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This 200-acre parcel of forest preserve land known as Lot 8 is likely to be mined under a deal approved by voters in November.  Photo: Dan Plumley, Adirondack Wild
This 200-acre parcel of forest preserve land known as Lot 8 is likely to be mined under a deal approved by voters in November. Photo: Dan Plumley, Adirondack Wild

Judge puts temporary halt on NYCO dig in Adirondack Park

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A mining operation set to begin as early as tomorrow in the Jay Mountain Wilderness in the Adirondacks has been stopped by a New York state judge.

The temporary halt on NYCO Minerals' operation in the town of Lewis comes in response to a lawsuit filed by green groups who say the project needs more environmental review.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

Four environmental groups filed suit against the Adirondack Park Agency and the state Conservation Department this week, arguing that state officials bypassed key laws and regulations in issuing a permit to NYCO Minerals.

A test dig and a land swap on hold


The company, which owns operations in the Champlain Valley towns of Lewis and Willsboro, wants to drill test borings on roughly 200 acres of the Jay Mountain Wilderness, a section of forest land known as "Lot 8" that sits right next to NYCO's existing mine. 

Though some details of the trade remain unclear, the company says parcels added to the Park would offer new access to landlocked portions of the Jay Wilderness.  Source:  NYCO
Though some details of the trade remain unclear, the company says parcels added to the Park would offer new access to landlocked portions of the Jay Wilderness. Source: NYCO
If they find a mineral called Wollastonite, NYCO plans to carry out a land swap approved by voters statewide last November that would allow them to expand their mining operation while adding other lands to the Park's forest preserve. 

Judge Thomas Buchanan issued a temporary restraining order on Monday that puts that process on hold while the environmental lawsuit is reviewed. 


Dan Plumley. Photo: Adirondack Wild
Dan Plumley. Photo: Adirondack Wild
In an message sent to supporters yesterday, Dan Plumley with Adirondack Wild described the temporary halt as a victory, though he acknowledged in an interview with NCPR over the weekend that the final outcome of the suit is unclear.

Outcome uncertain and a request for donations

"We're very, very concerned about the shoddy actions of the agencies, hiding documents from us under the Freedom of Information Act — all of this will come out in court," he said.

"What will be the result of the court action?  I can't say."


The case is expected to be back in court in late August. Meanwhile, Adirondack Wild sent a message to supporters yesterday asking for "generous" donations to support the lawsuit and the group's work. 

"My work with Adirondack Wild simply can not continue without your support - we need you," Plumley wrote.  He said Adirondack Wild already spent ten thousand dollars on a bond as part of this first round of court action.  

The suit is also being supported by Protect the Adirondacks, the Sierra Club, and a group called Earthjustice.

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