PAUL SMITHS - The Paul Smith's College VIC will host a conference on Thursday to review the progress and unfinished business of the Adirondack Park Agency and regional planning in the Adirondack Park.
The conference is sponsored by the Adirondack Explorer magazine as a follow-up to a year-long series of articles assessing the APA on the 40th anniversary of its Adirondack Park Land Use & Development Plan. It will include experts from Maine, Lake Tahoe, the New Jersey Pinelands, New York's Finger Lakes Region and towns within the Adirondacks.
Speakers and panel presentations will discuss how the APA can be strengthened based on successful examples here and elsewhere of preserving water quality, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty, while also bolstering the regional economy. Audience participation will be encouraged through question-and-answer sessions.
Historian Philip Terrie will begin the conference with his perspective on Adirondack protection efforts since World War II. APA spokesman Keith McKeever will follow by explaining the agency's mission, accomplishments and challenges.
The morning panel will be devoted to water quality and how to maintain and restore it in the Adirondacks. Panelists include Julie Regan, external affairs chief for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, on efforts to restore Lake Tahoe's legendary water quality; Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, on stormwater runoff and new data on development trends in the Park; Chris Navitsky, Lake George Waterkeeper, on the need for better stormwater and on-site sewage controls; and Eileen O'Conner, director of environmental health for Cayuga County, on Cayuga's model ordinance regulating on-site sewage systems. This panel will be moderated by Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio and Phil Brown, editor of the Adirondack Explorer.
Mann will also interview Assemblyman Dan Stec on the town of Queensbury's stormwater-runoff controls.
After lunch, featured speaker Randall Arendt, author and national leader in the field of conservation development, will speak on conservation development, followed by presentations by panelists on this subject. Presenters will include Michale Glennon of the Wildlife Conservation Society on the need for a biological inventory and ecological analysis as the first step in the development process; Carleton Montgomery, executive director of the New Jersey Pinelands Preservation Alliance, on model clustering ordinances as the essential second step when development is undertaken; David Cox, chairman of the town of Day Planning Department, on his town's Viewshed Protection Area; and Dave Gibson, partner in Adirondack Wild, on the APA's efforts in conservation design. Brown will be the moderator.
The final panel will focus on key recommendations for strengthening the APA. This panel will consist of former APA chairmen James Frenette and John Collins, and by Bill Kissel, a former APA commissioner who also served as the original staff counsel for the agency in the 1970s. Brown will moderate.
Willie Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council, will conclude the proceedings by stressing the connection between environmental protection and economic sustainability.
The registration fee of $25 covers coffee, snacks, lunch and a reception from 5 to 6 p.m. To register, visit www.adirondackexplorer.org and click on "Strengthening the APA Conference," or call Andreas Mowka at 518-891-9352, ext 20.
(Editor's note: This article has been clarified to reflect that the conference will be held at the Paul Smith's College VIC, not the main campus.)