Protect the Adirondacks believes that independent public oversight of governmental agencies that manage the public lands and private land use regulations in the Adirondacks Park is a vital part of protecting the natural resources and rural communities of the Adirondacks.
Independent public oversight of government and governmental agencies is vital to ensure that there is transparency in decision making, that decision making is based on a sound factual record, research and analysis, and that there is no influence of outside interests both within and outside of government. Protect the Adirondacks undertakes an ambitious independent public oversight program of state agencies, local governments, and state authorities to ensure that they lawfully and transparently manage the people’s lands — public Forest Preserve — and administer the Adirondack Park Agency Act regional land use plan, the NYS Wetlands Act, and the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act, among other laws. Protect the Adirondacks is a key watchdog for the environmental protection of the Adirondack Park and we work day-in and day-out to hold accountable those who are entrusted with the protection and stewardship of the public Forest Preserve and administration of New York’s environmental laws.
Watchdog for Public Transparency and Accountability: Protect the Adirondacks actively monitors the activities and decision making of the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, and local governments in the six-million-acre Adirondack Park. This involves attending public forums, testifying during public hearings, analyzing the documents prepared by state agencies, submitting public comments after review of all document, and monitoring the decision making. The monitoring and intervention by Protect the Adirondacks has helped to win positive results to uphold environmental protections for the Forest Preserve and Adirondack Park.
Public Accountability in the Management of the Forest Preserve: Two primary state agencies, the Adirondack Park Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation, share the management of the 2.6-million-acre public Forest Preserve. The Forest Preserve is spread across the Adirondack Park in a checkerboard pattern with dozens of different administrative “units.” The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan sets out the rules for Forest Preserve management and various other policies detail responsibilities for specific areas of management. The management of the Adirondack Park requires active involvement from the public and monitoring of watchdog organizations. Protect the Adirondacks believes that decision making on management issues in the Adirondack Park should be made in open forums.
Investigations and Litigation: Protect the Adirondacks undertakes investigations and litigation on matters where we believe major decisions on the management of the Forest Preserve or Adirondack Park were unduly influenced by political leaders or outside entities, or that decisions were made that violated existing laws or regulations. These investigations are ongoing. Click here and here for updates on ongoing litigation and click here for a report on a major PROTECT investigation. Other investigations are currently underway.
If you believe that decisions should be made in open forums and that transparency and accountability are important pillars of Adirondack Park management, you should join with us as a member today! Click here to sign up.