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Separation of Uses


WHEREAS, the distribution of residents in New York State has led to excessive consumption of natural resources; and

WHEREAS, the distribution of residents in New York State has also prevented the exploitation of natural resources; and

WHEREAS, land presently used by those misplaced residents would be better suited for agricultural, forestry, or mining purposes;

the STATE OF NEW YORK hereby authorizes condemnation proceedings against all primarily residential properties not within the limits of an incorporated city or village with a density of five units per acre or higher;

the STATE OF NEW YORK hereby authorizes condemnation proceedings against all commercial properties not sited on a state highway, as well as those commercial properties on a state highway whose business is other than serving agriculture, forestry, mining, or transportation;

the STATE OF NEW YORK hereby orders the clearing of buildings from the condemned properties;

the STATE OF NEW YORK grants itself the right to choose from those areas for conservation or management as state land, and orders the sale of remaining properties at auction for agriculture, forestry, or mining purposes.

The Dairy Enclave

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[Written by Rebecca Lee Smith]

"Everybody got their gear? Flashlights? Boots? Rope? Gloves? Charges?"

Used to be a group would break into the enclave without hip-waders, Tyvek, or latex. Showing up at the hospital with a raging crypto or Salmonella infection was a dead giveaway, especially after a 'break' was announced, so they had to treat it themselves. Since they couldn't access the superdrugs without even more questions, they started losing people to the XDR strains. Procedure was changed, then, even if it took most of a day to paint those suits black.

The politicians thought the pipeline was the most sensible way to deal with transport from the enclave. After all, running electric through cables the length of Cayuga County had seemed wasteful, and required the plant staff to live in no-man's land. Therefore, it was only expeditious to build a manure pipeline, several, really, from the centralized barns to the methane digesters on the northern and southern edges of the dairy enclave that had been Cayuga County. That's where the population was, of course, not counting the immigrant dorms in the center. And power was necessary -- NiMo lost their primary source when the level of Lake Erie dropped below the Falls, after the Midwest Corn Irrigation Plan.

After all, they said, one good pipe deserves another.

What hadn't been considered was the possibility of a pipeline as an ideal terrorist target. (People forget their history so quickly....) There were plenty of dispossessed former residents, angry at the use of eminent domain for private business, willing to take part in commando raids like tonight.

The target: a conflagrance of pipes that was, for a change, not within the lake's watershed.

Comfort crops

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[By Angelika St.Laurent]

"Really? No, that can't be true!"

Kailee let herself sink on the bench. Her eyes wandered over the field of bright red flowers swinging gently in the wind, stretching from the garden down to the creek. Just five minutes ago the poppies had seemed a bright assurance of the farm's prosperity. But now?

"Not the Count," she protested.

"I just heard it on the radio," answered Ethan, slumping beside her on the bench. "I mean he was old, ninety-three. Not even Count Sam can live forever."

"I know," whispered Kailee, staring at the red field in front of her. "It's just that he's always been here."

Always wasn't quite true. She had been six, back in 2018, when Sam Bear had been elected Governor for the first time. She still remembered her father cursing that day, swearing that that drug-trading liberal gangster would wreck the state within a year. He had loaded his hunting rifle that night and placed it under the bed. It had sat there, loaded, until Mom got cancer and only the state health fund saved them from having to sell the farm.

That spring, Dad had applied for his first concession to grow poppies, and the gun had wandered back into the shed, coming out only in deer season. Governor Bear, always re-elected, had long since been called Count Sam.

Kailee had always loved the bountiful red fields full of the poppies they were allowed to grow every four years. She had never missed the chance to apply for a poppy license since she and Ethan took over the farm. Sure, hemp was good cash too, less trouble to grow, but it just didn't have the grace of poppy.

"With the Count gone, will we be able to sell the crop?" Kailee wondered, "with Billie going off to college next year and all?"

"I think so," nodded Ethan slowly. "Without comfort crops, there wouldn't be many public services left in New York."

Wandering sheep


The old root cellar had to be the most comfortable place we had slept in weeks. The cellar was dark, true, but when you're sleeping, that's a good thing. It was a surprise finding it - Dave tripped over some bricks and landed on the door. Nothing seemed to live there. It was dry enough, a reasonable temperature, and the broken shelving only covered a little bit of the space. We took the shelving outside and put it in a pile, ready to use for cooking dinner and the night's fine. Damp wood was better than the wet wood all around us.

The sheep were roaming as usual, with the collies and llamas keeping them as orderly as they could manage. There might be a few coyotes around, but we were ready for them, and hadn't lost a healthy sheep in a month or so. The dogs were good for company, too, since we hadn't seen another human in a couple of weeks, and think he might have been a thief anyway.

We'd have to move on in the morning, though, to get to the Elmira shearing by Tuesday. The beginning of our wanderings is always fun, but somehow the end of it is always a mad rush - lose track of time, then have to make up for it and more. If you're not careful, the sheep lose weight on the way in, and you won't get as much money for mutton.

The last shearing was pretty much a disaster, since my good horse had broken a leg in an old house foundation and I had to ride our aging pack horse. We got to the shearing just as the gates were closing, and missed all the fun as we scrambled to get set up. This time we'll be earlier, with time left over to raise a ruckus.

