Advocacy group Protect the Adirondacks says it supports a decision by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to postpone action on a proposal to ease the rules for clear-cutting woodlands in the Adirondack Park.
“The APA got the message that this new general permit to make it easier to clearcut Adirondack forests is not a good idea” said Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks.
“It was clear that the APA was trying to rush this through without any supporting evidence and by not holding a formal public hearing,” Bauer said.
At its November 2012 meeting the APA said that it did not have to hold an official public hearing, among other requirements, though it did have to take public comments.
“Good data and good science makes good public policy,” Bauer said. “The APA provided no data and no science to support this controversial new program.”
Current rules call for any landowner who desires to clearcut more than 25 acres to get a permit from the APA. The new proposal would streamline rules to allow clear-cutting of any size on over more than 1.5 million acres in the Adirondacks, including over 750,000 acres of lands where the state owns conservation easements.
“The people of the New York have spent well over $150 million to protect forestlands in the Adirondacks. The public does not support clearcutting on conservation easement lands. The public has a clear expectation that conservation easement lands will be well managed over the long-term and in addition to supplying wood to help the local economy will also protect wildlife, scenic viewsheds, water quality, and provide recreational opportunities. Clearcutting destroys all these other values” said Bauer.