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#16878 - 11/06/05 04:05 PM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: Kent]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Quote:

The principal ecological issue, with regard to development on the flanks of the ridge, is one of fragmentation.





Like the increased fragmentation rendered on the flanks of the ridge by doubling the driveway zoning code to 2500 feet?

With the TfPL/OSI offer accepted Friday, the Awosting deal appears to be close to completion.

Some of us are still interested to see the documentation for PIPC's plan to build extensive parking lots and a bus depot and to increase by a half million a year the number of visitors to the ridge (doubling the Gunks annual visitation) via a proposed Awosting entrance to Minnewaska.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#16879 - 11/06/05 11:15 PM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: yorick]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
Like the increased fragmentation rendered on the flanks of the ridge by doubling the driveway zoning code to 2500 feet?

There is currently no limit anywhere in Gardiner on driveway length so 2500 feet, although double what is proposed in the law, wouldn't be a doubling but rather a decrease from what is currently allowed. If you want to talk about doubling, let's talk about the double standard in play here. All of the "science" the Preserve offers as "testimony" in support of the proposed zoning law somehow doesn't apply to them or to the Mohonk Mountain House. The impervious surface of the driveways of downslope neighbors must be restricted in accordance with the "science" but not the impervious surface of the extensive parking lots of the Preserve or the Mohonk Mountain House.. Not to mention that the Preserve and Savetheridge never brought up any objections to the new 30,000 square foot spa at the Mohonk Mountain House, which is on top of the ridge.

With the TfPL/OSI offer accepted Friday, the Awosting deal appears to be close to completion.

It would be wise to not count your eggs until they hatch.

Some of us are still interested to see the documentation for PIPC's plan to build extensive parking lots and a bus depot and to increase by a half million a year the number of visitors to the ridge (doubling the Gunks annual visitation) via the proposed Awosting entrance to Minnewaska.

There is no documentation that I've been able to find. There was a plan by the state around 1990 to take Bradley's property by emminent domain, but the funding was to be provided by a state bond that had to pass by referendum. The referendum failed and so the land was never taken. There are many rumors in the neighborhood about the states plans then and now, but no documentation.

What do you think the state will do with the land Chris? The people in that neighborhood are terrified by the thought of the state owning the land. In the absence of a public plan for what will or won't happen, they are justifiably fearful. As you are now a GCC official Chris, and as you seem to support the TPL purchase and the zoning law, has anyone from the GCC talked to people in that neighborhood about how they feel about the prospect of an expansion of Minnewaska State Park and a new park entrance?

This last bit I would haved posted to the GCC forum but the other Chris, Chris Moratz, is the moderator there and in the past he deleted an important post of his and also my response.

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#16880 - 11/07/05 03:02 AM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: Kent]
alicex4 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3400
Everyone moans the 'developemnt of the riidge' but the Mountain House has robustly embraced their private property rights and developed a new day spa.





All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.

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#16881 - 11/07/05 06:11 PM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: yorick]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Kent,

I think you were correct to post in this forum (which will become clear roundabout), though not out of apprehension of being deleted in the GCC forum. I am confident that will not happen again.

In the end, I support the sale of Awosting, but not Gardiner's zoning. Personally, I don't think the zoning goes nearly far enough, anywhere in the region. If we wish to discuss ending fragmentation and saving the ridge, truly minimizing our impact on the region, then to my mind it means saving the entire Shawangunk watershed, top to bottom, from the Wallkill to the Rondout: through zoning, through compensation initiatives like the open space fund in Red Hook, through conservation easements. And I certainly wish that the watershed can be protected by avoiding at all costs the tortuous legal miasma that is wresting Mr. Bradley from his property.

Duplicity from all sides is troubling, and probably unavoidable: from the Preserve, from the Mountain House, from Save the Ridge, from anyone who supports ending ridge fragmentation even as they propose/engage in development. I bought six cords of wood for the winter, and it didn't come from deadfall. We do indeed need to keep an eye on one another, even as we consider the conflicts in our own motives.

