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. 

Support Needed for Forest Tax Law Reform

The ALA, along with a coalition of supporters has been working for several years to make real changes in public support for forest landowners in NYS. Last year the Governor announced his Empire Forests for the Future program, but it has yet to happen. Recently a group of NYS Senators sent a letter to the Governor asking him to make this a priority for the upcoming session. To help support this effort, ALA sent a letter to the Governor endorsing their request and offering our support and help to make this a reality. We need to support the efforts of these Senators and the others who have worked so hard trying to make this happen…so, we encourage all ALA members to write/call the Governor and your local Senate and Assembly representative and ask them to support these efforts.

Governor Cuomo

Venetia Lannon
Deputy Secretary to the Governor on the Enviroment
(518) 408-2552
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Kate Dineen
Assistant Secretary for the Environment
(518) 408-2552
State Capital
Albany, NY 12224

Cathy Calhoun
Director of State Operations
(518) 486-9871
State Capital
Albany, NY 12224

State Senate

State Assembly

Constitutional Amendment Approved

Voters across New York State approved a 250-acre land bank that will allow communities in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks far more flexibility to tackle local public works projects. The vote was surprisingly close, despite near universal support for the ballot question from green groups, local government leaders, and a bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers. The Adirondack Landowners Association worked very hard with the other stakeholders to make this a reality.

The constitutional amendment will set aside 250 acres for communities to use for projects that support health, public safety and community improvement, such as bike paths, new bridges and culverts or water lines. Additionally, 250 acres will be added to the Forest Preserve to make up for what is allocated to the land bank.

The ALA applauds all those who helped make this possible.

ALA Presents 2017 Stewardship Award

The highlight of the annual fall meeting, held at the Adirondack League Club, was the presentation of our 2017 ALA Stewardship Award to Dr. Ross Whaley. Ross has been part of the Adirondack scene for many years and his contribution to our membership has been significant. He has served as Chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency and was instrumental in creating the Common Ground Alliance. In addition to the normal framed tribute the ALA presented Ross with a custom made fly rod provided by the JP Ross Co. Given his love of trout fishing it will most likely get lots of use. There were also letters of recognition from Governor Cuomo, Senator Betty Little, Assemblyman Dan Stec and a host of others. There was little doubt as to the respect and admiration the Adirondack community has for Ross…we couldn’t agree more.


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.


Wilbur Rice

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

The 2017 ALA Fall Meeting 

The Adirondack Landowners Association held their annual fall meeting recently at the Adirondack League Club. We were lucky to have some pleasant fall weather along with a great meeting and auction.

We were very fortunate to have Venetia Lannon, Deputy Secretary for the Environment be part of our two day event. We started Friday with a tour of the Cornell Research Facility which is located at Little Moose Lake. Venetia and others learned about the 60 plus year history of coldwater fisheries research that has been done by Cornell in partnership with ALA members, most notably the Adirondack League Club. Many thanks to Dan Josephson for providing a first-rate experience.

From there we visited a recent timber harvest location on the ALC property, where the ALC’s Forester, Kevin Virkler, explained the many aspects of scientific forestry to the tour participants. We were joined on the Friday outing by Brendan Quirion, Program Manager for the Invasive Species program at the Nature Conservancy. Brendan and his co-worker Zack Simek helped to educate folks about certain invasive plants and how to prevent their spread or treat infestations that occur.

Friday evening was a busy time…we held our annual auction event where folks could bid on a wide variety of Adirondack items and other interesting gifts. We had a nice social hour followed by dinner and then a presentation of the ALA Stewardship Award…this year’s recipient was our own Dr. Ross Whaley.

Ross has been a fixture on the Adirondack scene for many years with a long list of accomplishments and contributions…he was certainly deserving of the Stewardship Award. We were also honored to have Venetia Lannon address our members after dinner and share some thoughts on her experiences on Friday and her appreciation for the stewardship role played by our members in the Adirondacks.

We had a number of special guests including NYS Senator Betty Little, APA Chairman Sherman Craig, DEC Region 5 Director, Bob Stegemann,  Fred Monroe, Executive Director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, Matt Simpson, new President of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, Ron Moore, Supervisor from North Hudson, Steve Hamilton, Inspector General for the NYS Comptroller, Ed Griesmer, Executive Director, Adirondack Lakes Alliance, Tony Wilkinson, DEC Director of Fish and Wildlife and Eric Siy, Executive Director for The Fund for Lake George.

Our Saturday morning meeting featured a presentation by Brendan and Zach from APIPP about their work on invasive species, Fred Monroe talked about the Land Bank amendment, John Bartow, head of the Empire State Forest Products Association spoke about the Empire Forests for the Future program and the long awaited 480b forest tax law. Tony Wilkinson rounded out the morning with information about DEC’s efforts to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the whitetail deer herds of NYS. This was followed by the membership business portion of our meeting and a delicious lunch.

The ALA spring meeting is scheduled for the first weekend in May 2018 at Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake.

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 on Join.