Written by Alan Wechsler for Adirondack Explorer
I thought this would be a nice addition to my last edition of Inspection. Bear in mind it’s not quite accurate: especially when it comes to comments state officials have made. They have made remarks to us that are more foreboding than this, but I’m sure they want to put a “nice” face on for the public. Plus all their comments about how surprised they are? Horse hockey. They could have, and I’ll bet they did, see this increased usage. It’s been happening for years. A combination of a new Ranger, our own arguments in BRS (Calling in the Ranger or DEC because you’re pissed at someone else might just mean they’ll clamp down on whatever you’re doing too, right?) …and the State wanting more control overall. I think they simply see a convenient way to kill a town they think is inconvenient, that they themselves have referred to as, “Dodge City” because they have to go way out of their way to check on us.
If youre looking for the most isolated community in New York State, you might find it in Beaver River. The itsy-bitsy hamlet lies deep in the woods in the western Adirondacks, about twenty miles from the nearest community of any size. To get there, you drive up a dirt road until it ends at the western edge of Stillwater Reservoir and then take a boat or barge across open water.
“For generations, this has been the way most visitors and owners of 120 camps reached the community (in winter, it can be reached by snowmobile). But that access is threatened by a disagreement between the state and the Thompson family, which accounts for five of the nine year-round residents of Beaver River.”
Rereading the article I noticed it gives short shrift to the parking problem. This isn’t just a barge problem. The State wants us in the public lot no more than 2 days, even though the general public can park two weeks if they take a public campsite. They won’t allow boat trailers for more than a few days in storage: same caveat for public campsite tenters. They don’t want us to have the barge. They haven’t done anything to provide us a rational means to use the rails, and what we can use is expensive and very subject to that Lucy and the Football effect. Currently they’re considering defunding the railroad. So what does that tell you? They want to murder a town.
“Dodge City because they have to go out of their way to check on us” Excuse me? Isn’t it the rangers job to check on people all over the lake? You’d think they’d like finding a place about halfway where they could enjoy a good meal in a little town. I smell money somewhere in this scenario….Albany or private investor….? I’m not sure.
You’re sure no one has discovered natural gas in them there hills?
Who knows. All we know is when the new Ranger hit town the Moose droppings started to hit the fan. Went downhill from there. People squabbling didn’t help, especially when they decide to handle it by calling for others for “help.” Grownups. Sigh. Are they an extinct species?
In light of the National Grid project going through the ADK, and Black River hydroelectric generation,is it possible that NYS is looking to raise the levels of the lake significantly and thus would like the land to be worth less, when it takes it over by eminent domain?
That’s a good question. I didn’t know about that. I’ll toss that question into the property owner’s discussion board. Seems problematic: if they raise the water much more than it already is it will take out camping, hurt Stillwater if not take that out too and most important possibly kill off mucho trees/wildlife. Not sure that would be allowed once the impact statement I believe they’d have to submit was reviewed. Once I hear back (“read” back?) I’ll post an answer.
Ana, here’s the first response I got from Tom, who is one of our property owners.
Ana, here’s the second answer I received which deals more with your fracking concerns. (Has no one but me considered the irony of using a term that has become a substitute for an obscenity on Battlestar?)
I do realize that the Marcellus Shale does not extend into the ADK’s. However there is gas in other shale formations. For instance the lease on our land was said to be for the Trenton-Black River formation.
I do realize that raising the level of the reservoir would require a new dam and would impact the ecology, camps and towns, but it has been done before. It was done to create Stillwater and you are familiar with Hinkley.
I believe these electric power projects are private companies. If a company saw enough profit in being able to hook up to the National Grid, it would be willing to push to do it.
These are all just ideas I am throwing out there. I suppose it would be just as likely that some private investor wants to come in buy the place up and keep it to himself.
You may be right. I’m thinking the most likely scenario is they just want to keep Stillwater for registered campers and find us “inconvenient.” Stillwater has become a zoo during the summer and they want to cut down on a full to the brim parking lot where cars/trucks with trailers are parked on the side of the road almost up to the road to Big Moose.
Now you would think they’d be pro-storage, because that cuts down on the size/length of vehicles parked, and pro barge because the more cars/trucks are taken over to 6 mile road the less parking. That part is quite confusing, except I think, if it’s not to “kill the town,” they’re simply being anal about this. Kind of like when the new principal or teacher comes in and wants to establish themselves they immediately crack down.
My concern here is that no one actually seems interested in fighting them, except maybe the Thompsons. Not sure exactly what they’re doing, since I’m not there. I can;t imagine Scott, for example, saying what too many BRS folks and Stillwater folks have said: “The State can do anything they want.”
If this were Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia I would be more likely to buy that. And I do believe the courts have skewed too far that way… for example treating corporations as people: giving them more rights than people. But blocking access to private property? Refusing to provide access to taxpayers to their property? Unequal protection and selective enforcement? I’m sorry, way too much there for there not to be a damn good case.
I’m interested in pursuing it, but I can’t do it alone.
BTW, I knew you knew that. Not sure why she focused her answer more on the fracking thing. But all these issues are puzzling. Why are some so unconcerned with property rights and our health, our water supply? “Frack,” I don’t know.