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2022 Appeal

It seems often the case in our world that we are so close to the things we love and work for that we miss the forest for the trees. There are days where those of us involved with Adirondack Wild see only the same wild land challenges and obstacles which crop up year in and year out. It often seems that the very state agencies that we rely on for safeguarding the Forest Preserve, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), disappoint us when they circumvent policies and laws that they are accountable for upholding.

And yet, it is the college students we meet who, in the face of their world’s ecological catastrophe of climate change, still somehow maintain their optimism, curiosity, determination to make a difference and hope in what the Adirondacks and Catskills have to teach the rest of the world. These students revive our spirits, and it is our privilege to be asked to visit their class and orient them to the Adirondack Park, to our “forever wild” state constitution, and to the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve, past and present. And you, our donor members, also inspire and revive our spirits all the time. Just this spring a fellow member sent us a contribution, and included this note to us:

“Thank you for all you do to protect the lands, flora and fauna in such an amazing setting. Our family has been coming to the Adirondacks every summer for 120 years to our little, old camp that I endeavor to keep the same year after year. Our grandchildren are 6th generation, and I hope that they realize the importance of beauty and balance.”

Such a wondrous expression of the personal and family values this is! It makes us want to echo her and reiterate, not nearly as expressively, the values statement we have posted on our newly updated and improved website, www.adirondackwild.org:

Our Values: Adirondack Wild values the exercise of human respect, humility and restraint in areas of the Adirondack and Catskill Parks designated as wilderness or wildlands deserving of wilderness stewardship. We value wild places where respect for the land, wildlife, entire community of life, natural character and natural processes predominate over our tendency to dominate, control and manipulate nature.

How do we effectuate our values? The Adirondack Park may appear to be “protected” but that protection is not self-executing. It requires constant vigilance and that is where Adirondack Wild comes in. With your help we act through our programs of Wildland Advocacy and Wildland Conservation Science to:

  • Embrace our NYS constitutional protections, “forever wild,”
  • Review proposed constitutional changes to make sure they do not compromise the forever wild mandate and mobilize public opinion whenever proposals do threaten it,
  • Monitor management plans to ensure they are consistent with our constitution,
  • Recommend policy reforms that will benefit wildlands. Those reforms are in our publication, Adirondack Park at a Crossroad: A Road Map for Action,
  • Testify at hearings, write op-ed viewpoints, and Issue action alerts in Adirondack Explorer,
  • Hold officials accountable and take legal action when necessary to prevent damage to wildlands,
  • Partner with leading scientists skilled in conservation design of development and in forest recreation management and incorporate their work so that large ecological impacts of development are avoided and the ability of our wildlands and lakes to withstand various human uses are measured and monitored to prevent overcrowding and overuse.

We cannot continue to implement our values without your generous financial support.

Please, when you receive this letter or when the spirit moves you to visit our website’s secure Donate page, contribute as generously as you can to our spring and summer Campaign for Wild Lands and Waters. With your help, together we can achieve our goal of raising $50,000 this growing season and build a strong financial foundation to begin our new fiscal year starting on July 1st.

In advance, thank you so very much for being on the Wild’s Side with Adirondack Wild.

In ‘forever wild’ friendship,
David Gibson
Managing Partner