Dave Gibson

David Gibson - Roadside notes along Cascade Lake
© 2011 Ken Rimany

Adirondack Almanack  is a daily web-based digest of Adirondack politics, history, culture and environment. Editor John Warren has earned plaudits and awards for his efforts since 2005. In 2010, John earned the Adirondack Mountain Club's Communicator of the Year award. John recruits a wide variety of writers who are posted daily on the site. From natural history, to regional history, the arts, philosophy, wilderness, public policy, political coverage and commentary and more, you can find all this and more on the Almanack.

Adirondack Wild's David Gibson is one of three dozen or so writers who contribute commentary monthly or twice monthly.  Gibson’s posts interweave environment, wilderness, and the Adirondack Park. The website also contains a valuable daily digest of Adirondack-related headlines and news gleaned from multiple regional media, and a weekly summary of Adirondack outdoor conditions. The site claims 6000 daily email or RSS subscribers, and of course many more who enter the website.

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ADIRONDACK ALMANACK - Writings by Dave Gibson, 2012

Post 59, December 19 — Finding Blessings, Resilience and Self-Worth in Nature

I just mailed a contribution to an organization which immerses their community’s children in learning about river basins and watersheds. I endorsed the check “in memory of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary.” read PDF>

Post 58, December 03 — Fracking and the Adirondacks

One doesn’t read much about high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF) for natural gas extraction in the Adirondack media – for a good reason. After all, who thinks they would ever profit from drilling into the bedrock of North America – crystalline granitic-gneissic bedrock yielding uphill to massive anorthosite blocks making up the high peaks region, part of the Canadian Shield, and among the oldest root rocks in North America. The geological survey of the Mount Marcy region in 1837 knew more than enough of their science not to expect gas-laden sediments here. read PDF>

Post 57, October 30 — Iroquois Peace And Defending The Law

Recently I was asked to present a talk about the life and careers of Paul Schaefer, the 20th century Adirondack conservation coalition leader. The location for my talk was Niskayuna, where beginning in the late 1920s into the early 1980s Paul built and restored hundreds of homes, including his own, out of natural, recycled materials – stone, slate and timbers from old buildings then facing the wrecking ball. The host for the lecture was the Niskayuna Town Historian, fitting because Paul was also intensely interested by American history.read PDF>

Post 56, October 17 — Pace Law School Profs Issue Forest Preserve Papers

At the State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Conference in Lake Placid on October 13, 2012, Pace University Law School professors Nicholas Robinson and Philip Weinberg released twelve papers – eleven by their law school students – that review the history, and relevancy today of New York’s Article 14 – known as the “Forever Wild” provision of our State Constitution adopted in 1894 which protects the State’s Forest Preserve in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. read PDF>

Post 55, October 1 — Confusion Over Development Rights at APA

At the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) monthly meeting in September, Fred Monroe of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board made some very confusing statements about transferable development rights, or TDR. read PDF>

Post 54, September 12 — At APA It’s Subdivide Now, Plan Later

Months after approving the largest subdivision in its history (Adirondack Club and Resort), the NYS Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has approved another residential subdivision on substantial acreage in Resource Management – the Park’s most protected private land use classification. read PDF>

Post 53, August 14 —Strengthening Regional Ecological and Economic Goals Through the Finch Conservation Project

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent commitment to acquire 69,000 acres of the Finch Pruyn lands for the publicly-owned NYS Forest Preserve over the next several years completes a 161,000-acre conservation project of national and global importance. read PDF>

Post 52, July 23 — Is More Forest Fire Dialogue and Preparation Needed?

The woods are dry out there. This week, forest fire fighters needed state police helicopters to douse a carelessly set, poorly extinguished fire up on Sawteeth Mountain. In such cases, the informal NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) policy is to fight and extinguish the fire as part of its legal responsibilities for care, custody and control of the Forest Preserve. read PDF>

Post 51, June 19 — Embracing Forever Wild, and Advancing the Values of a Wild Adirondack Park

The New York State Forest Preserve was created in law 127 years ago. It has grown to become not only one of the most important assets in New York State’s illustrious history, but in United States and North American history. International attention has been focused on the Forest Preserve and the Adirondack and Catskill Parks for some time, as nations struggle to permanently safeguard forests from the degradation and destructive land use changes that lead to long-term ecological and economic disaster. Generations of New Yorkers have created, defended, safeguarded, increased and managed our Forest Preserve as a wilderness since 1885. read PDF>

Post 50, May 25 — New Proposal for Township 40

A proposal may come up for a vote in the State Legislature this year that would amend Article 14, Section 1 of the NYS Constitution, ‘the Forever Wild” clause which safeguards our New York State Forest Preserve. The amendment and implementing legislation addresses land titles on the shoreline of Raquette Lake in Hamilton County. read PDF>

