Property Rights Foundation of America®

Adirondack Park Agency (APA)

New information added on November 25, 2019

"He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable,
and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose
of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures."

"He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers,
to harass our people, and eat out their substance."

- The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, July 4th, 1776


The APA headquarters in Ray brook, N.Y. Notice the bland landscaping featuring an open lawn and a few trees, with the absence of a wilderness buffer zone that the agency requires
of private houses to make them invisible from the highway.
 "The Adirondack Park in the Northeastern U. S."
from The Adirondack Park in the Twenty-first Century, Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-first Century (1990). Click map for larger version and additional information.

Meet The APA Commission 2009


Meet the APA Commission 2004

Meet the APA Commission 2001
at the official monthly APA (Adirondack Park Agency) meeting
at the Copperfield Inn, North Creek, Warren County
August 9, 2001

Email Us

First Hand Report on PRFA's Thirteenth Annual Conference:
The Adirondack Park
The Idea, The Experience, The Future

Court Will Not Dismiss Leroy Douglas's Lawsuit Claiming Malicious Prosecution and other Civil Rights Violaions by Adirondack Park Agency and the Adirondack Council
Press Release
Matthew Norfolk, Attorney
Briggs-Norfolf, LLC
Lake Placid, N. Y.
September 12, 2012

"Right to Know Advocate Speaks" - By Peter J. LaGrasse, February 12, 2011
Questions answered by Robert Freeman included one about APA reluctance to identify current litigation.

Moose River Plains Plan to Take Away Much Hunting Access
Sept. 17, 2010

"APA Ruling Against Couple in Royal Anchorage Estates Subdivision Reversed"
- Matthew D. Norfolk
June 2, 2010

Selection of Thirteenth Annual Conference Speeches on the Adirondacks Published:
Book of Talks by Influential Grassroots Speakers Catches Spirit of Event
Grassroots Speakers, Edited by Carol W. LaGrasse
Bulletin, May 12, 2010

PRFA's New
"Welcome" Postcard:
Satirical Postcard Carries a Message about the
Adirondack Park
January 2010
Ordering Information

"Bulletin: Split Ruling on Adirondack Park Agency's New Regulations" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, November 27, 2009
State Supreme Court Judge Robert Muller ruled on November 25 that the APA's new regulations requiring a variance for most expansions of lakeshore houses are valid, but held that the new rules restricting non-jurisdictional hunting and fishing cabins to primitive conditions and the new rules eliminating automatic separate lots when a waterway or highway divide a parcel are invalid.

"Arthur Spiegel's Federal Suit Against APA Ends with Dismissal"- News Brief, PRFA, September 2009

"Hamilton County Disaster Expert Attacks APA for Failing to Protect Human Population" - News Brief, PRFA, Summer 2009

"Adirondack Park Agency Maps 'Watershed Protection Area' that Specifies Visibility from Sacandaga Reservoir" - News Brief, PRFA, Summer 2009

"Gov. Spitzer Orders that State Agencies Broadcast Their Meetings over the Web, APA Asks for Exemption" - News Brief, PRFA, March 2007

"Tragic Death on Adirondack Northway Focuses Attention on Environmentalist Obstruction of Cell Phone Coverage" - News Brief, PRFA, March 2007

Opposed to Limiting Access to Adirondack Park - Sen. Elizabeth O'C Little Letter to Carol W. LaGrasse, June 5, 2006

"A Slew of Property Rights Bills Submitted to State Legislature" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, June 2006)
Bi-partisan bills in the New York State Legislature tackle eminent domain reform, local permit applicant uncertainty, and uniformity of Adirondack regulations with statewide rules, as well as economic impact of Adirondack Park Agency and DEC planning.

Assemblywoman Teresa R. Sayward Letter of to DEC Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan, Mar. 24, 2006
Expressing concern about the controversy over DEC's Unit Management Plan proposed for the Moose River Plains, which has provided access for all, including hiking, canoeing, hunting, fishing and snowmobiling, and asking that access not be changed.

"Adirondack League Club Raises Arson Reward to $100,000" - PRFA News Brief, February 2006
With six remote camps destroyed beginning in 2003, the Adirondack League Club is offering a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution those responsible.

"Letter to Gov. Pataki signed by 33 of 37 female APA employees stating that the APA is not a 'hostile or chilling environment for women'" (Adirondack Park Agency, September 12, 2005)

"Sacandaga Lake property owner Faults Adirondack Life Article" — Letter to the Editor by Guy Poulin, March 2005
Access permit holders maintain the shoreline, pay income to the Hudson River - Black River Regulating District, and pay premium local property taxes. The April Adirondack Life article attacking the permit holders had many important errors.

"State to Acquire Domtar's 104,000 Acres of Timber Land in Northern Adirondacks by Conservation Easements and Fee Simple" - Property Rights Foundation of America, January 10, 2005

"Chinese Officials and Researchers Study under Adirondack Park Agency and TNC"
- Reprinted from N.Y. Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 8, N. 4 (Property Rights Foundation of America, Fall 2004)

"Septic Restrictions Proposed to Stop Nearly All Development in the Adirondacks and Many Other Areas" - April 2004
Using the Public Health Law as a surrogate to stop development, a new amendment seeks to restrict septic systems to make it impossible to build them without five feet of usable soil above impermeable deposits, no raised septic systems, and many other conditions impossible to meet in vast areas of New York where public health would not be jeopardized by septic systems.

"Bulletin - Hearings for Comprehensive Adirondack Snowmobile Plan" - Property Rights Foundation of America. January 2004
Environmentalists long to close down snowmobiling. Sportsmen and women, and all who believe in preserving the rural economy should stand together. Access for snowmobilers helps to keep the Forest Preserve open to all. Full article contains hearing schedule across New York State beginning February 9 in Guilderland, ending March 11 in Utica.

