ADK Board of Directors Meeting – June 20, 2009 Lake George
Neil Woodworth summarized the current state of government in Albany. Despite the impasse in recent days, many of ADKs legislative concerns have already been enacted, including the passage of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, and the funding of the Environmental Protection Fund through the real estate transfer tax. The Governor has also backed away from capping the state payments to local governments on state lands. These were all victories for ADKs position, and especially on the latter issue ADK garnered much credit from local governments by leading the effort.
The ADK experienced damage from “malware” recently. The site has moved to a new host, and the pages are being cleaned and restored.
An important alert to chapters that use volunteers to do work projects: ADK’s insurance does not include coverage for medical payments for injured volunteers, except for those working on official DEC “adopt-a-natural-resource” projects or on events such as Trails Day. On other volunteer work projects it is essential that volunteers have their own medical coverage. Chapters should verify this for all such volunteers.
New York State has agreed that lakes and ponds will be classified in the same category as the lands surrounding these bodies. This means that there will be several large additions to the Five Ponds Wilderness area – and is a great president to set for future classifications. This was part of the Low’s Lake settlement, which is near ratification. Floatplanes will cease use of the lake by 12/31/2011.
ADK is hoping to take a master plan for Heart Lake properties to the APA this fall. The current budget situation means the state will not be participating in the HPIC redesign.
Trails: The issue of how roads get abandoned, or not, lies at the root of the stand-off regarding a section of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail. DEC does have the authority under highway law to close a road, but it has been reluctant to use that authority. Towns may also do so, and that may happen in this case.
After becoming an official trainer of “Leave No Trace” – ADK will be running training sessions about once a month during summer months. We are the only trainer in the northeast.
“A Blackfly Affair” was a success with approx. 350 people attending. The club is looking for a venue and an organizer for the annual paddling outing. Paul Smiths College can no longer host the event and Marilyn Gillespie is retiring from the role of organizer. Tom Andrews is looking for old photos of Heart Lake or JBL properties.
Finance: Despite the financial woes, the club’s situation is looking OK. Though revenues are down, expenses have been kept down as well. It looks likely that we will end the year with the planned deficit – and not worse than that. This is the second year of a 3-year budget that planned deficits as we built capacity.
Awards and recognition: The club is looking to the chapters to nominate people for the several awards the club makes each year. These awards do not require that the recipient excel at club-level activities. Persons who do outstanding work at the chapter level can be nominated.
There has not been an Environmental Bond Act since 1996. One is being proposed this year – for $5 billion – that would also leverage some $2 billion of the Stimulus funding. Despite the likelihood that the NYS Senate will not act to get this on the ballot for November, the club voted its support for the act. Among the projects that would be funded are municipal water treatment upgrades. New York has a large number running under consent orders – meaning they are technically inadequate.
Other actions: The North Jersey and Ramapo chapters were merged. The Chubb River and the Osgood River are being proposed for Wild and Scenic River status.