SARANAC?LAKE - On Feb. 29, students from Rebecca McKay Steinberg's environmental studies program at North Country Community College presented their research on the Adirondack Park Agency's recent approval of the 650-unit Adirondack Club and Resort development project in Tupper Lake to the state Legislature at its State University Showcase at the Capitol.
Breanna Foster, Ryan Robinson and Chelsea Larkin met with Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chairman Robert Sweeney and used their research on the resort project to critique the Park Agency's ability to solve problems.
Larkin is a Tupper Lake native.
From left to right, students Breanna Foster, Ryan Robinson and Chelsea Larkin meet with Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chairman Robert Sweeney.
In their research presentation poster, students said the main environmental problems with the resort were the potential for the break up of big forests, a decline in water quality and the loss of wildlife habitat. Interestingly, they concluded that the APA's current review process is seriously flawed in that it failed to meet their good-government test in 14 of the 16 categories they evaluated. (See poster) They said the APA's current procedures aren't likely to result in a decision that "equitably improves the well-being of all participants while minimizing environmental impacts."
Students concluded that the agency had chosen the right course of action by modifying the project rather than approving it as proposed or rejecting the permit entirely. However, they noted that the agency did not possess the tools to modify the project to the satisfaction of the greatest number of people.