Will APA Really Require Conservation Subdivision Design?

Marsh at the end of Woodward Lake

With our encouragement, the Adirondack Park Agency introduced a new large-scale subdivision application in 2018 which tells large subdividers of private lands in the Park that “the preferred project design should minimize creation of new areas of disturbance …and should concentrate development to the greatest extent practicable.

How is this working out so far?

An applicant has come to the APA with a proposal that would ring an undeveloped private lake with 26-36 new residences, roads and driveways. APA has, as promised, allowed the public to view maps and natural resource data and afforded Adirondack Wild and others the chance to comment on the subdivision design early in the process before the application is considered complete.

Adirondack Wild sent APA the following comments:

  • The applicant’s preferred design and the alternatives appear to maximize, rather than minimize creation of new disturbance;
  • Development is not concentrated, but rings the entire shoreline of 130-acre Woodward Lake with new shoreline and back-lot homes, driveways and accessory buildings;
  • The applicant sites much development where soils are “somewhat poorly drained” or “very bouldery” or “very rocky.” Here, along with the wetlands and streams,  are precisely where development should not take place;
  • The applicant fragments a locally significant forest above the lake’s eastern shore with new homes, roads and driveways;
  • The applicant fragments all of Resource Management (RM), more than 500 acres, into multiple ownerships where haphazard management can be expected instead of keeping these lands in one useful, contiguous open space area for forestry or recreation.

In brief, the applicant’s concepts appear to badly undermine the objectives of the APA’s new application! We’ve said that APA should require a more innovative design that clusters development on suitable sites, minimizes the negative impacts of roadways on wildlife movements, keeps all of Resource Management in common ownership and leaves a significant portion of the shoreline undeveloped. Stay tuned for updates. More public comments periods will be provided. Timely action alerts will go out to our activists. In advance, thank you!



Wilderness 50th Anniversary Video Trailer
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11/06/18 Award Presentations at the 2018 Annual Membership Meeting in Saranac Lake At Adirondack Wild’s Nov. 3, 2018 annual membership meeting in Saranac Lake, It was an honor to bestow our awards to two deserving Adirondackers, Julia Goren and Phil Brown. Julia received our Wild Stewardship Award for leading the High Peaks Summit Stewardship program since 2006. She and her team of Summit Stewards have communicated with hundreds of thousands of hikers on our Park’s fragile summits. read more >

11/06/18 Time to Strengthen Budgets for the Forest Preserve Currently on the Adirondack Park Agency ( website are links to “large scale subdivisions currently under review,” an entirely new feature. What is that new feature all about? Earlier this year, APA adopted a new application for large-scale residential subdivisions, as the agency defines them. In the green land use color, Resource Management, large scale subdivisions are defined as 5 or more lots or parcels in a given project. read more >

10/12/18 Time to Strengthen Budgets for the Forest Preserve I listened to NCPR’s Brian Mann recently report about NYS DEC Forest Ranger staffing, and the great stress and pressures on the current ranger staff to respond to emergencies. DEC Commissioner Seggos was described as pushing back on the need for additional Forest Rangers. He was quoted as saying that the entire DEC staff must rally to help to relieve the stress and pressures on the Rangers and – I would add – on all natural resource professionals at the DEC. read more >

09/12/18 Will DEC Rubberstamp a Steel Bridge over the Cedar River? State agencies in the Adirondack Park are full of dedicated, hardworking employees who want to do their level best under their relevant laws and jurisdictions. However, in a situation where the same agency acts both as the applicant and the decider of an application the public has good reason to be skeptical that there will be sufficient independence to raise difficult questions, much less objections. read more >
Existing snowmobile bridge on the Cedar River. Photo by Dave Gibson

08/06/18 Partnering for Wilderness, 1946-2018 In July 1946, Howard and Alice Zahniser drove with their children to the Adirondacks for the first time. Howard had started work as the first executive of The Wilderness Society in Washington D.C. the year prior. Howard would begin drafting the federal Wilderness Act of 1964 (66 drafts in all) from a cabin he acquired in the Adirondacks.
read more >
Paul Schafer



11/19/18 • Adirondack Wild Calls on the Legislature to terminate threat of future mining at ‘Lot 8’ in the Jay Mountain Wilderness read more >
10/22/18 • Adirondack Wild to Honor Phil Brown and Julia Goren at Annual Meeting of Members & Friends on Nov. 3rd in the Saranac Lake Free Library read more >
09/28/18 • Calls for a Permit System to Address Overuse in the High Peaks Wilderness and to Avoid Damaging the Vulnerable Boreas Ponds read more >
09/28/18 • Opposed to DEC Plan to issue Itself a Permit to Build Illegal Snowmobile Bridge over Protected River read more >
09/23/18 • ADK Council: Overuse, poor maintenance threaten trails read more >
09/21/18 • Re. Proposed Cedar River Bridge and Recreational Trail read more >
09/18/18 • Re. P2018-0123, Woodward Lake, Large-Scale Subdivision Application read more >
08/24/18 • DEC finalizes new rules for High Peaks read more >
06/30/18 • Group proposes permit system for High Peaks read more >
05/25/18 • Adirondack Wild to NYS: Stop the Rush to Accommodate Overuse of the High Peaks Wilderness and Boreas Ponds read more >
05/24/18 • Motorized access to Boreas Ponds debated at DEC hearing read more >

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.

Photos: Top left: Bog on Upper St Regis Lake. © Ken Rimany;
Field Notes From the Partners: Carved 'Beaver House' sign - by Paul Schaefer. Photo © Ken Rimany;
Wild Action Now photo: Dan Plumley at the Keene Valley Library, along with Naj Wikoff, sharing what they learned and offered to the gathering of leaders at the Conference of World Parliamentarians on Tibet. Photo  © Ken Rimany.

Peter Brinkley, Honorary Chair
Daniel R. Plumley, Partner
Home Office: 518.576.9277
David H. Gibson, Partner
Mobile: 518.469.4081
Kenneth J. Rimany, Partner

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