"Statute of Limitations on Violations of APA Act Proposed - Betty Little and Teresa Sayward Introduce Bill for Ten-Year Limit"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, (Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Summer 2003)
A bill introduced by Senator Betty Little and Assembly Member Teresa Sayward would relieve the perpetual insecurity of Adirondack property owners, granting them a statute of limitations for APA enforcements, just as criminals are afforded under the American system of law.

Letter from Robert K. Davies, Director, DEC Division of Lands and Forests, to Adirondack Explorer, January 13, 2004.
"[S]nowmobiles are an allowable use in non-wilderness areas of the Adirondack Forest Preserve [T]he dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric used by Mr. Van Valkenburgh in his article is
Such cavalier mention of booby-trapping snowmobile trails should be strongly renounced by everyone who wishes for a civil public process."

"Ross Whaley Appointed to Head Adirondack Park Agency"
— September 2003
On September 16, the New York State Senate unanimously confirmed Gov. George E. Pataki's appointment of Ross Whaley to chair the Adirondack Park Agency.

"The Adirondack Conservation Council is Sponsoring a 'Sportsman's Rally' and Fund Raiser"
Sportsmen and outdoor recreationists are invited to a chicken barbecue at the Schroon Lake Fish & Game Club on August 16, 2003 (noon to 5 p.m.) in support of reopening and keeping open the roads and waters of state lands in the Adirondacks.

"Court Rules that LaGrasse Had No Right to Challenge New APA Rules" (Property Rights Foundation of America, Nov. 2001)

"Open Space Plan Reveals the Same Old Illegalities—DEC Fails to Reveal Full Extent and Impact of its Land Acquisition Plans" - Press Release (Property Rights Foundation of America, November 13, 2001)
The plan violates the State Environmental Quality Review Act, SEQRA, by failing to reveal the current statistics of government land ownership and the full extent of future land acquisition plans.

February 2001:
"Pataki Wants to Increase Funds to Buy Land"

"Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan Map and State Land Map"
Adirondack Park Agency - 1999

Additional Resources
Additional Resources

Adirondack Park Agency
Dan Fitts, Executive Director
(N.Y. State regional zoning agency)
P.O. Box 99
Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977
(518) 891-4050
Web site:

"Oppose DEC ATV Plan!" - by Don Sage, Adirondack Council Life Member, April 28, 2005
This DEC plan to block ATV's from the Adirondacks is based on lies. ATV riding has been formally allowed for decades. Hikers are the most destructive users in the forest preserve. Since 1986, over $6 million has been taken from ATV fees, but there is nowhere to ride on state-owned land. DEC illegally closed 300 town roads in the forest preserve. These and 1,000 miles of trails should be reopened with an interconnecting trail system for all types of recreation.

Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan Map and State Land Map

This large official map depicts the categories of land use established by the Governor-appointed zoning agency, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), for all private and State-owned land within the of the "Adirondack Park."

For Information on the APA:
Subscribe to the Adirondack Park Agency Reporter
An independent monthly record of the deliberations of the Adirondack Park Agency

To contact the Adirondack Park Agency:

Diamond Sportsmen's Club, Inc
(New sportsmen's club near South Colton in St. Lawrence County seeks members.)
address & website

French-Canadian Residents Ousted from Their Land in Indian Lake - Historian's report, posted March 2005, originally attached to New York State's 1987 management plan for Siamese Ponds area.
The "Report of the Town and County Historian of the Area Known as 'Little Canada'in the Town of Indian Lake" by Ted Aber, Historian, January 25, 1982, tells how the French-Canadian residents were, "without exception, ousted from their land" when it was sold to New York State. In 1987, the APA Siamese Pond "Wilderness" designation threatened access to the cemetery and abandoned settlement on historic John Pond Road. The State closed the old road anyway.


Adirondack Park Agency Reporter

Department of Environmental Conservation, State of New York
(See "What's new" for information about each Unit Management Plan, including documents available and hearing dates.) 


