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Entries Tagged as 'lewis county'

Environmental Org Warns ‘Snirt’ ATV Rally Has Grown Too Big

April 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

April 12 Event Now Draws 3,600 All-Terrain Vehicles to Tug Hill’s Lewis County Trails & Roads, Leaves Lasting Scar on Landscape & Rivers

Adirondack CouncilLOWVILLE, N.Y. – The Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization has called on the Lewis County Board of Legislators to reconsider its prediction that an annual all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rally causes no environmental harm.

The Adirondack Council wants Lewis County officials to conduct a full environmental impact study of the annual SNIRT (Snow/Dirt) Rally, which allows ATV riders from across the Northeast to use public highways and the county’s trails to travel between local taverns.

The event causes erosion, excessive noise and disturbances to fish and wildlife, while destroying vegetation, intrudes on quiet neighborhoods and imperils human lives, the Adirondack Council said. Any one of these is reason enough to require a full environmental review under state law, the organization warned.

The SNIRT event drew only a few hundred participants when it began 11 years ago. In recent years, however, more than 3,500 riders have participated. The event’s impact has expanded from Tug Hill into the Adirondack Park, near Brantingham Lake, at the edge of the Independence River Wild Forest.

“We are extremely disappointed that the board of legislators has decided to operate an all-terrain vehicle rally without implementing the necessary changes that would minimize the environmental damage this event has caused in the past,” said Adirondack Council Legislative Director Kevin Chlad in an April 8 letter to the board.

“SNIRT’s rapid and uncontrolled expansion has overwhelmed the capacity of law en forcement, leading to an epidemic of trespassing on both state and private lands. Such lawlessness should be unacceptable to the county’s lawmakers,” Chlad wrote. “Further, we find it troubling that you continue to allow this event on public highways within the Adirondack Park.”

Chlad noted that that operation of ATVs on public highways is illegal, unless roads are properly opened.

“We believe that Lewis County has violated the provisions of section 2405 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law,” which limits the roads that may be opened to ATV traffic to only short distances, and onlywhere they can connect two already-legal ATV-riding areas or trails. Instead, the county opens roads that connect only to other roads.

Chlad said the county appears to be mistakenly relying upon another section of the V&TL (section 2408) to justify its road openings, when that section is merely a set of instructions for how to notify the public of special events.

“The Adirondack Council continues to recommend that a formal State Environmental Quality Review be conducted so that officials may monitor the full extent of damage that the event inflicts, both on the region’s roads and its natural resources,” Chlad advised.

Chlad said the organization strongly disagreed with the county’s finding that the annual event has so little impact on the environment that there is no need for a formal environmental impact study. He reminded county officials that the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act requires a formal environmental review of any proposed event that would cause one of the following to environmental changes:

  • Substantial adverse change in noise levels;
  • Substantial increase in soil erosion;
  • Destruction of large quantities of vegetation;
  • Substantial interference with the movement of fish or wildlife;
  • Impairment of aesthetic resources of community or neighborhood character; or,
  • Creation of a hazard to human health.

Over the past five years, the SNIRT Rally has caused all six of these impacts, Chlad said.

He noted that most of them can be witnessed on Youtube.com videos posted by the event’s participants.

“The Adirondack Council believes that this overdue assessment is a reasonable and necessary step towards improving this event in the future, as it would allow for proper environmental safeguards to be put in place,” he wrote. “We understand and support the county’s desire to boost tourism. However, we strongly believe that state law calls for events such as this to be carefully planned and strictly supervised to prevent the widespread abuses of public and private property that have been left in the wake of every previous SNIRT event.

“A lack of attention to these details encourages a culture of wanton environmental destruction, and at worst, simultaneously promotes drinking and driving with reckless disregard for public and private property and the well-being of other riders,” he noted.

In 2013, dozens of SNIRT participants had to be rescued by local rescue and law enforcement officials when they left the highways that had been opened to them and trespassed into local farm fields, where they were stranded by deep snows. Lewis County still has a significant snowpack as this weekend’s event approaches.

The Adirondack Council is privately funded, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of New York’s six-million-acre Adirondack Park. The Council envisions an Adirondack Park comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by working forests and farms, and vibrant rural communities. The Council carries out its mission and vision through research, education, advocacy and legal action. Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.

VIDEO:

Recent video of SNIRT Rally: Note that multi-passenger vehicles with roofs are too large to be legally registered as ATVs in NY State. Note also the constant presence of alcohol in these videos, as well as the riders leaving the roads and trails to cross wetlands and farm fields, both of which are supposed to be off-limits to all riders.

