APA approves logging operation, will clarify renewable energy policy

RAY BROOK — The state Adirondack Park Agency approved, with conditions, a logging operation near Tupper Lake on Friday.

The agency board also said it will clarify the agency’s renewable energy policy, due to public comment.

At its regular monthly meeting on Thursday and Friday, after a full day of discussing backcountry skiing and a possible rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, the APA board approved the logging by Lyme Timber Company on 643 acres.

The board also heard a presentation from Dan Josephson of Cornell University on the impact of acid rain, climate change and non-native fish on natural systems at the Little Moose Field Station on Thursday. On Friday, the board saw presentations on logging on private lands by John Bartow of the Empire State Forest Products Association and Tim Burpoe and Jeff Denkenberger of the Molpus Woodlands Group, which conducts logging inside the Adirondack Blue Line.

APA Executive Director Terry Martino also said on Thursday that a biofuel heater being built behind APA headquarters is already working and should be fully on line by the end of the year. The project is a joint effort of the New York Power Authority and three state agency headquarters that will share the heater: the APA, Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 and New York State Police Troop B.

During committee meetings on Thursday, the APA discussed its renewable energy policy and said it would clarify it to better define exactly what it would and would not do. The policy has been publicly criticized by people who do not want wind farms in the Adirondack Park and have suggested this policy would open the door to that.

Board member Chad Dawson said the policy would be discussed at several APA meetings and that there would be another public comment period.

“We’re just getting started in this process,” he said.

The APA board was slated to vote on whether the DEC’s unit management plan for the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest complies with the State Land Master Plan, but it bumped that vote until next month’s meeting, which is set to take place on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 17 and 18, 2019.