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Council Displayed Its Real Character

Letters to the Editor
The Post-Star, Glens Falls, N.Y.

Published February 18, 2011

Dear Editor:

The Adirondack Council just displayed its real character for all to see. (Post-Star, February 8, 2011) Its mean-spirited public reaction to the APA Local Government Review Board's resolution opposing the state's purchase of 60,000 acres of former Finch Pruyn lands and 14,600 acres of land surrounding Follensby Pond is the opposite to the Council's repetitious pronouncements of "common ground" with locals.

The Council has almost no common ground with the local communities. It exhibited a posture of common ground when it made the public gesture in early 2009 of joining hands with local governments when Governor Paterson proposed a cap on state real estate tax payments on the three million acres of Adirondack Park land the state owns.

However, this could have been a calculated position. Neil Woodworth, executive director of the preservationist Adirondack Mountain Club, said during that debate that a cap on the state's local tax payments "would have a devastating effect on future land acquisition."

The Council says that logging is the only benefit from the private ownership of the Finch Pruyn lands. But what about the economic benefit from hunters who now lease hunting camp spaces on the land? What about the intergenerational family hunting culture that would be eradicated? What about the closing of the logging roads, leaving almost no access to the 100-square mile tract for the hunters and others?

And why not preserve logging? It not only serves the local economy, but promotes biodiversity (which is generally pitiful where the "forever wild" designation applies) and makes local, sustainably harvested timber available.

The local governments do not need "common ground" with the Adirondack Council. That's a trap.

Carol W. LaGrasse
Property Rights Foundation of America
Stony Creek, N.Y.

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