When it comes to the Adirondacks being heard, this stands as a great success. It would appear that the State Agencies have been listening to all of us, as have Elected Officials right up to Governor Cuomo. It must be noted, that Governor Cuomo’s willingness to come to the Park yet again, and listen to the concerns of the people involved, deserves our deep gratitude. Beyond that, Governor Cuomo demonstrated a deep understanding of Adirondack Park dynamic, when he suggested that Adirondack leaders should be talking more directly to each other. Governor Cuomo’s view, that there existed an opportunity here, to respect the highest priority needs of the towns and the highest priorities of the environmental constituencies, may be about to play out, for the betterment of the Adirondack Park.
Did our communities and constituents get everything we wanted in the proposed Essex Chain designation? Of course not! Nor should anyone have expected that one parcel of land could ultimately be classified in a way that would allow it to be everything for everyone. But the opportunities that could soon be before Essex and Hamilton Counties to provide unparalleled recreational opportunities and spur important new economic activity are exciting and historic, and set the stage for a much brighter future for our communities.
Essex and Hamilton counties are the only two counties located entirely within the Adirondack Park, and represent more than 2.4 million of the Park’s total 6 million acres. Adirondack Park. Even more significant, roughly 45 percent of Essex County and roughly 65 percent of Hamilton County are made up of state Forest Preserve land.