June 5, 2006
Carol LaGrasse, President
Thank you for copying me in your recent correspondence regarding the proposed Unit Management Plans and the effects they would have on access to the park.
As a strong supporter of recreation in the Adirondack park, I am among the ranks of those who oppose limiting access to the Park. We have a beautiful natural resource right in our backyards. The rivers, mountains, lakes, and fields provide for a limitless curiosity. And the tourists that come to explore and enjoy bring a boost to the economy that, in turn, helps the industry grow and flourish.
However, as you have noticed, recreational activities in the Adirondack Park and the economies of the communities within are now threatened. Campsite are being drastically reduced, and snowmobile trails and access roads are being forcibly abandoned. The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, created in 1972, is the basis for all classifications within the Park, and the classifications determine the use of the parcel of land. The Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation have the best interest of the environment as they make their determinations as to how parcels of lands are to be used, or unused. Preservation of the land is key, I agree, but to deny residents and visitors access defeats the purpose of preserving it.
The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan should be updated every five years to take into account changes in public interest and need, advances in technology, etc. The last comprehensive update to the Adirondack Park SLMP was in 1987. Obviously, we are well overdue for a revised plan. That would, in turn, have an effect on what is proposed in regional UMPs.
Senate bill 7746, which I sponsor, places a moratorium on any new UMPs until a comprehensive review of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan has been completed. The park is expanding and changing, but the master plan that guides use of existing and newly acquired state lands is not. It is important for a comprehensive review to take place so that any future changes are made within the context of a more current and effective document.
Again, thank you for making me aware of your concerns.