NYS Constitutional Amendment Four – Settling Disputed Title in the Forest Preserve

Voter on Tuesday, Nov. 5, will decide on six proposed amendments to the New York constitution. This is proposal 4.

Abstract: The purpose of the proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution is to resolve competing claims of title between the State and private parties to land located in the forest preserve, in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton County.

Citizens of the Long Lake Community are for this proposal.

The supporter of this constitutional  amendment said this:

Protect the Adirondacks supports this proposed Constitutional Amendment to Article XIV of the State Constitution. This is Proposition 4 on the state ballot. PROTECT does so with grave reservations as to its future implementation by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), based upon its recent failures to complete necessary work to finalize the Route 56 power line and Raquette Lake water supply Constitutional Amendments, both of which were troublesome “after-the-fact” actions.

Despite concerns about DEC implementation, PROTECT believes that this Constitutional Amendment will resolve century-old land title disputes that have plagued many properties around Raquette Lake.

The proposed Township 40 (Proposition 4) amendment would allow the Legislature to settle, on terms determined by it, century-old title disputes involving over 200 parcels totaling slightly over 1,000 acres on the shoreline of Raquette Lake in Township 40 of Totten and Crossfield’s Purchase, Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County.

New York State and private parties have been clashing for a century in their competition for (or against depending on which side is being discussed) land expansion.

The NYCO Mineral Inc. has been mining for over fifty years. Recently, the NYCO has drilled its way right up to the boundary line that separates the NYCO from development-protected Adirondack Forest Preserve. In November, voters across the state will decide whether or not to allow the mine to expand another 200 acres.

If granted the expansion, the NYCO will hand nearly 1,500 acres to the State, adding on to the 2.5 million acres Forest Preserve protected by a law made in the 19th century stating the land “to stay wild forever”.

The November vote is projected to generate a strong turnout due to it coinciding with the race for New York City Mayor and a heated race for Long Island’s Nassua County supervisor, however it isn’t known how much the voters are informed about the Forest Preserve.

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