ATV RIDE! OVER 3500 BIKES! SNIRT RUN 2012 BARNS CORNERS NY

Snirt Run 2012 (Whiskey Riders)

SNIRT RUN 2013 POLARIS POWER! PLAYING IN THE MUD AND WATER!

2013 Snirt Run

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DEC Modifies Forest Conservation Easement to Allow Leasing of 220 Camps and State Acquisition of 2,900 Acres of Forest Land

March 30th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Leasing of Former Champion Lands in Adirondacks
by Heartwood Forestland Fund to Continue

Deal Adds 2,146 Acres to the State Forest Preserve
and Creates 651-Acre State Forest

NYSDEC LogoLeasing of recreational camps on the former Champion lands in Franklin, Herkimer, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties will be allowed under an agreement reached this week with the state and Heartwood Forestland Fund III, LP, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. As part of the agreement, Heartwood Forestland, the owner of a conservation easement on the former Champion lands, will transfer 2,797 acres of valuable wildlife habitat in the Deer River corridor to the state.

“Today’s agreement recognizes the importance hunt clubs play in the day-to-day management of these lands and in ensuring the long-standing traditions of hunting, fishing, camping and hiking will continue,” said Commissioner Martens. “DEC and Heartwood Forestland worked cooperatively with area stakeholders to ensure these camps can continue to be an important destination for hunters and their families in this remote area of the Park. DEC continues its efforts to create and maintain important recreational opportunities on state lands and lands subject to conservation easements.”

Under the new terms of the agreement, Heartwood Forestland will retain the right to permanently lease no more than 220 camp sites located on the 110,000 acres of forest lands on which the state acquired a working forest easement in 1999. In return, the company will transfer the 2,797 acres of land to the state in two parcels adjacent to the state’s existing Deer River holdings.

A 2,146-acre parcel within the Adirondack Park will be added to the State Forest Preserve as part of the recently classified Deer River Primitive Area, and a 651-acre parcel outside the Park will become a new State Forest. These parcels will provide access to a previously-inaccessible, detached Forest Preserve property and will be open to the public for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other outdoor recreation.

Under the terms of the 1999 agreement with Champion, the leased camps on the easement property acquired by Heartwood Forestland were to be removed by 2014. DEC and Heartwood Forestland worked with many other stakeholders to explore options to keep the tradition of camp leasing viable in this area. The new agreement will provide Heartwood Forestland with the discretion to permit the camps to remain on one-acre parcels after 2014. The entire 139,000-acre property will be open to public hunting, except for the one-acre camp parcels.

“This is great news for the north country,” said Robert Snider, Town of Clifton Town Supervisor. “The tradition of hunting and hunting camps is an important part of our heritage.”

Charles H. Collins, Managing Director, the Forestland Group, LLC which manages Heartwood Forestland said, “We are pleased this project is now complete as it aligns the Champion easement with the other conservation easements in the Adirondack Park. This amendment will demonstrate that traditional, regional uses of this ownership can be combined with our fundamental goals of sustained natural resource management and access to these lands for the general public. This project will benefit the natural resources of the Adirondack Park, the communities and residents who live in and around the Park, and the Park’s many visitors both from within New York state and around the country. The cooperative effort involved in this project is a testament to its value to the North Country. We look forward to a continued close working relationship with all of our conservation partners.”

Brian Houseal, of the Adirondack Council, stated, “This revised Champion lands conservation easement will ensure the protection of this important working forest as an economic asset for the Adirondack region, as well as preserve over 2,100 acres as Forever Wild Forest Preserve for future generations of New Yorkers.”

New York State Conservation Council’s Access and Land Use Specialist, Walt Paul, said, “It’s a great day and I’m sure a relief for families with camps on the former Champion Lands to finally have some resolution to this situation after 12 years of hard work by many, many people. The sporting community recognizes and truly appreciates the hard work and persistence on the part of DEC staff to bring this to closure. What became evident during the discussion and seemed to be a turning point is the realization that sportsmen and women and their families have been good stewards of these lands for many years and that the contributions they make to our regional economies are significant and very important.”

The Agreement was publically noticed in the November 4, 2009 Environmental Notice Bulletin and included a 48-day public comment period. The Agreement was also approved by the Adirondack Park Agency after a public comment period, the Offices of the Attorney General and the State Comptroller. A full Environmental Impact Statement and Responsiveness Summary was also prepared for the agreement, which is available for viewing on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/59344.html.

