Jan. 25, 2019

Whiteman Osterman & Hanna Represents the Adirondack Council in an Amicus Brief with the New York State Court of Appeals to Protect Wild River Areas

            Wild river areas in the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve like the one encompassing the breathtaking Hudson River Gorge are entitled to special protection under the New York Constitution’s Forever Wild clause and the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act. When the State acquires new land in the Park and designates it as a wild river area, it is required to eliminate any prior nonconforming uses of the land and prohibit all motor vehicle uses, including snowmobiles. The Firm is proud to represent the Adirondack Council in filing an amicus brief with the New York Court of Appeals in Matter of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve v New York State Adirondack Park Agency et.al., APL 2018-112, asking the Court to enforce those protections.

            Firm partners Philip H. Gitlen and Robert S. Rosborough IV and associate James J. Wisniewski worked closely with the dedicated advocates of long-time client Adirondack Council to draft an amicus brief that will catch the Court of Appeals’ attention and point out the significant errors in the Appellate Division, Third Department’s 3-2 order affirming the decision of the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agency to construct a new snowmobile community connector trail in a wild river area in the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve. The Court of Appeals’ resolution of this important issue will have a significant impact on the future administration of state-owned lands of the Adirondack Park. A copy of the amicus brief can be found here.