The Forest Preserve has been and will continue to be the best tool we have in the Adirondacks to keep land – and the community of life it supports – in a “forever wild” state. Now is not the time to lose faith, nor to indulge in the conceit that nature is static and can be kept unchanged under a glass bubble. The Follensby Pond Tract needs to be added to the cultural and natural heritage we call the Forest Preserve, and the public needs to be invested in its future.
If there is one time of the year that I wish would last much longer, it’s the period from mid-September through mid-October. The lack of bugs, the cool days and cooler nights, the brilliant sunshine and the crisp moonlit forests — these are all the things that form the roots of life’s deepest pleasures.
What made these new lands different from most others, though, was undoubtedly the fact they were already occupied by hundreds of hunting camps. This was not simply opening up vast acreages of forest that had been previously denied to the public-at-large, but driving out the leaseholders who were already there. One can rightly argue that as public lands they will serve more people and provide all sorts of wilderness-based benefits, but I’m sure it still stings for the minority who find themselves at the losing end of the equation.
Part 3 of 4 Here this account takes on a new perspective, because I view what happened during the past quarter century as one who was actively involved. In the early 70s I completed my graduate work, started hiking again, and became an advocate for trails. As an advocate for dispersing hikers throughout the Park, I was frustrated from the start in ways I never expected.
The Adirondack legacy of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is more than just a land acquisition and a failed snowmobile master plan. The one project that can be fully attributed to Cuomo involved a mine, a protected wilderness, and a highly controversial amendment to the state’s constitution that allowed one to gain access to the other.
Part 2 of 4 The Laws of 1895 authorized the state to lay out paths in the newly created Adirondack Park. There is little evidence that anything was done at that time. In 1909 Governor Hughes advocated trails and roads to give greater access to the “mountain pleasure grounds.” As it turned out, recreational trail building by the state began a few years later, not because of Hughes’ plans, but in a rather circuitous way.
Join us for our second Wilderness Webinar, beginning at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 1, 2021. Long-time AWA member and board member Ari Epstein will walk through the proof-of-concept Visitor Use Management Tool he has been developing, which could someday be implemented at popular trailheads to support adaptive management in the Adirondack Park.
Part 1 of 4 Hindsight is wonderful! With what we know about the Adirondacks today and what we know about building trails, we could devise the most wonderful trail network, one that would protect the fragile slopes of the High Peaks, take hikers to mountaintops all around the Park, and ameliorate problems of overuse and under-use.
When I moved to Upstate New York in 2013, acquaintances kept telling me about the Adirondacks, how magical they are, with their steep-sided mountains and layers of forest, mirror-calm lakes and clear-flowing creeks; bears, moose, loons. Having lived most of my adult life in the West and coming to New York from interior Alaska, I was skeptical, but hopeful. Could there really be such a large protected area in the Eastern U.S.?
Adirondack Wilderness Advocates (AWA) is announcing three new changes to its leadership positions, including a new chair of its Board of Directors, a new addition to the Board, and a new technical advisor. These changes add a wealth of knowledge and professional experience to the organization.