Environmental groups warned Thursday that proposed new logging rules for the Adirondack Park could open the door to clear-cutting forest land for timber.

Last month, the Adirondack Park Agency, which controls the six million-acre park, proposed a rule that would essentially outsource its environmental review of permits by loggers who want to clear-cut.

APA officials said the fears were misplaced, and a spokesman for the state’s timber industry disputed claims that clear-cutting would be widely used under the new rules.

“This absolutely does not open the forest for clear-cutting,” said APA spokesman Keith McKeever. ” It will work to stop the practice of cutting right up to the (agency) jurisdictional threshold by incentivizing landowners to use sustainable forest management treatments.”

Clear-cutting involves taking all trees in a parcel, rather than selectively cutting trees, and was rampant in the Adirondacks during the 19th century. Public concern over large areas of clear-cut forest helped foster the political consensus to create the Adirondack Park.

From The Times Union: http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Logging-plan-stirs-Adirondack-debate-4117037.php