"Isn’t this the type of life challenge…vocation…
and calling to do something crucialand vital for the
whole fabric of life that we humans yearn for?”
—Ed Zahniser



Forever Wild' Pass it On! Donate and become a member

Dear Friend of the Wild,
During these difficult days Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings ask a key question: when we “re-open,” how do we re-open better than we were before? Based upon what values? The Governor exhorts New Yorkers to aspire to and achieve better health and other systems on which we all rely.

The same can be said for our environment. The only constitutionally protected forest on the planet is located right here in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. When we re-open, will the systems and the values be in place to be even more protective of our system of wild lands, temperate forests, fragile alpine summits, free-flowing streams and rivers serving as wildlife refuges, vital headwaters and recreational lands for millions?

The organization Wilderness Watch is documenting how our federal government is moving backwards by watering down the Wilderness Act and other environmental laws. Industrial-scale recreation, mining, helicopters, roadbuilding, oil and gas development all threaten the system that National Wilderness Act author Howard Zahniser envisioned and which America has nurtured since 1964. That system of parks and wilderness was inspired by New York’s “forever wild” constitution. And it was New York’s Forest Preserve where wilderness preservation first began in the USA.

Knowing this, when New York “re-opens” should not we become even more protective of our great headwater forests? Should not we employ higher standards of conservation and development in our Adirondack Park? Yes, emphatically, we should. Even during an epidemic, we must maintain constructive pressure, resist the national trend and, instead, model what the country should be doing.

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is accomplishing right here what Wilderness Watch is doing nationally. This year marks our 10th anniversary as guardians of the wild. Without advocates like us, governments and their officials compromise and weaken legal protections. We are, therefore, challenging our state right now to:

  • stop taking end-runs around the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. For example, DEC is still proposing to construct a 4- mile long snowmobile corridor inside the Blue Ridge Wilderness boundary by claiming such a construction project is legally OK. It is not.
  • take climate change into account when DEC and APA measure the capacity of the Forest Preserve to accommodate recreational uses. For example, DEC wrote that climate change was irrelevant to the 119- mile long Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor. To the contrary, a decreasing snowpack is truly relevant to managing this corridor.
  • require conservation design of large private residential subdivisions so that private forests and wildlife habitats are not needlessly fragmented into smaller pieces. APA currently has an application to fragment an Adirondack lake and 1000-acre forest with 37 new second homes, driveways, and septic tanks. This is just more damaging sprawl. APA should require its redesign.

Now is the time to plan and to develop in the Adirondacks intelligently. Our blueprint for doing so is found in our guidebook Pathways to a Connected Adirondack Park. If smarter growth and wilderness stewardship cannot be accomplished well in the Adirondack Park, where can it be? We are making steady progress towards each of these goals. With your help, Adirondack Wild will continue to act as a watchdog, exert pressure, educate students, and achieve better wilderness protection. Why? Because the values and benefits that spring from our wild land system are interwoven with our health, air, water, climate, wildlife, and economies.

An Opportunity:

Since July 2010, we’ve been on the wild’s side and remain a small, nimble not-for-profit in New York completely focused on actions to protect wilderness and wild nature. We speak for those who believe in a moral obligation to steward the wilderness of the six-million acre Adirondack Park for future generations. Our founding dates to 1945, when Paul Schaefer created Friends of the Forest Preserve.

Today we continue an historic legacy left to us by Paul and other Adirondack wilderness pioneers of the 20th century. We weave advocacy and education, make good use of conservation science, practice vigilance, offer solutions, marshal the help of volunteers, and hold public officials accountable for laws put in place to protect wild spaces. We don’t compromise our principles for short-term political expediency.

Simply put, we undertake our advocacy and educational efforts only through your support. So before we reach our 10th Anniversary year milestone on June 30th, we invite you to please consider contributing as generously as you are able to when returning the enclosed card or by visiting adirondackwild.org at any time. Please know that for every dollar that you donate to Adirondack Wild this spring, two of our generous members will match your gift - up to $30,000. Thank you in advance for your consideration to help us earn this entire match this season.

As always, we do enjoy hearing from you via phone, email, messaging, or postal mail. So please continue to stay in touch with us, and until our paths can cross-be well and be safe-and enjoy the out of doors this spring wherever you spend your time.

In ‘forever wild’ friendship,
David Gibson
Managing Partner


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Please call Ken Rimany, Partner, if you have any questions at
518 928.4501

Friends of the Forest Preserve, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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.

Top left panorama: Ashokan Reservoir ©Ken Rimany; Suzanne Roberson portrait ©Ken Rimany

Peter Brinkley, Honorary Chair
Terry Jandreau, Chair
Christopher Amato
Vice Chair & Counsel

David H. Gibson, Partner
Mobile: 518.469.4081

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve    Founded 1945   PO Box 9247 • Niskayuna New York 12309 | ©