Support for Adirondack Wilderness Abounds

The birth of an idea

Bill, Pete, and I met for the first time on a hike up Ragged Mountain on the Boreas Ponds tract. We were drawn together over mutual concern with the discussion (or lack thereof) of Wilderness values in the Adirondacks. During that trip we discussed what three guys with a shared philosophy and passion for Wilderness could do to tip the scales. The idea of Adirondack Wilderness Advocates (AWA) was born.

We decided to build a website, and with the help of the Adirondack Council, a map depicting our vision for Wilderness at Boreas Ponds. We had a hunch that we weren’t the only ones that understood the social, psychological, and environmental values of Wilderness. Our expectations were tempered, but we figured we would strike the tuning fork and see what kind of resonance we received. The response exceeded our expectations. It turns out that the appreciation and yearning for Wilderness is out there. Many people probably felt the way Bill, Pete, and I did before we met, that supporters for strong Wilderness protection were a dying breed.

Young Adirondack residents support Wilderness

As a member of the Millennial generation (just barely), I had a strong inkling that my peers felt the way I did but lacked a way to engage. For a long time conversations regarding land management in the park have been dominated by a generation and demographic we have a hard time relating to. One of my personal goals with AWA was to engage those that have been left out of this process in the past and activate a voice that is rarely heard. By no means do I intend to take credit for the turnout of youth support for Wilderness. Many young people with incredible passion have taken up this call for Wilderness and pushed it beyond the reach of the original founders of AWA. For that I am incredibly excited and deeply grateful.

Here we are in the middle of the Boreas Ponds classification hearings and we’ve seen an outpouring of support for an ALL Wilderness classification of this tract of land. The Millennials that decided to reside in the Adirondacks are meeting to discuss issues regarding land management and boldly standing in front of their fellow Adirondack residents to speak about the value of Wilderness. But support for Adirondack Wilderness extends beyond a few young residents of the Park. Our small grassroots movement has turned out support from across New York, and the country, for an all Wilderness classification of the Boreas Ponds tract. The map below depicts the locations of people that have sent in letters through our website. It turns out that support for Adirondack Wilderness abounds.

If you haven’t already, please join us in the call for Wilderness protection in the Adirondacks by sending a letter to the Adirondack Park Agency.

This map updates in near real time. Check back regularly to see the support for Adirondack Wilderness grow.

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