Fire tower hearing postponed due to snowstorm (update)

RAY BROOK – Due to a forecasted winter storm, the state Adirondack Park Agency has rescheduled a public hearing for the Hurricane and St. Regis fire tower unit management plans, moving the event from Wednesday to April 2.

The APA also modified the schedule of its monthly meeting Thursday and Friday due to the snowstorm.

Fire tower hearing

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at APA headquarters, located in the state office building complex in Ray Brook. The public is invited to attend starting at 5 p.m. to review relevant documents.

The APA has also extended the public comment period for written comments on State Land Master Plan conformance for the proposals contained in the final draft UMPs until April 16.

The Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area is located on the summit of Hurricane Mountain in the Essex County town of Keene. The St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area is located on the summit of St. Regis Mountain in the Franklin County town of Santa Clara.

Some of the management actions the state Department of Environmental Conservation proposed in the draft UMPs include the following:

-Maintain the fire towers in a manner that complies with the State Historic Preservation Act.

-Make structural improvements to the fire towers to allow for safe public access.

-Maximize the fire towers’ interpretive and educational potential.

-Install a radio repeater and solar panels on the Hurricane Mountain fire tower to strengthen emergency communications for DEC forest rangers and environmental conservation officers.

UMPs are required by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan for each unit of state land in the Park. The plans integrate the goals and objectives of the State Land Master Plan, related legislation and resource and visitor use information into a single document.

The UMP is available on the APA website at www.apa.ny.gov/state_land/index.html

All written comments pertaining to State Land Master Plan compliance should be addressed to Kathy Regan, Senior Natural Resource Planner, NYS Adirondack Park Agency, P.O. Box 99, Ray Brook, NY 12977, or by email to apa_slmp@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Written comments must be received by April 16.

Monthly meeting

This month’s meeting will start a little later, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. People can watch it live-streamed online: Go to www.apa.ny.gov, and click “Webcasting” from the “Contents List.”

The full agency will come to order at 10:30 for Executive Director Terry Martino’s monthly report.

At 11 a.m., the Regulatory Programs Committee will convene to determine approvability of a shoreline setback variance request to expand an existing single-family dwelling on Ranger School Road in Wanakena, in an area classified as resource management.

At 1 p.m., the full board will re-convene for a community spotlight presentation by Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall, who will highlight his village’s Olympic heritage, accomplishments, assets and challenges.

At 1:45 p.m., the Regulatory Programs Committee will re-convene to consider Bear Pond Ranch LLC’s proposal to construct a new tourist attraction involving a zip line ride. The project site is located in the village of Lake George and town of Queensbury.

At 3:30 p.m., the Economic Affairs Committee will be briefed by the Rev. Col. Eric Olsen on the Homeward Bound Adirondacks programs for returning veterans and their families.

On Friday at 9 a.m., the Legal Affairs Committee will deliberate a request from agency staff to initiate a formal rulemaking regarding emergency authorization regulations. Since 2011, there have been numerous state-declared emergency weather events, including the spring 2011 flooding, Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Sandy. The agency does not presently have a regulatory definition to establish when land use and development is an “emergency project.” The proposed rule would fill this gap.

At 10 a.m., the Local Government Services Committee will be briefed on planning efforts for the Local Government Day Conference and recent outreach efforts conducted by agency staff as part of the annual Northern Adirondack Code Enforcement Officials Association Educational Conference.

At 10:45 a.m., the State Land Committee will come to order for an Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan review of road mileage guidance. The state Department of Environmental Conservation and APA researched historical records for road mileage as it existed in 1972 and as it presently exists, and staff will present their findings to the board. Staff research includes only roads under the control of DEC (“Forest Preserve Roads”) and not town, county, state or federal roads. It also includes only roads open to the public and not DEC administrative roads.

At 11:15 a.m., the full agency will come to order for committee reports, Local Government Review Board comment, public and member comment.

Meeting materials are available for download from the agency’s website at apa.ny.gov/mailing/2014/03/index.htm.