Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another anti-green group hit job debunked (corrected)

Earlier this year, The Post-Star's anti-Adirondack Park Agency journalist Will Doolittle did a controversial pair of stories on the workings of the APA which uncritically relayed alleged, but completely unsubstantiated, collusion between the Agency and the non-profit Nature Conservancy.

The story was later accused of having many holes in it on the basis of some excellent follow up reporting by North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann. But that didn't stop The Post-Star from editorializing for the abolition of the Agency the day after the series ended.

It seems to be Groundhog Day.

Earlier this week, outspoken conservative New York Post state editor Fred Dicker ran a story claiming that the DEC "gave environmental org. [the Nature Conservancy] absurd $3.7M profit for forest."

The little-noticed green giveaway of taxpayer cash occurred in October 2008, as the state Department of Environmental Conservation paid The Nature Conservancy nearly $10 million for 20,000 acres of Adirondack wilderness that the group purchased for $6.3 million just a few years earlier, reported Dicker in The Post.

The article quoted Fred Monroe, chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, Executive Director of the Adirondack Park Local Review Board and loud critic of all things related to environmental conservation.

As with the Doolittle story, it was left to NCPR's Mann, who doesn't seem to have an agenda except one of fair journalism, to provide the rest of the story.

In this piece, Mann pointed out that the appraiser quoted in Dicker's story claimed he was quoted out of context and that the appraiser said up front that he hadn't done any investigation into the specific case.

The New York Post quoted someone out of context? Shocking!

Further, NCPR's Mann points out that Dicker, like Doolittle, has been very critical of green groups and the state's management of Adirondack Park land. Crucially, Mann also notes that: The Post article also appears to confuse the collapse of the national housing and real estate market with the very different market for timber tracts.

I think it's a black mark that the Glens Falls' daily can be mentioned in the same breath as Rupert Murdoch's temple of yellow journalism.

We are very fortunate to have a responsible, play-it-straight journalist like Brian Mann who is willing to further examine these dubiously constructed stories and set the record straight where needed. This is why I continue to support NCPR and encourage others to do the same.

Note: Another myth debunked by NCPR reporting: the one that claims that the Adirondacks would see an economic boom if not for the 'fascist' regulations of state agencies. It cites statistics showing that counties in the Adirondack Park have comparable employment and poverty rates, household incomes, housing values and so on when compared to the rest of rural New York.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand this post? The NY Post article or Brian Mann's Blog post said nothing about the APA. The APA had nothing to do with the TNC/DEC land transfer??? None of these writers even mentioned the APA in regard to this matter?

Brian F said...

Anon, you're absolutely right. Apparently I had a brief brain malfunction. I've corrected the mistakes. Thanks for pointing out the errors.

Brian Mann said...

I want to point out that many of the facts that I included in my blog post were gathered by other reporters -- chiefly at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and the Associated Press.

NCPR will publish its own investigation into the Domtar story next week as part of a three part look at the land conservation debate in the Park.

(Sorry for the shameless plug, but it seemed relevant.)

--Brian, NCPR