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.
Stop buying land" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Letter to
the Editor, Published in The Adirondack Journal, Warrensburg,
N.Y., January 15, 2011)
The accolades accorded to the State of New York's purchase
of 87,000 acres of conservation easements in November are misplaced.
Whether the purchase is conservation easements or of "fee
simple" title where the land is transferred to the
Forest Preserve as "forever wild," the
effect is to stymie the future of the local economy.
- "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.
Issue Requires a Rational Approach" - By Carol W. LaGrasse
(Letter to the Editor, Published in The Post-Star, Glens Falls,
N.Y., November 13, 2008)
Today, the energy issue urgently demands a rational approach
to forest management. The time has come for the legislature to
revisit the State Constitution's "forever
wild" clause, which forbids timber harvesting on
3 million acres of state-owned land in the Adirondack Forest
Preserve, plus forest preserve lands in the Catskills.
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.
- "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.
- "Wild Cities, Suburb
Zoos, and Rural Atrocities" - By Nathaniel R. Dickinson
(PRFA, July 2006
Instead of choosing wildlife policies on the basis of their
emotional appeal, management agencies should adopt scientifically
sound policies to deal with the frequent and severe conflicts
between wildlife and humans.
- "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.
on Uncontrolled White-tailed Deer Populations" - By
Nate Dickinson (PRFA, January 6, 2005)
Deer-vehicle accidents with substantial human fatalities and
rampant destruction of plants, gardens, and forest regeneration
are the natural result of policies in opposition to sound, scientific
management when Nate Dickinson was Big Game Leader for New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.