The State of The State and Schroon

 Photo By Darren McGee, Office of the Governor

Photo By Darren McGee, Office of the Governor

Schroon Lake was used as an example of how major thoroughfares -- like the proposed  Interstate 98 "Rooftop Highway" between Champlain and Watertown along U.S. Route 11 -- aren’t necessarily always a good idea.

Reacting to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address where the governor mentioned that project, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said state officials should be cautious about the project, according to a story in today’s Adirondack Daily Enterprise written by Shaun Kittle and Chris Knight.

"My concern is, I go up and down the Northway now, and I see some of the small communities where we used to stop: Schroon Lake, Newcomb, North Hudson," Duprey told the ADE.

"Some of these areas where we used to pull off and get lunch or have dinner have lost a lot with the Northway because people aren't stopping anymore. I think we have so many great, small towns in Franklin County, certainly with their history, and they have so many great things going for them. People get on these superhighways and just go from point A to point B."

Cuomo  -- who has not been shy about his fondness of the Adirondacks -- singled out the North Country and said it's a different place than it was three years ago.

But the Adirondack Council's executive director, William Janeway, said in a statement he had some concerns about the governor's proposals, including the proposed Rooftop Highway, saying it could isolate the Adirondack Park from wildlife migration pathways to Canada and the Great Lakes.

In a press release, Janeway said he liked the parts about improving rural infrastructure and tourism, but didn't hear enough about the environment.

"We look forward to a state budget that will stand as proof of his commitment to the environment, because we didn't hear much about those issues today," he said.

"We are pleased that the governor mentioned the Environmental Protection Fund and took credit for adding money to it last session, for the first time in many years," Janeway said.

"But more than 100 organizations will be calling on the governor to increase the EPF to $200 million this year. As for the governor's plans for regulatory reform, we caution him to seek reforms that will not damage the Adirondack Park's clean waters, clean air and open spaces. Those are not just environmental concerns, but economic ones. We need to keep the park forever wild for everyone."

The ADE reported that In the legislative session ahead, Janeway said the Council will push for improvements to the Adirondack Park Agency Act and updates of the agency's 40-year-old rules for private land development, improvements to invasive species controls, measures to address greenhouses gas emissions and the impact of climate change on the Park's ecology and rural communities, and laws or regulations that keep all-terrain vehicles off of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers soon will be able to link hunting and fishing licenses to their driver’s license under a plan set to be revealed Wednesday as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address.

Under Cuomo’s plan, those who own hunting and fishing permits, a boating safety certificate or certain state park passes will be able to list them on their driver’s license, eliminating the need to carry multiple documents, Cuomo administration officials say.

The program, known as the New York State Adventure License, would be optional and open only to those who buy “lifetime” sporting licenses or passes, not those with day or annual permits. Sportsmen and women could add an inscription noting their various permits on their driver’s license when they renew with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

On Friday, Jerry Boone, president of the state Civil Service Commission, will make a presentation about Cuomo’s State of the State speech at 12:30 p.m. Friday in the Adirondack East room at Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls.

Edward Bartholomew, president of EDC Warren County, announced the presentation is open to the public