Released: Thursday, May 21, 2009LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council today called on NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Peter Grannis to use his administrative authority to re-close a former road in an Adirondack Wilderness Area that was opened to motorized traffic today by a state administrative law judge.“It appears from the judge’s decision that the state didn’t properly close this road when it assumed ownership of it and converted it to a hiking, ski and horse trail,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director Brian L. Houseal. “But today’s decision doesn't have to be the final word on the matter.“Commissioner Grannis has the authority to use the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law to prohibit the use of motorized vehicles on this and other roads that are affected by this decision,” Houseal explained. “We urge Commissioner Grannis to begin that process right away. He should have done so today, as this decision was announced, to avoid the chance that someone is already out there riding a jeep or an all-terrain vehicle on this road.“It is also imperative that the DEC issue its ATV Policy for state lands, which was first announced by Commissioner Erin Crotty during the Pataki Administration,” Houseal said. “DEC cannot allow fragile wildlife habitat and water quality to suffer in New York’s premiere Wilderness Park due to DEC’s inability to complete its work in a timely way.”Commissioner Grannis can act right now to stop motorized traffic in off-limits locations in the Adirondack Park by exercising NYS Highway Law Section 212, Houseal said,Press Release: Adirondack Council Calls on Encon Commissioner Grannis to Close Forest Preserve Roads in Wake of Judge's Decision
Threats to wilderness areas never seem to stop. Some people might call Article 14 cumbersome but without it and the APA (which has seemingly gotten soft over the years) the Adirondacks would look about as poorly preserved as our over commercialized national parks.