Adirondack Council

Opportunities for Public Comment in the Adirondacks

The Adirondack Council, as part of our advocacy work, frequently participates in the public notice comment process. When a government agency like the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is creating new administrative regulations, also known as a rule, or is seeking to amend an existing rule, the agency must go through the informal rulemaking process. Through this process, an agency is required to notify the public, solicit comments and review the comment for a new or amended rule. Agencies at both the state and federal levels follow this informal rulemaking process.

Why Public Engagement Matters 

As a New York State resident, or person that visits, owns property in, or loves the Adirondacks, or simply values the conservation landscape of the Adirondack Park- it's important that your voice is heard during the public comment process on issues that you care about. As an advocacy organization, the Council participates in the public notice and comment process because these agency actions, large and small, shape the Adirondack landscape. These actions determine how current and future generations interact with and live in harmony with the natural world. 


Comment period-a timeframe of typically between 15 and 30 days for when an agency solicits public feedback and comment. The public must submit any and all comments by the deadline to be considered by the agency.  

Public meeting- an event held by state agencies to share information about a proposed action and to solicit verbal feedback 

Public hearing- a formal event held by state agencies to share information about a proposed action and  to solicit verbal comments. Verbal comments shared at these meetings are meant to carry the same weight as written comments.  

Written comment- an email or letter sent to an agency within a timeframe on a specific topic that the agency is gathering comments on.  

Unit Management Plan (UMP)- a guiding document drafted by the DEC that looks at physical and natural resources present within a land area. A UMP also identifies possible opportunities for public use that would be consistent with the land classification and would consider the natural resources ability to withstand such use. 

Map Amendment- A change of private land classification that can be initiated by a town and or private landowner with consideration to the natural resource, open space, public, economic and other land use factors.  

For more information and public comment opportunities, visit the NYSDEC Environmental Notice Bulletin, the Adirondack Park Agency,the New York State Register for rulemaking. 

Some Current DEC and APA Public Comment Opportunities 

Sentinel Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan (UMP)

Deadline: October 11, 2019

Agency: Adirondack Park Agency

Project Description: The Sentinel Range Wilderness Area is a 23,000+ acre unit located in the towns of Jay, Keene, North Elba and Wilmington of Essex County. The unit contains under 11 miles of trails and popular areas like Pitchoff Mountain and Copperas and Owens Ponds. The draft UMP proposes a number of management actions, including the establishment of a 10,500 acre trailless area in the center of the unit, monitoring of hiking trails including the Pitchoff Mountain trail, a reroute of the Copperas Pond trail, and a temporary moratorium on the (re)placement of fixed anchors in the unit until a working group is convened to collaboratively form recommendations to address this issue. The APA is accepting comments on the conformity of this UMP with the State Land Master Plan.

Send comments to:.
Richard Weber III
Deputy Director for Planning
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Fax: 518-891-3938

Cell Tower in Town of Elizabethtown

Deadline: October 24, 2019

Agency: Department of Environmental Conservation

Project Description: Installation of a 90-foot-tall self-supporting monopole tower, concealed as a 95-foot-tall simulated tree, to support cellular antennas at the 86-foot centerline height. An equipment shelter at the towers base is also proposed. An existing access drive will be extended by 100± feet in length to access the tower location.

Send comments to:  
Ariel Lynch
Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977

Helpful resources: Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan


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