Forever Wild

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Of the three propositions on the New York state ballot Tuesday, voters rejected the question asking for a constitutional convention but approved public pension forfeiture and a Forest Preserve land bank.  The question on a land bank was close, but Adirondack and Catskill concerns are relieved that it passed.

Adirondack view
WAMC/Pat Bradley

There is a concerted effort by a wide range of interests to get New York voters to approve Proposition Three on the November ballot two weeks from now. It would create a land bank to allow communities in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve to accomplish small projects without the need to amend the state constitution.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Every 20 years, New Yorkers are given the opportunity for a constitutional convention. A referendum will be on the ballot in November asking voters if one should be held.  Groups are lining up on each side.  Several environmental organizations are opposed to the convention because they are concerned that a key protection for the Adirondacks and Catskills could be eliminated.

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The National Wilderness Preservation System Act was signed in 1964. The groundbreaking law to preserve lands across the country is based on New York State’s constitutional “Forever Wild” clause. Members of the NYS Wilderness 50th Steering Committee were in Plattsburgh recently for workshops with students on the Wilderness Act.

The New York state Legislature has given final approval for two Adirondack land swaps.  But because they affect land within the forest preserve, voters across the state must now approve constitutional amendments.