|View from Mt. Morris, Tupper Lake, looking down at Cranberry Pond in the foreground, a proposed receiver of sewage effluent and stormwater drainage from the Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR), with Lake Simond and the Raquette River in the background. Steep slopes with thin soils and small rivers, streams and wetlands like Cranberry Pond, as well as larger receiving waters like Lake Simond and Tupper Lake would all be subject to significant environmental impacts from ACR.
Photograph ©David Gibson
An adjudicatory law judge (ALJ) with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation ruled earlier in November that Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve would be admitted into the public hearing for the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) near Tupper Lake.
Both Dan Plumley and David Gibson of Adirondack Wild had been involved in the pre-hearing and mediation phases of the ACR beginning in 2004 when Michael Foxman first proposed this largest development project in the history of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). In supporting Adirondack Wild’s petition, other parties who live in the area wrote to the ALJ supporting our petition. They advised that we had extensive past involvement with the local planning board and APA, and that our knowledge, perspective and future testimony in a hearing would make a significant contribution to a full and complete hearing record.
The applicant wrote to the judge asking him to deny our request, deeming our petition irrelevant, duplicative, and insubstantial.
In the end, the ALJ agreed that the involvement of Adirondack Wild would benefit the hearing and that its arguments and testimony would add to the completeness of a legal record which is the sole basis on which the APA must rule on the application. The public hearing, which was ordered by the APA back in February, 2007, may be scheduled to begin this winter. There are about 40 other parties involved in the hearing, indicative of the complex and controversial nature of the proposal
Adirondack Wild’s petition for involvement as a party in the hearing noted that we have a clear interest in protecting not only the core wildlands of the Forest Preserve, but also the overall open space character of the Park where private forests remain unfragmented. We cited the many ways that the ACR would fragment forest resources, wildlife habitats and open space recreation by spreading the zones of development impact to every corner of the ownership. Alternative development designs have been given scant attention.
Therefore, we currently plan to focus on:
- why the current proposal fragments the landscape unnecessarily
- violates the purposes, policies and objectives of Resource Management under the APA Act
- how alternative conservation design could be employed.
Reaching our financial goal for year end 2010 – to match or exceed a $50,000 matching gift – is important to us as we deliberate on next steps. Thanks to everyone taking part in our campaign.
For more, read the Adirondack Wild petition and the ruling of the ALJ here.
Continue reading the next article on Safeguarding the Wild >
6] Posted 12/06/10
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