River Plains Plan to Take Away Much Hunting Access
Opposed to Limiting Access to Adirondack Park - Sen. Elizabeth O'C Little Letter to Carol W. LaGrasse,
June 5, 2006
"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.
"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.
- By Ted E. Galusha, Region 5 Director, Conservation Alliance
of New York (CANY)
October 25, 2004
All New York organizations that are working toward freedom
from the extreme environmentalists should unite for our common
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."
"The Adirondack Conservation Council is Sponsoring
a 'Sportsman's Rally' and Fund Raiser"
Chicken barbecue at the Schroon Lake Fish
& Game Club, August 16, 2003 in support of reopening the
roads and waters of state lands.
New York State
Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Association, Inc.
Conservation Alliance of New York
Mike Zagata, President
"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.
"Conserving Open Space in New
York State - 2001: Draft State Open Space conservation Plan &
Generic Environmental Impact Statement-Oct. 2001"- New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Contact person Francis Sheehan, DEC (518) 402-9417
View Open Space Plan at DEC web site: www.dec.state.ny.us
Frank Dunstan, Deputy Commissioner
625 Broadway, 5th floor
Albany, NY 12233-4250
Conserving Open Space
in New York State-1997promulgated by New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation.
(This is the latest revision of the Open Space Conservation Plan.)
York's Arbitrary and Excessive Environmental Regulation
of Private Land and Resources: Observations and Recommendations
for Reform - by
Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America
- "Save the Historic
Cody Place" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from the
New York Property Rights Clearinghouse Vol. 17, No. 2
(PRFA, July 2013)
The well preserved Cody cabin, dating from 1923, is the only
remaining building from the beloved Barber Place complex in West
Stony Creek, where all the other buildings, which were in full
use, were bulldozed into a pile and burned to ashes by DEC when
the state acquired the land in 1974. The existence of this historic
building is threatened when the right of occupancy expires on
December 31, 2014. Be
sure to view the current and historic photos.
DEC Planting Trees to Reforest Camping Areas?" - By
Carol W. LaGrasse, June 19, 2012
In the Hudson River Recreation Area in Warren County the author
viewed scores of uprooted landscape-size, brand-new balsam fir
"Christmas trees" that had just been
removed from their planting holes. The concentration of uprooted
trees in the once welcoming, but now barricaded, clearing (which
is one of many protected for motorized access by a federal court
settlement) would have foreclosed any recreational camping or
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.
Wilderness Corridors Masquerading as Land Management Refinements"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from New York Property Rights
Clearinghouse, Vol. 15, No. 1 (PRFA, Spring 2011)
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's
Strategic Plan for its 442 state forests comprising 786,000 acres
outside the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves focuses
on ensuring connectivity for wildlife movement between large
"matrix blocks" of state forests maintained
as mature cover connected with wide, natural strips of land with
a high percentage of forest cover. This system would enhance
connectivity though deep forested areas from Ontario to Georgia.
- "Buried in the
State Budget: Over $50 Million to buy 75,000 Acres for 'Forever
Wild' Adirondack Forest Preserve" - Letter to Members
of the State Legislature, by Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property
Rights Foundation of America, Inc., March 16, 2011
While the State Legislature fights about where to cut jobs
to meet a huge budget shortfall, hidden in the tentative budget
is $50 million to buy private Adirondack land from The Nature
Conservancy to block it from public access and kick out the hunting
camps: $40 million to acquire over 60,000 acres of prime timberland
formerly owned by Finch Pruyn Co. and relegate it to 'forever
wild,' never to be logged again, and over $10 million
is to acquire 15,000 acres in the area of Follensby Pond, with
the same fate.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
- "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.
Owner Access Rights to Sacandaga Threatened" - By Carol
W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from New York Property Rights Clearinghouse,
Vol. 13, No. 2 (PRFA, Spring 2009)
A brief essay commenting about the environmentalist effort
to lock out Sacandaga Reservoir shorefront access permit holders,
where the Hudson River Black River Regulating District is picking
off the permit holders one facet or group at a time.
- "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.
Should Control Its Beavers" - By Carol W. LaGrasse,
PRFA, May 31, 2009
A beaver dam burst in Warren County, New York, releasing a
barrage of water that washed out forty feet of the Upper Hudson
Railroad tracks in Riparius. Taxpayers are upset at facing still
another delay and expense related to the exorbitant railroad
restoration project. But the Department of Conservation, which
owns the beavers, should pay for the repair.
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.
Insidious Disregard for the PeopleComments 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
- "Land Acquired
- But Wait, Access Closed" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted
from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, PRFA,
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.
