by Mart Allen


December 18, 2001

Letter to the Editor:

Dear Mr. Gies:

Members, staff and friends of the Adirondack League Club are dismayed to see Mr. Allen attempt, in a series of columns in the Adirondack Express, to discredit the reputation of the Club and its employees by criticizing our forestry program and land stewardship practices. We remain proud of the management of our forest preserve, now over 110 years old. Our stewardship activities include a professionally executed forestry program, as well as a fishery research partnership with Cornell University spanning the past 51 years.

In all areas of our management, our approach is professional, responsible, and with the purpose of preserving and improving our land and waters for the future. We do not cut corners or circumvent the regulatory process in our forestry program or in any other area of our management of the Club property. In fact, in 1977, we received the Adirondack Stewardship Award, given jointly by the Adirondack Landowners Association and the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, "in recognition of long term commitments made and actins taken towards conservation and sustainable management of private lands in the Adirondacks."

With regard to the West Canada Creek, the fact is that the Club, beginning in the spring of 1998, had applied for all appropriate regulatory permits to cross the West Canada Creek and obtained them by 30 July 1998.

The timber harvest began in October 1998. Due to several factors, including bad weather and potential erosion of the stream bank, logging activity was suspended until the winter of 2000. Permits to extend the period for logging and to use a temporary skidder bridge were duly applied for, and received. Because of an early spring thaw in March 2000, we were unable to clear up the log landing area before the contractor, due to the weather, had to remove his equipment. A further extension for our permit was received in October 2000, to enable us to restore the site, which was accomplished immediately thereafter. We lined the east shore with large stones to stabilize the bank, installed water bars on each bank to prevent corrosion, spread hay mulch and seed on the entire landing area and skid trails next to the stream, and removed the logging debris. Both the NYSDEC and APA have reviewed the matter and both consider there has been compliance by the ALC.

Contrary to Mr. Allen’s reporting, four trustees visited the West Canada Creek separately and the board undertook an in-depth review. The board’s review considered: a) Mr. Allen’s concerns are reported by the trustee who visited him: b) the General Manager’s report and c) the Forestry Committee’s report. The board concluded that the situation had been handled properly. Also, after Mr. Allen first complained about the West Canada Creek, the Club asked if he wished to be involved in the oversight of our forestry program. Mr. Allen declined and instead, elected to write this series of opinion pieces in which he, in our view, mis-states the facts and wrongly accuses the Club, its membership and staff, as well as the involved State regulatory agencies.

The Club stands by its actions, which are consistent with responsible stewardship, the Club’s dedication to the regulatory process and its own corporate purposes to which it has subscribed for 110 years: "The preservation and conservation of the Adirondack forest and propagation and proper protection of fish and game in the Adirondack region."

David P. Hunt, President,
For the Board of Trustees
Adirondack League Club

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