ACR supporters cry foul over green group involvement

"It creates an air of fear and doubt, all in an effort to stall and push the cost of the project right up through the roof," LaValley added. "Again, it's the arrogance of these groups that feel they are smarter than the staff and the commissioners of these regulatory agencies."

Doug Wright is president of the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce. He says a discovery request presented by Protect the Adirondacks to the park agency is "disingenuous at best."

Wright claims the 174 demands made by the green group are redundant and that much of the information they are seeking on the project is readily available. He calls it an "example of trying to stall and force the developer to incur additional cost."

Both Wright and LaValley say the two environmental organizations are working against an effort to bring economic prosperity back to Tupper Lake.

John Sheehan is spokesman for the Adirondack Council. He was straightforward in stating that the organization won't be leaving the discussion table anytime soon.

"We are grateful to get advice from our dear friends at the chamber and at ARISE, but frankly, I don't think we'll be following it," he said.

Sheehan says it's disappointing that supporters are asking interested parties to excuse themselves from the adjudicatory hearings.

"Certainly, we believe that this has an Adirondack Park-wide impact," he said. "This is far beyond just a small project that would only affect the area right around Tupper Lake - if constructed this would have an impact for most of that section of Franklin County."

"And this will have an impact on how large projects are judged in the future," Sheehan added.

John Caffry is head of conservation advocacy for Protect the Adirondacks - he also serves as legal counsel for the green group. He says the organization has every right to participate in the upcoming hearings and make its stance known.

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