APA seeks comments on Jay Wilderness amendment

RAY BROOK – In light of voter-approved mining, the state Adirondack Park Agency is accepting public comment on a proposed amendment to the Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan.

The change is to ensure the plan is consistent with a constitutional amendment New York voters approved in November, letting NYCO Minerals conduct exploratory drilling for wollastonite on a 200-acre parcel of state Forest Preserve land in the town of Lewis. Wollastonite is a mineral long used in paints and ceramics but now also important to the auto industry, to harden plastics and to replace asbestos in things like brake pads and firewalls. NYCO will determine the quantity and quality of wollastonite on the parcel, known as Lot 8, which is is next to the company’s existing mine.

The APA says the plan amendment would recognize that the constitutional amendment repeals wilderness guidelines that would otherwise prohibit NYCO’s operations. The change would also set guidelines for the mineral sampling through a Temporary Revocable Permit issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which manages the Forest Preserve.

The APA will accept written comments on the plan change until June 2. Comments can be sent by mail to NYS Adirondack Park Agency, P.O. Box 99, 1133 NYS Route 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977, or by email to apa_slmp@gw.dec.state.ny.us. More information about the proposed amendment is available at www.apa.state.ny.us.