Vice-Chair, Conservation: Gene Kaczka
In late May, I received an action alert from ADK regarding funding for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The $200 million has been made part of the political tug of war in Albany.
The alert stated, The EPF is the principal source of funding in New York for the purchase of Forest Preserve and state park lands. Land acquisition funds are critical to preserving lands and waters of great scenic and recreational value in the Adirondacks and throughout the state. For example, land acquisition funds are needed to complete the Tahawus Upper Works project. Currently, the land is owned by the Open Space Institute. Without land acquisition funds, the state will not be able to acquire this beautiful tract for inclusion in the Forest Preserve. EPF monies also fund ADK's professional trail crews and the joint ADK, Nature Conservancy, and DEC Summit Steward program.
I asked those on my action alert list to send a letter before June 22nd to their state representatives and the governor urging them to put their political differences aside and resolve this critical issue.
I periodically receive action alert notices from ADK providing background information and addresses of the various agencies or persons involved requesting action (usually a letter) from the membership of ADK. If you are not on my list and wish to be informed of such issues, or if you were and your email address has changed, please email me. I also post the action alerts on the Laurentian Chapter webpage.
Governor Pataki approved the APA's land classifi cation recommendations regarding the Raquette River Boreal Forest, near us on southern Rt. 56. The classification proposes motorized access in the western Wild Forest area while protecting the eastern Primitive Area. The decision on motorized use rests with the DEC and on the state's land use master plan for the area.
St. Lawrence County's ATV clubs are urging the county to designate several parcels of reforestation lands as ATV trail lands which they would use and maintain. Though not officially designated, all are currently being used by ATVs. They include the area that had once been the Seven Springs ski area and parcels across from Postwood Park and across the Lenney Road from the Stone Valley trail. Jefferson County is about to approve a similar ATV plan and there apparently is considerable support for some form of approval in the St. Lawrence County Legislature. Tom Ortmeyer is on the committee reviewing the proposal and has maps of the areas involved. (See Chair's message). He and I would appreciate your comments as the chapter seeks to craft a position on the proposals.
At its May meeting, the Raquette River Advisory Council (RRAC), attended by John Omohundro and Mark Simon, approved additional funding for projects in Stone Valley to reduce unauthorized motor vehicle traffic and build new bridges.