“I can go inside now, confident that the youth of distant tomorrows
will backpack down winding forest trails, glimpse the sliver of a wildness lake
shining through the trees, and gather round their crackling campfire."
—Paul Schaefer


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FIELD NOTES: EDUCATING FOR THE WILD

1st Annual Meeting Attracts Supporters At Paul Smith’s Visitor Center
10/24/11 by David Gibson

Boreal Life Trail
1st Annual Meeting held at Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center

Boreal Life Trail
Dave Gibson sharing with DEC Region #5 Director Betsy Lowe and member Louise Gregg from Keene Valley

Boreal Life Trail
Longtime supporter Lynn Jerry with Dave Gibson

Boreal Life Trail
Dr. Michael Klemens giving Key Note presentation

Boreal Life Trail
Dr. Michael Klemens addressing Fragmentation issues

Boreal Life Trail
Dan Plumley and Suzanne Roberson taking in the sights along an interpretative trail board walk

Boreal Life Trail
Along the Boreal Life Trail

Boreal Life Trail
Professor Celia Evans, Paul Smith's College (Field Walk Tour Guide) and Dan Plumley, Partner, Adirondack Wild

Boreal Life Trail
Guests heading out for the afternoon guided Field Trip


David Patrick of Paul Smith's College speaks about Mink Frog ecology


Ed Petty and Celia Evans


All photos above ©2011 Ken Rimany (1-8) and
David Gibson (9-11)

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve hosted its first annual meeting on September 17th at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (the VIC, formerly run by the Adirondack Park Agency). We were blessed with great fall weather, a talented group from the college, and spirited supporters who came from all over – Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Keene, Jay, Canton, Schenectady County, Connecticut, Florida and many points in between.

We consciously selected this location for our first annual gathering to express our ongoing support for the educational and interpretive mission of this facility, and for other organizations housed at the college with whom we have strong mutual interests: The Adirondack Research Consortium, the Watershed Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Adirondack Park Institute. The relationship some of us have with the VIC dates to the days that its trails were laid out and interpreted by some of the Park’s finest naturalists, including Mike Storey and Gary Randorf. Some of us were present when Governor Mario Cuomo formally dedicated the VIC in May, 1989, the same day that Mohawk Traditional Chief Jake Swamp planted a Peace Tree at its entrance. We marveled at how tall that white pine has grown!

Board Chair and Senior Partner Peter Brinkley opened our meeting with important news that Adirondack Wild’s new endowment fund has received several gifts this past summer totaling $200,000. Also, Peter announced the formation of our Advisory Committee comprised of chair Michel Washburn (formerly executive director of the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks), and members Steve Blackmer (former founder and director of the Northern Forest Alliance and Northern Forest Center), Eric Johanson (Park landowner and conservationist), Roger Marshall (architect and conservationist, son of George Marshall and nephew of Bob Marshall, founders and leaders of The Wilderness Society), and Suzanne Roberson (development officer with RPI, research assistant, and part-time resident of Saranac Lake). Peter also expects that Ed Zahniser, son of Howard Zahniser, author of the National Wilderness Act, will join the group at a later date.

Peter then asked that the Nominations Committee place the names of Carl George and Margaret Schadler into nomination for election to the Board of Directors. Carl and Margaret are both Biology Professors Emeritus of Union College, with distinguished histories in the Adirondacks. Margaret and her husband Harvey are leaders in the protection of Lake George’s water quality, and Margaret is a mammalogist and member of the North American Mammal Society. Carl is author of Fishes of the Adirondacks, a classic reference, co-founder of Unitas, commited to building diversity and community on the Union College campus, and instigator of a new effort by that college to forge an interdisciplinary Adirondack program. Both Carl and Margaret were duly elected to the Board. Adirondack Wild’s Tom Cobb stepped down as Vice Chair, but remains on the Board. Terry Jandreau remains as Treasurer, and Anne Weld as Secretary. Don Brightman, a member of the Board, also attended the meeting. Both Tom and Don worked very closely with our founder, Paul Schaefer, for 25 years.

Dave Gibson and Dan Plumley reviewed Adirondack Wild’s first year of programming with a short visual presentation about our work to safeguard, extend and educate about wild lands. Ken Rimany presented news about our website, E-newsletter and finances.

Keynote speaker Dr. Michael Klemens, conservation biologist, presented a provocative lecture about Does Science Matter? To read his presentation, see our website (www.adirondackwild.org) under Featured Writers. Michael, who was our expert witness at the Adirondack Club and Resort hearing sponsored by the Adirondack Park Agency, referred often to that proposed subdivision as an example of how important it is that scientists be willing to engage in public policy, and provide ecological data that, although incomplete, is suggestive of the presence of sensitive biological resources that should be avoided in the design of housing, roads and other infrastructure.Michael showed photographs of his rapid amphibian assessment of the ACR site, and the many species of salamanders and frogs reliant upon wetland and upland habitats that would be disrupted by the ACR project. Michael entertained many audience questions about how small communities can better plan for their futures, avoid subdivision that uses up land and natural resources, and actively direct how and where new land use takes place. A vigorous discussion ensued about how local planning boards can encourage smarter development, sparing applicants from investing in expensive engineering and design work before they develop a complete understanding of the site, including areas where development should be avoided.

After enjoying a box lunch, many meeting participants then joined Celia Evans, Ecology Professor at Paul Smith’s College, on a walk along the VIC’s Boreal Life Trail. The College’s Director of the Center for Biodiversity, David Patrick, joined Celia on the trail to share his research on the ecology of Mink Frog in the Adirondacks. Student research assistants joined him. We were very pleased to talk informally with members Ed Petty, Peter O’Shea, Hank Hallas and others as we slowly moved along this fascinating trail full of the life of an Adirondack bog and slow moving, meandering stream.


Posted 10/16/11
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2011

10/28/11 St. Lawrence University’s Adirondack Semester read more >

10/24/11 ACR Hearing: Myths and Impressions read more >

10/24/11 1st Annual Meeting Attracts Supporters At Paul Smith’s Visitor Center read more >

09/01/11 Local Wildlife Rehabilitator Raises Awareness at the 4th Annual Event read more >

07/05/11 Trout on the Line read more >

06/10/11 18th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks read more >

02/10/11 From the classroom to the Park with Green Tech School read more >

01/03/11 Paul Millmore: From the South Downs Way to the Adirondack Wilds—Conservation Partnerships, Lessons, and Trends read more >


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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.

Photos ©2011 Ken RImany

ADIRONDACK PARK REGIONAL
Peter Brinkley, Honorary Chair
pbrinkley@frontiernet.net
Terry Jandreau, Chair
terry.jandreau@yahoo.com
 
Kenneth J. Rimany, Partner
krimany@adirondackwild.org
David H. Gibson, Managing Partner
dgibson@adirondackwild.org
Mobile: 518.469.4081

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