In-Depth Information

  • Carol W. Lagrasse“The Question of APA Cell Tower Jurisdiction” - By Carol W. LaGrasse, P.E., Property Rights Foundation of America® Address to the Twenty-third Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights, Latham, N.Y. October 19, 2019 (Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.)
  • Susan Allen"Commentary on DEC's Proposed Policy for Primitive Tent Sites" - By Susan Allen, January 29, 2016
    The proposed guidance for roadside campsites should be eliminated. Existing camping spots along roads represent a classic tradition in the Adirondacks, that of casual outdoor recreation created in the beginning by the then-new automobile and the rise of the weekend getaway for working people. This tradition must not be lost.
  • "Abolish the APA" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Letter to the Editor, Post-Star, Glens Falls, N.Y. May 13, 2012
    In support of Don Sage's call to abolish the APA, this letter draws a brief comparison between the practices and attitude demonstrated in the New York State Conservation Commission's 1924 report to the Legislature welcoming vacationing families to camp in the forest preserve and the current APA/DEC eradication of family access and enjoyment of the forest preserve.
  • "Common Ground in the Adirondacks" - Speech by Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., Hosted by the League of Blue Line Voters, Town Hall, Chestertown, N.Y. August 24, 2011
    Drawing on first hand observations, experience, and research beginning in 1973, Carol LaGrasse refutes the popular Adirondack strategy of seeking common ground with environmental groups, and instead urges that the Adirondack community leadership base their strategy of working in a united front on their inherent common ground with organizations ranging from local government officials to sportsmen to medical institutions, and other groups whose corporate purposes are consistent with the wellbeing of the local people and their communities.
  • Marilyn and Milton Wechsler"APA Deals Blow to Elderly Couple's Home Improvements" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, June 2011
    The Appellate Court has upheld the Adirondack Park Agency's order to Marilyn and Milton Wechsler to remove the gabion wall they built beyond the shoreline in front of their house on Loon Lake in Franklin County and other landscape structures—two wooden stairways, a stone patio, stone wall and driveway, which the APA deemed to be one continuous structure although they are not connected.
  • Statement in Opposition to APA/DEC Plans for Moose River Plains - E-mail to APA/DEC by Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, September 16, 2010
    Sportsmen beware: The extreme plans for this most popular, yet remote area of the Adirondacks will convert 15,062 acres of land deeded as the Moose River Plains Recreation Area to APA/DEC Wilderness category, forever cutting off roads and all access except for use by the most athletic individuals. So-called "roadside camping," which is simply camping where the motor vehicle can be driven on a narrow dirt road to a parking spot close to the primitive encampment, will be restricted to a thin string one tenth of a mile wide on either side of Cedar River Road. In addition, Otter Brook Road and Indian Lake Road will be closed. The present number of camps of 170 will be reduced to 83. (Many camps have already been stealthily taken away, reducing the number from over 200.) Forty-nine miles of snowmobile trail will be closed and only 14 miles created.
  • "Judge Says 'No' To Multiple APA Illegalities" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, June 30, 2010
    Citing multiple illegal and unconstitutional impositions, on June 2, 2010 Essex County Supreme Court Judge Richard Meyer reversed the majority of the Adirondack Park Agency's enforcement decision against Joseph and Patricia Zelanis, who own a shorefront home on Lake George in the town of Putnam in Washington County. The APA has routinely imposed the illegal impositions on property owners.
  • "A State Snowmobile Plan & the Local Economy: Worth Commenting" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 14 No. 2 (PRFA, Early Summer 2010)
    A new snowmobile plan for the area in the vicinity of Lake Pleasant in Hamilton County, known by DEC and APA as the Jessup River Wild Forest, is touted as facilitating a "connector" between communities that stops the use of a popular established route that is too deep in the forest for the environmentalists' taste. However, the "connector" dead ends at the Piseco Community Hall, not exactly a snowmobile destination, while prohibiting the use of Oxbow Lake to reach the Oxbow Inn and Oxbow Hotel and eliminating short spurs that make it possible for local residents to get to the trail.
  • "APA Statute of Limitations Passes Senate" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, June 30, 2010
    On June 25, 2010 the State Senate passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth O'C. Little that would impose a ten-year statute of limitations on enforcement of violations of the Adirondack park Agency law. The ten-year limit would be measured from the date of the alleged violation or from the date on which a public servant, exercising reasonable diligence, should have discovered the violation.
  • "A Letter to Residents and Legislators of the Adirondack Park" - By James N. O'Rourke, Sr., Lake Pleasant, N.Y. 12108
    Referring to the Town of Lake Pleasant and the Village of Speculator in Hamilton County,World War II veteran and former town supervisor James N. O'Rourke, Sr., describes the decline in this thriving community after the Adirondack Park Agency came into existence in 1973.
  • "Statement Opposed to the Rerouting Snowmobile Trails in Jessup River Wild Forest" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, June 16, 2010
    The proposed plan to reroute snowmobile trails in the Jessup River Wild Forest does not satisfy the Adirondack Park Agency law's requirement for balance. The elimination of trails, lake crossings, and spurs will threaten one of the few surviving businesses in Lake Pleasant, the Ox-Bow Inn on Route 8.
  • "APA Re-votes: Waters & Underlying Land of Lows Lake Are Not Classified" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, November 14, 2009
    According to the APA's vote in September, the waters and underlying land of Lows Lake on the border of Hamilton and St. Lawrence Counties would be classified as "wilderness" and "primitive" because the underlying land is state-owned and most of the surrounding land was state-owned. This would have been the first such determination where all of the surrounding land was not state-owned. However, one of the votes was invalid and the APA reconsidered the decision at its November meeting. At this meeting, every commissioner was present and all of the State agency designees sided with the opponents of the classification. In addition, one of the governor-appointed commissioners who had favored the classification reversed his position. The new vote was 7 to 4 in favor of approving the land use classification for the area around Lows lake, but not the lake itself.
  • "The Meaning of the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve" - By Peter J. LaGrasse, Chairman, Stony Creek Board of Assessors, Thirteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Lake George, N.Y., October 17, 2009)
    The meaning of the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve is made clear by a study of the technical literature of proponents and a map study of the state acquisition of land in the Adirondacks since the designation in 1989. The core area, reserved to be without human influence, is defined as all of the state-owned land. The areas between the state-owned land in 1989 are rapidly being filled in with fee simple state acquisitions and state purchases of conservation easements. The Biosphere Reserve designation, which is under UNESCO auspices, is at the heart of the goal to depopulate the region.
  • "Victory: Old Mountain Road Opened to Motor Vehicles" - By James McCulley, President, Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, Lake Placid, N.Y., Thirteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Lake George, N.Y., October 17, 2009)
    Jim McCulley's first-hand account of his successful battle to restore motorized use to Old Mountain Road between Keene and Lake Placid brings the entire history to life. This is the first time DEC has been forced in court, both in the Essex County Supreme Court and in the DEC Administrative Court, to open up a town road that the agency tried to close.

