Monroe asks Paterson to reject APA recommendation

LONG LAKE - If you thought the Lows Lake saga was over, think again.

Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board Executive Director Fred Monroe is lobbying Governor David Paterson to reject the Adirondack Park Agency's Sept. 11 decision to classify 2,000 acres of lakebed as wilderness.

Earlier this month, the APA Board of Commissioners voted six-to-four to approve the reclassification of recently acquired state land at Lows Lake. The vote effectively designated most of the terrestrial property surrounding the lake as wilderness and reclassified numerous non-conforming structures - such as bridges and access roads - as primitive.

Supporters of the decision say it's an appropriate expansion of zoning regulation. Those who opposed the move are concerned that the agency could make similar changes to the classifications of private land on lakeshores throughout the park.

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Monroe sent Paterson a letter strongly urging the governor to reject the APA's recommendations regarding Lows Lake.

"I urge you to reject the procedurally flawed and unwise recommendation of the Adirondack Park Agency to classify a portion of the waters of Lows Lake as wilderness," Monroe wrote.

In his letter, Monroe claimed that if approved, the APA's recommendation would establish several bad precedents.

For one, Monroe said the action would "mark the first time that all or any portion of a water body with privately owned shoreline is classified as wilderness."

He also contends that for the first time, a line drawn on a map of a water body would establish different classifications on either side of the line.

Additionally, Monroe said Christopher Walsh, the APA's former Empire State Development designee, should not have been allowed to cast the deciding vote on the matter.

The recommendation needed six votes to pass, and without Walsh's "yes" vote, it would not have carried.

Walsh left his position at Empire State Development - and thus abandoned his post at the APA - in August of this year. That's about one month before the Sept. 11 vote.

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