Teen Excellence Warren County Memories book

EDITORIAL: Protect, don't 'Protect!'

2012-07-21T22:12:00Z 2012-07-23T14:00:19Z EDITORIAL: Protect, don't 'Protect!' Glens Falls Post-Star
July 21, 2012 10:12 pm

Like a sad Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Peter Bauer and Bob Glennon have taken up their lances once again, to tilt against the windmills of backcountry development.

This week, Protect the Adirondacks! posted a press release about a new filing in its lawsuit against the Adirondack Park Agency’s approval of the Adirondack Club & Resort project in Tupper Lake.

Mr. Bauer is the recently hired executive director of Protect the Adirondacks! He used to lead a reliably extreme Adirondack environmental group, the Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks, but has been keeping a lower profile since 2007 as the director of the Fund for Lake George.

Mr. Glennon, who sits on the board of Protect the Adirondacks!, is a lawyer and the former executive director of the APA. He is now helping to sue his old agency, and to run up the bill state taxpayers will have to pay in defense.

Protect the Adirondacks! is a relatively new player in the park, formed in 2010 in a merger of the Residents Committee and the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks.

The choice by the new group’s founders to distinguish their name with an exclamation point brings to mind Earth First!, an international environmental organization notorious for radical positions and the sometimes violent criminality of its members.

Protect the Adirondacks! prefers paper scuffles, in lawsuits and press releases, which is safer for middle-aged men like Bauer and Glennon. Even more fitting would be a recognition on their part that the shrill, stubborn advocacy they used to practice is out of fashion now.

No constructive purpose is served by this indulgent, selfish lawsuit. It raises no issues that have not been addressed in the eight-year APA review of the project.

The lawsuit has real costs: It depletes the wallets of all state taxpayers, who have to defend against it; and it puts a crimp in the spirit of cooperation and compromise on Adirondack land-use issues.

The resort underwent an exhaustive review, during which every party that wanted to raise an objection was given the opportunity. Many changes were made, including compromises in the name of environmental preservation.

Perhaps the thoroughness of the APA review is why Protect’s lawsuit seems so flimsy. Essentially, Mr. Bauer, Mr. Glennon and those they represent, are complaining a project of this size and scope has been allowed to proceed, never mind that it meets the requirements of the law.

They complain the APA should not have approved the creation of 80 residential lots on more than 4,000 acres of land classified as “Resource Management,” under the APA’s zoning scheme.

Resource Management lands are described in the following way in the APA Act: “Finally, resource management areas will allow for residential development on substantial acreages or in small clusters on carefully selected and well designed sites.”

Since the developers could have legally fit more than 80 lots on the amount of land they were working with, the group’s criticism seems groundless.

The wording of the APA Act is imprecise, however. How much acreage is “substantial”? What makes a site “well-designed”?

When the meaning of the law is vague, its spirit should rule. In this case, the resort would leave large backcountry tracts undeveloped while putting in fewer structures than allowed. APA commissioners were satisfied the project conformed with the state’s mission of environmental preservation and many environmentalists were, too. The Adirondack Council recommended the project’s approval.

But some people have harrumphed about “losing” the wilderness because of the resort’s approval, while Bauer and Glennon have gone galloping off for another charge at an imagined enemy.

Those who were the APA’s defenders when it was locked in combat with local landowners have turned on the agency now that it is working harder to find common ground. They do not wish to see a reasonable application of state law, but will fight anyone, even a former ally or employer, as they seek to realize an extreme environmental vision.

Local editorials represent the opinion of The Post-Star editorial board, which consists of Publisher Rick Emanuel, Editor Ken Tingley, Projects Editor Will Doolittle and citizen representative Mark Bergman.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. Tim
    Report Abuse
    Tim - July 24, 2012 1:13 pm
    How much money is Bob Glennon charging per hour for his legal fees and how many hours has he charged due to this selfish lawsuit. How much money has Protect(!) the Adirondacks raised to date from the time the lawsuit was filed. This question should be out in the open for all eyes to see and ears to hear. If you are going to have the taxpayers of the Great State of New York foot your bill Protect(!)...... then we would like to know details!!! Don't just produce part of the picture Protect(!) aka Bob Glennon, there is only so much you can keep from the tax payers Mr. (Peter) Bauer show us the real truth behind Protects bookkeeping, and the invoice(S) for the Legal Fees..........There should be a law against what you two are doing!!!! It is time to clear cut the Adirondacks from the likes of folks like you two and Protect(!)
  2. 5756917
    Report Abuse
    5756917 - July 23, 2012 10:45 am
    Hopefully they will lose in their lawsuit. Give back to the taxpayers and require the organization to pay for all court costs.
  3. brian
    Report Abuse
    brian - July 23, 2012 9:31 am
    Yet if Lani Ulrich so much as said "Hi" to John Sheehan as the two passed on the sidewalk, I suspect the Post-Star would rage with anger about this "collusion."
  4. brian
    Report Abuse
    brian - July 23, 2012 9:29 am
    Ahh how typical. The Post-Star has a rigorous (and pretty admirable) record of editorializing against what it claims is illegal secrecy of public bodies, particularly of the APA. But as soon as it's green groups complaining about big developers, the Post-Star magically changes its position faster than Mitt Romney. How convenient. No wonder the paper's credibility continues to go through the floor.
  5. Mark Wilson
    Report Abuse
    Mark Wilson - July 23, 2012 6:40 am
    An interesting defense of back-channel communications from a newspaper that once prided itself as a defender of open government. Evidence, I suppose, that even the most rigid principle must take a back seat to the Post-Star's continuing (and not imaginary) crusade against environmental protection.
  6. bodie
    Report Abuse
    bodie - July 22, 2012 9:56 am
    YEAH to the PS....now for the PS to do some followup and "follow the $$" and get a list of the contributors to Protect the Adirondacks####.Expose the members.. bet they would all fit around Bauer's kitchen table!!
  7. constitutionalpatriot
    Report Abuse
    constitutionalpatriot - July 22, 2012 9:47 am
    I'd say it's more about PR and money at this stage. Bauer and Glennon make their livings being loud and unrelenting, filing suits, and being thorns in the side of anyone who doesn't share their elitist, extreme vision. NY should have a frivilous lawsuit clause on the books that allows judges to throw out these cases and fine the perpetuators. That might stem the tide of these expensive lawsuits some, but much of the support of the radical environmentalists comes from people and organizations that have no real standing in the region or zero concern for it's economical well being. The APA is finially begining to adhere to it's own mandate to balance environmental and developement issues. It still has an entrenched system in place to get a project approved, but hey, they've only be at it for 40 years? The learning curve is pretty slow for all quasi-governmental agencys, I'd say.


1) Comments must be contained to the topic of the articles only. Comments that stray from the direct subject of the article will be deleted.

2) Readers are free to comment on and debate other readers' comments, but comments must specifically address the issue(s) raised. Comments containing personal insults directed toward another reader in any form will be deleted.

3) Comments must be civil in tone, and there will be no name calling of any kind. Uncivil or inappropriate comments will be deleted, as will any comment containing profanities.

4) Comments critical of crime or accident victims will be deleted.

5) Comments that are potentially libelous, including those that contain accusations not supported by facts, will be deleted.

Commenters who abuse these policies will have their e-mail registrations revoked.


View the full commenting policy.

Thank you, and we hope you enjoy interacting with us and the community.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick