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Locals, environmentalists spar over Park's future

In November, Stiles drafted a letter to every town supervisor in the park, asking for input.

"When we talk about regulatory reform, we are talking about the act itself, the regulations which interpret the act and the State Land Master Plan," Stiles said. "I would look at attacking them in that order."

According to Review Board director Fred Monroe, the overarching issue for local governments is a lack of influence at the agency.

Created by the APA Act in 1973 to monitor the APA, the smaller review board has little sway in the selection of APA commissioners or influence over issues of concern.

Monroe argues that allowing local governments to select or nominate individuals for vacant APA Board of Commissioners seats is a fair and reasonable request and would go a long way in balancing the needs of the state with those of the local population.

"If you have adequate representation, then you feel like your interests are protected," Monroe said.

Three APA Commissioners are former board members of the Adirondack Council, while two come from local government.

Unlike non-profit green groups, lawsuits against the agency aren't often allowed per state precedent.

"Environmental groups and clubs do have the power to sue the APA and DEC to seek judicial review of their administrative actions," Monroe wrote in his list of proposed changes. "APA and DEC actions and policies appear to frequently be made in response to those judicial review lawsuits. Local government officials are democratically elected to represent the concerns of their constituents. When they bring lawsuits seeking judicial review of APA actions they are met with arguments by the state Attorney General that they lack standing to sue."

Monroe argues that the local government's lack of power to sue over agency decisions skews the balance between the needs of municipalities and those of environmentalists.

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