It may be a few more months before the state agency that oversees the Adirondack Park decides the classification of newly obtained lands in the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
Adirondack Park Agency staff planned to recommend to agency commissioners next month the preferred classifications of three tracts of former Finch, Pruyn timberlands purchased by the state in the eastern Adirondacks. But a final decision on the classification of the lands may not occur for several more months. Commissioner Richard Booth, Chair of the APA Land Committee, told his fellow commissioners during their monthly meeting last Friday, which was webcast, that the agency commissioners ought not to make a decision until October.
Five Adirondack towns will be affected by the new land classifications. Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Farber was at the meeting when Commissioner Booth commented.
Adirondack Mountain Club Executive Director Neil Woodworth says Booth’s call to delay a decision is a very smart move.
The APA staff not only has to respond to the nearly 4-thousand comments, it must also prepare a preferred alternative and draft EIS, and many agree one month is not enough time to accomplish those tasks.
Adirondack Council Executive Director Willie Janeway doesn’t perceive an October decision as a delay.
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve partner Dave Gibson agrees that the workload is such that an October vote is a reasonable option.
The Adirondack Park Agency is considering seven classifications for the 47-thousand acres of lands, ranging from "wild forest," which would allow motorized access, to "wilderness," the most restrictive classification.