We’re urging our newly elected state assemblyman from Queensbury, Dan Stec, to start yelling and not stop until he has Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s full attention.
In the budget the governor announced Tuesday, $12 million was added to the Environmental Protection Fund so the state can buy more land, while a paltry $200,000 more was added to fight invasive species.
We’ve been critical of most state land purchases in recent years and we thought Assemblyman Stec made an excellent point when he said it would be far less expensive preventing invasive species than trying to eradicate them after the fact.
We look at the state’s land purchase expenditures as a luxury we still cannot afford. That land will still be there years from now.
This year’s budget increased the total it could spend on land purchases from $70 million to $82 million. Considering some of the real problems facing the state, we believe spending that money on land is obscene.
The governor said the added expense made sense because the financial crisis is over.
We invite the governor to review the finances of some of our upstate counties.
We invite the governor to
review the fiscal health of some of the state’s rural school districts.
We believe school superintendents and county supervisors in our region would paint a vastly different picture regarding the health of the state.
Being so close to the Adirondack Park, we believe we understand how important the environment is to upstate. After all, the environment, and especially the land in the park, is tied directly to a vibrant tourism industry.
So if the governor is intent on spending more taxpayer money on the environment, why not make fighting invasive species a priority in waterways all across New York?
Here in the Lake George region, Warren County recently came up with $270,000 to fight Asian clams in the lake and that won’t even put a dent in the problem. There is an ongoing debate over whether boat-washing stations should be established before boats are allowed on Lake George. Most are still not sure what the best course of action should be.
The governor should have taken the entire $12 million he gave to the Environmental Protection Fund and earmarked it for the fight against invasive species. It still might not be enough, but it would put some serious money toward solving a serious problem.
We were ecstatic to hear Mr. Stec’s viewpoints after the budget was released.
We hope to hear much more from him on the subject. Even if he has to start screaming. Somebody has to get the governor’s attention before it is too late.
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 Robert Sledd.