Our People

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the knowledge, enjoyment, expansion, and protection of the wildest places in the Adirondack Park.

We were founded in 2016 by a trio of outdoor enthusiasts, all of whom were concerned by the current state of Wilderness management and advocacy. Beginning with an award-winning campaign to promote an all-Wilderness classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract, we accumulated numerous supporters and decided to incorporate in 2019.

Board of Directors

Kayla White

Chair

Kayla enjoys hiking wild places, yoga, swimming, fermenting things, and maple sugaring. She is currently the Summit Steward Coordinator for the Adirondack Mountain Club.

bill ingersoll

Bill Ingersoll

Vice-Chair, Co-Founder

Bill is a writer and publisher of the Discover the Adirondacks series of guidebooks.

pete nelson

Pete Nelson

Secretary, Co-Founder

Pete is a teacher, writer, essayist and activist whose work has appeared in a variety of Adirondack publications, and regularly in the Adirondack Almanack.

Craig McGowan

Craig McGowan

Treasurer

Craig grew up 15 minutes north of the Blue Line and is a lifetime visitor to the Adirondack Park. His favorite outdoor activities include cross-country skiing, hiking, and canoeing.

Ari Epstein

Board Member

Ari is a data management specialist with a passion for wilderness preservation cultivated by a lifetime of tramping and paddling around the Adirondack Park. He lives in Schenectady, NY.

Contributors

Samantha Brooks

Contributor

Samantha Brooks is a SUNY- Environmental Science and Forestry graduate who has worked as a summit steward, and an assistant state park ranger. Exploring the Adirondacks wilderness is her passion.

Shelly Cihan

Contributor

Shelly has been a resident of the Adirondack Park for the past 19 years. With a degree in Natural Resources: Environmental Science, she currently sits on the board of Northern New York Audubon and is employed in a field which is heavily focused on tourism in the Adirondacks and New York State.

Jesse Crammer

Jesse Cramer

Contributor

Jesse grew up in rural Red Creek, NY, and is a lifelong visitor of the exquisite Adirondack outdoors. He enjoys hiking, canoeing, and wildlife viewing.

He currently lives in Rochester, NY.

Janelle Hoh

Contributor

As a year-round resident, Janelle is passionate about the Adirondack Park. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in conservation biology and works with an organization that promotes protection and stewardship of aquatic resources. When not at work or school, Janelle can be found adventuring and exploring the forever wild Adirondack landscape.

jacqueline keating

Jacqueline Keating

Contributor

Jacqueline Keating is an environmental sociologist and park ranger for the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. When she’s not sneaking back to the Adirondacks, her research focuses on the human dimensions of wildlife management, specifically brown bears, polar bears, and the impacts of ecotourism in remote communities across the state of Alaska.

tyra olstad

Tyra Olstad, Ph.D.

Contributor

Tyra is a geographer, professor, and writer who has also worked as a summit steward, park ranger, and physical science technician.

Tyler Socash

Tyler Socash

Contributor

Tyler Socash is the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Wilderness Trip Leader. After receiving his master’s degree at the University of Rochester, Tyler embarked on a 7,000-mile thru-hiking journey across the Pacific Crest Trail, Te Araroa across New Zealand, and the Appalachian Trail. He is a New York State Licensed Guide, a Leave No Trace Master Educator, and trained in Wilderness First Aid.

Andy Testo

Contributor

Andy Testo is the trails manager for a nature center in the Adirondacks. He passionately maintains a 25 mile trail system to include a multitude of ages, abilities, and multi-use recreational activities. He is an avid hunter and fisherman, a trainer forester, enjoys naturalizing, mountain biking, hiking, paddling, swimming, skiing and snowshoeing. Andy believes there is an appropriate place for everything.

brendan wiltse

Brendan Wiltse

Co-Founder

Brendan is a landscape and nature photographer, as well as a limnologist who focuses on studying Adirondack lakes and rivers.

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