Inside a wall


I've never been outside the wall. I was born in here, in the home my parents chose. The world was too broken for them, as strife and disease spread through the land. They and about a hundred friends bought a series of old farms, and we control the whole valley. The quarry provided rock for the walls, a few acres of solar panels provide power, and we grow the rest of what we need here.

I know practically every inch of our home, and every human inhabitant. All of the gardens, the places in the wall where the rock changes, the inventory in the warehouses, the books in the library. Everyone sees everything, inside of our wall.

When I was a child there were strange birds in the sky - fixed wings, leaving behind a line of white, usually, and sometimes noisy creatures that hovered and floated through the sky. We haven't seen any of those in ten years or so, which has made my parents relieved. The wall mostly defends itself, but we'd prefer that no one look in on our home.

They might want to join us - but we're at capacity. They might bring the germs and violence of the old world into our new world. It's better that we stay here, and they stay there.

Wine Country


Come visit beautiful Upstate New York, the new center of American wine production!

After decades specializing in German and more northerly varietals, New York State has taken the lead in producing the finest red wines, with rich flavors that you're sure to remember. By combining New York's long-time expertise in viticulture with the arrival of vintners leaving behind the scorched deserts of California and disease-troubled France, local wineries have grown from a largely tourist business serving local markets to a world center for wine.

The vast vinyards are still a tourist paradise, with trains connecting wineries large and small. Farms produce fine artisan cheeses and fresh produce, making the area the heart of quality food in the United States. Whether you can come for a visit or are just browsing your local market, remember Upstate New York!

The Park


Welcome to Upstate Park! The largest park in North America includes a wide range of activities and places to stay for visitors. A few of the many highlights include:

park sign
  • The Genesee Country Village and Museum showcases how New Yorkers lived in the early 19th century, as the area was settled but still rural.

  • The Farmers Museum in Cooperstown demonstrates classic farming technology, and serves as a training area for people who want to take one of New York's many pastoral vacation options.

  • Oil City, in Wellsville, shows how petroleum extraction used to work, starting back in the 1860s. A variety of wells are still operating, showing oil well technology from the 1860s to the 2030s. Exhibits explain how oil used to drive the area's - and much of the world's - economy.

  • Image City, in Rochester, demonstrates old-style film, and demonstrates technologies from the earlier photography through the latest holographic projection. You'll be able to make a mini-movie on one of their hundreds of sets, and learn about how much easier all of this has become.

  • Lakeside Port, in Buffalo, shows off this city's old glory as a key transfer point from the Great Lakes to the Erie Canal and beyond. You can watch the bustle or even join it, operating a grain elevator or helping move cargo for a day.

  • The Industrial Zone, in Syracuse and Auburn, showcases many of the industrial technologies that made Upstate New York great in the 19th and early 20th centuries. You can watch salt mining in action, spend a few minutes on an assembly line, and watch an iron foundry and machine shop at work.

  • The Fabric Center in Utica shows the transition from homespun to manufactured textiles, how New York Mills got its name, and different kinds of fibers from classic wool and cotton to the latest synthetics. You can visit the sheep farms of Oneida County or design your own carpet, weaving it by hand or by computer.

  • Crystal City, in Corning, demonstrates the art and industry of glassmaking, offering tours of the Steuben Glass factory, glassmaking walks, training in glassblowing, and options ranging from day trips to multi-year training in working with glass.

  • The Old Mill, in Moravia, shows visitors how grain turns into flour and related products, and also includes a museum of waterwheels demonstrating old-style power production.

  • Railtown, in Hornell, gives visitors the chance to experience life in a city where the railroad provided the foundation for prosperity, demonstrating the use of steam locomotives and their repair. Excursions visit the surrounding area, and the park's fleet of trains is based here. Visitors can even take charge of a locomotive for a fee.

Please remember that while the state owns 70% of the property within the park boundaries, much of the land is still private property. Even much of the state land is still in active agricultural use, often in small and intensively-worked plots that can be damaged easily by even the best-intentioned visitors.

Please obey all signs and be cautious in exploring areas you aren't familiar with. Guides are readily available for a reasonable fee. Intercity railroads are your best choice for transportation, as roads outside of the most populated areas are no longer maintained. All of the old state parks within the larger park remain open from late spring to early fall, and are also accessible by train, as are the many colleges and universities within the park boundaries.

Amish Upstate


After the 2020 census, it was painfully clear that most of Upstate was losing most of its population rapidly. Businesses had left cities, and people had followed. The only stable institutions seemed to be universities, which remained as attractive as ever, but weren't generating new jobs.

One group of residents was growing rapidly, however. Amish communities had started moving into New York in large numbers around 1970, and continued immigration from Pennsylvania combined with their ability to make tired farmland prosper and a high birthrate to create new agricultural communities. They weren't the only farmers in New York, but their numbers grew and grew.

The combination of collegetowns and Amish produced some cultural conflict, but the two groups agreed quickly on food: the Amish produced mostly organic food that fed their neighbors and even a substantial chunk of Downstate.

Amish communities had less demand for social services, reducing the need for government in some parts of New York, and as their numbers grew, the places where they lived were able to reduce their service levels and even their taxes. Roads decayed quietly under the wheels of buggies, and small towns returned to their historic role as centers of agriculture. A few roads and railroads connected the old cores of the Thruway cities with the collegetowns in the countryside, but even they were much quieter, returning to levels of traffic not seen in a century, back in the 1950s.

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