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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

“Finch, Pruyn & Co. is Sold to Connecticut Holding Company; Soon All 161,000 acres of Timber Land Go to The Nature Conservancy” - News Brief, PRFA, August 2007

“Before Leaving Office, Gov. Pataki Announces Preservation of More Than One Million Acres; Northern Counties Suffer Population Declines”-News Brief, PRFA, March 2007

Bulletin: “Remaining Champion Hunting Camps May Be Saved” - New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Fall 2006

See Also
See Also

Cultural Eradication - New York

Waterways Issues - New York

Government Land Acquisition

Hunting Issues - New York

 

In-Depth Information

  • 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.
  • “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.
  • Jigs Gardner“Greenism: Strategy, Roots, Consequences” - By Jigs Gardner, Farmer and Writer, Essex, New York. Address to the Sixteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights, Latham, N.Y., October 20, 2012 (Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.)
    The redefinition of the word environment by the Greens has made our environment sacred and used it as a moral bludgeon. We must go beyond the issue of jobs and attack the Greens on the basis that they want to stop any activity to use our natural resources to increase our prosperity and improve our lives. Greenism is by its intent impoverishing. Green ideologues believe in the goodness of nature and that humans and their civilization are a curse.
  • “Is 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 treesthat 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 picnicking.
  • “DEC's Wolf Scheming” - By Carol W. LaGrasse, March 2012 (Reprinted from New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Winter 2011-2012, PRFA)
    DECs voluminous Strategic Plan for the State Forests (August 2010) and its 110-page June 2011 letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service demonstrate the states official policy to accomplish wolf recovery in New York State and the Northeast.
  • “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.
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation letter to US Fish and Wildlife Service, June 30, 2011 - By Christopher A. Amato, Assistant Commissioner (8 pp. letter of the 110 pp. commentary and technical information transmitted to comment on “Proposed Rule to Revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife for the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) in the eastern United States, Initiation of Status Reviews for the Gray Wolf and Eastern Wolf (Canis lycaon)”
    This letter argues against the US FWS proposed rule change involving reclassification of the wolves in the Northeast, and warns that the new National Wolf Strategy…would leave wolves in the Northeast without any federal protection and essentially abandon the possibility of wolf recovery in the Northeast.
  • “Enormous 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 Conservations 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.
  • Adirondack Council Displayed Its Real Character - Letter to the Editor, By Carol W. LaGrasse, Published in The Post-Star, Glens Falls, N.Y.
    The Adirondack Council displayed its real character with its mean-spirited attack on the APA Local Government Review Board when they passed a resolution against the State of New York acquiring 60,000 acres of sustainably harvested timber land formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn Co. of Glens Falls.
  • “State: 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 Yorks 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.
  • Peter J. LaGrasse“Tax Base in the Adirondack Park” - by Peter J. LaGrasse, B.S., B.A., Chairman, Board of Assessors, Town of Stony Creek, N.Y (Speech presented at the Fourteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights, Lake George, N.Y., October 23, 2010).
    An examination of real property tax trends and local town revenue streams from many sources reveals the extent to which the tax base is volatile, subject to changes in economic activity, or state or federal policies. Dating to policies traced back to 1885, the state-owned-land portion of the tax base, which amounts to 50.15% of Stony Creeks tax base, is vulnerable to political decisions, which could ultimately precipitate the full implementation of the Biosphere Reserve and depopulate the Adirondacks.
  • 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.
  • “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.
  • “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. ORourke, 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 laws 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.
  • Letter to U.S. Representative Scott Murphy about importance of Federal Fair Housing Act to deal with Adirondack housing issue, by Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., February 15, 2010
    Letter by Carol W. LaGrasse follows up August 2009 letter personally presented to Rep. Scott Murphy, and further urges him to bring the federal Fair Housing Act to bear on the APA and DEC obstruction of access to housing.
  • “Hunting Camps to be Saved on Champion Conservation Easements” - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, January 2010
    Over ten years after Gov. George Pataki announced that all 298 hunting camps on the former Champion International lands would have to be removed, the DEC has issued a revised conservation easement to allow 200 camps on the easement lands to remain in perpetuity. This will continue the long-standing cultural and social tradition of allowing people to enjoy local hunting and fishing clubs in the Adirondack region, according to DEC. The original plan was a mistake, the lands and forests director said.
  • “APA Re-votes: Waters & Underlying Land of Lows Lake Are Not Classified” - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, November 14, 2009
    According to the APAs 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.
