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Senate bills aim to improve camping in Adirondacks

The state Senate passed a pair of bills this week aimed at improving camping in the Adirondacks and across New York.

Every member of the Senate voted for the first measure, which establishes a new law to address the removal of rowdy campground guests.

Betty Little, who chairs the Senate's tourism committee, says the bill gives campground owners the same legal standing as hotel and motel owners when guests become disruptive.

"The purpose is to give campground owners clear parameters," Little said.

"It would bring campgrounds in line with what can be done at hotels and motels when guests become disruptive and a threat to other guests," she added.

The bill has support from campground owners and is being sponsored in the Assembly by Steve Englebright of Long Island.

The second bill, sponsored by Little, provides a more accurate definition for campgrounds located inside the Adirondack Park.

Little has pushed for the bill's passage for several years now, following what she labeled as an attempt by the state Adirondack Park Agency to enact and enforce a regulation requiring seasonal campers to move their recreational vehicles after a specific number of days.

According to Little, the Park is home to more than 130 privately owned campgrounds. She says many of those rely on seasonal campers.

"Requiring that the trailers at these campgrounds be moved every year would place our campgrounds at a disadvantage compared to other regions where such a regulation would not be in force," she said.

"We can't afford to lose these guests and the economic activity they bring to our local communities," Little said, adding that the state should remove hurdles for healthy recreational opportunities like camping.

A companion bill is being sponsored in the Assembly by Teresa Sayward.

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