- "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.
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.
Successfully Against the Sacandaga Reservoir Regulating District"-By
Guy Poulin, Speech to the Ninth Annual National Conference
on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 22,
Guy Poulin, a resident of Northville in Saratoga County, rallied
the shoreline owners on the Great Sacandaga Lake when the Hudson
River Black River Regulating District Commission obscurely announced
that the access permit fees would go sky high. His researched
the law controlling the fees, exposed the new scheme, which was
illegal, and aroused the property owners to action.
- 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.
County Judge Saves Old Road Through Forest Preserve"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, April 27, 2005
Overturning the conviction of James McCulley for driving his
snowmobile on Old Mountain Road in the Adirondack Forest Preserve
in the North Elba, Judge Andrew Halloran ruled that the road,
established by the Legislature in 1810, could not be closed by
the Department of Environmental Conservation's regulations.
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.
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.
Access to Great Sacandaga Lake is Squeezed"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from NY Property Rights
Clearinghouse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Fall
Conflicts raged over the Hudson River - Black River Regulating
District. The District tried to raise access permit fees over
300%. Access permit holder John Barber's Hunt Lake Holding
Company sued to keep his lake access location, which the District
changed without notice.
- "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.
- Wilcox Lake Wild Forest" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, President,
Property of America, DEC Meeting, Thurman Town Hall, March 8,
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.
Official Describes Implementation of ADA Consent Decree"
- Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation
of America, October 14, 2001
At the monthly meeting of the Adirondack Park Agency on October
11, DEC official Carole Fraser reported on the steps being taken
in the Adirondack Park to implement the consent decree that the
State reached in July after three years of negotiations with
Ted Galusha and the two other handicapped co-plaintiffs to obtain
access to the State's wilderness lands under the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA).
and Trails Open to Motor Vehicle use By People With Mobility
Impairment Disabilities" - New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation, August 29, 2001
This 16-page chart lists and gives the basic access information
to 165 roads and trails into State-owned land throughout New
York that are now open to motor vehicle use by people with "mobility
impairment disabilities." The roads and trails are
located from Suffolk County to St. Lawrence County. The official
chart represents an important step in the practical implementation
of the 2001 court settlement won in the Galusha lawsuit for handicapped
access to State-owned land. Additional accessible roads and trails
are being opened and created to enter wildlands, which were the
subject of the lawsuit. The applicable disabilities include limitations
on sight as well as what are popularly understood to be limitations
on mobility. Consult DEC for more details, such as the permit
- "Consent Decree
- Civil Action No. 908-CV-1117 (LEK-RWS) - Theodore E. Galusha,
Tenna Willard, and William Searles, Plaintiffs, v. New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation, et al., Defendants,
and Adirondack Council, et al., Intervenor-Defendant"
- Hon. Lawrence E. Kahn, United States District Court - Northern
District of New York. (Posted in full)
In addition to the 22 pages of the narrative terms of the
victorious settlement won by the three handicapped plaintiffs,
exhibits A through E list "Motorized
Access by Permit for Persons with Disabilities, to be Proposed
and Supported Through the UMP Process"; "Roads
and Trails Open to Motor Vehicle use by Persons with Mobility
Impairment Disabilities" (with the capital costs needed
to open these); "Accessibility
Projects Related to Existing Wild Forest Facilities and Opportunities"
(with capital costs totaling $871,000); "Accessibility
Projects to be Undertaken with Respect to Locations Identified
in Exhibit A, Upon Completion of the UMP [Unit Management Plan]
Process for the Wild Forest Units in which They are Located,
and for Accessibility Projects for roads that are Currently Open
to Motor Vehicle Traffic" (capital costs totaling $585,000);
and Additional Capital
Projects (capital costs totaling $1,752,000). Appendix F and G
conceptually describe improvement projects for disability access.
Exhibit H lists "Injunctive
Roads to Remain Open Subject to Final approval in the UMP Process."
- "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. This
article describes the settlement and its implications for Hamilton
Announces Acquisition of over 26,000 acres of International Paper
Company land in Adirondacks" - Property Rights Foundation
of America Bulletin, October 6, 2001
In early October, DEC circulated Governor Pataki's
announcement that the State and The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
have agreed to preserve 26,562 acres of land in the Adirondacks
primarily in Hamilton County, that TNC recently acquired from
International Paper Company (IP) for $10.5 million. The land
deal appears to be a mix of fee simple and conservation easements,
modeled after the Champion International acquisition.