I must give credit to Peter Bauer. As an accomplished member of the Preservationist Relay Team, he has taken the baton from Brian Houseal without missing a step and is sprinting to their promised land of misinformation and deception. When I read what Mr. Bauer writes, I follow a simple set of rules that I recommend to everyone who cannot resist that same unpleasant experience.
-Rule 1 - Assume his only goal is to prevent any increase of the human presence in the Park. He will praise the Adirondack Park Agency when it does his bidding and attack it as underfunded, underhanded, underskilled and corrupt when it does not.
-Rule 2 - Recognize that he is not tethered to the truth like most other people. He is a professional lobbyist for an extremist group. He will say and do anything he feels necessary to mislead the public and his contributors. That is his job.
-Rule 3 - Apply the test of logic to his statements. If he fails your logic test, he is doing his job. If he passes it, you missed something; look again.
-Rule 4 - Relax. Nothing you or any other member of the community can say or write about him will bother him in the least. Do you remember Peter Bauer's smirk as he told the community to "bring it on" when it jeered him in the high school auditorium? He, Protect and the Sierra Club show no more respect for the community now than he did then.
-Rule 5 - He believes that repetition of a lie or half-truth makes it seem true. It does not if you follow Rule 3.
Those who need more might consider developing their own mantra to neutralize the stomach acid generated by Mr. Bauer's all-too-frequent performances. Try, "The board of the APA, historically one of the most strict regulators in the country, voted 10 to 1 to approve the Adirondack Club and Resort application after eight years of consideration," or, "Never, in its 39-year history has anyone successfully appealed against the approval of an application by the APA," or, "The community, Governor Cuomo, Senator Little, Assemblywoman Duprey, local government and every service organization in Tupper Lake support the ACR," or, if you prefer, develop your own and share it with your friends.
As to reopening the mountain, certainly last year's lack of snow was significant, but this year's malicious litigation was determinative. Tom Lawson and Jim LaValley had obtained promises of enough money to allow ARISE (Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy) to proceed, but the appeal changed the playing field.
The talk of snowmaking is another of Mr. Bauer's red herrings. Peter Day and his partners took great risks and worked heroically to keep the mountain open for the community, but much of the snowmaking equipment was gone before Preserve Associates bought it. Over the course of the APA process, we analyzed what remained of the snowmaking system and decided that it made more sense to replace it with new technology that would improve the skiing experience and be more energy efficient, and we sold equipment we did not think we would use. That had nothing to do with ARISE opening the mountain once or 50 times. ARISE could not have afforded to replace the equipment sold before we took title. ARISE could not have afforded to put the system in working order even if nothing had been sold. ARISE could not have afforded to turn on the electricity for snowmaking. We were not permitted to advance the project before the permit issued.
If ARISE does not open the ski area, we will do it when our business plan dictates. We have told the Tupper Lake Planning Board that we will set aside 7.25 percent of gross eastern great camp sales for the ski area and that the buyers of all but 68 of the 650 lots approved will be assessed $1,000 a year for lift tickets through the homeowners' association. We want and need the ski area as much as the community does, and unlike the preservationists - who said they wanted us to abandon the village of Tupper Lake and build a new village with multiple hotels, stores and restaurants at the base of the ski area - we want and need the existing village to thrive.
Ex parte communications? Does anyone really believe the APA staff, our experienced attorneys, the state attorney general's office or anyone on the second floor would be so stupid as to break the rules, let alone file false sworn denials after the question was raised? It is easy for lobbyists to write lies and spin facts in newspapers; everyone expects it. But perjury is a felony.
As to Protect and the Sierra Club being sympathetic to any aspirations of Tupper Lake, show me the evidence. I have seen nothing in my nine-year journey through the Park that does not make it absolutely clear that the preservationist group (singular, not plural, since they really act as one tag team) wants the human footprint erased from the Park.
Think about it. They oppose everything that might help or bring residents to the Park: cell towers, power lines, jails, resorts, trains (all trains, not just passenger or tourist trains), vacation homes, floatplanes, snowmobiles, boathouses. They systematically attack private property rights and everything that might improve the quality of life of Park residents.
Now explain why anyone should listen to a Peter Bauer or make a donation to any current Adirondack preservationist group.
Michael D. Foxman lives in Elverson, Pa., and is the head of Preserve Associates, a group trying to build the Adirondack Club and Resort on and around the Big Tupper Ski Area in Tupper Lake.