Part of what I've been engaged with throughout my work with the GCC - beginning with writing assignments that preceded my joining the GCC - has been speaking with people from differing sides on ridge issues. Part of living anywhere obviously means becoming friends with people representing opposing views and differing sides, and I have found few conflicts as unhinging as those between ridge landowners/managers big and small. Historically, it's a conflict that has its roots in the relationship of Trapps Hamlet residents with the Smileys. I have friends and acquantances listed in the Mohonk Neighbors posts, and listened to their assertions of strong-arm tactics by ridge land managers. I have friends and acquantances who work for ridge land managers, who report chronic, personal harassment by some of the Neighbors. It's been difficult to substantiate claims from either side.

I've listened to the concerns from many sides regarding the fate of Awosting, and while I have a great deal of personal interest in the outcome, ultimately, this is not an issue about climbing, nor do I think, an issue for the GCC (if my maps are correct regarding the cliffline). Personally, I regret that we published early on a statement opposing Mr. Bradley's proposed development that had nothing to do with climbing access, while we searched for footing as an organization.

I think we have focused our objectives since publishing that statement, and the results from the climbers' survey that we conducted this summer helped clarify them further: to protect existing climbing access, to pursue opening new areas for climbing, to work on camping solutions, to support first response teams and squads, and to minimize climbing impact. Some of these objectives conflict with my feelings about fragmentation and the impact of climbing, but I try to balance them in my work pursuing these objectives for the GCC.

Should Awosting be turned over to PIPC and Minnewaska, I am trusting that the rhetoric I've heard from state officials - which so far is nothing if not about minimizing ridge fragmentation - will be their highest priority. And I know whom to speak to and where to write emails/letters, should this prove not to be the case.


_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#16882 - 11/07/05 06:20 PM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: yorick]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
Thanks for the thoughtful post Chris. I will offer a thoughtful reply when I have a chance.

Cheers

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#16883 - 11/11/05 05:38 PM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: yorick]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
Personally, I don't think the zoning goes nearly far enough, anywhere in the region. If we wish to discuss ending fragmentation and saving the ridge, truly minimizing our impact on the region, then to my mind it means saving the entire Shawangunk watershed, top to bottom, from the Wallkill to the Rondout: through zoning, through compensation initiatives like the open space fund in Red Hook, through conservation easements.

First, that's impossible. A great many people live and recreate and fragment that watershed already. To truly minmize our impact would require stopping and reversing development, and also greatly reducing recreation. This idea is, of course, anathema to those living and recreating within the watershed. The notion of keeping others from making use of their land is a variant of NIMBY that some of us call 'not after me" or NAM. Now that they are here, they love the place so much, all others must be stopped from making use of it. It's exceedingly hypocritical.

The idea of truly protecting the watershed from the Walkill to the Roundout would affect so many people that it would be politically unpalatable. The idea of confiscating the property rights of a few to benefit the many, no matter the harm done to the few, is much more politically palatable as evidenced by the recent election

Duplicity from all sides is troubling:...............from anyone who supports ending ridge fragmentation even as they propose/engage in development.

This, I asume, refers to me. Nothing I've said is duplicitous. My remarks to Molly suggesting she undevelop her house to help defragment the ridge were clearly facetious. It would not be right for any of us to expect Molly to give up her new home and contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote an unfragmented landscape, while others contribute nothing, just as it is not right for the community to expect that of me. As for my particular project, my land was offered to the Preserve/OSI, a few years ago and before I built my driveway, at fair market value. They declined to make an offer as is their right. The only reason there is a driveway at all on my land now is to protect the buildability of my lot. Without the prospect of the zoning law, my land would be as yet untouched and still subject to a negotiated purchase by one of the land preservation organizations.

I have friends and acquantances listed in the Mohonk Neighbors posts, and listened to their assertions of strong-arm tactics by ridge land managers. I have friends and acquantances who work for ridge land managers, who report chronic, personal harassment by some of the Neighbors. It's been difficult to substantiate claims from either side.

The Shawangunk Conservancy's actions against Mike Fink in the Clove, are well substantiated in both court judgements against them and in three substantial newspaper articles. The Preserve's close connections to the Conservancy have been well substantiated in the three newspaper articles as well.