Post 49, May 3 — Fifty Years of Caring for the Upper Hudson River

Rivers policy and history, stewardship of our Forest Preserve, and positive interactions with young people from Albany came together on Arbor Days, April 27-28, north of Lake Luzerne. Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve was pleased to play a role. First, let’s review some history. read PDF>

Post 48, Apr 24 — It’s our Wild Forest – whoever administers it

Public wild lands protected by law in New York State can fall under the public jurisdiction of a variety of state agencies. Most of it is administered by our Department of Environmental Conservation. However, some of it is part of the system of state parks administered by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). In northern Saratoga County and across the Hudson River in Warren County lie more than 4,000 acres of beautiful and protected public wild land, part of the Moreau Lake State Park. Much of this land was acquired by the nonprofit Open Space Institute from Niagara Mohawk, and then sold to the public in 1998. Moreau Lake State Park tripled in size at that time, and is now the largest state park in the region. read PDF>

Post 47, Apr 10 — Remembering Harold Jerry

A columnist from the Old Forge area, Mart Allen, recently wrote for the Adirondack Express about the late Harold A. Jerry, Jr., and he inspired me to do the same. Judging from his experiences with Harold along a trap line during the winter in Herkimer County, Mart Allen concluded that Harold Jerry displayed a depth and integrity of character that should be the measure we take of all our fellow human beings, but often isn’t. That observation about Harold rang very true for me. read PDF>

Post 46, Mar 24 — What’s up at the APA, Summer 1988

1988 was a long time ago, not just in years.  It was a different time in America. It does seem like yesterday in my life, but that’s because I’m in my mid 50s and time is speeding up.  In the Adirondack Park of 1988, as in the rest of the country, a real estate boom had been underway for some time. Speculators were getting into the game. At the Adirondack Park Agency, the number of permit applications was way up.  The park’s Resource Management and Rural Use lands – the “backcountry” - were under considerable real estate pressure. The Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century would be established by Gov. Mario Cuomo the following year. In contrast with today, in 1988 a majority of Agency commissioners viewed themselves as agenda setters.read PDF>

Post 45, Mar 15 — APA lacked will, not authority to change the design of Adirondack Club and Resort

Remember what APA permitted in January: 706 residential units, 332 buildings, 39 large “great camps,” 15 miles of new roads, sewer, water and electric lines, fences and posted signs spread across 6,200 mostly undeveloped forest acres  – 75 % of which is in the most protected private land classification in the park, Resource Management. Remember what this permit jettisons: a variety of traditional backcountry recreational uses, including hunting leases as well as forestry operations. The permit sanctioned real estate estimates shown to be highly exaggerated and completely unreliable. The applicant’s payments in lieu of taxes scheme is probably illegal. This is speculative development at its worst. read PDF>

Post 44, Feb 15 — APA Wildlife Review Process Deficient, Outdated

Will the Adirondack Park Agency reform the way it identifies and assesses impacts to wildlife habitat from new development? Will it employ 21st century ecological understanding by evaluating the ecological impact zone of houses built in the Adirondack backcountry? Will habitat fragmentation, perforation, edge effect, spatial configuration and connectivity, land alteration and additional indicators of ecological impact that Dr. Michale Glennon introduced as evidence at the Adirondack Club and Resort hearing be used as evaluative tools? For that matter, will testimony at future adjudicatory hearings actually matter? read PDF>

Post 43, Jan 24 — Ten Votes to Give Away the Park

The outcome to approve the Adirondack Club and Resort was not a surprise. The ten to one margin of the vote was a surprise.

Nor was it surprising that Commissioner Richard Booth assembled the reasoned arguments why this massive, speculative real estate subdivision should be denied. He has an excellent mind, an articulate voice, and a logician’s ability to arrive at the kernel of a matter in relatively few words, readily dispensing with the “dead wood” of an argument to arrive at its heartwood and its core. read PDF>

Post 42, Jan 11 — The State of the State: Our Wild Watersheds

Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered an inspiring State of the State message, which I heard on the radio this week. He invoked the past, gave us all hope for the future, and had a long list of policy accomplishments to point to. He pointed to the need to invest state dollars in the upstate New York economy, especially people who are struggling in Buffalo and surroundings. read PDF>

 

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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.

Top left, Autumn © Ken Rimany; Maple Leaves and Lichen ©Ken Rimany

ADIRONDACK PARK REGIONAL
Peter Brinkley, Honorary Chair
pbrinkley@frontiernet.net
Daniel R. Plumley, Partner
dplumley@adirondackwild.org
Home Office: 518.576.9277
David H. Gibson, Partner
dgibson@adirondackwild.org
Mobile: 518.469.4081
Kenneth J. Rimany, Partner
krimany@adirondackwild.org

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