"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Subservient North Country

It appears the North Country is becoming more subservient to outside pressures and agendas, actions or attempted actions by state agencies and politicians seem to eke out weekly. Each of these measures is an assault on the North Country way of life.

Earlier this week there was an attempt by the Democratic majority in the Assembly to limit your rights of the use of firearms, this undoubtedly would have a significant impact on recreation in our area if these bills were to pass both houses and signed into law by the Governor.

Also this week, actions were taken by the DEC, whose commissioner is former Democratic Assemblyman Pete Grannis, to close all state forest and easement roads in Jefferson and Lewis Counties, according to an article in the Watertown Daily Times, severely impacting ATV recreation in the two county areas.

This closure came with what appeared to be little notice, while these roads have been used for years. The immediate action covered every road in the region under the DEC without regard to whether they connected or provided access to trails, even though that is permissible by law. This decision is purely a cold bureaucratic move by a state agency that could have been executed better.

"I just hope they allow each region to meet with their local clubs to justify the opening of truck trails to connect trails where needed," he said. "Local clubs have worked hard to develop trails" Jefferson County coordinator Scott Burto according to a quote in the Watertown Daily Times. This illustrates the lack of proper execution of this decision by the DEC.

"You're taking away our summer economy," said C. Lee Hinkleman, president of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce. "It will cost Lewis County millions of dollars in lost revenues,” according to the article.

According to Ms. Drabicki, DEC region 6 director, it is possible to seek a change in state law. If that is the case, then where is Senator Aubertine? Has he prepared legislation to be introduced that will protect our economy and jobs? Does he have any influence on his Democratic colleagues such as Pete Grannis or Governor Paterson? What is next on the state’s agenda for restricting the North Country economy?

This is just another example of the state with two hands, one helping and one picking our pockets and a region with no voice to stop these actions. The state passed as part of the budget a $700 million upstate economic development package but on the other hand, they rip money from hardworking North Country business people and want to limit your recreation.

NO ATVs, which will will make it more difficult to get around hunting camps and if they have their way there will be NO GUNS for hunting camps either!


Anonymous said...

"You're taking away our summer economy," said C. Lee Hinkleman, president of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce. Hinklemen shows he has plenty to learn. ATVs has cost us plenty! Although I am NOT an ATV fan I recognize that Lewis County have a plethora of land. My continuing position has been that if the ATVs would stay on the trail and mind their business I would have no problem. However, I don’t believe that would happen given the fact that the law enforcement can’t control them. I think the extent of resources needed for that control is why underestimated. The cost of damages are far greater than our income. Hinklemen should realize this after the last ATV rally a week ago. Lee just look at all the damage after that. Our highway departments has work all week on repairs. Property land owners had even greater damage.

Anonymous said...

I see the reason Sen. Aubertine has not step up and spoke or supported the ATV'ers. My Aubertine's new legislative diretor id D. Lee Willbanks, who is married to Jedy Drabicki Region 6 diretor of DEC. Now Darrel won't want to support anything that will go against the Region 6 director and her enforcment of the changes to the truck trails.

Anonymous said...

This was not a "cold bureaucratic move", nor was it without notice. The ATV interests, including trail coordinators, were aware this was going to happen since last fall. The truck trails were closed because they did not conform to vehicle and traffic law, and yes the research was done. You have chosen to deliberately misinform people on this issue. Just because a law could be changed, doesn't make it a good idea. Hinkleman and his "millions of dollars"- all supposition and all nonsense. This is just more crying by the ATV crowd. ATVing is not a way of life. There is much more to the north country than these noisy air polluters. Many of us have chosen to live here or move here for the relative peace and quiet and beautiful environment.

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