To the editor:
When voters head to the polls this upcoming Election Day, they will have a unique opportunity to vote on two ballot initiatives that are specific to the Adirondack Park.
Support for these two constitutional amendments is broad and includes the Adirondack Council and Adirondack Mountain Club, local elected officials and various business and labor groups. The state Legislature voted overwhelmingly in favor of both proposed amendments to ensure each one's place on the ballot this November.
The first, Proposition 4, will settle a century-long property dispute in a very small, quaint community called Raquette Lake located in the town of Long Lake in Hamilton County.
The results of approving this amendment are twofold. First, attractive land will be added to the state Forest Preserve at no cost to the taxpayer. Second, local residents will be able to gain clear title to property on which many have paid taxes for decades. The local school, firehouse and waste transfer station in this very rural community also will benefit.
Simply put, this amendment will put an end to costly and time-consuming litigation that has persisted for many years while providing the public better recreational lands in exchange. To learn more, please visit twp40.com.
The second proposed amendment, Proposition 5, will help maintain jobs at one of the largest employers in Essex County while adding approximately 1,500 acres of recreational forests to the state Forest Preserve, again at no cost to the taxpayer.
The land to be added and forever protected as part of the state Forest Preserve is desired by environmental groups for its recreational and ecological value. And the amendment will enable a major employer, NYCO Minerals, to keep employees working and to generate economic activity important to the local and state economies. Additional details can be found at www.adirondacklandswap.com.
As proponents of both measures, our hope is that voters take a little time between now and Election Day to understand the importance of each amendment and to remember to cast their votes on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Sen. Mark Grisanti, 60th District
Chair, Senate Environmental Conservation Committee
Sen. Betty Little, 45th District
Sen. Hugh Farley, 49th District