Promoting Sustainability of Ownership and Stewardship of Private Lands in the Adirondacks Since 1990.
The Adirondack Landowners Association is focused on the unique responsibilities, challenges and opportunities of owning private land in a region that in both principle and practice is a park. Learn more. Consider joining today.
The voters in New York State will have 3 different statewide ballot items to consider this November. The first involves the choice to have a constitutional convention, a contentious issue, any way you view it. The second would strip public officers and employees of all or part of their pensions if convicted of certain felony offenses. The final proposal, which you will find on the backside of the paper ballot is for a Health and Safety Land Account. This amendment if approved, will provide for 250 acres of Forest Preserve lands in the Catskills and Adirondacks that can be used for highway infrastructure, utility and broadband needs.
Currently, all Forest Preserve lands are protected by Article #14 of the NYS Constitution, better known as the Forever Wild Clause. In the past, each time a piece of protected land was needed a constitutional amendment was required…this process is lengthy and expensive. Proposal #3 will streamline the process and make it easier for local governments to find practical solutions to a variety of problems. The people of New York will also receive 250 acres of new Forest Preserve lands to replace what is allocated to the land bank.
The Adirondack Landowners Association, along with a host of other stakeholders and local government leaders supports and endorses this important piece of legislation. It has taken a lot of work, countless meetings and discussions to get to this point…now it’s up to the voters to make it a reality.
I encourage all of you to spread the word in as many ways as possible to help create awareness for the land bank. Included, are links to a number of news articles about Proposal #3 which will help provide a better overview, as well as a draft letter that can used for outreach to help support this effort. Additionally, there is a website which was created by the AATV, that has a wealth of information about the proposal and why it is needed.
There will be a special presentation about Proposal #3 at our Saturday morning membership meeting on Oct. 28th at the ALC. Please join us for this if you can.
Tom Williams, President
Adirondack Landowners Association
Vote Yes for the Adirondacks, an informational site by the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages.
Draft Letter to the Editor, you can customize and send to your local newspaper.
ALA Loses a Long Time Member
We were sad to learn of the recent passing of Frank Rudolph, a long time member of the Adirondack Landowners Association. Frank and his wife Jackie have been loyal supporters of our efforts for many years. Jackie currently serves on the ALA Board of Directors and together they have been responsible for bringing a number of new members from the Stillwater Reservoir area.
Frank had a successful business career in New Jersey before moving to the Adirondacks in the 1990’s. He also proudly served his country and is a veteran of both the United States Navy and Air Force.
We mourn his passing, but we also celebrate his life and his contributions to the Adirondacks and to everyone who called him ‘friend’… He will be missed by everyone in the ALA.
Funeral Services are 10 AM Saturday Sepember 16th, 2017 at the Niccolls Memorial Presbyterian Church, Old Forge, NY. Obituary.
From the President of the ALA
Thomas E. Williams, August 2017
This summer has brought us a lot of cool and rainy weather…while it may have dampened a few weekend events the rain has kept water levels in good shape. Hopefully we will have a pleasant fall so everyone can enjoy some time at camp or just being outdoors. Our spring membership meeting, held at Minnowbrook in Blue Mountain Lake was a good one, with a number of ALA members in attendance.
The 2017 NYS Legislative session kept everyone hanging on till the last minute and produced a number of important items. First, was the passage of the ‘health and safety land bank constitutional amendment.’ This amendment was passed by both houses for a second time at the very end of business…it will go to the voters in the fall for state-wide approval. While this is a very detailed piece of legislation, the short version is that it will provide an expedited process for health and safety projects in both the Adirondacks and the Catskills where Forest Preserve lands are involved. Things like broadband installation and road improvements are examples of potential benefits of this constitutional amendment.
A second piece of legislation that was first introduced in 2016, came back on the table during 2017. Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee reintroduced a bill that would have changed the Adirondack Park Agency law to include requirements for Conservation Subdivision Design in certain types of private land development projects. The ALA legal affairs committee, led by John Fritzinger, helped ALA present a detailed and well thought out position statement on this legislation. Additionally board members Wilbur Rice, Justin Potter and Tom Williams added their efforts to the discussion, and a vote on the bill was postponed. There will be continuing discussions among various stakeholders on this legislation and we will keep our members updated on any developments. This topic will surely be discussed at the upcoming fall meeting.
