Park agency issues annual report

Officials with the state Adirondack Park Agency say 2010 was a year of challenges, adding that the agency overcame a variety of hurdles despite a decrease in appropriations.

The APA released its 2010 Annual Report earlier this month. The document summarizes the agency's activities last year, and highlights key documents like the Citizen Guide and Unit Management Plans.

The report also details action taken by the APA Board of Commissioners and features information about telecommunication sites and broadband coverage inside the Blue Line.

Curt Stiles is chairman of the APA. He says the agency overcame a variety of "hurdles" in 2010, but never lost focus on the APA's core mission.

"In the coming years, the protection of the Park's natural resources and the promotion of economic opportunities must remain one of the state's highest priorities," he said.

APA spokesman Keith McKeever says staff carried an increased workload last year due to financial constraints and a smaller workforce.

"But we have a staff that is extremely dedicated and believes in what we do," he said. "They know it's in the best interest of communities in the park to do our work. Certainly, there was some additional stress, but the dedication of our staff made the difference."

According to APA Executive Director Terry Martino, the annual report shows how the agency delivered "critical services" to in-park communities.

Martino says the agency looks forward to protecting private and public lands in the coming year, while improving the economic vitality of towns and villages.

APA officials note the agency was able to meet all budget mandates in 2010, including a work force reduction. The size of the APA's staff shrank last year through retirements and the closure of two visitor interpretive centers - one in Paul Smiths, another in Newcomb.

The Economic Services Division approved 42 new projects last year, many of which either created or retained jobs within the park.

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