A half-step forward

It was good news that a judge dismissed a motion to delay the Adirondack Club and Resort lawsuit further so the plaintiffs could gather more evidence. It would be even better news if they would take their ball and go home so the town can get on with it. Enough is enough, and no one should have to fight as long and as hard as Tupper Lake has.

The effort to block this project seems to have little to do with any real environmental danger. This land is not backcountry; the backcountry is behind it, tens of thousands of acres worth. This land is part of Tupper Lake, next to dozens of houses and the town golf course, five minutes from downtown. Its woods have been logged for generations. The environmental groups’ stated concerns – wanting developers to catalogue wildlife and cluster home lots closer together – just aren’t worth holding a distressed town of 6,000 people hostage.

The plaintiffs claim the state Adirondack Park Agency’s 10-1 approval vote more than a year ago was arranged by Gov. Cuomo through illegal back-channel communications. But the reason they are suing seems less about justice and more about ideological warfare.

Former APA director Bob Glennon stated clearly, when he retired as a state prosecutor and got involved in suing over the ACR, that he was rejoining the “Adirondack wars.” Around the same time, Protect the Adirondacks hired stern ideological warrior Peter Bauer as its leader. Then the deep-pocketed Sierra Club got into the fight.

They’re clearly positioning themselves to the left of the Adirondack Council, a larger green group that isn’t thrilled about the development, either, but decided its objection wasn’t worth going to extreme lengths – burning bridges to regular people who also love the environment but think Tupper Lakers’ chance to make a living counts for something. We’re sure the council’s decision left some green-minded donors wanting a more forceful hand – a potential boon for Protect, which has struggled financially.

But if you want to talk about financial struggles, for crying out loud, look at Tupper Lake. The filming of scenes from the new “Ninja Turtles” movie at the dormant Big Tupper Ski Area was a rare piece of good news – although most of the crew will stay in Saranac Lake.

The vast majority of people there and, we think, throughout the area hope the ACR can get under way before Tupper becomes a ghost town. It would benefit more than just the developers and their hopefully satisfied customers; it would also provide jobs, reopen Big Tupper and improve the sagging business climate.

It took eight years to get APA approval; delaying this any longer is a cruel injustice, a slow strangulation of the spirit and economy of Tupper.

Therefore we encourage speed through the court system, and we again appeal to the plaintiffs to not further stall this project.

Tupper Lake certainly could use some mercy now.