Thursday, April 2, 2009


The Adirondack Park Agency is an organization founded in New York State for the protection of the 6 million acres of publicly an privately owned land within what it called the Blue Line which is the boundary of the park.

The Agency, as it's called derives its power from certain provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law, and supposedly takes its direction from the Master Plan, a document written with the goal of guiding the use of the area to protect it from misuse and exploitation.

I believe that the entire premise of both the Master Plan and the APA were good, however, the APA, waving the banner of the Master Plan has become the tail that wags several dogs.

Individual landowners and homeowners are often hamstrung by the regulations which the agency imposes--there have been cases of homeowners hung up in battles over the color of a house roof.

Even the state, the largest landowner in the park, has to bow to the will of the almighty agency. I was on a unit management plan committe at one point and saw that the one representative of the agency always got what he wanted...or else the plan went into limbo.

As the state has begun to complete the unit management plans, historic access to many places have been restricted to only those who are walking or paddling: Roads, used for years, have been closed off, boat launches blocked off with boulders; snowmobile trails closed..., all in line with the almighty agency's wishes, often against the wishes of just about all others, and not necessarily in that master plan which they're so concerned abouts.

The solution would be to eliminate the agency and turn the programs over to DEC itself, and make sure some moderates are put into influential places within it. In the meantime, I believe that every person or entitiy which had ever been denied a use permit should come together and file a class action suit against the APA for violation of civil rights. Such a suit should be brought against the agency iteslf and every person who had ever denied a permit without due process, or essentially denied a person of his or her rights to use their own land.

The Freedom of Information Law process alone should overwhelm the Agency enough to stop them in their tracks for a while, at least.

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