Press Releases

Common Ground Alliance issues updated Blueprint for the Blue Line

The Adirondack Common Ground Alliance (CGA) has released the updated Blueprint for the Blue Line, a set of legislative priorities for the Adirondack Park for 2015 and beyond. The Blueprint is meant to help inform our state elected officials about what is important to the people of the Adirondacks.

For the last seven years, CGA has brought together a diverse collection of stakeholders to foster an open dialogue and seek collaborative solutions for the complex problems Adirondack communities face. The updated Blueprint, crafted using feedback from a legislative poll of CGA participants, calls for increased infrastructure funding and restoration of operational budgets for state agencies that serve the Adirondacks, as well as policy innovations that support renewable energy, smart growth, and more.

“The good news is: We are making progress. Among the CGA participants, we have evolved from agreeing in simple areas, to developing a shared vision, and we have now moved on to prioritizing action items,” said William G. Farber, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors. “From my perspective, this couldn't come at a better time for the Adirondacks, as we have communities which are facing real challenges, while we are fortunate enough to have a governor who is committed to making a difference. For the Adirondacks, Governor Cuomo’s balanced leadership, and commitment to the Park, is the perfect complement to our CGA effort.”

“Since its inception, the Common Ground Alliance has strived to bring together government, nonprofits, and businesses to make a collective impact on the Adirondacks,” said Cali Brooks, executive director of Adirondack Foundation. “This updated Blueprint calls for legislative action that impacts all of our communities.”

“Some have said those in the Adirondacks would rather fight than win. We say the Common Ground agenda gives us something to fight for together so that the Adirondack Park’s wilderness, clean water, wildlife, visitors, communities, and economy all win,” said William C. Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council. “The Adirondack Park draws 10 million annual visitors and hundreds of thousands of seasonal residents, all of whom require clean water and effective wastewater treatment facilities. Most Adirondack communities have only a few hundred households to pay back the multi-million-dollar costs of building and rebuilding modern water and sewer systems. Low-interest loans aren’t good enough. Grants are needed to protect the Park’s environment and economy.”

The Blueprint notes that infrastructure for clean water, tourism, roads, and bridges is either in disrepair or severely lacking, with small, rural communities in the Adirondacks in need of assistance from the state to address the problem. CGA’s Blueprint proposes capital fund grants for preventing and combating invasive species; buried broadband communications lines and well-screened functioning cell service; state-land infrastructure, trails, bridges, signage, and ecological restoration; and farmland protection funding distribution.

CGA believes Adirondack communities would benefit from an increase in operational funding for state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency for outreach, stewardship, and community support. The Blueprint also recommends continued and expanded I Love NY funding; increased resources for Forest Preserve stewardship; and greater emphasis on promoting local farm products and increased support for local food production and young farmers.

Finally, the Blueprint proposes a series of policy updates, such as passage of community net metering legislation; a closer look at APA policies that promote smart growth; and a closer look at the State Land Master Plan.

Click HERE to read the updated Blueprint for the Blue Line.

For Immediate Release: November 13, 2014

For more information, please contact Cali Brooks at (518) 523-9904 or cali@generousact.org

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