Finch lands aren’t on APA agenda this month

RAY BROOK – The state Adirondack Park Agency won’t take action on the classification of 21,000 acres of newly acquired former Finch, Pruyn and Co. timberlands in the central Adirondacks at its monthly meeting in Ray Brook Thursday.

The topic, which has dominated the APA board’s last two monthly meetings, is not even on the agenda.

The agency’s State Land Committee will not meet this month, APA spokesman Keith McKeever wrote in an email.

“APA staff are diligently responding to public comment and conducting all required analysis to prepare the Final Environmental Impact Statement in support of the state land classification for the Finch lands,” McKeever wrote. “This is a very demanding and complex process. We are being thorough and taking the time necessary to reach a recommendation that will be in the best interest of the Adirondack Park.”

Several commissioners said at the close of their two-day meeting last month that they’re eager to begin the debate over the classification options, which range from wilderness to wild forest, but they also don’t want to be rushed into one of the biggest decisions the agency has made in years. Some said they should wait until November, since the board has yet to get a classification recommendation from its staff and still hasn’t seen APA staff’s response to the huge volume of public comment on the classification proposals.

The agency still has a full agenda for its meeting this week, which begins at 9 a.m. Thursday with APA Executive Director Terry Martino’s monthly report.

At 9:30 a.m., the Public Awareness and Communication Committee will convene for a panel discussion to mark the 40th anniversary of the Adirondack Park Agency Act. The panelists include former APA Executive Director Richard Persico, former Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board counsel Andrew Halloran, former chairman for the Task Force on the Adirondack Park Agency Daniel Smith and former agency community planner, staff attorney and Department of State designee Richard Hoffman.

At 1:15 p.m., the Regulatory Programs Committee will hear an appeal of the Agency’s Aug. 9 Notice of Complete Permit Application for a new private airport on existing agricultural fields in the town of Willsboro. Depending on the outcome of the appeal, the project could be presented to the Regulatory Program Committee Friday morning. The committee will also consider a subdivision of roughly 60 acres into seven lots in the town of Putnam, Washington County.

At 3 p.m., the Regulatory Programs Committee will re-convene to consider granting a shoreline structure setback variance for a 544-square foot addition in the town of Franklin.

At 3:45 p.m., the Legal Affairs Committee will hear a briefing from agency staff on a proposal to allow the agency to issue timely authorizations for emergency actions.

On Friday at 9 a.m., the Park Ecology Committee will hear an informational presentation on phase one of an ongoing Environmental Protection Agency funded wetlands project. The committee will then hear a first reading of draft agency guidelines and policy for the use of the herbicide Renovate and Renovate OTF to manage Eurasian watermilfoil.

At 10:45 a.m., the Regulatory Programs Committee, depending on the outcome of the appeal of the Willsboro airport project, may assemble to determine its approvability.

The full agency will convene at 11:15 a.m. for committee reports, Local Government Review Board comment, public and member comment.

Meeting materials can be downloaded from the Agency’s website – – where a live webcast of the meeting is also available.

The next APA meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14 and 15 in Ray Brook.

Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or