Jim McCulley, President, Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, Lake Placid, N.Y.
The freedom spirit and excitement of Jim McCulley's successful battle to open up the Old Mountain Road is inspiring a movement to open roads elsewhere in the Forest Preserve.
  • "Righting the APA/DEC Access Policy" - By Ted Galusha, President, Adirondackers for Access, Warrensburg, N.Y., Thirteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Lake George, N.Y., October 17, 2009)
    In 1998, Ted Galusha and other disabled individuals filed suit in federal court and immediately won an injunction opening the roads, trails and areas that the DEC officers drove on to access the Adirondack Forest Preserve and illegally arrested them on for using motorized vehicles. After three years of fighting in court, they had a consent decree, signed by the judge as a court order on July 5, 2001. This speech is a heart-rending litany of the myriad ways that the state has chosen not to comply with much of the consent decree and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ted Galusha

Ted Galusha, President, Adirondackers for Access, Warrensburg, N.Y.
Ted Galusha is a champion of the disabled, as well as all people who object to the DEC's barricading and destroying roads and campsites so that the people, whether disabled or not, are denied access to much of the Adirondack Forest Preserve that they used to enjoy.
  • "The Adirondack Park Agency Idea" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., Thirteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Lake George, N.Y., October 17, 2009)
    The idea of the Forest Preserve changed from one of protection of the forest in the late nineteenth century to assure a benefit to the state as a whole (primarily the protection of the flow of water to assure commercial navigation on the Erie Canal and the Hudson River) while extending fair policy to the local people, to the current state policy of radical preservation, massive state land acquisition, and a systematic program to cause the depopulation of the local people in a vast region many times the size of the original Forest Preserve.
  • "APA Classifies First Water Body - Lows Lake Mainly 'Wilderness'" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, September 20, 2009
    The Adirondack Park Agency asserted a new power in September by classifying a water body for the first time, in this case designating Lows Lake in the town of Long Lake as mainly "wilderness." In addition to designating the waters and bed of the lake as largely "wilderness" and also "primitive," the agency decided that the shores of lakes do not have to be entirely owned by the State of New York for the lake itself to be classified and so managed, as long as the bed of the lake is owned by the State.
  • "Statement in Opposition to the Reclassification of Lows Lake and Vicinity" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, August 25, 2009
    The proposed classification of Lows Lake itself (the actual waters of the lake) as wilderness is a new power grab by the APA, which has never before classified the waters of a lake. Acting Executive Director James Connolly called it a "progression in the way it deals with water bodies." This six-page statement shows how the illegalities and injustices in this group of classifications exemplify the bias against seaplanes and the like and favoritism toward canoers, kayakers, and hikers, who are the political clientele of the wealthy who control the APA. Environmental considerations are not a factor.
  • "The Fraud and Double Standard" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, August 15, 2009
    The APA was just defeated as it tried to exert illegal jurisdiction over farm worker housing. The wealthy forces from New York City use an environmental façade to victimize local people. A double standard allowed APA Chairman Curt Stiles to unlock a gate to drive through designated "wilderness" to camp at Lake Lila, but ordinary people have to hike to see the lake.

