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Guest Commentary: The Three Amigos- Who Are You and Why Are You In My Business?

February 13, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

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This guest commentary was submitted by Alan Imlach , a Tupper Lake business owner.

I am a business owner in Tupper Lake. My partner and I own KB Enterprises. This is a small convenience store and bottle and can redemption center. We also own a construction company focused on residential and second home construction. I work at the store 60 hours per week because we simply cannot afford to pay for more help. We pay our bills month to month and just hope to hang on. Since the recession hit, the construction side of our business has been at a standstill like many other companies in Tupper Lake.

I’m not politically active and I’ve never written a letter to the editor until now. I watch the local news very closely because I know that my future depends upon the proposed development called the Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR).

So what’s my point? As I watch the approval process that the ACR has to endure with the Adirondack Park Agency I read about the environmental groups that are trying to kill the project and it has begun to get very personal to me. Who are these people and why are they trying to put me out of business? They are all the same. They are the three amigos- the Adirondack Council, Protect the Adirondacks, and the Nature Conservancy. Who are they to come into our local economy and attack the only project we have that could bring new people and business to Tupper Lake? I don’t know who these people are – Brian Houseal, John Sheehan, John Caffry and Mike Carr – but I want to put a finger in their chest and say, “First of all, we don’t need you here and second of all, get out of the way and let the APA process start so it can finish!”

Why are we held hostage to some self appointed “do gooders” who don’t live here but get paid very well to tell us how to live? I have some skin in this real game but they don’t. Protect the Adirondacks has said that it wants to kill the ACR project and the Adirondack Council says that the project does not meet its standards. Here’s my message to all the environmentalists: you don’t approve @#$%& here, the APA does, so go back home and aggravate the people where you live. I’m getting very tired of seeing my future hang on the balance while investors Mike Foxman and Tom Lawson have to answer hundreds of questions- not from the APA- but from Protect and the Adirondack Council. And now the Nature Conservancy is getting into the fray by appealing the decision from the local hearing giving the ACR rights to cross their Follensby property.

Mr. Carr recently said about that property “These lands are globally the best example of a very threatened forest type called the temperate deciduous forest,” Wow, that sounds serious Mike. I may be a simple man but I do know how to use a search engine. One of the first Yahoo results that came up was http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/Forsite/tdfbiome.htm and it noted that “The temperate deciduous forest biome occupies most of the eastern part of the United States.” So Mr. Carr, let me get this straight- we have a very threatened type of forest here that coincidently also exists across half the country? Maybe we have the rare “Three Philosophers” variety. Quit trying to blow smoke up my backside. We are tired of being lied to. While the redtruckfire.com fire sprinklers tries to save the temperate deciduous forest near Follensby (long enough to drive up the price before the hapless New York State buys it), you sell the rights to lumber at other parcels in the vicinity of Blue Ridge Road and Elk Lake Road, (“When Green Goes Bad, ADE, Jan 31, 2011) where you are accused of destructive logging practices. Why the difference? Money- that’s all. Money that can be used to buy influence.

Mr John Caffry contends that the ACR should not get a permit because it is not economically viable. Mr. Caffry is now one of the leaders of Protect the Adirondacks. The position of president of Protect the Adirondacks has changed three times in the past couple of years and all paid staff have recently been laid off because Protect cannot pay its bills. Protect has a demonstrated a record of fiscal failure. How do they get to question Mr. Foxman and Mr. Lawson about their finances? These two men have been steadfast in their support for Tupper Lake for over six years. Mr. Caffry could not care less about what happens to us as long as the ACR project fails. Johnny, don’t let the door hit you on the way out of town, but please do get out of our town.

But which group has been there from the start? The Adirondack Council with Mr. Brian Houseal and Mr. John Sheehan. They have been spreading half truths from the very beginning. Now that we are heading into hearings with the APA, the Council is demanding that the developers build out from the center of the property which is around the ski area. The developers, however, intend to sell the great camp lots first because there is still strong demand for these lots – but that’s not the issue. Who is the Adirondack Council to tell investors of millions of private dollars how to develop their property when the APA sets the standard?

On WNBZ radio last week I heard Sheehan react to the Governor’s budget by saying that the Governor gave the people what they wanted. Excuse me? Where did he get the idea that spending another $17.5M in 2011 on buying land in the Park is a priority of the people? We just paid $30M on an easement in the Park. Yea, just a lousy easement. How many New Yorkers are out of work and need jobs first and foremost? The state’s environmental fund may help ensure that Sheehan has a job but I’d much rather see him and Mr. Houseal go to work elsewhere (or retire) instead of butting into my business. How did Houseal and Sheehan get so arrogant? Would they dare to try these tactics in their own home towns?

While these groups praise the governor for allocating $135,000,000 to the state’s environmental fund and $17,500,000 for land acquisition, I’m just trying to raise my kids and pay my bills as a small business owner who feels ignored and unheard. When it comes to my future I support the Adirondack Club and Resort and I want the APA to move ahead now and to show some leadership. When it comes to Protect, the Adirondack Council, and the Nature Conservancy- you don’t care about me and you don’t speak for me so quit pretending to do so. We see through you.

Editor’s Note:
We encourage you to contact Mr. Caffry, Mr. Houseal & Mr. Carr
and ask them why they are fighting to kill the economic future of Tupper Lake
and to end skiing at Big Tupper.

(Especially as none of them live here, work here or are trying to raise a family here.)

Their contact information is below:

Mr. John Caffry / Protect the Adirondacks

100 Bay Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
Phone: 518-792-1582
Fax: 518-793-0541

Mr. Brian Houseal / The Adirondack Council

103 Hand Ave. – Suite 3
Elizabethtown, New York 12932
Phone : 877-873-2240
Fax: 518-873-6675

Mr. Mike Carr / The Nature Conservancy

Adirondack Land Trust
P.O. Box 65
Keene Valley, NY 12943
Phone: 518-576-2082


2 Responses to “Guest Commentary: The Three Amigos- Who Are You and Why Are You In My Business?”
  1. Bravo! Well said, Alan.

  2. Adam Smith says:

    Good information. I grew up in Old Forge and went to SUNY ESF in Syracuse. It was a great area to grow up, but as I grew older, I saw the struggles my parents went through just to make ends meet. You certainly do not get rich living in the park, you survive, that is it. I feel bad for the people living there, because they are not in control of their land and own destiny.
    I moved to North Carolina because upstate NY and the Adirdondacks do not have much to offer young people.

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