If Gov. Cuomo really wants to make economic changes here in the Adirondack Park, he’ll direct ESD and DOS to stay and work with those communities after classification, whether it’s wilderness or wild forest. That’s a simple way to make reform. Don’t let them go home. Give them a more active role in managing the Park, not just sitting on the APA board. And they should be part of every unit management planning process, whether it’s a new acquisition or not.
As we continue to define the Adirondack Park and move forward with this grand experiment, let’s learn from past mistakes and make changes accordingly. New York has failed to link communities and Forest Preserve in a way that best creates an atmosphere for sustainable economic development. Entrepreneurs with deep pockets aren’t waiting in the wings to swoop down into tiny towns such as Newcomb and build restaurants and hotels for the tourists who use the state land. Yet that’s exactly what’s needed. The Adirondack Park needs an economic management plan. And that can only happen if the governor gives other state agencies, such as ESD and DOS, the task.