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News stories tagged with "property-rights"

The dispute in Raquette Lake dates back to the 1800s
The dispute in Raquette Lake dates back to the 1800s

Landowners, green groups embrace Raquette Lake deal

A group of landowners around Raquette Lake in Hamilton County has endorsed a new plan that could resolve a property rights dispute in the Adirondacks that dates back to the 1800s. The deal is also drawing support from state officials and from green groups in the Park. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
Disputed terrain?  A photograph of the Raquette Lake Hotel taken by Seneca Ray Stoddard in 1889.  Land disputes in the area date from that era.
Disputed terrain? A photograph of the Raquette Lake Hotel taken by Seneca Ray Stoddard in 1889. Land disputes in the area date from that era.

Can Albany settle the century-old Raquette Lake land dispute?

This weekend in the Hamilton County community of Raquette Lake, landowners will gather to hear a proposal that could change New York state's constitution.

For generations, their community has been in conflict with the state over land claims affecting more than 200 parcels. Locals and seasonal residents say the property is privately owned.

But state officials, and some environmental groups, have argued that much of the land is actually part of the state forest preserve and should be kept "forever wild."

As Brian Mann reports, this is the latest effort to sort out one of the Adirondack Park's oldest and thorniest disputes.  Go to full article
The idea that a private property right that's been in the family since 1851 becomes a public nuisance is a huge leap to the left.

NY Attorney General wades into Adirondack paddler vs. property rights case

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing private landowners in the Adirondacks in an effort to force them to open a stretch of water that the state says is navigable.

Schneiderman announced yesterday that the state is intervening in a case that has pitted canoers and paddlers against property rights advocates. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Douglas faces waste charges

A prominent property-rights activist was arraigned yesterday in a Clinton County court for allegedly dumping hazardous materials on his property near Ausable Forks.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the felony charges against LeRoy Douglas could bring up to four years in prison and a fine of 150 thousand dollars.

Douglas - who has been an outspoken critic of state environmental policies - pleaded not guilty and was released without bail.

DEC officials say they began investigating the case in 2008 after they received complaints about the property near Silver Lake in Clinton County.

They say a state investigator found a wide range of contamination on Douglas's land, including a pile of lead acid batteries, dead animals and medical waste.

According to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Douglas's attorney has requested that a special prosecutor be named to handle the case.

Douglas has claimed in the past that investigations of his property are politically motivated.  Go to full article
The DEC says these signs and cables should come down (Photo:  Brian Mann)
The DEC says these signs and cables should come down (Photo: Brian Mann)

State DEC wants to intervene in paddling lawsuit

State environment officials have requested that the Attorney General's office intervene in a new legal case involving paddling rights in the Adirondacks.

Property owners near Tupper Lake sued a journalist last week for allegedly trespassing on land and waterways around Shingle Shanty Brook.

Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
Whitewater paddlers recently gained access to Ausable Chasm for the first time. (Photo: Allen Mann)
Whitewater paddlers recently gained access to Ausable Chasm for the first time. (Photo: Allen Mann)

Paddlers, landowners divided over river access

Over the last 20 years, sport paddlers in the Adirondacks have been pushing the limit on the kind of water their canoes, rafts, and kayaks can navigate. They've developed new techniques and new equipment that can handle more aggressive rapids and even waterfalls. And paddlers are also waging fierce legal battles to try to open more rivers, including routes that offer access to remote wilderness areas.

Some landowners are pushing back, arguing the sport is stepping on their private property rights. As Brian Mann reports, the dispute has sparked a kind of range war on some of the North Country's most beautiful rivers.  Go to full article
Whitewater paddlers recently gained access to Ausable Chasm for the first time. (Photo: Allen Mann)
Whitewater paddlers recently gained access to Ausable Chasm for the first time. (Photo: Allen Mann)

Range war pits paddlers against property owners on North Country rivers

Over the last 20 years, sport paddlers in the Adirondacks have been pushing the limit on the kind of water their canoes, rafts, and kayaks can navigate. They've developed new techniques and new equipment that can handle more aggressive rapids and even waterfalls. And paddlers are also waging fierce legal battles to try to open more rivers, including routes that offer access to remote wilderness areas.

Some landowners are pushing back, arguing the sport is stepping on their private property rights. As Brian Mann reports, the dispute has sparked a kind of range war on some of the North Country's most beautiful rivers.  Go to full article
APA chairman Curt Stiles is struggling to pass new definitions limiting boat houses to 1200 square feet.
APA chairman Curt Stiles is struggling to pass new definitions limiting boat houses to 1200 square feet.

APA wrestles with Adirondack boathouse rules

The Adirondack Park Agency wrestled yet again yesterday with the question of how to regulate boathouses. The issue has flummoxed state officials for decades. As Brian Mann reports, APA commissioners remain deeply divided, with some arguing that boathouses shouldn't be regulated at all.  Go to full article
APA executive director Terry Martino is managing a "major transition"
APA executive director Terry Martino is managing a "major transition"

Adirondack Park Agency shrinks, loses core staff to retirement

The Adirondack Park Agency often finds itself at the center of big controversies. The APA is charged with regulating more than six million acres of public and private land. That's an area roughly the size of Vermont. But the Agency itself is tiny - and it's getting even smaller.

A plan approved by Governor David Paterson will slash roughly ten positions over the coming months, bringing the total staff at the Agency to fewer than sixty employees.

As Brian Mann reports, the APA is also facing a flurry of retirements and resignations, with six of its most experienced staff members departing next month.  Go to full article

Finch Paper Reacquires 1,700-acre Tract in Indian Lake

Three years after the Nature Conservancy bought tens of thousands of acres of timberland from the Finch Pruyn paper company, the company is buying some of the land back near the town of Indian Lake. The sale is part of a complex plan to return some of the land to private ownership, or to ownership by local towns. Chris Morris has our story.

Also yesterday, an environmental group called the Open Space Institute announced that it had acquired a conservation easement on 1400 acres in Essex County.
The deal will prevent future commercial or real estate development on a section of forest that includes the shore of Butternut Pond and part of Poke-O-Mmoonshine Mountain.
The land will remain in private ownership. But the conservation easement was donated to the green group by the family of Eric Johansen. Logging will still be allowed on the property.  Go to full article

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