To the editor:
From the tone of several letters and op-editorials published recently, it would appear that no one may express an opinion anywhere regarding the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort except its most vociferous supporters. This seems to apply especially to the Adirondack Council and Protect the Adirondacks (on whose board of directors I sit).
From my perspective, this seems to me a blatant attempt to stifle all dissent in this matter and to intimidate the Adirondack Park Agency, thereby preventing them from making a decision on this important issue that is based SOLELY on the merits of the facts. I have also been under the impression that the truly American way was to encourage all points of view and speaking out on the issue. When all the facts are in and analyzed, then a decision is made by the judging authority, favoring one side or the other or perhaps a compromise. My fervent hope is that this is what can still occur here despite the posturing and the pressure being put on the Adirondack Park Agency in this case.
On another issue, I believe some clarification is necessary regarding the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and its Finch, Pruyn property. As a member of the Region 6 Governor’s Open Space Committee since 1986, I know these lands have been desired by New York state to be incorporated into the Forest Preserve for decades. I also believe that in many other states, they would long ago have been protected as part of the public domain. Recent letters to the Enterprise have described them as being simply a temperate hardwood forest. They are so much more: 29 miles of Hudson River frontage, scores of large pristine lakes, one of the largest waterfalls in the Adirondack Park, plus breathtaking sheer cliffs and peatlands that harbor some of the rarest flora in New York state and the entire Northeast. How could we even consider not protecting these jewels for posterity?
The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter provided a model here for future compromise in the Adirondack Park when it resisted calls from some environmentalists to incorporate all the lands purchased from Finch, Pruyn into the Forest Preserve. Instead, it elected to forge a consensual agreement with local government leaders whereby a substantial majority of the acreage would remain in active forestry, thereby ensuring both local jobs in timbering and a continual supply of raw materials for local mills. Hopefully, this will set a precedent for future issues in the Adirondack Park.