Conservation Archive

Conservation Report

January, 2012

Vice-Chair, Conservation: Peter O'Shea, 315-848-2178

Adirondack Club and Resort - The presentations and counter-presentations have concluded and the APA board is preparing for a final decision at the January meeting. The opponents of the resort for both environmental and economic reasons have presented very persuasive arguments particularly in wildlife and taxation matters that would normally be enough to derail this ill-conceived project. With today’s political climate, however, one cannot predict with any degree of certainty what the ultimate outcome will be.

DEC Region 5 Director - Betsy Lowe is stepping down as DEC Regional 5 Director later this month. Betsy has solid environmental credentials and will be missed. Many are saying that now could be the time to create one DEC Region for the entire Adirondack Park with a single director.

Wolf Confirmation - New York State Museum curator of mammals Roland Kays confirmed that genetic testing has determined that a wolf killed several years ago in the southern Adirondacks was definitely a wild wolf that had never been in captivity. This affirms what many Adirondackers have always felt: wolves have at the minimum at tentative or sporadic presence in the Adirondack Park. In what is hopefully a refreshing sign of change DEC Deputy Commissioner Chris Amato sent an official letter of protest to the US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding their delisting of wolves in the Midwest, stating that this would hinder wolf recovery in New York.

Hydrofracking - Well-attended public hearings are proceeding apace on the question of hydrofracking in the Marcellus shale region of Southern New York. This innovative method of releasing natural gas trapped in shale rock has the potential of creating great economic benefits but conversely has the potential to wreck ecological havoc in an area while also contaminating drinking water supplies locally. This issue should be watched closely since with the ever-expanding technologies for extracting gas commercially we in this area could be looking at the same problem in the future. For instance, many landowners in the towns of Clifton and Fine, among others, do not own title to the subsurface mineral resources.