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Who are the environmentalists?
March 8, 2010 - John Stack
ATTN: The second show of 'Just Talking Politics' is running today at 3,5,7,9 and 2 and 5 in the morning on TWC channel 2 in Saranac Lake.
I used to think this was a self evident question. People who liked to be outdoors and didn’t want all those awful big companies polluting our lakes, rivers and streams and the developers who wanted to clear cut the forests for Walmarts and race tracks. Its not quite that simple these days. Its like politics. You aren’t a Democrat – you are a left wing bleeding heart liberal ACLU lover. To be associated with a group like the Adirondack Council, it seems like you have to be a tree hugging anti-growth chain-yourself-to-a-tree to save the Karner Blue butterfly.
I had thought I was an environmentalist, but not that kind. I moved here 10 years ago (10 year anniversary last week) to LIVE in the
A few year’s back, the canisters that were placed on the trailless peaks were removed. Why? They were like 16 inches long and about 3 inches in diameter (I’m guessing). They had been greeting hikers for decades without as much as a sniffle. Then, they were deemed non-conforming structures sometime in the 70’s. It was 30 years later that they were taken out of commission. I thought that was the height of absurdity. A canister smaller than any log you would ever throw on a fire. They took up one one trillionth of the land area of the
When you get a 48 square inch item removed forever from the park, its just time before they come after the fire towers. Dave Gibson recently wrote a guest commentary about how the fire towers on Hurricane and St Regis should be removed by the DEC. One of his arguments is the ‘symbolic’ value. He claims ‘These are areas which must remain untrammeled, meaning unconstrained, unhindered and unshackled from our human tendencies to manipulate the environment’. Ya know, as I drive through the park , or hike any of the hundreds of peaks without fire towers, I don’t think ‘Now, this would just be perfect if just there weren’t those towers on those 2 minor peaks of Hurricane and St Regis.’ Seemingly, his argument is also that the towers bring too much unwanted attention and traffic to these mountains. Maybe there will be many fewer hikers up Hurricane, but removal of the St Regis Tower will probably not make much of a difference in the environmental impact on that trail. I don’t think people will be planning a trip to the Adirondacks, but choose to stay home because they can’t hike up and see the Hurricane or St Regis towers. Plus, I have spent a few nights on top of St Regis to watch the stars and such. As night falls, Tupper lake to the South West slowly com,es alive with light like a slow starting birthday cake. So much for stopping‘human tendencies to manipulate the environment’.
Finally, it seems like Hornbeck’s appointment to the APA has maybe hit some major hurdles. I really don’t think the APA needs to be anymore represented by not just environmentalists, but from someone who is currently waging a lawsuit against the APA! I don’t think that we Democrats need to toe some party line about environmental extremism. It is a subject poorly understood outside the Park. But, to be against Hornbeck’s appointment isn’t a reflection on his character, or of his desire to help the
addendum - Today's paper has a letter from Tony Goodwin about taking down the fire towers. He claims it would cost too much to keep them there. Funny, I was just thinking 'why are we spending any State money on taking DOWN towers that have stood for decades?
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