Executive Director’s Message
I am now in my eleventh year serving as executive director of the Review Board. Those eleven years have been full of opportunities and challenges.
Working cooperatively with Adirondack local government elected leaders, the Review Board has supported local government positions on state “forever wild” land acquisition, state land classification, APA policy and procedures, constitutional amendments to solve the ancient Township 40 land title problem at Raquette Lake and to allow the NYCO Minerals Mine to continue to provide good paying jobs into the future, and a proposed constitutional amendment to create a municipal forest preserve land bank to be used for highways, bridges, utilities and small projects.
The Review Board advocated for state legislation, which was passed by the Senate and Assembly several years ago, to create community housing density bonuses, and for legislation passed in 2015 to make municipal wood pellet and wood chip heating projects feasible by lengthening the permissible finance periods in the state Local Finance Law.
We are now advocating for transferable development rights legislation and continue to fight for improved snowmobile, ATV, float plane and disabled access to the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
We have had some successes, but much work remains to be done to improve the APA statute, rules regulations, guidance and policy, to insure that social and economic factors are considered in state Adirondack policies, and to improve our economy.
Each month I receive hundreds of pages of documents from the Agency and review them to determine their impact on local governments and residents. There are large numbers of significant Adirondack issues each year, including issues raised by proposals to significantly amend the State Land Master Plan, to amend Agency regulations, to close Adirondack roads, to classify tens of thousands of acres of recent state land purchases, to adopt general permits to speed the permit process, and to remove rails and ties from the North River to Tahawus, and the Remsen to Lake Placid railroads,
We provide input on APA permit application review for projects, big and small, including the Tupper Lake Adirondack Club and Resort project, the Barton Mines project to construct wind turbine towers on Gore Mountain to generate enough clean electricity to power 15,000 homes, and many more significant projects and issues.
The Review Board will continue to be the eyes, ears and voice of local government at the Agency as required by Executive Law Section 803a.
I look forward to working with Adirondack legislators and supervisors and will continue to send them periodic email reports on significant Adirondack issues and projects.
Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss issues or projects.
Frederick H. Monroe
My family arrived in Saranac in 1869, one of my cousins still owns the original log cabin from 1869. In 1888 my Great Grandfather bought the home and farm where I grew up. My Mom still lives there. We were farmers and loggers by choice. The land, by way of hard work created a living for generations. It is still used for farming and the woods are managed for timber. The reason I point this out is, like many parcels in the Adirondacks, this land has been in continuous use for well over a hundred years. It is not barren from use. The opposite is true. It is a healthy forest and productive fields. It presents awe-inspiring views of the Northern Adirondacks and the Saranac Valley.
The Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, along with many elected officials, have often been portrayed as wanting to ruin our environment for the sake of business. The truth is we are in the middle, not the left where the environmental groups are, not the right. We are the middle. We seek balance. We love the Adirondacks. We seek to protect it. We also know that we have to have jobs, and people to sustain our way of life. To sustain our communities.
The Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board was created to advise and assist the APA on land use in the Park. In doing this, we are careful to watch for APA overreaching of authority. We assist our constituents, when needed, in finding solutions to issues that seem daunting while negotiating the regulations of the APA.
We also raise our voices when our environment needs our help. When issues like invasive species threaten our Park, we stand with other organizations looking for solutions.
We are here to represent local governments. To do that we seek the balance of a healthy Park. Whether it is the environment, or the economy. We need both to follow the vision laid out many years ago. That vision is now just being recognized as important by our state leaders.
Gerald Delaney, Sr.