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New APA chairwoman's scorecard

November 10, 2011
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Here's how new state Adirondack Park Agency Chairwoman Lani Ulrich has voted on controversial issues during her seven-year tenure as a commissioner of the agency:

Fire towers: While environmentalists wanted them removed, Ulrich supported letting the fire towers on Hurricane and St. Regis mountains remain in place and be restored. The agency board, including Ulrich, voted 9-0 in October 2010 to do just that, by classifying the land immediately beneath the towers as historic.

Boathouse regulations: In July 2010, Ulrich voted with a 7-3 majority of the board to approve a 1,200-square-foot size limit and a 15-foot height limit on new boathouses in the Park. She described these limits as a compromise from an earlier proposal that had a 900-square-foot limit, which Ulrich said would have lead to "cookie cutter" boathouses along Adirondack shorelines.

Article Photos

Lani Ulrich speaks in October in Lake Placid at a forum on the future of the state Adirondack Park Agency.
(Enterprise photo — Peter Crowley)

Lows Lake wilderness: In September 2009, Ulrich voted against a plan to designate part of the bed of Lows Lake and its waters as wilderness. She said it would "penalize" recreational users who can't reach the area by hiking or paddling. Despite the objections of Ulrich and other commissioners, the proposal was approved on a 6-4 vote. However, the decision was rescinded because of a legal snafu and the board later approved the wilderness reclassification for the Lows Lake area, but without the lake bed and water included. Environmental groups sued the APA, and a judge ruled in August that the bed and waters of Lows Lake are wilderness.

Floatplane ban: In October 2008, Ulrich supported a plan that would have let floatplanes access Lows Lake for 10 more years. She said she supported continuing "traditional uses" like floatplanes in the Park, but the agency board rejected that extension on a 6-5 vote. DEC officials returned the following spring with a proposal that included a three-year phaseout of floatplane access to the lake. Ulrich voted with a 9-2 majority of the board in favor of that plan.

Snowmobile mileage cap: In March 2008, Ulrich voted with the 9-2 majority of the agency board to adopt a cap on snowmobile trail mileage on public lands in the Park, though she acknowledged that she had concerns with it. She encouraged the agency to take into account the positive economic impact of snowmobiles.



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