Proposition 5, on the Nov. 5 ballot, seeks approval to exchange 200 acres of "forever wild" forest preserve in the Adirondack Park with a mining company. This is a raw deal and should be voted down.
There are three main reasons to vote "No" on Proposition 5.
First, Proposition 5 sets a terrible precedent. It marks the first time that forest preserve lands are swapped for private commercial benefit.
Recent forest preserve amendments were for public benefits like protecting drinking water supplies, expanding cemeteries, or making airports safer.
Second, the 200 acres of forest preserve to be given to the mining company is old growth forest dominated by 200-year-old trees, many 100-feet tall. By contrast, replacement lands have been recently heavily logged. Such a land exchange is a 150-year step backwards for the forest preserve.
Third, the mining company trying to buy forest preserve has sought and received numerous state permits for a second mine close to its current one. State agencies have bent over backwards with permits to ensure this company has a long-term supply of ore.
If Proposition 5 passes, it means that our "forever wild" forest preserve is now up for sale.
JAMES McMARTIN LONG