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Greens Oppose Cuomo, Court Decision on Adirondack Mega-Development

Greens Oppose Cuomo, Court Decision on Adirondack Mega-Development

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, and Matt Funiciello, the Green candidate for the 21st district congressional seat, said today that they oppose the massive development in the Adirondacks at Tupper Lake that recently won an Appellate Court decision and has the support of Governor Cuomo.

The proposed Adirondack Club & Resort is the largest development ever approved in the Adirondack Park. Hawkins described it as the worst decision ever by the Adirondack Park Agency. Local conservationists oppose the 6,400-acre project as “sprawl on steroids.”

"People in the Adirondacks need sustainable jobs, not more playgrounds for the rich," said Hawkins.

"Sustainable prosperity starts with preserving the wilderness areas that attracted many residents to the Park in the first place, providing the basis for our tourism industry. This project is the wrong approach," said Funiciello, whose district includes the Adirondack Park.

The Green candidates said they hope that Protect the Adirondacks, the Sierra Club and the local landowners in Tupper Lake who are the plaintiffs in the case will appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals in order to overturn a bad precedent that could open the door to sprawl development throughout the Park.

Many residents support a mixture of sustainably grown and harvested local foods and forest products, locally produced energy, and telecommuting, in addition to expanded tourism. The U.S. in general and the Adirondacks in particular lag behind the rest of the world in developing high-speed telecommunications infrastructure. 

The Greens believe new development should be concentrated in existing hamlets and downtown areas and favor local community ownership through worker cooperatives and public enterprises.

“Worker co-ops would anchor the wealth generated in the local community. Local worker-owners would receive the full fruits of their labors. Outside owners like the Philadelphia-based developer of this project take the profits and wealth out of the local community,” Hawkins said.

Funiciello said that in order to bring high-quality, universal broadband to underserved areas like the Adirondacks, "It is time to start up a publicly-owned broadband utility, operating at cost, not for profit, under democratic public control. The investor-owned, profit-oriented telecoms like Verizon and Time Warner have failed to get the job done.”

The Adirondack Club & Resort would span a wildlife corridor between the High Peaks Wilderness on the east and the proposed 500,000-acre Great Oswegatchie Canoe Wilderness on the west. It is adjacent to the pristine 14,600-acre Follensby Pond tract, site of the 1858 “Philosophers’ Camp” of Ralph Waldo Emerson and friends. The development would include more than 200 single-family homes, 453 multiplex units, an equestrian center, a marina, a 60-room lodge, parking for 900 cars, and 15 miles of roads and driveways. Lots for “great camps” spreading out into the backcountry would range in size from 111 to 770 acres.

The vast majority of the project would be on lands legally designated under the Adirondack Park Agency Act as “resource management,” which are intended to be used for timber production or agriculture. In approving the project, the Adirondack Park Agency postponed a wildlife impact study until after the proposed development is scheduled for completion. 

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