Schenectadians’ interest in protecting and exploring wilderness has its roots in the mid 1800s with industrialization and westward expansion. The wilderness was at risk of disappearing, and influential nature lovers used their writings to convince Americans that preserving land and wildlife was vital. Many Americans, including people in Schenectady, could easily see the case for this. [Read more…] about Schenectady and the Adirondacks: A Legacy of Conservation
The Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks had hired me the previous winter. It was now the spring of 1987. Windows and doors were again opening to the hope and then the reality of spring’s warmth. The director of the Schenectady Museum William (Bill) Verner had given me, practically rent free, a desk and telephone from which to begin work as the Association’s first Executive Director in over 60 years.
It helped that Bill was a member of my board of trustees, and that his knowledge and love for the Adirondacks and Adirondack history from a home base in Long Lake was long and deep. [Read more…] about The Adirondack Raised Relief Map: Some History
Many organizations introduce their work with the words “were it not for the volunteers, we could not…” That can be justifiably said of the Adirondack Research Library (ARL), formerly part of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks (AfPA). [Read more…] about The Volunteers Behind the Adirondack Research Library
New York State’s Forest Preserve lands of the Adirondacks and Catskills are living fossils of the broad 19th-century movement to protect wild forests of the federal public lands in the West as forest reserves and not as national forest sources of fiber, forage, and minerals.
New York State’s Forest Preserve lands therefore are living proof that the wilderness preservation movement is not an upstart 20th-century offshoot of the mainstream American conservation movement. [Read more…] about Ed Zahniser On Wilderness & New York State
On a fall Saturday afternoon in the early 1990s some friends and I met up with wilderness coalition leader Paul Schaefer (1908-1996) at his cabin in Bakers Mills, northern Warren County, NY. Deciding to spend the night, we drove Paul into nearby North Creek for something to eat.
We tried the area’s hotel. One of the hotel staff took a look at Paul’s red plaid hunting jacket and asked him if could change into something more formal. At that, we turned heel and, walking across the street, entered Smith’s Restaurant.
Paul was immediately comfortable, having eaten here many times. Someone greeted him, a fellow deer hunter who remembered him. We took a booth and Paul ordered a steak. [Read more…] about Adirondack Mountains National Park? In 1967 There Was A Plan
On almost every stream, pond or lake in the Adirondacks there is still evidence of lumberman’s dams and lumbering operations. In the mid-to-late 1960s however, there was a controversial plan to dam the Upper Hudson River in order to supply water and hydro-electric power to the parched, urban, metropolitan area of New York City.
In the early 1960s there had been a severe drought along the entire northeastern seaboard. One of New York City’s answers to the drought problem was to tap the Upper Hudson to supply its seemingly unquenchable need for water. [Read more…] about Plans To Dam The Upper Hudson Would Have Been Catastrophic
DEC and APA websites reveal that 777,206 acres of private land in the Adirondack Park are protected in some fashion by a state-owned conservation easement.
During the Adirondack Park Centennial year of 1992 there were 93,000 acres of private lands under state-owned easement in the Park. [Read more…] about The First Adirondack Conservation Easement
As the decade of the 1990s began, noted Adirondack conservationist and wilderness coalition leader Paul Schaefer’s eyesight was failing. He had macular degeneration. We had noticed that this skilled carpenter, home and cabin builder and historic restorationist was no longer hitting the nail squarely on its head. We worried about him continuing to drive. [Read more…] about Adirondack Advocate Paul Schaefer’s Influence On The Northway
It was about 1931. Apperson was an General Electric engineer fighting to protect Lake George and other wild places. As Schaefer said, it was the pure sense of joy that Apperson exuded about conservation in the Adirondacks which galvanized young people looking for a cause.
These were very important years for the Adirondacks, as for the nation. The 1932 national election loomed, as the Great Depression sucked hope and savings from so many. One can imagine the anxiety that gripped the country and the opportunity for hucksters, demagogues, as well as statesmen. [Read more…] about Al Smith, John Apperson, FDR & The Fight That Expanded NYS Forests
In the 1990s I would visit Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks (AfPA) vice president and archivist Paul Schaefer (1908-1996) at his home in Niskayuna to learn as much as I could from him about wilderness preservation.
After he died, Paul was named one of the 100 top conservationists in the United States by Audubon magazine. I was the executive director of the AfPA and learned a great deal from Paul during the last decade of his life. [Read more…] about Cutting The Scotia Runway: An Adirondack Conservationist During The War