    Hike to Lake Lila Photo Gallery
  • "Statement in Opposition to the Lows Lake Classifications and Reclassifications" - By Susan Allen, August 28, 2009
    This succinct one-page statement covers a range of reasons why the Lows Lake Classifications and Reclassifications should not be approved. For instance: "Dams, roads and private inholdings contradict the description of the area as 'wilderness.'" Bias is indicated by the DEC's plan to increase the number of campsites for canoers, whereas campsites for hunters and families in the forest preserve are being greatly reduced.
  • "DEC Administrative Judge Rules in Favor of McCulley's Use of Old Mountain Road" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, May 31, 2009
    The DEC's Chief DEC Administrative Law Judge James T. McClymonds concluded that the Department of Environmental Conservation staff failed to overcome the presumption that Old Mountain Road between the towns of North Elba and Keene in Essex County continues to exist as a public highway, whether as a town road or other legal public right-of way. DEC Commissioner Alexander B. Grannis then dismissed the DEC enforcement proceeding that had been brought against James W. McCulley because he drove his truck into the Adirondack Forest Preserve on the road.
  • "Is There an Adirondack Awakening?"
    - By Carol W. LaGrasse, April, 2009 (Reprinted from the
    New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 13, No. 1)
    The extreme policies of the Adirondack Park Agency, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Governor David Paterson are arousing opposition that has been brooding for years. Local citizens and officials are expressing mounting anger about the state's regulatory impositions; prosecutions of landowners; obstruction of economic development; unbridled state land acquisition; impeding and closing of travel, recreational access and campgrounds; and the attempted imposition of unbearable real estate taxes.
  • "Warning: Strict New APA Hunting and Fishing Cabin Regulations" - Flyer (Publ. Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., February 8, 2009)
    The jurisdictional exception for 500 sq. ft. or less hunting and fishing cabins under Resource Management that was negotiated into the APA law in 1973 is being watered down by imposing regulations that are tighter than the law, so that it will be harder to build a non-jurisdictional hunting and fishing cabin in the future.
  • "State Acquisitions for Adirondack Forest Preserve Have Monumental Hunting Impact" - Two-page flyer published by Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., February 8, 2009
    The Department of Environmental Conservation misleads the public about the purpose of land acquisitions for the Forest Preserve. State ownership does not to increase access, as claimed. This flyer summarizes ten years of DEC's actions to impede and close hunting access; eliminate hunting camps; lock out snowmobilers, ATV's, and motorized vehicles; and close roads and state campsites. A roster of major land acquisitions is also included.
    Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • John Maye Personal Statement Against Tax-exempt Bonds for The Nature Conservancy - Transcript from public hearing held by the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority at City Hall, Glens Falls, N.Y., December 2, 2008
    After John Maye and his wife moved into their camp, The Nature Conservancy approached the couple several times to sell their property, but they weren't interested. "The Nature Conservancy was aware of the conjured up violations by APA and DEC to force the sale of my property…March 28, 2008 my total maximum penalty was $2,962,000…" The enforcement penalty was dropped after four years, but the toll on his health remains great.
  • Howard AubinLetter in Opposition to Tax-exempt Bonds for The Nature Conservancy to Acquire Land in the Adirondacks - By Howard Aubin, Councilman, Town of Black Brook, N.Y., E-mail to Frederic H. Marienthal, Attorney for Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority, November 25, 2008
    Requirements of IRS Code Sec. 147 for local government approval have not been met. In addition, The Nature Conservancy contacted an elderly couple this summer to buy their property and when the couple refused to sell, the Adirondack Park Agency threatened the couple with a $2.962 million fine. "Giving such a bond to the Nature Conservancy only helps them to terrorize more people within the Adirondacks."
  • "APA Announces GIS-Based Enforcement" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, February 2, 2008
    It is over thirteen years since PRFA published its "APA Shell Game" revealing that the APA was developing an unsurpassed GIS capacity to enforce its environmental zoning regulations. This January the APA announced that it was going to tap into a statewide real estate database, coupled with GIS, to find old violations of the APA law. The State Legislature should pass a statute of limitations on violations of the APA Act.
  • "A Sound, Consistent Policy" - "Worth Commenting" By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, January 2008
    Since 1886, the State has paid real estate taxes on its Adirondack Forest Preserve, now amounting to three million acres contained within the six million-acre "Blue Line" of government and private land in northern New York, because the State-owned lands provide a statewide benefit of, first, watershed protection, and, additionally, more recently, environmental preservation envisioned by statewide residents. The economic sacrifice of the 100-plus towns and villages in the Adirondacks has been recognized for over a century, as well. Legal action to end these tax payments, in Dillenburg vs. State of New York, is not justified.
  • John Berlau"The Craze of Environmental Irrationality" - By John Berlau, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.; Eleventh Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 13, 2007)
    Environmentalism is dominated by disdain for human life, grounded in Rachel Carson's vilification of DDT and thus arguably causing more deaths from malaria and other insect-borne diseases than from any other cause during the twentieth century. A recent local example of this disdain for human life was the death of Alfred Langner from exposure while trapped in his car for 2 days after an auto accident, unable to reach help because his cell phone had no reception on the Interstate Northway because environmentalists banned cell towers.
  • "Our Stolen Legacy: The Betrayal of the Declaration of Independence for the Cause of Landscape Preservation" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, PRFA, July 5, 2007
    Government from distant places, fatiguing the people into compliance; a multitude of new offices and swarms of officers to harass the peopleA government far from the vision of justice based on all men being created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Landscape preservation from the regional, state, federal and international level takes precedence, eradicating freedom.
  • "'Smart Growth' to the Rescue" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, July 27, 2007)
    The Spitzer Administration announced on July 17 that it was setting aside $1 million for "smart growth" planning to revitalize the economy of the Adirondack region. But the Adirondack region already suffers from the groundbreaking 1973 smart growth-style Adirondack Park Agency Act. The economic difficulty of the of the 12-county Adirondack region is caused by the State Adirondack Park Agency's radical land use controls and the State's voracious appetite for land, driving up the price of real estate beyond local means and leaving little land for any practical use.
  • "DEC's Insidious Disregard for the People—Comments on DEC Draft Wilcox Lake Wild Forest UMP"- By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America, March 2, 2007
    DEC's insidious disregard for the people is exemplified by its treatment of Stony Creek and environs. The proposed Draft Unit Management Plan for Wilcox Lake Wild Forest should be discarded. The plan should be re-drawn under new assumptions, with the local culture, economy, history, and the community included as salient factors in a plan that respects the local people.
  • "Disabled Apartheid-DEC's Betrayal and Discrimination" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Hearing Statement on DEC Lake George Wild Forest UMP, Queensbury Town Hall, December 13, 2006.
    DEC has betrayed the visionary effort of the disabled to open up access to the Forest Preserve to people with disabilities and people who are not athletic, by virtually closing down the popular family recreation area on the Hudson River in Warrensburg, which was established on land acquired from Niagara Mohawk, while keeping open the most limited facilities exclusively for the disabled.
  • "New York Property Rights Directions"-Speech by Carol W. LaGrasse, Cato Institute Conference-"Property Rights on the March: Where from Here," December 1, 2006, Washington, D.C.
    An overview of where property rights stand in New York, what the directions are, and where the work for our cause has been effective: focusing on the battle to keep land in private hands, holding off extreme land-use regulation, the issue of conservation easements, regional preservationist land-use battles, ubiquitous zoning conflicts; and eminent domain.
  • Encon police ticket Ted Galusha"Land Acquired - But Wait, Access Closed" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, PRFA, Summer 2006)
    New York State's announcements when acquiring vast tracts of private land for the Forest Preserve promise more access for the public, but over decades, more recently over a very short time, the campsites and access roads are being closed and the land is being cut off from hunters and other recreational users that do not fit the mold approved by extreme environmentalists.
  • "Four More APA Porn Violators Revealed, New Ethics Accusation Made" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, PRFA, Spring 2006.
    Edward J. Hood, top planner and UNESCO Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve figure, was punished for computer porn along with the APA spokesman Keith McKeever. The State Ethics Commission accused APA staffer Sunita Halasz of violating the Public Officers Law by attempting to funnel work to her spouse and accused her supervisor Dan Spada of holding meetings for this purpose.
  • "Our Hike on the Threatened Road to Whitehouse-A Photo Story, April 11, 2006" - by Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, June 2006)
    In order to enlarge the Silver Lake Wilderness, the State Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to deliberately destroy the West River Road, a town highway leading to the historic site of Whitehouse on the West Branch of the Sacandaga River in Wells, N.Y. Two fine steel suspension footbridges will be deliberately allowed to deteriorate, locally cherished old stone chimneys at the ghost town will be lost, and large, active campsites enjoyed since at least 1962, when the State acquired the land, will be deliberately destroyed. Access to a nineteenth century cemetery will be cut off.
  • "The Cemetery at Whitehouse" - Photo Story by Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, June 2006)
    The DEC's radical eradication of highways closes down access to cherished cemeteries, so that descendants and local people who would like to visit, pay their respects, and maintain the graveyards are stymied.
  • "Porn Disclosure Subjects APA to Continuing Ridicule" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 10, No. 1 (PRFA, Winter 2006)
    After the story exploded across upstate New York and the wire services that Adirondack Park Agency Director Daniel Fitts was using the State computer for porn, he was forced to resign. The region reacted with "Adirondack Porn Agency" T-shirts, a house-sized "NO APA" sign, and other ridicule. The replacement director, Richard Lefebvre, was accused of sending pornographic e-mail to women at his previous post as chairman of the Hudson River Black River Regulating District.
  • "Fear and Trembling"- By Carol W. LaGrasse ("Worth Commenting," Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 10, No. 1, PRFA, Winter 2006)
    Most property owners faced with the threatening experience of dealing with DEC wetlands bureaucrats and APA officials are so terrified that that they will not ask their elected representatives for assistance. Anyway, representatives can not be counted on to help property owners facing unjust environmental permit conditions and enforcement, but, instead, are good at getting grants for communities.
  • Gretna Longware"The Campaign to Save Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower" - By Gretna Longware, Elizabethtown, N.Y.; Speech to the Ninth Annual Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 22, 2005)
    The 80-year-old Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower is the symbol around which local Adirondack people are rallying to preserve their cultural heritage. Mrs. Longware is leading a campaign to stop a State plan to dismantle the tower.
    Gretna Longware 1932- 2010
    Gretna Longware, who was beloved and admired throughout the North Country, died on April 22, 2010. She successfully focused efforts to save historic fire towers by leading a campaign to save Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower near Elizabethtown where she lived.
    "We won," she said in a message that she left Carol LaGrasse after an APA meeting a few days before her death. "I couldn't make it. We showed them that people still have rights in northern New York."
    The fire tower survives her and is still the subject of deliberations by the DEC and APA about preserving it as a historic site.
    She was born Gretna May Lewis in Wadhams on June 1, 1932. Her rich life was marked by memorable contributions to the community, including co-authorship of Elizabethtown Bicentennial Book and campaigning to save the historic Baptist church steeple. She was recognized for her many years as a Morse code operator, with her ham radio call number WA2WHE. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Melvin C. Longware, whose uncle and great uncle served as forest rangers at the tower lookout; four daughters and their families; and one remaining sister.
  • Daniel Fitts"Adirondack Park Agency Officials Used State Computers for Porn" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, (PRFA, August 6, 2005)
    APA Executive Director Daniel Fitts was indefinitely suspended without pay after the Office of the State Inspector General examined seized computers and discovered that he and four other officials at the agency were using the state computers to share obscene photos of nude and partially nude women.
    Photo Gallery
  • "No APA" sign"NO APA Sign Adorns House on State Route 9" - Photo Gallery and brief article, by Peter and Carol LaGrasse, and Ted Galusha, August 2005.
    Ted Galusha, the president of Adirondackers for Access, and a Warrensburg homeowner, gathered a group of people who are disgusted with the Adirondack Park Agency to raise a big NO APA sign on his house.
  • Sign - To the Twin Graves..."A Hike to Little Canada on John's Pond Road" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, May 1, 2005
    Our walk to a small graveyard along an old Indian Lake town road barricaded by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to enlarge the Adirondack Forest Preserve wilderness shocked us with the realization that DEC is eradicating roads, trails, and history.
    Photo Gallery
  • "Entering the Lake Champlain Watershed" - By Susan Allen (PRFA, May 2005)
    During late spring 2004, large highway signs suddenly appeared that declared, "Entering Lake Champlain Watershed" and "Entering Hudson River Watershed." The federally and state funded Lake Champlain Basin Program, which already has precipitated the regulatory scenic byway and many other programs, had spawned the Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York, which had the DOT place the signs. All of the signs disappeared late in the summer!
  • "Entering the Lake Champlain Watershed" - By Susan Allen (PRFA, May 2005)
    During late spring 2004, large highway signs suddenly appeared that declared, "Entering Lake Champlain Watershed" and "Entering Hudson River Watershed." The federally and state funded Lake Champlain Basin Program, which already has precipitated the regulatory scenic byway and many other programs, had spawned the Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York, which had the DOT place the signs. All of the signs disappeared late in the summer!



