When the constitutional convention question is put on the ballot in 2017 as required by Article XIX, Section two of the New York State Constitution, the voters of New York will again choose whether to have a convention to revise or replace their Constitution. There are many issues related to the Forest Preserves of New York State that may lead delegates to consider whether Article XIV, Section one’s “forever wild” provision should be amended or eliminated. With the increasing popularity of the local farming movement in and around the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, delegates could consider amendments that clarify the responsibilities that Article XIV currently demands of state and local agencies on protection of the Forest Preserves. The importance of the health of the Forest Preserve for drinking water quality and quantity is clearly articulated in Article XIV and its legislative history, and agricultural practices can have a major impact on water resources. However, if the goal is to ensure the wild nature of the Forest Preserve, legislative measures may be the best avenue. Such legislation should require that agencies adopt measures and policies that mandate and encourage farming practices in and around the blue lines to assure the future integrity of the Forest Preserve and the future viability of agriculture in the Adirondacks and Catskills.
Atkin, Hilary, "Article XIV, Agriculture, and Keeping New York’s Wilderness Wild" (2010). Elisabeth Haub School of Law Student Publications. 14.