Canoe in marsh area

Demystifying Wildlands Monitoring

The long promised public unveiling of the Wildlands Monitoring Guidance by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), once again, did not occur. It was planned for the March APA Board meeting and was pulled from the agenda during that two-day meeting. What is so secret about it? Nothing, actually. So, why…

APA meeting

Loss of Institutional Memory at the APA

Institutional memory is important. It reminds folks who join an institution of any kind what the mission of that organization is, what has come before them, what was considered important then and why, what continues to be the mission today. It strengthens the links in a longer historical chain that can easily be weakened if…

Elk Lake

Elk Lake: The First Adirondack Conservation Easement

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website reveals that 777,206 acres of private land in the Adirondack Park are protected by a state-owned conservation easement.  During the Adirondack Park Centennial year of 1992 there were 93,000 acres of private lands under state-owned easement in the Park. That number jumped to 250,000 acres early in…

Article 14 graphic

‘Out of harmony with forest lands in their wild state’

Previously, the Almanack has asked “which side are you on” when it comes to a court case involving Article 14, the “forever wild” provision of our state constitution. Recently, dueling press releases from plaintiff Protect the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Mountain Club, Open Space Institute, Adirondack Council, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve,…

C. 1959, Paul Schaefer, left, prepares to fly over the Adirondacks with State Senator Watson Pomeroy, chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Natural Resources

Driving the Northway with Paul Schaefer

  As the decade of the 1990’s began, noted Adirondack conservationist and wilderness coalition leader Paul Schaefer’s eyesight was failing. He had macular degeneration. We had noticed that this skilled carpenter, home and cabin builder and historic restorationist was no longer hitting the nail squarely on its head. We worried about him continuing to drive.…

Debar Lodge

It’s Debatable: Debar Pond Lodge

Historic and forest preservationists are at odds about the future of Debar Lodge, but formerly they joined hands. In 1983 their collaboration saved historic buildings at Camp Sagamore while expanding adjacent Forest Preserve by amendment of Article XIV of the NYS Constitution and saved the structures at Camp Santanoni by legislation. Both are designated National…

Boreas Pond

Rooted in Wilderness

The stress of our sheer numbers on wild lands, other hikers, summit stewards, forest and assistant rangers and local communities and volunteers bordering Rtes. 73 and 86 this hiking season – and many before this – easily disconnects and untethers us from the historical and philosophical roots of wilderness preservation and management. None of what…