At The July 2012 Common Ground Alliance meeting in Long Lake, one of the work groups discussed two possible constitutional amendments, concepts that bubbled up from the ADK Futures Project. We are just beginning to organize work on this topic.
One idea is to come up with a systemic solution to utilitarian problems like burying fiber optic cable or sewer lines under roads that cross Forest Preserve. With asphalt on the surface it seems obvious this should be ok, but this was declared unconstitutional by the NYS Attorney General in 1996. We think this issue is one that can be resolved and we have until the 2014 legislative session to figure out specifics with all the bells and whistles.
The second (more difficult) idea is to facilitate improvements to the Forest Preserve and its interface with private lands. Everyone knows of some land that should be in the Forest Preserve and other unremarkable land that causes undue problems because it is Forest Preserve. Most people think a system allowing additions and deletions with the goal of a net improvement to the whole Park makes sense, so long as they were the decision maker. Of course, it isn’t that simple. So what would a real proposal look like and how might it actually work? That is worthy of discussion even if it seems more difficult to enact than that first idea.
Both ideas will be explored at the same time in a series of upcoming interviews.
The CGA Amendment Working Group is:
Neil Woodworth, Exec Director, Adk Mountain Club
Ross Whaley, Adk Landowners Association, former APA Chair
Sherm Craig, APA Commissioner
Karyn Richards, Forest Preserve Coordinator, DEC
Bill Farber, Chair, Hamilton County
Ed Franz, Adk Park and Forest Preserve Manager, DOT
Ken Hamm, Associate Attorney, Office of the General Council, DEC
Jim Herman, ADK Futures Project and consultant to the working group
Dave Mason, ADK Futures Project and consultant to the working group
In the same sense that the Common Ground Alliance is not an official group, this is not an official committee appointed by anyone. It is simply a working group. We do hope to do enough work, reach out to enough people, gather diverse points of view, hold sufficient forums, and so on…. to be able to propose solutions with credible support to be taken forward officially by others.