By David Gibson, Managing Partner, Adirondack Wild
Survey of Ideas
Concerning the $650 million from the Bond Act that New York voters have made available for open space land conservation and recreation, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve asks that:
- NYS DEC work more closely with the NYS Attorney General’s and Comptroller’s offices to overcome current logjams in the land protection review process, expediting land protection projects so that they can be acquired from willing sellers at a more rapid pace. For example, the AG’s office had long insisted upon receiving chain of title deed surveys which in many instances impose significant hurdles for DEC staff, both time and personnel. This lengthy process can be shortened without risking clear title. Please work with the AG’s staff to expedite this process so that NYS can better compete with the private sales marketplace.
- DEC increase the efficiency of third-party transactions with private land trusts who hold onto high priority land protection parcels for long periods while awaiting state reimbursement. Please work with the private land trusts to untangle this knotty problem so that NYS can achieve its legislated objective of protecting 30% of our lands, waters and shorelines by 2030.
- DEC adjust the formula for appropriating bond act proceeds. Currently, the formula steers one-third of the bond act to disadvantaged communities. However, that formula excludes most of the Adirondacks and Catskills because the wealth of a few second homeowners skews the results and eliminates the eligibility of the many low-income, rural communities which predominate here. Please adjust the formula so that more of these precious funds can be allocated to rural, low-income areas of the Catskill and Adirondack Parks.
- DEC hire more appraisers, surveyors and other natural resource professionals in the regional offices of DEC. Achieving our open space conservation objectives can only succeed by hiring more of these essential personnel. Please work with the governor and her division of the budget to respond to the urgent need to hire more of these skilled members of the Division of Lands and Forests without whom the Bond Act and 30:30 objectives cannot gain necessary momentum.
On behalf of Adirondack Wild, thank you for the chance to respond to the Bond Act survey of project ideas.
David Gibson, Managing Partner
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
Survey of initial project ideas:
New York State is interested in your ideas for how the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022 could help improve our communities across the state. This survey will provide stakeholders and members of the public a place to share these ideas.