A Rudderless and Weakened APA in Ray Brook
By Dave Gibson, Managing Partner Adirondack Wild

As Adirondack Wild said recently on WAMC Public Radio, the NYS Adirondack Park Agency is currently rudderless and lacking in critically needed background qualifications.

The situation is serious and demands wise choices for the APA by Governor Cuomo and his staff before the State Legislature ends its session in mid-June.

The APA’s Board Acting Chair, an energetic and communicative person dedicated to her job and desirous of being named Chair by the Governor, felt she had no choice but to resign in mid-May. That in and of itself tells us that Governor Cuomo has not paid enough attention to the incentives needed for a motivated, well-qualified APA board.  Karen Feldman’s resignation was regrettable and, we believe, avoidable. Her departure means there are now three vacancies on the eleven-member APA board and five other members whose four-year terms have expired. Two of those members were originally selected by Governor George Pataki.

The Governor of New York has the authority to name all eleven APA members. Eight citizen nominees must be confirmed by the State Senate. Three state agency designees are entirely in the Governor’s control. All current APA members are fine people volunteering extensive time each month to the agency. However, only one of those members, Chad Dawson, has a strong background in an important field, wilderness recreation resources management, relevant to APA’s responsibilities.

The Adirondack Park is treasured by all New Yorkers and by people from around the world. To do its job to protect the Park, the APA board badly needs board members skilled in environmental law, ecological science and land use planning, all of which are central to its mission.  None of these fields are well represented around the APA table today.



06/10/19 Did Her Independence Sink APA Acting Chair Feldman? Having been nominated and confirmed to the NYS Adirondack Park Agency five years earlier, Karen Feldman was named by Governor Cuomo as APA’s acting chair following the resignation of Sherman Craig in summer 2018. In Ms. Feldman the Governor had an experienced board member chairing APA and one interested in continuing on as permanent chair of the eleven-member board. read more >
Photo of APA Building in Ray Brook.

04/28/19 In 1969, Citizens Saved the Upper Hudson from Destruction Fifty springs ago, the Upper Hudson River was conserved as a wild, free flowing river. The Schenectady Gazette’s writer Pete Jacobs reported the news in the April 17, 1969 edition of that newspaper: “Without opposition, the Assembly gave swift approval to legislation prohibiting the construction of the Gooley Dam on the Upper Hudson River, branded by conservationists as a threat to the wild river country.” read more >
Upper Hudson River.

04/09/19 Making Conservation Design The Norm, Not The Exception My hometown of Ballston in Saratoga County is poised to make the principles and detailed process of conservation design the standard for major subdivisions. The town’s revised subdivision law comes on the heels of some disastrously bad subdivision approvals here, projects which sprawl new housing, roads and traffic all over this once wildlife-rich, rural, wet, heavily forested and formerly farmed part of town. read more >
Woodworth Lake subdivision in Fulton County, approved by APA in 2015.

03/19/19 Adirondack Wild and Sierra Club Seek Sunset for Mineral Sampling in Wilderness Lot 8 This month, Adirondack Wild and the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter have written to the NYS Senate and NYS Assembly asking for a further constitutional amendment which would establish a date certain by which all further mineral sampling and the land exchange for Lot 8 in the Jay Mtn. Wilderness must be completed. read more >
Existing open pit mine in Lewis as seen from the adjoining Jay Mountain Wilderness, 200-acres known as Lot 8. Photo © David Gibson

03/07/19 E-Bikes Are Not For The Forest Preserve Jack Drury’s recent essay promoting the use of E-bikes opens with the challenge facing an older but reasonably well conditioned body attempting to keep up with younger bicycle riders. Jack articulates well what many of us baby boomers are feeling as we take up a ski, paddle, hike, or bike with younger friends and colleagues. We think we are reasonably fit, but how to keep up? Especially, as Jack wondered, on the uphill sections? read more >
Bicycling on a Wild Forest corridor near the Cedar River. Photo © David Gibson


06/21/19 • Conservation groups reject proposed APA board slate read more >
06/17/19 • Judge delays snowmobile bridge
read more >
06/14/19 • Judge halts DEC's construction of Cedar River bridge read more >
05/28/19 • Adirondack Wild Calls For Conservation Leadership at APA read more >
05/27/19 • Advocates Urge Action To Fill Vacant Adirondack Park Agency Board Seats read more >
05/21/19 • Adirondack Wild Calls For Action On Spruce Grouse read more >
06/18/19 • Court Blocks Massive Motorized Bridge Over Scenic River read more >
05/22/19 • Adirondack Wild Calls on Governor to Nominate Conservation Leaders to APA Board
read more >
05/17/19 • Adirondack Wild: Celebrate Endangered Species Day by Recovering our State’s Endangered Spruce Grouse read more >
03/14/19 • Adirondack Wild and Sierra Club Seek Sunset for Mineral Sampling in Wilderness Lot 8 read more >
02/19/19 • Climate and Community Protection Act, S. 7971 - A. 10342 read more >
01/31/19 • Cross Country Ski Trail Guidance
read more >

The mission of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is to advance New York’s ‘Forever Wild’ legacy and Forest Preserve policies in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, and promote public and private land stewardship that is consistent with wild land values through education, advocacy and research.

Photos: Top left: Bog on Upper St Regis Lake. © Ken Rimany;
Field Notes From the Partners: Carved 'Beaver House' sign - by Paul Schaefer. Photo © Ken Rimany;
Wild Action Now photo: Dan Plumley at the Keene Valley Library, along with Naj Wikoff, sharing what they learned and offered to the gathering of leaders at the Conference of World Parliamentarians on Tibet. Photo  © Ken Rimany.

Peter Brinkley, Honorary Chair
Terry Jandreau, Chair
Christopher Amato
Vice Chair & Counsel
David H. Gibson, Partner
Mobile: 518.469.4081

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve    Founded 1945   PO Box 9247 • Niskayuna New York 12309 | ©