Conservation Archive

Conservation Report

April, 2012

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

The Adirondack Club and Resort

This ill-conceived project near Tupper Lake was approved by the APA commissioners in a vote of 10-1 at their January meeting. It is by far the largest project ever approved by APA. The outcome reveals how severely hampered the APA is by obsolete and rigid rules that have been in place for four decades, since the APA's inception. Environmentalists are talking of mounting a campaign to bring the APA rules into the 21st century. It seems that some of the APA's commissioners view the agency as primarily a vehicle to spur development. They seem to forget that the APA was initially founded as a compromise to a federal proposal to create a national park: to be a vehicle to protect and enhance the Adirondack environment and ecology without becoming a national park. Also perplexing is the fact that the Adirondack Council chose unreservedly to support this mammoth project, even though the developer made only token concessions to environmental protection. The resort development still has to secure other permits for this project and has not (as of March 1) even exercised the option to buy the land for the development.

Bobcat Management Plan

Recently released by DEC, this plan has caused concern among environmental groups. It greatly expands the area for trapping statewide and extends the trapping season until mid-February in the Adirondack Park. This will increase the danger of mortality to certain iconic species struggling to survive in the park -- lynx and cougar spring readily to mind here. Mention of a snare-like trap that "works better in areas of deep snow" has also raised alarms among environmental groups. This management plan appears to be pandering to consumptive users of the resource rather than promoting an ecosystem approach to species management. The Fish and Wildlife Division of DEC is a semi-autonomous unit within the agency. It does not seem to utilize the concept of an ecosystem approach to management and also is mistaken as to what the Adirondack Park and the Forest Preserve actually mean. This is another compelling reason to create a single DEC region with jurisdiction over the entire Adirondack Park.