"My personal experience and readings convince me that preservation
of wild places is the best of American traditions.
Wilderness is at the heart of the nation.
It tells one generation what is right and lasting about
all generations and about the land itself."
—Michael Frome

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FIELD NOTES: SAFEGUARDING THE WILD

Adirondack Wild helps lead opposition to elimination of Forest Preserve taxation

By David Gibson


Dave Gibson of Adirondack Wild joins local government elected officials and environmental representatives of the Forever Taxable coalition at the State Capitol in Albany.

Adirondack Wild reacted to the Governor’s budget proposal to eliminate full taxation of the State-owned Forest Preserve by helping to organize the “Forever Taxable” coalition of Adirondack and Catskill organizations and local governments. 

Members of that coalition tried to convince the Governor’s Budget Division to take out a proposal from their budget which would turn full payment of taxes on the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve – authorized since 1886- to a capped payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT. Such a system would over time reduce state payments to small towns and taxing districts throughout the Adirondacks and Catskills, and force a tax shift to private property owners.

Unfortunately, the Governor’s Budget Division did not remove the PILOT from the executive budget. The coalition then met with many members of the NYS Senate/Assembly. Local government leaders stressed that full taxation of the Forest Preserve was a pillar on which the Adirondack and Catskill Parks were constructed, and the State removes that 130-year old pillar at its peril. The financial viability of small school districts are at stake since the forest preserve taxes make up more than 50% of many school district budgets. Adirondack Wild stressed that maintaining the trust that NYS will pay full taxes is critical to the future of NY's open space conservation plan since local government cooperation with that plan is needed.

We succeeded!

Both the NYS Assembly and NYS Senate omitted the capped PILOT in their State Budget proposals. All agreed with us that the PILOT would be bad public policy for our “forever wild” lands. Even the State Budget Division staff we met with agreed to reconsider this. Hopefully, our success will last and we can all take steps in future to ensure that Forever Wild continues to mean Forever Taxable.



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Archived Safeguarding Field Notes

2018

07/15/18 Adirondack Wild Speaks to the APA
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06/11/18 Viewpoint: Time for permit system in the High Peaks Wilderness read more>


05/22/18 State Rushing Process For High Peaks, Boreas Plans read more>


04/20/18 Limit Motor Vehicles and Traffic on the way to Boreas Ponds. Keep it Wild! read more>


03/28/18 Adirondack Wild helps lead opposition to elimination of Forest Preserve taxation read more>


03/06/18 DEC Should End Uncertainty of Old Mountain Road read more>


02/26/18 Judge Upholds Wetlands Denial read more>


02/13/18 Forever Wild and Forever Taxable read more>


01/30/18 Proposal for Boreas Ponds Falls Short read more>


01/11/18 Protect Adirondack Boreal Habitat read more>


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The mission of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is to advance New York’s ‘Forever Wild’ legacy and Forest Preserve policies in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, and promote public and private land stewardship that is consistent with wild land values through education, advocacy and research.

Top left, Moose River ©2010 Ken Rimany; Field Notes photographs ©2011 Ken Rimany. Wild Action Now photograph ©2011 David Gibson

ADIRONDACK PARK REGIONAL
Peter Brinkley, Honorary Chair
pbrinkley@frontiernet.net
Daniel R. Plumley, Partner
dplumley@adirondackwild.org
Home Office: 518.576.9277
David H. Gibson, Partner
dgibson@adirondackwild.org
Mobile: 518.469.4081
Kenneth J. Rimany, Partner
krimany@adirondackwild.org

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve    Founded 1945   PO Box 9247 • Niskayuna New York 12309 | ©