Press Releases

Adirondack Council Seeks Park Funding in State Budget - Recommendations Would Make Park More Resilient, Sustainable, Diverse

For more information:
John F. Sheehan
518-441-1340 cell
518-432-1770 ext. 203

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 14, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo today to build on his past Adirondack successes and provide funding in his 2018-19 budget plan to help the Adirondack Park survive acid rain and climate change, sustain its healthy environment and build on the economic successes of the tourism and outdoor recreation industries by welcoming a more diverse group of visitors and residents.

“Governor Cuomo’s Adirondack successes are threatened by climate change and acid rain, aging wastewater treatment systems, overuse in some areas of the Forest Preserve and by invasive species,” said William C. Janeway, Executive Director of the Adirondack Council.  “Dedicated funds will be needed to address these concerns in 2018.  We wanted to reinforce these needs before the Governor completes his budget plan.”

The Governor is due to present his annual State of the State message on January 3.  His budget will be released later in the month.

New York’s Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States, covering some 9,300 square miles.  About half of the park is public Forest Preserve, protected as “Forever Wild” by the NYS Constitution.  The remainder is private land encompassing parts of 12 counties, 92 towns and nine villages.

Janeway said Adirondack Council members were writing to the Governor this month to ask for funding for both capital projects and continuing operations of important state programs.  Some of those programs are partially funded by the federal government.  In the case of programs designed to combat acid rain and climate change, federal funding is in danger of severe cuts that could spell the end of important research and environmental monitoring.

“First, we are thanking the Governor for funding Adirondack land acquisitions, providing more than $2.5 billion grants to curb water pollution and for dedicating $300 million to environmental projects in the Environmental Protection Fund,” Janeway said. “Then we are asking him to continue to invest in and preserve Adirondack priorities including wilderness, clean water, wildlife and communities.”

Janeway explained that the Adirondack Council isn’t asking for funding for its own projects.  The Adirondack Council is entirely privately funded.  It doesn’t accept government funding or taxpayer-supported donations of any kind, he said.

Among the Adirondack Park’s top priorities for 2018-19 are:         

  • Clean Water Funding: Accelerate distribution from the $2.5 billion in clean water funding approved last year, and increase the Environmental Facilities Corps Engineering Planning Grants for towns that don’t have engineers on staff;
  • Environmental Agency staffing -- 40 staff for NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Division of Water, new Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers, and personnel for the Division of Lands and Forests;
  • Environmental Protection Fund: Continue to fund it at $300 million-per-year, including:
    • $40 million for Open Space Protection
    • $700,000 for Adirondack Lakes Survey Corp monitoring and restoration;
    • $500,000 for Adirondack and Catskill long-term strategic research;
    • $2.5 million for the Conservation Partnership Land Trust Program
    • $100,000 to support the fledgling Adirondack Diversity Initiative
    • $15 million for Invasive Species ($1 mill. for Adirondacks, $450k Lake George);
    • $5 million for Smart Growth grants to Adirondack hamlets
    • Climate Change funding (for circuit riders, education outreach)
    • State Land Stewardship (w/ funds dedicated for Wilderness management)
    • Farm Land Protection and Local Waterfront Revitalization for Adirondack towns.
  • Empire Forests for the Future program, which would amend Real Property Tax Law (section 480a) with funding from outside the EPF;
  • Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Centers - $100k or more for Newcomb and $100k or more for Paul Smiths; and, support for support cultural educational institutions.

The Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park.  The Council envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by farms and working forests, as well as vibrant communities.

The Adirondack Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action.  Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.

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