  • "Group Campaigns to Save Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower" - By Carol W. LaGrasse PRFA, April 21, 2005
    Loyalty to the 80-year old local landmark in Essex County is fueling a battle led by Elizabethtown resident Gretna Longware against the DEC's proposed reclassification of the area to "wilderness," apparently at the behest of influential environmentalists.
  • "Adirondack Park Agency Proposes Dangerous Bill"
    - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America, March 9, 2005)
    The APA is quietly promoting its program bill, with stringent new restrictions that would be unconstitutional Fifth Amendment "takings" of the property rights of shorefront owners. The bill would have a negative impact on the ability of local people to afford homes and hurt the local tax base and economy.
  • "Another Snitch System Institutionalized" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America January 23, 2005)
    With the successful settlement of a lawsuit by an environmental group, the Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks, citizen informants can not efficiently report violations on the six-million acre Adirondack Forest Preserve. New York State's trend toward environmental snitch systems is raising hackles here and there.
  • "Adirondack Agency Puts Final Stranglehold on 18,896 Acres"
    - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America, January 2005)
    The Adirondack Park Agency's September 2004 permit for a final division of the Long Pond property in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., tightened the noose on the already desiccated future of a tract that was once the site, in 1972, of the "Horizon" development proposal, which environmentalists had then exploited to rush the APA act into law.

