Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NY VICs in the Adirondacks under pressure of closure…

When I made the first of 2 north bound trips to the Adirondacks in upstate NY, back on February 15th, I learned about the unfortunate situation that the Visitor Interpretation Centers were facing. Apparently, when Governor, David Paterson unveiled his proposed 2010-2011 state budget on Jan. 18, it was revealed that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was planning on closing its Visitor Interpretive Centers at Newcomb and Paul Smiths at the end of 2010 to save money.

The VICs were opened in 1980’s and 1990’s to introduce visitors, children and families to aspects of Adirondack Park wilderness and APA's role in land-use management. Both have extensive interpretive trail systems open free of charge year-round. The Paul Smith's VIC leases property owned by Paul Smith's College.

The Newcomb VIC was built on property owned by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, which is state insured. The Town of Newcomb has expressed interest in helping operate that VIC. However, the future of eight full-time and two part-time state jobs at the VICs remain uncertain. As well as, many of the folks that volunteer at the VICs.

Andy Flynn, a local publisher and former senior communications specialist for the Paul Smiths VIC, who has taken a leadership role in the fight to keep the VICs open, wrote an excellent article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. I hope you will take the time out to read his article and voice your support. We must keep the VICs open.
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