Proposed Legislative Amendment on Environment

Amendment Purpose: 
1967 Constitutional Convention Amendment: Conservation and protection of of natural resources
Summary of Amendment: 
  • Adds statement setting forth state policy to conserve and protect natural resources and scenic beauty, including abatement of air and water pollution and "excessive and unnecessary noise."

Article VIII

Natural Resources and Conservation

Section 1. This article provides for the conservation and protection of the state's natural resources and scenic beauty.  It continues the present constitutional requirement that the lands constituting the state forest preserve "shall be forever kept as wild forest lands," and shortens and simplifies the statement of the several exceptions to that provision.  It provides that future exceptions may be made only by concurrent resolution of the legislature adopted at two regular sessions of succeeding terms of the legislature and thereafter approved by the people.

Section 2. The article also provides that it shall be the public policy of the state to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty and to encourage tile improvement of its agricultural lands.  The article creates a state nature and historical preserve of properties of natural and historical significance.  Properties so dedicated and placed within the nature and historical preserve may not be taken or otherwise disposed of except by statute enacted by two successive regular sessions of the legislature.

 

Legislative Amendment Text: 

Article VIII

Natural Resources and Conservation

§ 3. The policy of the state shall be to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty and encourage the development and improvement of its agricultural lands for the production of food and other agricultural products. The legislature, in implementing this policy, shall include adequate provision for the abatement of air and water pollution and of excessive and unnecessary noise, the protection of agricultural lands, wetlands and shorelines, and the development and regulation of water resources. The legislature shall further provide for the acquisition of lands and waters, including improvements thereon and any interest therein, outside the forest pre­serve counties, and the dedication of properties so acquired or now owned, which because of their natural beauty, wilderness character, or geological, ecological or historical significance, shall be preserved and administered for the use and enjoyment of the people.  Properties so dedicated shall constitute the state nature and historical preserve and they shall not be taken or otherwise disposed of except by law enacted by two successive regular sessions of the legislature.  

Legislative History: 

In 1967, the New York State Constitutional Convention proposed a whole new Constitution that contained this provision and these changes to a vote of the people of the State of New York at the General Election asking "Shall the proposed new Constitution, adopted by the Constitutional Convention, and the Resolution submitting same, be approved?"  The Constitution as a whole was voted down by the people, which included these changes. 

Learn more on our page devoted to the 1967 Convention.  The Proceedings of the Convention are available from the New York State Library and you can downloadhttp://effectiveny.org/sites/all/modules/contrib/extlink/extlink.png); background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: initial; background-position: 100% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; "> a PDF copy of the Constitution proposed by the 1967 Constitutional Convention. 

 

 

 

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