Willie Janeway, who has been the Executive Director of the Adirondack Council for the past decade, will be leaving the organization this fall. Janeway is leaving the Council in excellent shape, and the dedicated staff will continue to work on behalf of the Adirondack Park on a daily basis. Raul “Rocci” Aguirre, who has served as Deputy Director, is now the Acting Executive Director, and the first person of color to lead a major Adirondack environmental group.
The long-awaited Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force report is nearing completion. Excessive road salt usage in the Adirondack Park has become a major public health and infrastructure issue as the road salt has been found to contaminate drinking water wells, streams, rivers, and lakes and ponds, and causes damage to roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure.
A panel of folks representing environmental, historical, and architectural interests is encouraging the state to redevelop former prisons rather than mothballing the existing infrastructure. The former Camp Gabriels incarceration center has been rotting while sitting in legal limbo, while the Moriah Shock facility is closed but still being maintained. These facilities could provide crucial housing, training, and meeting spaces, as well as drinking water and sewage treatment to local communities.
The Adirondack Park Agency staff and board are working to determine what legally constitutes a road on lands in the Adirondacks that are classified as Wild Forest. The law allows for “no material increase” in roads on Wild Forest lands, however that term is subjective and its lack of clarity may cause issues in how Forest Preserve lands are managed and acquired.
Paul Smith’s College professor Curt Stager takes a deeper look at the history of Black pioneers in the Adirondacks. With much of the non-white history of the Adirondack area buried or misrepresented in past works, Stager, along with several contemporary historians, are now telling the true, much more full picture of the role Black people played in the early days of Adirondack settlement.
This round-up of Adirondack conservation news is a collection of the most current events taking place in New York’s Adirondack Park, a unique national treasure and legacy we inherited over 100 years ago that we must protect for future generations. This regular feature provided by the Adirondack Council highlights threats and opportunities concerning the Park’s ecological integrity, wild character, and community vibrancy.
Photos, from above: Willie Janeway; road salt usage; Camp Gabriels incarceration center; snowshoeing on Wild Forest land; and Black pioneers in the Adirondacks.