by Peter Brinkley, Senior Partner/Chair
©2011 Ken Rimany
At the end of June, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve completed its first year.
New ventures are fraught with difficulty, but we re-started a nonprofit founded by Paul Schaefer in 1945 and are committed to carry his outstanding Adirondack legacy into the future.
With 3 conservation veterans—David Gibson, Dan Plumley, and Ken Rimany—and our Board of Directors, we accomplished what we set out to do in Year 1 and now eagerly look forward to Year 2 and beyond.
Fortunately Adirondack Wild has a core of devoted friends, advisors, and funders who helped us launch, people to whom we are extremely grateful. Our professional Staff successfully juggled the demands of a start-up operation while carrying out important conservation and education work, and obtaining funding.
Our focus is unique in its concentration on Wild landscapes, both public and private, and Wild land values as both an advocate and educator. We feel Wild lands will become ever more precious in the years ahead with the press of population, and calls to exploit new energy and water resources at the expense of wild country. All this falls at a time when the financial resources of New York are increasingly in peril. In such a time, the State’s Wild lands and the agencies concerned with them are in need of friends.
Our three program areas reflect a well-rounded approach to conservation of the Wild in the Adirondacks:
- Safeguarding the Wild principally involves securing our covenant with New Yorkers to keep the Forest Preserve lands “forever wild.” In this regard, we have advanced the central idea of ecosystem stewardship, provided written and oral testimony before several State agencies and participated as a member of the DEC Forest Preserve Advisory Committee,
- Extending the Wild applies to both new designations on the publicly-owned Forest Preserve and encouraging stewardship for the Wild on private lands. This year we have concentrated on the Adirondack Club and Resort project in Tupper Lake, described by our expert witness and biologist Dr. Michael Klemens as “sprawl on steroids.” The outcome of these permitting processes by the APA and DEC will set the standard for future real estate development in the Adirondack Park. That this project become properly sized and take into account the natural resources and wildlife of these lands is of paramount importance, and
- Educating for the Wild is an emerging field for Adirondack Wild. We have put together special programs for law school students of Pace University and students of SUNY ESF, Green Tech Charter School in Albany, and SUNY Plattsburgh. These efforts seek to introduce young people to the Adirondacks and its conservation issues and to prepare them to act as future advocates. We are in the early stages of a new concept—establishing venues for Dialogues for the Wild for a wide variety of audiences. Such Dialogues intend to move beyond stale public hearings and other inherently antagonistic encounters to engage people concerned for the Wild character of the Adirondack Park. And we believe fervently they are many.
We welcome like-minded people to be in touch with us at www.adirondackwild.org which features high quality essays by recognized writers. On the site you can get a glimpse of the conservation and photographic Team in action in Field Notes from the Partners and Wild Action Now, and read our recently published educational booklet, ‘Forever Wild,’ Article XIV of the New York State Constitution, and so much more.
So we have, with enthusiasm, hitched our star to Wild country and seek to ensure that the Adirondacks stand on the world stage as an historic and crucial experiment where Wild lands and human communities intersect in a Park.
We look forward to hearing from you, and thank you so very, very much for your support.
Return to top of page