Further, in response to a call for transparency regarding the Shawangunk Biodiversity Partnership, the Preserve has said they are proud of their part in the "partnership", but they haven't denied it's a charade. Nor have they yet fulfilled their obligation to make public the amounts and dates of all payments made to environmental planner Peter Fairweather, either directly or indirectly. Mr. Fairweather, if you recall, has been working with a number of towns around the Preserve, to help update their master plans.

I've listened to the concerns from many sides regarding the fate of Awosting, and while I have a great deal of personal interest in the outcome, ultimately, this is not an issue about climbing, nor do I think, an issue for the GCC (if my maps are correct regarding the cliffline).

But it is an issue for the GCC. If I'm not mistaken, Bradley's property line is up on top of Gertrude's Nose and there is a great deal of very high quality climbing there as well as at other smaller crags high on Bradley's property. As well, virutally all of Millbrook and the middle third of the Nears are on private property. As things were in a state of flux over the summer, it seemed like a good time to promote some innovative ideas for climbing access. Last July, I proposed to The Access Fund and the GCC the idea of a vertical climbing park, managed by The Preserve, that would extend from the Nears to Millbrook to Gertrudes Nose. This would require negotiations with landowners all along the ridge. I suggested a meeting with landowners, the GCC, and the Preserve to discuss the idea. Representatives from the GCC and the Preserve met but no landowners were invited. Subsequently, to my knowledge, no landowners have been contacted.

The GCC seems to support preserving and attaining climber accesss only insofar as that effort doesn't interfere with the larger land acquisition ambitions of the land preservation organizations in the area. In the current situation the interests of climbers have been subverted I believe, by the GCC, to the interests of the land preservation community. In the words of Chris Moratz, GCC Chairman, "we have developed an outstanding relationship with the Mohonk Preserve that we continue to build upon". That's great. The Preserve is clearly the most important climbing venue in the area. But in my view, the GCC should have an independent pro-climber orientation, rather than allowing itself to be co-opted, explicitly or implicitly, by Save The Ridge or The Mohonk Preserve.


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#16884 - 11/12/05 11:49 AM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: Kent]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
And thank you, Kent, for the thoughtful reply. I will respond in due course.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#16885 - 11/14/05 06:36 PM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: Kent]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Quote:

Last July, I proposed to The Access Fund and the GCC the idea of a vertical climbing park, managed by The Preserve, that would extend from the Nears to Millbrook to Gertrudes Nose.




Kent, have you stopped to consider whether your idea is actually practical? It's likely such a climbing park would have to be administered by someone other than the Preserve. The Preserve, as an organization, was founded for a specific purpose and must adhere to its bylaws. That purpose, it should be obvious, is to preserve land first, and to allow consistent recreational opportunities second. You are asking the Preserve to violate its own bylaws and acquire a thin strip of land based only upon its recreational value, and not its preservation value.

Can you really fault the GCC for not taking action on an impractical proposal? Do you have a serious proposal waiting in the wings that we're still waiting to hear?

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#16886 - 11/14/05 07:40 PM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: pedestrian]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Quote:

Quote:

Last July, I proposed to The Access Fund and the GCC the idea of a vertical climbing park, managed by The Preserve, that would extend from the Nears to Millbrook to Gertrudes Nose.




Kent, have you stopped to consider whether your idea is actually practical? It's likely such a climbing park would have to be administered by someone other than the Preserve. The Preserve, as an organization, was founded for a specific purpose and must adhere to its bylaws. That purpose, it should be obvious, is to preserve land first, and to allow consistent recreational opportunities second. You are asking the Preserve to violate its own bylaws and acquire a thin strip of land based only upon its recreational value, and not its preservation value.





Why couldn't the GCC "administer" the climbing park?? Now THAT would get folks' attention.

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#16887 - 11/14/05 08:28 PM Re: The Fragmenting of Gardiner [Re: Mike Rawdon]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
yeah you're right that would get attention. we could form a commune, drink lots of kool-aid and run the place entirely on unskilled, unpaid volunteer labor. the results would be, ahem, stunning.

climbers could squat on the land, too, just like they used to do on the carriage road. it's brilliant.


Edited by pedestrian (11/14/05 08:39 PM)

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