I am a conservation biology student from St. Lawrence University researching the recently Adirondack Park Agency-approved Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) for my senior thesis. My colleagues and I have interviewed several stakeholders from the ACR including attorneys, conservation activists, ecologists, real estate agents, members of the Tupper Lake community and the developers.
We have gained insight regarding the need for economic revitalization in Tupper Lake to create jobs and stimulate economic development. However, this massive project is not consistent with APA guidelines and was approved without proper ecological surveying and wildlife impact assessments.
The ACR has been sponsored by the Preserve Associates, a Pennsylvania-based development agency, and was recently approved after nearly a decade of debate. The development comprises a 719-unit resort across 6,300 acres of forestland surrounding the Big Tupper Ski Area and will include great camps, single-family homes, a 60-room hotel, restaurants, stores, exercise facilities, a health spa, a marina, nordic ski trails and renovations to the Big Tupper ski area.
Many Adirondack residents, business owners and tourists are excited for the ACR to restore economic vitality in the once booming but currently depressed town of Tupper Lake. However, many environmentalists, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations have criticized the ACR extensively.
Many claim that the size and extent of the developments are simply too large, sufficient real estate demand does not exist, and Preserve Associates are principally concerned with obtaining profit from the expensive great camp lots and are not committed to restoring economic welfare to the Tupper Lake community as they claim.
Ecological concerns include, habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, steep slope development and the degradation of resource management lands. Also the lack of considerate land planning without adequate real-estate clustering has inspired many environmental oppositions and lawsuits against the APA.
The APA, since its creation in 1971 has struggled with balancing development and conservation projects, and the ACR represents the largest development project ever approved in the Adirondack State Park history.
It is my personal opinion that this project should never have been approved due to the lack of ecological surveying and appropriate environmental planning deemed necessary by the APA. I urge you to contact the APA to criticize the approval of this incomplete, environmentally destructive and economically unsustainable development.