For Immediate Release
February 14, 2022
Contact: David Gibson
Adirondack Wild Supports Debar Pond Lodge Land Exchange
and Bill to Support Ecological Integrity in the Adirondack Park
Adirondack Wild has endorsed a joint legislative resolution in Albany to amend Article 14 of the New York State Constitution and authorize a land exchange between the Debar Institute and the State of New York Support Memo. The amendment would allow preservation and educational uses of the Debar Pond Lodge on six acres in Duane, Franklin County, while adding four hundred acres back to the Forest Preserve. The Debar Pond Lodge is listed on the state and national Registers of Historic Places. Its preservation for the public will also protect Debar Pond while affording reasonable public access to the lake. An easement assures appropriate preservation and use of the Lodge buildings.
“The Lodge sits on the forever wild Forest Preserve at Debar Pond. Its continued presence is therefore unconstitutional and cannot remain on public land,” said Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson. “By authorizing a land exchange, the legislature and ultimately the voters can preserve the Lodge on just six private acres, ensure appropriate public uses of the Lodge and sustainable public access to the Pond, while adding over 400-acres to the public’s Forest Preserve at nearby Meacham Lake.”
“The amendment meets our land exchange criteria because it is narrowly defined, specific in purpose, limited in scope and provides public services or serves a public need, as opposed to serving a mostly private interest, which cannot be provided in ways other than through an amendment,” Gibson added. The Debar Pond exchange is sponsored by State Senator Dan Stec and Assembly Member Billy Jones. To be approved it must pass in two successive state legislatures and in a public referendum. The earliest that can take place is in fall, 2023
Also, Adirondack Wild has endorsed a bill sponsored by Assembly Member Steve Englebright (A. 4074) and State Senator Todd Kaminsky (S. 1145) to preserve ecological integrity, wildlife and open space in the Adirondack Park Support Memo. “This is sensible, fair, climate-smart legislation to design the largest private subdivisions in ways that minimize their impacts through the well-known principles of conservation subdivision design,” said Adirondack Wild’s Gibson. “The bill has been under extensive review for several years and has been amended as a result of stakeholder involvement.”
“By requiring conceptual review of the Adirondack Park’s few very large subdivisions, the bill would better protect climate buffering Adirondack forests, conserve natural resources, manage working forests, farms and open space recreation and develop the largest residential subdivisions at much less cost to the environment and to project infrastructure. We hope it passes this year and is sent to Governor Hochul for her signature.”
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is a not-for-profit, membership advocate acting to safeguard wilderness and to promote wild land values and stewardship. More is found on the web at adirondackwild.org.