  • James McCulley“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 McCulleys 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.
  • Ted Galusha“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.
  • “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.
  • “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 DECs plan to increase the number of campsites for canoers, whereas campsites for hunters and families in the forest preserve are being greatly reduced.
  • “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 states 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.
  • “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 DECs actions to impede and close hunting access; eliminate hunting camps; lock out snowmobilers, ATVs, and motorized vehicles; and close roads and state campsites. A roster of major land acquisitions is also included.
    Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • “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.
  • “Governor’s Tax Cap Threatens 125-Year-Old Covenant to Pay Local Taxes” - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., February 12, 2009
    When the New York State Legislature established the Adirondack Forest Preserve, the Legislature followed the recommendations of the official commission, which concluded that because the protection of the forest would be chiefly for the benefit of the rest of the State, the State should hereafter bear taxes upon its lands in the Adirondack region. It may take 125 years, but with control of much of the land, preservationists control the tax base and future.
  • “Governor’s Proposed State Tax Cap Would Be A Tax Outrage” - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc. Reduced size version (pdf) of advertisement that appeared in the Adirondack Journal, January 31, 2009
    A cap on the State payment of property taxes to localities within the 6,000,000-acre Adirondack region would gradually cause a damaging and destructive shift of the tax burden to the already restricted and weak local economies. Fair play demands that the Legislatures long-established doctrine to pay local taxes be upheld.
  • “Statement in Opposition to Issuance of Tax-exempt Bonds to Finance The Nature Conservancy Acquisition of the former Finch, Pruyn & Co. Lands” - By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., December 2, 2008 (Public Hearing held by the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority, City of Glens Falls, N.Y.)
    The proposed issuance of $45 million in tax exempt bonds by the Colorado authority to refinance The Nature Conservancys borrowing to acquire the 160,540 acres of Finch, Pruyn & Co. lands in the Adirondack Park should be disapproved by the IRS because the transfer of this acreage in fee simple and perpetual conservation easements will foreclose forever the development of these lands, further desiccating the economy and future of the communities. About 100 square miles of the tract, the finest timber producing land, would be transmitted in fee simple to become part of the forever wild Forest Preserve, where logging would be prohibited.
  • “Comments on Granting The Nature Conservancy Tax-exempt Loan to Pay for the Purchase of Finch Pruyn land in the Adirondacks, New York State” - By Peter J. LaGrasse, Chairman, Stony Creek Board of Assessors, December 2, 2008 (Public Hearing held by the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority, City of Glens Falls, N.Y.)
    Using the example of the eradication of development potential in a selected section of Stony Creek by TNCs planned sale to the State of New York of either conservation easements or fee simple title, the chairman of the board of assessors of the Town of Stony Creek explains his opposition to the grant of the tax-exempt bonding bailout of The Nature Conservancy to reduce its cost of borrowing to acquire the former Finch Pruyn lands.
  • 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 werent 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.
  • “Colorado Tax-Exempt Bonds for TNC’s New York Land-Grab” - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, November 2008
    The Nature Conservancy is looking to the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority to rescue it from the level of interest payments it is experiencing on $45 million that it borrowed to acquire 160,540 acres of forestland in the Adirondacks from paper manufacturer Finch, Pruyn and Co. to flip to the state as Forever wild Forest Preserve and conservation easements.
  • “Stop Strangling the North Country” - by Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, March 18, 2008)
    The Governor should reject the privately negotiated land deal between the DEC and The Nature Conservancy to acquire 57,699 acres of productive land that was formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn and Co. of Glens Falls for the forever wild Adirondack Forest Preserve and 73,627 acres of conservation easements, the bulk of the rest of the Finch, Pruyn land. Adding these vast acreages to the 3 million acres of Forest Preserve and nearly 700,000 acres of DEC conservation easements will further squeeze the economy and future of the North Country
  • “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.
  • “‘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 Agencys radical land use controls and the States 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
    DECs 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.
  • 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 States 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.
  • Bridge over West Branch of the Sacandaga River“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 DECs 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.

Sign - To the Twin Graves...
Photo Gallery
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.
  • “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 Bakers 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 States environmental review should include the cultural and economic impacts, not just biological aspects.

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