As you may know, the ALA has been working very hard the last two years to secure revisions to the forestry tax law, which is being referred to as 480b. The Governor proposed a new Empire Forests for the Future program in his 2017-2018 budget presentation. Unfortunately, it never made it into the final budget or to the legislature for consideration. The potential tax savings for forest landowners in New York State combined with the environmental stewardship value for all New Yorkers is significant. ALA will continue to work on this with a renewed emphasis for 2018…we can’t afford not to!
I hope to see many of you at the upcoming fall meeting at the Adirondack League Club in October. We have a great line-up of activities and are honored that the Governor’s Deputy Secretary for the Environment, Venetia Lannon has agreed to join us for the event. I encourage you to urge your fellow club or family members to attend…it is your organization and it only works if you are involved.
As you will note from Ross’s article we have a new member on the ALA team…Kim Finnigan has replaced Ross and will serve as counsel to the Adirondack Landowners Association. Kim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table and I know she is looking forward to meeting everyone and making new friends at the fall meeting.
ALA FALL MEMBERSHIP MEETING, OCTOBER 27-28, 2017. ADIRONDACK LEAGUE CLUB, OLD FORGE, NY
The ALA will hold its annual fall membership meeting a little earlier this year…. Once again we will be at the Adirondack League Club in Old Forge….the location is beautiful setting for our event. The dates are Friday and Saturday, October 27th and 28th, 2017. There will be a number of fun and educational outdoor events on Friday the 27th including: a woods walk to learn about invasive species lead by Brendan Quirion head of APIPP at the Nature Conservancy; a tour of the Cornell Research Facility with Dan Josephson; fishing at Green Lake and clay shooting at the club range.
Friday evening will feature a reception and dinner along with our always popular live and silent auction. We have invited Venetia Lannon, Deputy Secretary for the Environment to be our special guest speaker on Friday night.
Saturday morning we will have an educational forum presented by Brendan Quirion from APIPP. His presentation will help our members learn how to monitor and recognize invasive species on their own properties. We will also have our normal membership business meeting followed by lunch.
So please save those dates now and make plans to join your fellow members for a great event.
We are hoping for some great fall weather…See ya in Old Forge!
Meet The new ala counsel
by Ross Whaley, August 2017
I have had the good fortune to serve as Senior Advisor to ALA for almost a decade. I have had the pleasure of working with three dedicated ALA presidents and a board that takes their responsibilities to ALA seriously. With their guidance I have been engaged in issues of taxation, navigation, regulation and land stewardship. Particularly it has been a pleasure to play a liaison role between ALA and the executive and legislative branch of government. For me, who had the audacity to think I was a specialist in natural resource and environmental policy, it was a wonderful education to continually learn how government really works or at times doesn’t. My plans for the future involve building on what I learned, and seeing if one can make a difference in the future of the Adirondack Park, but doing it with civility, transparency, ethically and being smart—traits which seem to be getting lost in our governmental processes.
As I bid farewell and say thank you to the ALA Board and members for an enjoyable, and I hope productive, nine and a half years as Senior Advisor, I am excited that Kimberly Finnigan has been chosen to take my place with the title of Counsel.
Kim is an Adirondack native from Saranac Lake. I had the pleasure of working with her when she was Counsel for the Albany-based Center for Economic Growth. At that time she was involved in many activities working toward improving the economic prospects for the Adirondack Park. She was a listener, who took the sometimes rambling suggestions of the assembled group and converted them to implementable actions—a rare talent. Then she followed up as part of the group that made tangible things happen.
I will resist repeating her impressive resume of accomplishments since she graduated from William and Mary Law School in 2006, except to say her most recent position includes government relations and regulatory affairs. How fortunate for ALA to have the services of an Adirondack native, a listener, with local, state, national and international experience in government relations and regulatory issues, and a person not satisfied with talk because she wants to see change.
ALA has made a difference in state and local policies affecting private lands since its founding some 25-plus years ago. With Kim serving as Counsel this was only a beginning. We can expect an exciting and influential future.