The head of the region's largest environmental organization says a resolution passed last week by the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board is "baseless" and "shameful."
Adirondack Council Executive Director Brian Houseal blasted a review board resolution opposing the impending state purchase of some 75,000 acres of Adirondack land from a conservation group.
The resolution, which passed unanimously last week, states that Gov. Andrew Cuomo should halt the fee acquisition of more than 65,000 acres of former Finch Pruyn timberlands and some 15,000 acres of land in the Follensby Pond area.
The land is currently held by the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.
Houseal calls the resolution "shameful." He says the review board's claim that the fee acquisition will result in lost jobs is contradicted by the Adirondack Park Regional Assessment Report.
Adirondack Council spokesman John Sheehan says the review board's executive director, Fred Monroe, has a personal conflict of interest because he is a member of an "exclusive hunting club."
Sheehan says the fee acquisitions would result in the removal of those clubs.
"The main thing we're upset about is that both the executive director and the chairman of the review board have an unmistakable personal conflict of interest in this matter," he said. "Both of them are members of exclusive hunting clubs that would be forced to move off of the lands that would be purchased by the state. That's not mentioned in this resolution. Frankly, we think that if that is the case, they should have recused themselves from dicusssing this in public."
Additionally, the Adirondack Council argues that the review board should not be commenting publicly on state land purchases.
Houseal says the board has one lawful function, that is, to monitor and report on how the state Adirondack Park Agency administers and enforces the Adirondack Park Private Land Use and Development Plan.