"The lands of the State, now owned or
hereafter acquired, constituting the Forest Preserve as now fixed by law,
shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold,
or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public, or private, nor should
the timber thereon be sold, removed, or
Article VII, Section 7 of the New York State Constitution was unanimously
ratified on Thursday, September 13, 1894, by all 112 delegates to the
Constitutional Convention. In the fall of that same year, the voters of the
state approved the addition to the Constitution. In 1938 the clause was
given its own article in the Constitution, Article XIV. It now requires a
Constitutional amendment to change any Forest Preserve lands; an amendment
requires passage in both houses of the legislature for two consecutive years
and then approval by a majority of the state's population. This has only
occurred a handful of times. The amendments with probably the most lasting
effect were those authorizing the construction of the Whiteface Mountain
Veterans' Memorial Highway (1927), built in honor of World War I veterans,
and Interstate 87, the Adirondack Northway (1959). However, there have been
numerous threats to the Forest Preserve in the way of proposed amendments;
most of these were defeated once they came in front of the general
View the full text of Article XIV in the
current NYS Constitution.
Go to the Political History of the Adirondacks.
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