On Friday, the Adirondack Park Agency will — after seven years of deliberations — give the yay or nay to the massive Adirondack Club and Resort project proposed for Tupper Lake. (You can find the draft permit documents here.)
In these final days before the vote, the Park’s leading green advocates are on very different pages about the project, with Adirondack Council chief Brian Houseal calling the resort’s final design “a win for the environmental community.”
Brian Houseal, executive director of the Adirondack Council, said he is happy with the changes required by the draft permit. “The developer has designed the project within the existing regulations,” he said.
Houseal said he is especially pleased that no further subdivision will be allowed on the land occupied by the so-called Great Camps. As a result, he said, the fragmentation of wildlife habitat will be limited.
“The changes imposed by the APA will probably avoid undue adverse environmental impact,” Houseal said. “Is that a win for the environmental community? Yes.”
But other green groups remain fiercely opposed to the project and this morning Adirondack Wild co-founders Dan Plumley and Dave Gibson scored a coup by placing an op-ed piece in the New York Times.
The Adirondack Club and Resort sets a glaringly low standard, and the A.P.A. should deny it. Only then might we see an alternative that actually makes sense for the park’s environment and marketplace and that concentrates redevelopment where it was intended — around Big Tupper Ski Area.
Will Governor Cuomo, like his father and Nelson Rockefeller, insist that the A.P.A. abide by its law? Or will he risk damaging a park beloved by millions and globally regarded as a model for sustaining people and wild nature?
Green groups have also been divided over the likelihood of a lawsuit if the project is approved. The Adirondack Council has downplayed the idea, but other organizations have suggested that it remains an option if Big Tupper goes forward.