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Understanding Critical Environmental Areas
Environmental Areas (CEA's) are the more sensitive features
of the Park's natural environment. They are subcategories of
the general land use area classifications and are provided extra
protection by the law. These Critical Environmental Areas include
wetlands, high elevations, areas around designated study rivers,
state or federal highways, and lands in proximity to certain
classifications of state-owned lands.
- land at elevation of 2,500 feet or more (except in Hamlet areas)
to protect thin soils and open space;
- land within 1/8 mile of state wilderness, primitive or canoe
areas (except in Hamlet areas);
- land within 150 feet (in a Rural Use area) or within 300 feet
(in a Resource Management area)of the edge of the right-of-way
of a federal or state highway;
- wetlands; and
- land within 1/4 mile of rivers under study for inclusion in
the Wild Scenic And Recreational Rivers System, except in Hamlet
For more on critical environmental areas, see page 5 of the Citizen's
Guide to Adirondack Park Land Use Regulations (pdf 370kb).
Is my land in a CEA?
To determine if a critical environmental area is present for an
individual parcel, you should write or
call the Adirondack Park Agency office
See FAQ's and the Freshwater Wetlands
Regulations Flyer (pdf 14kb) for more on wetlands.
Though we don't suggest starting with this chart due to its complexity,
the chart Summary
of Adirondack Park Agency Authority Over Land Use and Development
and Subdivisions covers issues of jurisdiction over CEA's.