Give OK to proposals

Two statewide propositions to appear on the Nov. 5 ballot involve the Adirondack Forest Preserve. We encourage voters to approve both.

Proposition four would resolve title claims between the state and private owners in the town of Long Lake in Hamilton County. The proposal would allow the state to settle 100-year-old disputes over ownership of more than 200 parcels. In exchange, the state would receive funding to add land to the forest preserve.

Proposition five would allow NYCO Minerals, a private company, to continue its mining operations in the town of Lewis, Essex County. The proposal would allow the state to give the company temporary access to 200 acres of forest preserve land adjacent to the existing mine. This would allow NYCO to extend its Adirondack operations, which employ 100 people, by about a decade. In exchange, NYCO Minerals would give the state 1,500 acres of recreational forests that would be added to the forest preserve. When NYCO finishes the mining, the company would restore the condition of the land and return it to the forest preserve.

Many organizations support the two propositions. The New York State Association of Counties is among them. “Passage of propositions four and five would be of great benefit to the environment and economy of the Adirondack Region,” NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said in a news release. “Adirondack local governments and property owners will finally find relief from a costly, century-old dispute; 100 good-paying Adirondack Region jobs will be protected; and more than 1,500 acres of recreational lands will be added to the state Forest Preserve for the enjoyment of residents and visitors for generations to come.”

Together, the two state propositions would preserve Adirondack land and protect jobs – and cost taxpayers nothing. We see no logical reason to oppose the efforts.