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ARISE Business Council Responds to The Nature Conservancy Position on Follensby Easement

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


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The ARISE Business Council responds to The Nature Conservancy’s stated opposition to a legal easement providing access through the Follensby Pond tract to a land-locked privately owned parcel (click here to read the original letter).

June 2, 2010

Mr. Peter Crowley
Managing Editor
Adirondack Daily Enterprise
PO Box 318
Saranac Lake, NY 12983

Re: Response to the recent letter printed from Mr. Michael Carr of The Nature Conservancy:

Dear Peter,

Mr. Carr’s explanation of the Nature Conservancy’s position was very interesting but I could not help but think that it is just another example of a preservationist group trying to deny the residents of Tupper Lake the potential benefits (job creation, lower property taxes and the reopening of Big Tupper, to name a few) of the ACR. It appears Mr. Carr has adopted a version of the preservationists’ favorite phrase, “We are not opposed to the project, but . . .” and cloaked it in a property rights disguise.

That means it is the Nature Conservancy’s turn to obstruct and delay in the hope the ACR and, eventually, most of Tupper Lake’s residents, will go away. If the ACR is stopped, the first buyer in line for the OWD property will be TNC. That would be an economic disaster for our community.

I would like to point out a few things in response to statements in Mr. Carr’s letter.

1. The portion of the 14,000 acre Follensby property that is the subject of the proposed road condemnation is 50’ wide and 400’ long (1/2 acre). It is the same ½ acre used by the owners of the OWD property for access to the Moody Pond tract since 1920 when Oval Wood Dish sold what now is the Follensby tract to John Barbour.

2. The intended use of the Moody Pond tract for which access is sought is as one camp that cannot be subdivided. That means there will be less use of the crossing than there is now.

3. Article I, Section 7 of the New York State Constitution provides for the opening of private roads and the Highway Law of the State prescribes the procedure for their opening. The ACR is following that procedure. The Town is not a party to the procedure and the only way it will have a litigation cost will be if TNC sues it.

4. There would be no litigation cost to anyone if TNC simply acted as a good neighbor concerned with the best interest and desires of the community. As to the drain on TNC funds, TNC’s 2009 fund raising goal was $1,700,000,000 (that’s right, $1.7 billion in one year). That translates to $440,000 for every person in Tupper Lake! It may be “not for profit” but it is a very, very big business.

5. The 50’ by 400’ crossing is at the extreme northern end of the two mile long road that leads into the Follensby tract from the Raquette River and is about 3 ½ miles from Follensby Pond. It can have no effect on TNC’s ultimate plan for Follensby. TNC is not protecting the property or property rights. It simply is taking its preservationist turn at obstructing the ACR and, thereby, throttling the community.

6. The ACR is asking to have the gravel driveway of the owner of one private camp cross a road that is miles long. The requested use of the driveway will not prevent the continued use of the Follensby road by TNC or anyone else TNC may decide to allow to visit Follensby.

7. The ACR will be required to compensate TNC for any damage to TNC’s property. Presumably, the jury will decide how much compensation should be paid by comparing the value of the 14,000 acre Follensby tract before the crossing to its value after the crossing. If that does not sound to you as though TNC will get much, it is because there is no damage to TNC.

In summary, I believe that Mr. Carr’s letter is not about damages or property rights. It is about preventing a job creating development for a Park community, i.e., keeping and attracting residents. The ACR is expected to increase the Town tax base by more than $500 million and to create hundreds of full and part time jobs. It will provide new customers for existing and new businesses. It will attract opportunities for Park residents and their children.

Tupper Lake is working hard to create a sustainable economic environment, driven by private investment and opportunities for small business. If TNC really values its relationship with Park communities, it will have to show that it values the welfare of the residents of those communities.

Sincerely,

David Tomberlin
Director, ARISE Business Council
info@adirondackeconomy.com

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