Property Rights Foundation of America®
Founded 1994

Adirondack Park Open Space Plan Map

This map accompanied the report of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-first Century, and was largely responsible for the uproar that resulted in the defeat in the legislature of the bills incorporating the Commission's 245 recommendations for extreme restrictions on private land in the Adirondacks.

The map had two major political failings, which have been a lesson for environmental preservationists, and should also be useful for grassroots private property rights activists to know.

The map's first mistake was to show in cross-hatching the 654,850 acres of private land which the State was to acquire with $2 billion funding that was sought in the Environmental Quality Bond Act of the same year. People could see by the legend where the land was to be acquired, including their particular private property, with their houses, summer camps, forests, and farms. Parallelly, the Bond Act was also defeated in a statewide referendum, because of the activism of rural northern New Yorkers and the publicity accompanying the pro se lawsuit challenging the illegal expenditure of taxpayer funds to promote a "yes" vote, which was brought by Carol and Peter LaGrasse, Robert Schulz, and Donald Gerdts.

The second mistake in the map presentation was to show the bounds of the previously unpublicized Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve. Peter LaGrasse researched the meaning of this designation, which had been secretly applied for by the Adirondack Park Agency. Over the ensuing years, he and Carol LaGrasse widely publicized the existence of this Biosphere Reserve and the meaning of such designations, with the "core," "buffer," and "transition zones," and the "wildlife corridors" or "land bridges." The thoughtless inclusion of the two upstate cities of Glens Falls and Plattsburgh within the boundary of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which can be seen in red outline (or alternately, the thin green outline of the transition zone) even on this small reproduction of the 33 in. x 43 in. fold-out map, garnered the sparsely populated Adirondack area many allies in those cities to help defeat what became known as the "Twenty-first Century Commission" legislation.

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