APA Commission Photo Gallery

Long Pond Tract Photo Gallery

  • "The Tourism Trap" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Summer 2004)
    Tourism is touted as the economic drive for rural areas such as the North Country, but it has compelling disadvantages for a sustained future.
  • 260,000-acres of International Paper Co. in Adirondacks to be "Protected" April 23, 2004
    In celebration of Earth Day, April 22, 2004, Gov. George E. Pataki announced the biggest acquisition of land in the Adirondacks yet - 260,000 acres of International Paper Co. forest in 9 counties and 34 towns within the Adirondack Park, nearly all of IP's Adirondack holdings. In a deal involving the Conservation Fund, the State will own 2,000 acres in fee simple and will acquire conservation easements in 255,000 acres.
    Full story
  • "Comments on the DEC Draft Comprehensive Adirondack Snowmobile Plan" - By Peter J. LaGrasse, Captain, Stony Creek Emergency Squad, February 9, 2004.
    All trails should be built for pickup truck access so that snowmobile access would double as fire and emergency access. Snowmobile access can also be pickup truck access for the disabled and senior citizens.
  • Nathaniel Dickinson"Another Inrtrusive Tool for the APA" - By Nate Dickinson (Property Rights Foundation of America, October 17, 2003)
    In addition to legislation in the U.S. Senate, recent years have brought bureaucratic involvement with invasive species by the Adirondack Park Agency, which has begun implementing the non-regulatory "Adirondack Park Roadside Invasives Control Initiative."
  • "Memories are short" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Letter to the Editor published in Press-Republican, August 22, 2003.
    Adirondack leaders must have forgotten the 21st Century Commission's recommendation for 2,000-acre per house zoning and 654,000 acres of land acquisition, to be supporting Governor Pataki's nomination of Ross Whaley, a member of the commission, to chair the APA.
  • "APA violation sparks debate" - By John Gereau, Adirondack Journal, March 22, 2003 (reprinted by permission of the Adirondack Journal)
    Ed and Mary Lou Monda bought their home in 1998 without knowing that its 30-year-old deck overlooking Lake George did not conform to APA regulations. They now face enforcement requirements because, unlike laws related to rape, robbery and arson, there is no statute of limitation for violations of the APA Act.
  • "An Attempted Perspective - Good Faith Fails to Bridge the Adirondack Gap" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America, Dec. 3, 2002)
    A review of the issues, accuracy and fairness in Barbara McMartin's new book, Perspectives on the Adirondacks - A Thirty-year Struggle by People Protecting Their Treasure (Syracuse University Press, 2002). In her book packed with information of varying accuracy about the opposing sides in the Adirondack struggle, McMartin sympathetically seeks harmony through utopian planning while increasing the protection of nature. But she fails to understand the human needs for private property rights and equal protection under the law.
  • Adirondack Organizations
    This directory of Adirondack organizations and government agencies contains material selected to be helpful in knowing the current, and perhaps future, areas of action of organizations with interests related to land issues in the Adirondacks and their true positions.
  • "Diamond Sportsmen's Club Agrees to Cumbersome APA Permit"
    — By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America July 2002)
    Non-jurisdictional "hunting and fishing camp" classification by-passed. Member and guest monitoring, APA-managed logging, biological survey imposed. Club by-laws incorporated into permit,
    no club rule changes without APA permission.
  • "Statement - Wilcox Lake Wild Forest" - By Peter J. LaGrasse, Captain, Stony Creek Emergency Squad, & Chairman, Stony Creek Board of Assessors, DEC Meeting, Thurman Town Hall, March 8, 2002
    Harrisburg Road should be cleared through beyond Moosewood Club and Baker's Clearing to Wells, other roads cleared, and a network of roads created for pickup trucks, which are what people drive to go fishing, ATVs for recreation, emergency use vehicles, and ambulances.
  • "Statement - Wilcox Lake Wild Forest" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property of America, DEC Meeting, Thurman Town Hall, March 8, 2002
    Swaths of open area should be cut as fire breaks. Ancient highways should be opened and trails widened for fire protection vehicles. Waite Road and other old roads should be opened to access State land. The State should reverse its anti-ATV policy. Cemetery access should be respected. The State's environmental review should include the cultural and economic impacts, not just biological aspects.
  • "Unterhaus—Adirondack Housing"-By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America, Jan. 2002)
    A permanent solution to the "problem" of visibility of houses, which is suffering renewed concerns expressed by Richard Beamish and his news tabloid, Adirondack Explorer, in attacks on Frank Casier's development by on Mt. Pisgah
  • The Controversy about a Log House on Lens Lake
    -September 2001
    See articles on following list.
    The orchestrated campaign to block the construction of a single-family log house a distance of 300 feet from Lens Lake in Stony Creek, N.Y.
    Claiming that a supposedly untouched lake will be spoiled forever, a band of nearby summer home owners have banded together with the well-connected owner of the neighboring property to block construction of the house. The Adirondack park Agency has called public hearing before an administrative law judge for this tiny project and a full adjudicatory hearing is being planned. The powerful Adirondack Council and Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks have applied to become official parties and present witnesses and evidence against the location of the house, and the venerable Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks has also expressed opposition.
    Articles about Lens Lake Log House:
    • "Untouched" Lake Shore - By Carol W. LaGrasse, reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Fall 2001)
      The Adirondack Park Agency's Reply to a Freedom of Information Request Chronicles the Coordinated Opposition to a Single Log House
      Photo Gallery
    • "A Photo Essay-Staff Presentation to the APA Commissioners, August 9, 2001"
      Proposal for a Single-Family Log House on Lens Lake Road, Stony Creek - Carol W. LaGrasse, October 13, 2001, with photos by Peter J. LaGrasse
    • "Statement for Public Hearing, Stony Creek Town Hall-Proposed Single Family Dwelling on Lens Lake, Stony Creek, N.Y." - Carol W. LaGrasse, September 16, 2001
    • Letter to DEC Administrative Law Judge Maria Villa, "Re: APA Project no 2000-158, Proposed Single Family Dwelling," - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Nov. 9, 2001.
      This letter presents a refutation of the APA's claim to authority over the visibility and invisibility of single family houses from water bodies.
    • A Discussion of Historical Documents depicting the occupancy and extensive agricultural use of the Lens Lake Road area of Stony Creek, N.Y. — Pre-Filed Testimony of Carol W. LaGrasse (June 5,
      2002, APA Project No. 2002-158 - Proposed Single Family Dwelling on Lens Lake)
      This document gives a touching view into the hard-working, productive past of the farm families who make up the bulk of the population of Stony Creek including the Lens lake area, by citing 19th century New York State Agricultural Census records, official assessment records, and maps to prove the extensive agricultural use of the area of Lens Lake Road, Stony Creek by intensive farming and the extent of subsequent flooding of much of the land with an artificial dam that remains (reconstructed) to
      this day.
    • Analysis of Letters Received from APA with their September 7, 2001 Reply to LaGrasse FOIL Request, including Exhibit 9 — By Carol W. LaGrasse (June 28, 2002, APA Project No. 2002-158 -
      Proposed Single Family Dwelling on Lens Lake)
      This document, in several parts, includes a discussion of the analysis of the 98 comment letters received in the Freedom of Information Request reply from the APA, a full list and short description of the letters, tables analyzing the letters and grouping them by hand-written and three types of pre-typed form letters, and a summary chart showing that only 16 individuals wrote the personally written letters, and that there were 64 pre-typed form letters.
      a. Summary Statement
      b. Analysis - List and Tables of letters
      c. Summary Analysis
    • "Lens Lake Shoreline Owner Rejects Unworkable APA Permit" - News Brief, Reprinted from New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Summer 2003
  • "Reward offered for arsonists"- by Virginia Germer, News Correspondent, Hamilton County News, Sept. 18, 2001 (Reprinted by permission)
    The Adirondack League Club is advertising a $5,000 reward to anyone who provides information resulting in the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who burned two of the club's camps to the ground. The river that flows through the club's 53,000-acre property had been closed to public use until Sierra Club canoeists trespassed to assert the right of passage in 1991. After a nine-year court battle, the ALC and the Sierra Club reached a settlement that allowed canoeing. There is no way at this time to know whether this arson is ecoterrorism, but the article quotes the ALC's attorney that a decision for the Sierra Club "would open every private river to every canoeist and white water terrorist that exists."
  • "DEC settles in access for disabled lawsuit"-Reprinted by permission from the Hamilton County News, July 10, 2001
    The State of New York has caved in to three years of civil rights litigation brought by disabled local residents in federal court. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will give the disabled real access to the State Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains-including access to motor vehicle roads exclusively used by the State and the expenditure of nearly $4.8 million to make parking areas, restrooms, fishing access sites, boat launches, campsites, picnic areas, equestrian mounting platforms and offices accessible to the disabled.
  • "Update on Adirondack Litigation"-Speech by Carol W. LaGrasse to the Adirondack Park Agency Local Government Review Board, Baxter Mountain Lodge, Keene, N.Y. (May 30, 2001)
    This speech describes the lawsuit challenging the State acquisition of the Champion International tracts and the lawsuit that Carol LaGrasse brought challenging new regulations promulgated by the APA. The speech also points out the likely reason why the Conservation Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Adirondack Park Agency and the National Parks and Conservation Association are behind the new Adirondack Community Information Centers and the "Twinning" project—wolf reintroduction.
  • Frontenac Link: Environmentalists Envision a "Land Bridge" called the "Frontenac Axis" from Algonquin Provincial Park in Quebec to the Adirondack Park. They want to create a swath of undeveloped land for a right of way for migrating wolves to enter the Adirondacks from Quebec and for all wildlife to have a natural "corridor" to migrate freely without interference by people.
Looking west from Long Lake to Lake Eaton
Photo by Nate Dickinson

