"The objectives of protecting the natural character of the Adirondack Park and significantly improving its economy are not mutually exclusive, and the Adirondack Park Agency shares an interest in both," said Erman. "In my view, however, the Agency should not be the single organization - the 'one stop shop' - selected to plan and promote the economic future of the Park because of inherent conflicts with its regulatory mandate."
While creating and retaining jobs within the park is a part of the APA's economic development policy, Erman said, it can support economic development only within the limitations of its responsibilities as a regulatory agency.
"We correctly recognize that the Agency cannot identify and recruit specific business ventures because of inherent statutory conflicts of interest when projects need to obtain Agency permits," he said.
Instead, said Erman, the APA could best encourage development in the region "as a ready and able technical resource and by being knowledgeable about the full implications of Agency decisions."
"The Adirondack Park Agency has planning resources, including a sophisticated geographic information system, which can be very helpful in supporting regional economic development initiatives," he said, "and, with additional staff, the Agency can more effectively assist communities throughout the Park in comprehensive planning necessary to encourage economic development."