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The Adirondack Common Ground Alliance winter meeting reviews priorities in its Community Blueprint for the Adirondacks

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC
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Adirondack Park sign (file)

The Adirondack Common Ground Alliance is a diverse group of organizations, local leaders and residents that work together on issues that affect the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park. During its recent winter meeting participants discussed four key areas affecting the region.

The Common Ground Alliance has released its 2022 version of the Blueprint for the Blue Line, which outlines policy recommendations for the state from interests within the Adirondack Park. Alliance core team member Ross Whaley says the latest blueprint moves the focus within the Park.

“Since the very beginning in 2008, the Common Ground Alliance has focused on speaking with one voice to Albany. Today, however, we've changed that. We want to speak to one another. This past summer, you the Common Ground Alliance, created the first ever Community Blueprint." Whaley explains, "This Community Blueprint focused on housing, creating vibrant economies, community based recreation, climate change mitigation and adaptation. The purpose of this Community Blueprint is to inspire and motivate action by us, the local residents.”

Town of Morehouse Supervisor Bill Farber says the community blueprint reflects the evolution of the work of the Common Ground Alliance.

“In the Albany blueprint we were really trying to focus on what from the Common Ground agenda aligned with Albany's agenda and how to get things done there. It frankly is much easier to figure out how to critique Albany than it is to figure out how to work together," says Farber, "and get to yes on some of these detailed issues as it applies to something as complex as the housing issues, workforce housing, housing affordability, working with and through the Community Blueprint and the communities to do those things rather than simply critiquing what Albany does. So I think this is an exciting evolution of CGA.”

Town of Chester Supervisor Craig Leggett presented the four priorities in the new Community Blueprint that breakout groups subsequently discussed.

“Housing at all levels is a problem and we need to deal with it. Creating vibrant economies, a place with things to do with good amenities and services, jobs and opportunities, community engagement, add up to be a vibrant economy. Community-based recreation. Each community will create their own blend of recreational assets." Leggett adds, "Climate change mitigation and adaption. There are some things we can control and some things that are way beyond our control. This is the reason there is a common ground forum. This is a place to work out workable solutions for the benefit of our communities.”

Following breakout sessions the discussions on the four priority topics were summarized for all attendees. During the report on housing issues, Marcy Neville outlined an overall approach to the issues.

“Think locally, think hamlet density and think outside the box. There's a lot you can do and you know because the communities are small it doesn't take a lot to make a difference.”

The Common Ground Alliance is planning an in-person meeting at Gore Mountain on June 15th.

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