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Deer Poachers Sentenced Jail Time in Town of Lyonsdale Court

March 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoThree Port Leyden brothers who were arrested on November 8, 2011 for poaching deer at night have agreed to plea bargains in the Town of Lyonsdale Court, the Lewis County District Attorney’s Office and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today. The Nagy brothers were facing up to one year in jail and up to $5,250.00 dollars in fines, had they elected to go to trial.

On February 1, 2012 two of the three Port Leyden brothers accepted plea bargains, offered by the Lewis County District Attorney Leanne Moser, to settle their outstanding Environmental Conservation Law charges:

  • Brain A. Nagy, age 21 – 90 days in the Lewis County Jail starting on February 3, 2012 – plus mandatory court surcharges
  • Robert K. Nagy, age 24 – $607.50 in penalties and mandatory court surcharges

On March 7, 2012 the third brother agreed to a plea bargain to settle his outstanding Environmental Conservation Law charges, offered by the Lewis County District Attorney:

  • Chase A. Nagy, age 25 – 60 days in the Lewis County Jail starting on March 7, 2012 – in addition to mandatory court surcharges.

These plea bargains close out a deer poaching case that was widely reported on in the North Country area.

Adirondack White Tail Deer“Deer poaching is a serious offense and is not something taken lightly,” Judy Drabicki, DEC Regional Director said. “People who choose to disobey the Fish and Wildlife Law and take game illegally deprive law-abiding citizens of fair chase hunting opportunities.”

“As sentences of incarceration tend to be more infrequent in Fish and Wildlife Law offenses, both the Environmental Conservation Police and myself believe that the sentences received in these cases reflect the seriousness with which Deer Poaching is being addressed in our community and will continue to be addressed should other individuals attempt this same crime”, stated District Attorney Moser.

Violators also face the possibility of fines, mandatory court surcharges, the suspension and/or revocation of their hunting privileges, forfeiture of their firearms and even jail time, a point reinforced by the outcome of this case.

The Nagy brothers were arrested for their part in the deer jacking (taking deer at night by use of a light) on River Road in the Town of Lyonsdale in Lewis County. ECOs arrested the brothers, all residing on North Pearl Street in Port Leyden. Each were charged under with three misdemeanors: 1) Illegally taking a deer not as permitted, 2) Taking a Deer with the Aid of Artificial Light and 3) Possessing an Unsecured Firearm while using Artificial Light on lands inhabited by deer. All three brothers were also charged with the violation of Taking Wildlife with the Aid of a Motor Vehicle.

ECOs reported the three Nagy brothers entered a private meadow on the River Road in the Town of Lyonsdale around 9:20 PM, in a pickup truck and intentionally ran down two deer with the vehicle in the field. One of the injured deer was then shot with a 20-gauge shotgun slug and then finished off with a knife. That deer was transported back to their Port Leyden residence before the brothers returned to the same field to recover the second deer. That’s when ECO Eric Roderick spotted their vehicle in the field and confronted the three brothers.

A single shot 20-gauge shotgun was recovered at the scene, along with a large sheath knife. ECO Fay Fuerch, recovered the first deer from the suspect’s Port Leyden residence. ECOs were assisted at the crime scene by Lewis County Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Cronizer. The Officers returned to the crime scene the next morning and recovered the second deer and other evidence with the assistance of K-9 Handler ECO Corey Schoonover and K-9 Griz.

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North Country Open for Business

December 8th, 2011 · No Comments · News

North Country Economic Development Council Plan Awarded $103.2 Million
NAMED BEST PLAN AWARDEE

North Country Open for Business
It should be noted, Warren and Herkimer Counties were not included as they were included in other “regions”. Official details and PDF of project awards after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Adopts Vision Statement

September 13th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Council also approves its Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Endorsement Standard and its Public Participation Plan

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council met today and conducted its third meeting, which was open to the public. The meeting at SUNY Potsdam was attended by Lt. Governor Robert Duffy and led by North Country Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and Anthony Collins, President of Clarkson University.

During today’s session, the Council presented and adopted its vision statement, which is intended to guide the council’s long-term strategic planning process moving forward. The vision statement can be found on the North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s website at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com and is as follows:

“The North Country will lead the Economic Renaissance of New York State’s Small Cities and Rural Communities by:

  • Energizing our micropolitan cities, building on growth in the aerospace, transit equipment, defense, biotech, and manufacturing industries
  • Attracting and nurturing entrepreneurial pioneers to cultivate innovative clusters in our rural communities
  • Mobilizing the creativity, capacity and graduates of our outstanding and collaborative places of higher education
  • Catalyzing the highest per capita rate of small business start-ups in the state
  • Elevating global recognition of the region as one of the special places on the planet to visit, live, work and study
  • Activating tourism as a pathway to diversify our economies
  • Propagating an agricultural revolution as we help feed the region and the world
  • Creating the greenest energy economy in the state

Actualizing this vision will create family-sustaining jobs and build an inventive economy, capitalizing on our abundant natural capital – pristine waters, productive forests and agricultural lands; the rare splendor of the Adirondacks; and our dynamic international border.”

