ALBANY - The ongoing battle over the future of the fire towers atop Hurricane and St. Regis mountains reached the state Capitol Friday with lead-story status on the weekly broadcast of WMHT's popular program New York Now, co-hosted by its Managing Editor Matt Ryan and Albany Times Union Editor Casey Seiler.
Ryan said he's been following the debate about the two fire towers that have been tagged for demolition by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for months.
"It was an easy story to do. There is a lot of statewide interest in the Adirondacks," he said. "We talk to so many people from New York City or Rochester, people who vacation in the Adirondacks. You don't have to be from Saranac Lake or Glens Falls to appreciate the park."
In his eight-minute show segment, Ryan details the battle being waged by pro-tower groups who call them culturally important historic relics and want them to remain and green groups who call them dangerous and inappropriate in Wilderness and Canoe areas.
He said a story told by a pro-tower advocate really struck him. "We talked to A.J. Longware -- who's part of Friends of the Hurricane Towers - she was relaying a story of one woman in her 90s who says it's her Statue of Liberty," he said. "A statement like that really hits home just how important that piece of steel is to a lot of people."
The Adirondack Park Agency is currently mulling four land-use options surrounding the towers, three of which could al;low one or both remain where they now stand.
And Ryan notes that historic preservation and wilderness preservation are ultimately statewide issues that will come to Albany for final approval after the park agency has made its final recommendation.
"We wanted to bring the story to light because so many people have an affinity for the Adirondacks," Ryan said.
APA commissioners are expected to consider a variety of options next months.
WMHT's coverage of the Adirondack fire towers issue can be heard at www.wmht.org.