The Adirondacks have never faced a bigger threat.
The Sierra Club’s Adirondack Committee has joined a lawsuit with another grassroots environmental organization, Protect the Adirondacks!, and with three local Adirondack property owners, to challenge the Adirondack Park Agency’s (APA) issuance of a permit for a 6,000-acre mega-development resort in the heart of the Adirondack Park, on the mountainsides outside of the village of Tupper Lake.
The proposed development, the Adirondack Club & Resort, is the largest development ever approved in the Adirondack Park. Its approval has been considered by many to be the worst decision in the 40-year history of the APA, a state agency created to protect the “natural, scenic, aesthetic, ecological, wildlife, historic, recreational, or open space resources of the Park.” The proposed mega-resort has been called “sprawl on steroids” by one conservationist.
•The proposed development spans a wildlife corridor between the High Peaks Wilderness, on the east, and a 500,000-acre area proposed as the Great Oswegatchie Canoe Wilderness, on the west. It is adjacent to the pristine14,600-acre Follensby Pond tract, recently acquired by the Nature Conservancy; this was the site of the renowned 1858 “Philosophers’ Camp” of Ralph Waldo Emerson and friends.
The proposed 6,000+ acre development plan calls for 206 single family homes, 453 multiplex units, an equestrian center, a marina, a 60- room lodge, parking for 900 cars, and 15 miles of roads and driveways. Lots for several so- called “great camps” in the back-country will range in size from 111 to 770 acres.
• The APA erred in approving a permit for a project, more than 77% of which is located on lands classified under the APA Act as “resource management,” intended to be used for timber production or agriculture. These lands give the Park its own space character, along with the Forest Preserve, and approval of this project by the APA sets a terrible precedent.
• The APA erred by failing to require that the developer’s proposal include more than a cursory wildlife impact study, then postponing that study until after the development takes place! (Note: Expert testimony introduced at the APA hearing by conservation organizations found no fewer than 11 species of amphibians alone not listed in the developer’s wildlife impact study.)
This permitting action by the APA sets a very dangerous precedent, which, if left unchallenged, could set the stage for sprawl development all across the Adirondack Park.
When you donate to the Adiron-dack Defense Fund, you help:
• support legal actions to reign in those who would intentionally ignore, or thoughtlessly misinterpret, the rules and regulations of the Adirondack Park Agency,
• promote one of the Adirondack Committee’s primary projects, the creation of wilderness canoe areas and riparian wildlife corridors; and
• educate Sierra Club members and supporters about the importance of protecting and preserving open space Adirondack lands as “Forever Wild,” in keeping with the legacy of Article 14 of the New York State Constitution, approved in 1894.
In this time of global climate change, preserving the large, intact wilderness cores and open space corridors of the Adirondacks will help all species of wildlife, both animal and plant, adapt and adjust to the changing habitats of this increasingly fragile environment.