Property Rights Foundation of America®

8. Adirondack Landowners' Association
(Latest update 2001)

Ingrid L. Smith, Secretary
608 State Tower Building
Syracuse, NY 13202

(315) 471-3027

Key Personnel

Edward T. Whitcraft, president (North Woods Club)
Peter K. Bertine, vice president (Adirondack League Club)
Sally Hart Brown, treasurer (Big Wolf Lake Association)
Ingrid L. Smith, secretary

Membership

28 land-owning organizations representing approximately 250,000 acres of non-commercial land in the Adirondack Park

Coalition Involvements

Adirondack Park Agency (ALA member Dick LeFebvre, chairman)
Adirondack Council (ALA member John Ernst, chairman)
New York Blue Line Council (ALA member Pieter Litchfield, president)
Empire State Forest Products Association
Catskill Landowners Association
Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks
Adirondack Nature Conservancy
Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages

Organization Goals

"The ALA was formed in 1990 in response to the report of the Governor's Commission of the Adirondacks in the 21st Century that targeted selected private land holdings for acquisition. Its aim was to stake out new ground representing the legitimate interests of responsible Adirondack landowners. The ALA's cornerstone then and now, was and is, good stewardship."

"Membership in the Adirondack Landowners Association is open to individuals and organizations owning land in the Adirondacks who support its goals of protecting private property rights and promoting good stewardship."

Board of Directors

Peter K. Bertine, Esq.
William D. Hutchens
See APA application of Keith McHugh, Lens Lake: link
Sally Hart Brown
Daniel Catlin, Jr.
John L. Ernst
John G. Fritzinger, Jr.
Pieter V. C. Litchfield (Pres. New York Blue Line Council)
David F. Remington
Carlisle Van Deusen
Michael M. Gridley, Ex Officio

Publications

Adirondack Landowners Association—ALA News (monthly)

The Oct. 1998 issue included a "white paper" on real property taxation.

Comments

(1) The ALA believes that its "most significant single accomplishment is the public jettison of the concept of eminent domain as it relates to private clubs and preserves in the Adirondacks. Initially reflected in the tabling of the Commission's 21st Century report, it is now firmly embedded in law as a result of protective language restricting land acquisition in the State's Open Space Conservation Plan and the recently enacted Clean Water/Clear Air Bond Act."

(However, it is hard to solely credit ALA for this revision in stated policy, considering the involvement of many other entities, especially the DEC Region 6 Regional Advisory Committee on Land Acquisition ("Open Space"), which is often credited as responsible for this stated policy revision.)

(2) The ALA monitors and reports on the legislative developments and the activities of administrative agencies including the APA, DEC, State Canal Corporation, and entities such as the Northern Forest Lands Council and the Open Space advisory committees for DEC Regions 5 and 6. It monitors legislation pertaining to forestland tax exemptions, posting law, issues such as river access and wolf reintroduction. It has been a "loyal and devoted friend of three plaintiffs in water access litigation," referring to the Adirondack League Club case.

(3) The ALA feels that it has "cultural reform" as its second most important achievement, in that it believes that it has succeeded in getting environmentalists to "increasingly…realize that private landowners play a unique and significant role in the environmental protection of the Adirondacks," as reflected in pronouncements of the Adirondack Council, Northern Forest Lands Council, DEC Region 5 Open Space Advisory Committee, and a consortium of organizations interested in the State's forest tax law.

(However, in spite of this supposed accomplishment, government land acquisition has accelerated, passionately supported by the environmental organizations.)

(4) A major goal of the ALA is to expand the State's forest tax law the extending it to lands that are not under active timber management. It views as unfair the funding of such programs from local tax revenues.

(5) Its newsletter covers selected information related to nature/ecology in addition to political issues.

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