LAKE PLEASANT, N.Y., Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Former Governor George E. Pataki has endorsed Propositions 4 and 5 on the New York State ballot, both of which add new public recreational lands to the Adirondack Forest Preserve for the enjoyment of people statewide and help strengthen the economy of the Adirondack Region for the people who live there.
In an op-ed published in the Sunday, Oct. 27, edition of the Westchester County newspaper The Journal News, Gov. Pataki writes:
"One of the most important accomplishments of my years as governor was our success in permanently protecting more than 1 million acres of open space for the enjoyment of hikers, campers, kayakers, fishermen, birders and future generations of New Yorkers. This Election Day, New York voters will have a unique opportunity to build on that legacy, preserving sensitive parcels of Adirondack open space while protecting jobs — all at no cost to state taxpayers. We should not let this opportunity pass."
Governor Pataki, who has a home in the Adirondacks, notes that, "It's rare that any issue earns support from groups across the political spectrum. Propositions 4 and 5 have done so because they are the right thing to do."
Governor Pataki has joined with many other individuals and organizations to form the Vote Yes For The Adirondacks Coalition in support of both propositions. Other Coalition members are:
- Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages
- Adirondack Landowners Association
- Adirondack Local Government Review Board
- Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Congressman Bill Owens
- Dr. Ross Whaley, former chair of the Adirondack Park Agency and former president of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
- Essex County Board of Supervisors
- Hamilton County Board of Supervisors
- Intercounty Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks
- John P. Cahill, former NYS DEC Commissioner
- Lewis Town Board
- Long Lake Town Board
- New York League of Conservation Voters
- New York State Association of Counties
- New York State Snowmobile Association
- North Country Chamber of Commerce
- North Country Regional Economic Development Council
- Paul Marshall Bray, attorney and former associate counsel at NYSDEC
- Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce
- Teresa Sayward, former NYS Assembly Member and Willsboro Supervisor
- Willsboro Town Board
Proposition 4 would allow the Legislature to settle the 100-year-old problem of disputed property titles in the Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. Since the 1800s, the titles to 216 parcels, including the school, the firehouse, businesses, homes and other properties have been disputed. Proposition 4 would permit the State to clear these titles in exchange for funding to purchase lands that the state has long wanted to add to the Adirondack Forest Preserve for public recreation. The Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to recommend that the state acquire the historic Marion River Carry, acreage along the Marion River, the Utowana Lake shore, and a canoe portage that connects Raquette with Utowana and Blue Mountain. These lands would be forever protected at no cost to taxpayers.
Proposition 5 offers the opportunity to expand the Adirondack Forest Preserve by 1,500 acres and protect 100 Adirondack jobs. The proposition would authorize the Legislature to give an Adirondack mining company temporary access to the 200 acres of state Forest Preserve that immediately adjoin its existing mine. In exchange, the company, NYCO Minerals Inc., would provide the state with funding to purchase 1,500 acres of forests with mountains, streams and excellent fishing opportunities, expanding public access to the Jay and Hurricane Mountain Wilderness Areas near Lake Placid and protecting wildlife habitat. NYCO would return the 200 acres to the Forest Preserve once its project is completed. Allowing NYCO to continue to work on its site will protect rural jobs that support schools, churches, fire departments and small businesses.
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