Lake Eaton
  • The 1995 Adirondack Blowdown
    The tangle of dead forest left behind by the devastating July 15, 1995 blowdown remains in place because of the pressure of the Adirondack Council on Governor Pataki to "protect" the wild forest. At that time the State Department of Environmental Conservation's study pronounced the maximum level fire hazard possible existed. The current status of thus hazard has not been revisited. Today, the trunks caught high and dry are surrounded with a dense growth of evergreens, which are fine kindling. With seven million acres of western forests destroyed by fire during 2000, it should be apparent that, even in an area not prone to drought, a wildfire hazard in New York in areas mixed with private property, towns, and villages should be a prime concern of public policy makers. Below are reprinted some of PRFA's materials pointing out the ironies of the State's inaction during 1995-96.
  • "The Glossary of Environmental Repression" - by Carol W. LaGrasse, 1992
    This glossary of terms used in New York's Adirondacks includes established terms as well as pseudoenvironmental jargon. An understanding of the drift of these terms reveals the repressive goals of environmental preservationists.
  • "Land acquisition push gains steam" - by Carol LaGrasse, reprinted from Hamilton County News, Feb. 18, 1992
    An array of programs created by environmental preservationists are aligning to effectively promote government acquisition of Adirondack land. (This February 1992 article, posted in May 2009, sheds light on two decadesso farof land acquisition policy.)
  • "Adirondack Park Open Space Protection Plan Map" - April 1990 - State of New York Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-first Century, Mario M. Cuomo, Governor; Peter A. A. Berle, Chairman; George D. Davis, Executive Director.
    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.

Adirondack Park Open Space Map

Click map for larger version and more information

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