The Adirondack Park is the largest protected area in the contiguous United States. The primary agency charged with its protection is the Adirondack Park Agency which was created in 1971. Traditionally, the APA has been viewed as an agency aligned with conservation and preservation. However, in recent years the Agency has approved enormous resorts, implemented changes to its guiding documents, and is plagued by a dysfunctional board. These recent changes are of major concern to conservationists who have spent the last 50 years fighting to protect the park. Is the Adirondack Park Agency the weakest it's ever been?
This presentation will examine the history of the APA and its shifts over time in the broader contexts of land use regulation in the US. I will discuss the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo, under which these changes seem to have peaked. Governor Cuomo has pushed an aggressive developmental agenda and has consistently neglected his duties towards the APA.