Posted by
Property Rights Foundation of America®

From: Howard Aubin [haubin @frontiernetnet]
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 8:36 PM
To: Marienthal, Frederic H.
Subject: Nature Conservancy revenue bond NYS

Dear Mr Marienthal;

It is my understanding that testimony must be sent to you by email, by 11/28/2008 concerning a 45 million dollar bond for the Nature Conservancy in the State of New York to purchase the 160,540 acres of Finch Prime lands. I ask that you include this email in the record and consider the contents of this email.

Section 147 f of the IRS code requires approval by the governmental unit in the area on behalf of which bond was issued. The Nature Conservancy is applying for this bond. The area is within several towns and more than one county within the State of New York. In my reading of Section 147 ( f ) (2) (II) (ii) the State can issue approval only if one other governmental unit within the area also votes for approval. The code states, "(except that if more than 1 governmental unit within a state has jurisdiction over the entire area within such state in which such facility is located, only 1 such unit need approve such issue)". The requirements of this clause have not been met. No other county has issued approval.

Land acquisition in the Adirondack by the State of New York has been an issue that has caused hard feelings between the local people within the Adirondacks, where this Finch Prime land is located, and the State of New York. The state's own land acquisition plan contains a local government veto clause. The acquisition by the State of New York of lands within the Adirondacks is generally opposed by the local population. Because of this situation it is extremely important that local governmental approval be granted prior to issuing any bonds.

One of the issues that comes up is the heavy hand that the State and the Nature Conservancy have used to force people to become "willing sellers". The State, using the Adirondack Park Agency, a state zoning body that only regulates the private lands within the Adirondacks and not lands outside the Adirondacks, has been using it's authority to take enforcement actions against property owners that are unwilling to sell or give property to the Nature Conservancy. This is extortion and it is still going on. Giving this amount of money to the Nature Conservancy is only going to free up monies that they can use for even more extortion. I realize that these are strong words, but there is a factual basis for saying it.

As I said earlier in this email, the State of New York has a land acquisition plan that contains a local, government veto of land acquisition. This local government veto was included within this land acquisition plan because of the heavy handed treatment that local people had received by the state. Twice I have witnessed people being moved out of their homes and their homes removed from their land. It leaves very hard feelings.

This past summer I helped stop another attempt to remove someone from their home. It starts with the Nature Conservancy contacting someone wanting to purchase their land. When the person refuses the State of New York, through the Adirondack Park Agency steps in with a trumped up charge of some violation. In the last case the APA threatened the elderly couple with a 2.962 million dollar fine and removal of their home. After the Town got involved there was suddenly no violation and the case went away. The terror that these people had to go through didn't just go away. They were the lucky ones.

This is not about biodiversity or any other buzz word. It is about removing a population out of an area to create a playground for the very wealthy. Giving such a bond to the Nature Conservancy only helps them to terrorize more people within the Adirondacks.

The State of New York is not applying for this Bond, the Nature Conservancy is. In order for it to be granted the State of New York can be one of the approving governmental bodies, because there are several counties involved, one of the counties should be required as the other required governmental unit to approve this. Without the other governmental body this bond would violate section 147 of the IRS code.

Howard L. Aubin
Town Councilman
Town of Black Brook

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Government Land Acquisition Preservation vs the Future of the North Country Environmental Groups

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