Protect the Adirondacks heralds the decision by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to postpone again action on a new draft General Permit to dramatically ease the rules for clearcutting in the Adirondack Park. Current rules call for any landowner who desires to clearcut more than 25 acres to secure a permit from the APA. The new General Permit will streamline rules to allow clearcutting of any size on over more than 1 million acres in the Adirondacks, including over 750,000 acres where the state owns conservation easements.

“The APA should put a halt to this General Permit altogether. A better process, which will produce a better outcome, is to focus on the APA’s rules and regulations that govern forest management in the Adirondack Park. These rules are outdated. The APA has in its past successfully managed a public process to review and revise its rules and regulations. It should do so again for its outdated forest management regulations. The problems facing forest managers could be solved through an open and transparent fact-finding process that works to revise the APA’s rules and regs. This is the path the APA should take,” said Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks.

The APA’s action follows a group letter from a dozen environmental groups opposing this action. It also follows a detailed legal analysis by PROTECT that documented serious flaws in the APA’s legal work and process in support of this General Permit. PROTECT also released aerial photographs that showed extensive heavy cutting on lands eyed for large clearcuts and posted a comprehensive article on this flawed proposal on the Adirondack Almanack.