“The vision statement drafted for the North Country Region is bold, comprehensive and inclusive,” said Anthony Collins, Co-Chair of the Regional Council and Clarkson University President. “Taking action on the statement is a strong indication that the region can rapidly reach consensus views to drive our strategies, which bodes well for the future of the Council and the region.”

“The vision statement we are putting forward truly captures the great diversity of assets and opportunities of our unique region,” said Garry Douglas, Co-Chair of the Regional Council and President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “It also represents an important piece of the multi-faceted economic development plan for the North Country, which is starting to come together through our working groups. With the work of all of our volunteers and the upcoming input we will be welcoming through our public forums and other means, I expect us to see an exciting strategy come together over the next several weeks.”

In addition, the council detailed and approved its public participation plan, which includes: public comment period during regular scheduled council meetings; a series of public forums; the use of the council’s website, www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com, to provide information to the public about the council, its members, meetings, its strategic plan, as well as surveys to seek public input; and the use of social media, among others. A Facebook page has been created, “North Country Open for Business”, to amplify the council’s message, to engage regional community stakeholders and encourage public participation in the development of strategies and initiatives to promote growth and economic development in the North Country.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council will be holding three public forums around the region that get underway today. They are as follows: Monday, September 12, Plattsburgh; Wednesday, September 14, Tupper Lake; and Monday, September 19, Watertown. The Council’s goal is to integrate the public into the strategic planning process to design an economic development plan that reflects the local communities’ vision for job creation and economic opportunity. The Council encourages public participation and feedback through outreach, community meetings, forums, and online at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.

The Council also adopted its Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Endorsement Standard, which will serve as a guideline for the review and ranking of future applications. By developing these endorsement standards early in the regional council’s strategic planning process, applicants can take them into account when preparing applications.

The next regular scheduled North Country Regional Economic Development Council will be Friday, September 30 at SUNY Potsdam.

The North Country Regional Council, which is comprised of a diverse group of 30 area leaders from the private and public sectors, labor, chambers of commerce, higher education, and community-based organizations, is working to create a five year strategic plan for economic development in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Created by Governor Cuomo, the Regional Economic Development Councils represent a fundamental shift in the state’s approach to economic development—from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions’ unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council is one of ten regional councils across New York that will serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the region. Through their strategic planning process, the Councils will identify and expedite priority projects that demonstrate the greatest potential for job growth. As part of the initiative, up to $1 billion in state resources will be accessible to eligible economic development projects through existing program grants and tax credits.

Each Regional Council will develop a plan for the development of their region, which will provide a regional vision for economic development, address critical issues and opportunities, and lay out an implementation roadmap for future growth. The state will work with the Regional Councils to align state resources and policies, eliminate unnecessary barriers to growth and prosperity, and streamline the delivery of government services and programs to help the Regional Councils carry out their plans for development.

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Adirondack’s Wildest Police Video

April 12th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack Life

I will neither confirm or deny any support or opposition to ATVs. Too “risky”.

(via Adirondack Almanack)

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Lewis County 2011 Snowflake WinterFest

January 28th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Lowville, NY – The 5th Annual Snowflake WinterFest is being held on Saturday, February 5th at the Maple Ridge Center from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The WinterFest will have all kinds of activities that are fun for all ages.

  • Horse Drawn Sleigh/Wagon Rides ~ by Trixie Belle Farm
  • Dog Sled Rides (2 teams/sleds)
  • Cardboard Sled Races ~ 3:00 PM
  • Forest City Petting Zoo ~ indoors
  • Snowshoe Geocaching (equipment provided)
  • Cross Country Skiing (equipment provided)
  • Snowman Building Contest
  • Snow Angel Making
  • Tube Hill until 6:00 PM
  • Various Indoor/Outdoor Games for ALL Ages
  • Food and Refreshments will be available for purchase



The Snowflake WinterFest is being hosted by the Maple Ridge Center and sponsored by Lowville Business Association and the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce. For more information please call (315) 376-2640 or (315) 376-2213

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