Here is what you will see on the ballot: 


Authorizing the Use of Forest Preserve Land for Specified Purposes

The proposed amendment will create a land account with up to 250 acres of forest preserve land eligible for use by towns, villages, and counties that have no viable alternative to using forest preserve land to address specific public health and safety concerns; as a substitute for the land removed from the forest preserve, another 250 acres of land, will be added to the forest preserve, subject to legislative approval. The proposed amendment also will allow bicycle trails and certain public utility lines to be located within the width of specified highways that cross the forest preserve while minimizing removal of trees and vegetation. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

This is what is omitted:

and shall not include the construction of any new intrastate natural gas or oil pipelines that have not received all necessary state and local permits and authorizations as of June first, two thousand sixteen.

Dear IOGANY member,

I bring to your attention a carefully crafted, apparent covert attempt by New York State to impede new intrastate pipeline construction across preserved forest land of the Adirondack and Catskill State Parks – a combined 6.8 million acres, which comprises more than 1/5 of the entire state! It is known as Proposition 3, or the “Adirondack Land Bank Amendment” which sounds like a great initiative, but because of one sentence, it may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

It seems there will be (at least) three Propositions at the polls this November, and Prop 3 includes language buried deep within the text that will preclude the construction of any new intrastate oil or natural gas pipeline that does not have necessary state and local permits and approvals by June 1, 2016!  See the last sentence on page 8.

Because of the way this proposition is written, most voters will naturally approve of the proposition thinking that it protects the forest land and offers options to municipalities for development such as bike trails, utility lines, etc. Here is an explanation by our friends at Energy In Depth:

Such a proposition, if approved, will be one more attempt by New York to impede pipeline construction so vital to our ability to meet increasing energy demand across the state.  Pipelines across forest land in other states have proven valuable and environmentally safe to communities, but also they have proven to be a real boost to the wildlife through bio-diversity which, in turn, is good for the forests. Here is some perspective offered by Tom Shepstone at EID:

I just spoke with the New York State Comptroller’s Office and will provide them with a position statement from industry advocating that, if this must be included, then this language must be made clear and obvious on the proposition so voters can clearly understand that they are, in fact, voting in favor of possibly impeding the ability to transport and provide natural and/or oil to vast regions of New York State where it is badly needed and desired.

If you feel the same way, remember to watch for this Proposition 3 this November and vote against it – and feel free to share this with your friends and family as you deem appropriate.

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