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The battle for Cuomo's heart and mind heats up in Adirondacks

"New leadership is needed. The person has to be someone who cares about the individual who is standing before them, and frankly, gives as much deference to them as they would any environmental organization," she said. "I know I'm not alone in my opinion that a number of environmental organizations have exerted a great degree of influence over the agency."

For his part, Cuomo has pledged to slash the size of state government and continue Gov. David A. Paterson's review of state regulatory bodies.

Regional officials, like Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Farber, have also pitched ideas to grab Cuomo's attention. Farber's concept would have local governments and green groups team up in a show of a unified front and lobby Albany for Adirondack economic reform.

At the same time, green groups are scrambling to sway Cuomo's opinions of Adirondack policy.

Brian Houseal is executive director of the Adirondack Council.

"We are preparing letters to the Cuomo transition team and the governor-elect himself," he said. "Our big objectives are to reform governance and policies for the park so there is environmental protection, but also economic development. And we need policies that will make government more cost efficient."

Cuomo's transition team includes several members of the environmental community and Republican state Senator and vocal APA critic Elizabeth O'C Little, R-Queensbury.

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