The Adirondack Park Agency will bring a measure to the board of commissioners next week which, if approved, would establish an easier process for landowners and loggers seeking to clear-cut timber stands larger than 25 acres.
The measure sparked controversy earlier this winter, when Adirondack green groups blasted the proposal.
It was withdrawn from consideration at the APA meeting in January.
The latest draft of the “general permit” has been changed substantially.
The new version would limit the streamlined process only to those landowners whose lands are covered by a certified sustainable forestry plan approved by the APA.
Currently the APA’s list of approved certification regimens includes only two organizations: The Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
The Adirondack Council, Adirondack Wild and Protect the Adirondacks are still expected to oppose the new policy.
But the revamped guidelines are drawing support from the Audubon Society.
Supporters of the change argue that most landowners in the Park who use clear-cut logging are currently harvesting stands smaller than 25 acres, with almost no APA oversight.
They believe that the new general permit would entice more woodlot managers to seek sustainable forest certification, adopting standards that are superior to those required by the Park Agency.
But one sticking point that is likely to resurface next week is the lack of a clear system for notifying the public or adjacent landowners when a clear-cut is proposed to the APA.
Under the latest draft of the guidelines, notice of the clear-cutting general permit request will be posted on the APA’s website, but no pro-active measures will be taken to alert neighbors of the property slated for harvest.
The new measure also fails to impose any new regulatory oversight over clear-cuts under 25 acres in size.
According to numerous sources, these smaller but still aggressive clear-cuts have damaged the quality of commercial forest stands in many parts of the Adirondacks.
NCPR will have more on this story tomorrow morning here on NCPR.org, as well as on the air during Morning Edition and the 8 O’clock Hour.