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. 


Fred Monroe Honored

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Fred Monroe was honored by the ALA at the meeting on October 26, 2018. The following remarks were delivered by William Hutchens, a founding member of the ALA:

We have a very special celebration tonight to honor and thank one of the giants of the Adirondack community for all he has done to support ALA’s mission and all good things about the Adirondacks!

Fred Monroe – would you please come forward.

I met Fred on a July day almost 30 years ago at Livingston Lake where he was a guest at the second meeting of the Adirondack Landowners Association. That was the summer of 1990, and our organization was only a month old...fresh out of the womb, so to speak.

We were looking for some connections with the Adirondack community, and Fred’s name came up and so we asked him to come.

There was quite a cast of characters back in those days – Fred, George Cannon, Dick Persico, Hamm Robertson who was then Chairman of the Adirondack Planning Commission, Jean Raymond of Edinburg in my neck of the woods, Bob Glennon, Andy Halloran who had been counsel to Ron Stafford, and some others.

But as I say Fred was there with some of them at the time and singing a message where we thought we knew the words... and they were as recorded in the minutes of that meeting...you can look it up...”the 21st Century Commission Report showed little or no regard for private property rights”.

Now....that was thirty years ago, and whether you believed that then, or now, the ALA – standing for private property rights and good stewardship - spread its wings over the years to attract the best of the best in the Adirondack community to join with us in helping to make this a better place...and that includes the economy as well as the environment.

And Fred was one of those people we found out about. And we also found he was way ahead of us. So when we caught up to him, he and his wife, Carol, climbed on board and more or less became permanent members of the ALA family. He rarely missed a meeting and in fact, I think if I had my perfect attendance pin from third grade with me I would pin it on him.

Which brings me to Ross Whaley, who regrets he could not be here to join us in this little clambake to celebrate Fred but has provided the words for us as his tribute to him.

And so....I quote Ross:

“Fred served as Supervisor of the Town of Chester and member and Chair of the Warren County Board of Supervisors. In addition to all the duties associated with those challenging positions, he was a leader among government officials in working on the control of aquatic invasive species – something very much on our agenda today - and the use of alternative energy for local government facilities.

As Executive Director of the Adirondack Local Government Review Board, Fred brought new vitality to that organization and had a significant impact on bringing the concerns of local government and citizens and landowners in the Park to the decisions made by the Adirondack Park Agency.

We recognize Fred tonight not only for the tremendous work he has done in the Park, but in the manner in which he did it – with calm, logic, persuasiveness and civility.”

Fred, allow me to read for you and all your friends the inscription on this plaque, which we present to you with our deep admiration and affection:

IN RECOGNITION OF HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO BENEFIT THE ADIRONDACK PARK AND ITS CITIZENS THE ADIRONDACK LANDOWNERS ASSOCIATION RECOGNIZES AND IS INDEBTED TO FREDERICK MONROE

The news from old forge

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The Adirondack Landowners Association held its fall meeting on October 26th and 27th at the Adirondack League Club in Old Forge. Weather was typical for late fall, which is better than typical for early winter when the end of year meeting was often held!

On Friday afternoon, the board had an enlightening discussion with Bill Farber of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors regarding a number of issues. One was the dynamic in Albany with respect to the Adirondacks, and how it might change if the Senate flips from Republican to Democratic control, as it now has. Another was the potential role for the ALA given that it is composed of landowners with diverse perspectives.

The meeting officially began at 6 with what was listed on the agenda as “social hour.” ALA meetings provide the opportunity for informal conversations among Adirondack landowners regarding issues of common interest, as well as with invited guests from the Adirondacks and elsewhere. For some, these conversations are the main reason they come to the meetings. Attendees included members of the Adirondack League Club, the Wilmurt Club, the Ausable Club, Brandreth Park, the North Woods Club, Livingston Lake Club, the Hollywood Club, and McCavanaugh Pond Club, among others. Guests included Fred Monroe of the Local Government Review Board, Bob Stegemann of DEC Region 5, Peg Olsen of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Randy Young of DEC Region 6, Matthew Simpson of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, Ronald Moore, the Supervisor of North Hudson, and Bill Farber, Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors. The conversations continued through lunch the next day.

Later in the evening, Fred Monroe, who has been involved with the ALA since it was founded in 1990, was honored for his service to the Adirondacks. Wilbur Rice presided over the live auction, where the “big ticket” item was a cruise on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, which broke recent records. After dinner, Peg Olsen of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy gave a presentation on how the Adirondacks, and private land, fits into the larger ecological context in the northeast.

 ALA President Wilbur Rice

ALA President Wilbur Rice

Saturday morning featured a very informative presentation from Ema Johnson of the American Forest Foundation regarding opportunities for landowners, one from John Bartow of the Empire State Forest Products Association about regulatory and legislative issues of interest to Adirondack landowners, and an update from Kimberly Finnigan regarding the work she’s been doing on behalf of the ALA. These presentations were followed by the membership meeting.

The next ALA meeting will be held in May at the Minnowbrook Lodge in Blue Mountain Lake. Hope to see you there!


ALA Opposes changes to how NYS pays taxes on forest preserve

On February 26, 2018, ALA President Wilbur Rice sent the following letter to NYS representatives voicing opposition to a change in how NYS pays taxes on Forest Preserve, proposed in the 2019 Executive Budget:

The Adirondack Landowners Association appreciates the efforts to make government more efficient, which is the ostensible goal of the proposal to “Simplify the Taxation of State Owned Land” in the 2019 Executive Budget. We strongly oppose, however, the substitution of payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreements subject to a cap for the existing obligation of the State to pay taxes on property and interests in land on the same basis as other landowners. The only consequence of the proposed change will be to shift the burden of paying for essential governmental services from the State to taxpaying citizens of hard pressed Adirondack and Catskill communities.

This substitution would represent a major breach of the long-standing covenant between the state and these communities (enshrined in Section 534 of the Real Property Tax Law) to offset the loss those communities would otherwise suffer if the land were taken from their tax rolls for the benefit of the Forest Preserve and thus the citizens of the whole state.

All taxpayers are devoted to keeping taxes as low as possible. The state should not enjoy a more privileged status in bearing taxes than the ordinary citizen. It would be plainly unfair, given the disparity in their respective resources, to allow the state, instead of paying taxes based on an assessment, to simply increase its annual tax payment by a maximum of 2%, especially when its own FY 2019 Executive Budget Financial Plan shows that projected property value increases are more than 2% over the next four years.

The existence of this unfair result would discourage private landowners and local towns and villages from creating or supporting Forest Preserve land acquisitions or easements that could enhance the parks, secure important preservation goals, and add to the attraction of the region. More importantly, in the long run it will have a seriously deleterious effect on the economy of the region and its ability to attract and retain businesses and residents.

We therefore respectfully request that this proposal be withdrawn and removed from the 2019 Executive Budget.

Respectfully,

Wilbur Rice
President

The PILOT proposal is widely opposed across the spectrum of Adirondack stakeholders.


Become an Associate member of ALA

If you are already part of a Regular Member organization or club, why not consider becoming an Associate Member. Your financial support will help to fund the efforts of the ALA as we promote our network for exchanging ideas, addressing concerns among landowners, providing representation on important issues, and helping to ensure that the interests of Adirondack landowners are well advocated. You can find an application on our website...click on Join.