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The St. Lawrence River near Waddington before it was dammed.
The St. Lawrence River near Waddington before it was dammed.

Shoe Drops on River Lands

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Two years ago, the New York Power Authority got a new 50-year license to operate the hydropower dam on the St. Lawrence River. One condition of the license renewal was that NYPA return 1,500 acres of once-private land to local hands. Much of it will go to the villages and towns in St. Lawrence County affected by the power project. But some was to be transferred to property owners who live along the river. The state Attorney General recently ruled that's unconstitutional, and that the land should be sold at fair market value. As David Sommerstein reports, many local residents feared something like this would happen.

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