Bill Memo: Better Planning for the Adirondack Park
This bill amends the executive law, in relation to preserving ecological integrity, wildlife and open space in the Adirondack Park.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was created in 1971 and is responsible for protecting the forest preserve and overseeing development of privately-owned lands. The APA’s responsibilities, however, have not been significantly updated since the 1970s. This bill requires the use of current conservation science and advanced planning techniques in the Adirondack Park to better preserve the integrity of the park’s natural resources.
In particular, the bill incorporates a “conservation development” approach to rural land use planning. To receive approval from the APA, plans for significant residential subdivisions in the Adirondack Park must protect a site’s natural resources. A certain amount of open space must be preserved, and a project’s design must minimize its footprint and maximize the contiguousness of open space, based on a comprehensive ecological analysis. This ensures that the project minimizes rural sprawl and forest fragmentation, and encourages connectivity of protected areas, which safeguards habitats and wildlife corridors.
As the largest park in the continental United States, the Adirondacks is one of New York’s greatest treasures. Our state should protect the critical land, forests and waters in the park through smart and sustainable conservation planning and development.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit
Memo #: 15