For Immediate Release
October 5, 2022

Contact: David Gibson
518-469-4081 or Ken Rimany,

Adirondack Wild Honors former NYS DEC Forest Rangers and Adirondack Explorer

Visitor Interpretive Center at Paul Smith's College

Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center, site of Adirondack Wild’s 2022 meeting. Photo provided by the VIC.

Paul Smith’s, NY – The nonprofit advocate Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve presents its annual awards at a ceremony set for the afternoon of Friday, October 14, 2022, in the auditorium at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center.

The organization’s Wild Stewardship Award will be conveyed to Tracy Ormsbee, Publisher of Adirondack Explorer, the nonprofit voice of the Park headquartered in Saranac Lake. Tracy’s leadership has helped the Explorer be the go-to place to learn about wise stewardship practices throughout the Adirondacks’ natural and human communities, and the stewards undertaking that work.

This year’s Champion of the Forest Preserve is conveyed to Lou Curth of Lake Placid. For forty years Lou Curth was a DEC Forest Ranger, retiring as a Captain in Ray Brook. For many, he has come to personify the Forest Ranger as approachable, communicative, frontline and backcountry educator of the Department. He continues to be an outspoken advocate for a more diverse Park welcoming of those historically underrepresented and excluded.

The organization’s highest honor, the Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award, is conveyed this year to Scott van Laer, director of the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center, for his quarter-century of work as a DEC Forest Ranger in the High Peaks Wilderness, his public service to those seeking a wilderness experience, his advocacy for the Forest Rangers, and for signficantly expanding the VIC’s programs, audiences, and stewardship responsibilities.  The award is named for foremost 20th century wilderness coalition leader Paul Schaefer (1908-1996), who also founded Friends of the Forest Preserve in 1945.

The award presentations are part of the 2022 Annual Members Meeting of Adirondack Wild. The event begins at 11 AM and is free and open to the public.  Advance registration is appreciated. For an agenda and to register, please visit the website, or email Ken Rimany at

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is a not for profit, membership organization devoted to the protection and stewardship of wilderness and other wild lands through advocacy and education. The organization protects wild lands from threats, holds officials accountable and proposes policy reforms. More on the web at