to the purchase of 28,100 acres purchased by Alibaba’s Jack Ma.
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- IP MILL STARTS BURNING NATURAL GAS – Press Republican ( Plattsburgh, NY) Website
Reporter Lohn McKinstry reports that at International Paper’s Ticonceroga mill, sixty percent of fuel oil will be replaced by natural gas.
- STEFANICK VOTES TO LET PLANTS AVOID CLEAN AIR REGS – Adirondack Daily Enterprise ( Saranac Lake, NY) Website
Reporter Shaun Kittle reports that Rep. Stefanik voted for a bill on June 24, 2015, to postpone states’ compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.
- STATE DEC CHIEF JOE MARTENS STEPPING DOWN – Newsday ( New York, NY) Website
Reporter Jennifer Barrios reports that DEC commissioner Joe Martens is stepping down to rejoin a New York-based environmental nonprofit he once headed. Marc Gerstman, executive deputy commissioner, will serve as acting commissioner.
- BILL OWENS: AN ANGEL FUND IN THE NORTH COUNTRY? – WAMC Northeast Public Radio ( Albany, NY)
Retired Congressman Bill Owens is of the opinion that there is a long-standing need for startup funding in the Adirondacks, and that Point Positive works to organically gow businesses that have strong ties to the region and/or a compelling reason for locating here.