With strong partner organizations, collaboration with elected/appointed government officials, and citizen participation, the Council successfully advocates for policies and funding that benefit the environment and communities of the Adirondack Park.

2022-2023 Accomplishments

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Wilderness: Ensuring the wild character and ecological integrity of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve.

  • Inaugural Visitor Use Management Study Underway: In 2022, the Adirondack Council helped secure $600,000 in state funding that would allow the DEC to hire a lead consulting firm to study visitor use management in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. In early 2023, the Council and other stakeholders attended the first public listening session to help shape the process.
  • $400 million Environmental Protection Fund: Working with the Clean Water and Jobs Coalition, the Council helped secure an historic $100 million dollar increase in EPF funding, with $40 million earmarked for open space acquisitions or conservation easements.
  • Wildlife Friendly Legislation Passed: Council efforts helped pass wildlife friendly legislation in the Senate and Assembly, including a prohibition on the killing of wildlife (such as coyotes) for cash and prizes. It awaits the Governor’s signature.

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Vibrant Communities: Fostering a more resilient, sustainable Adirondack Park with vibrant communities.

  • Green Jobs: The Council’s Forever Adirondacks campaign helped create and secure $2.1 million in funds for the Timbuctoo Summer Climate and Careers Institute. This partnership with CUNY Medgar Evers and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will bring high school students to the Adirondacks to study and learn about green jobs this summer. 
  • Community Grants: The Council partnered with the Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation to award $18,000 in grants to three local organizations to improve connectivity and support community efforts in the Raquette Lake area.
  • ATV minimum age increased: Advancing a recommendation from the Adirondack Council’s 2019 ATV report, the Council helped raise the legal riding age for unsupervised ATV riders from 10 to 14 years of age.

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Water & Air: Fighting for clean water and clean air; combating invasive species and climate change.

  • Clean Air: US Environmental Protection Agency updated its 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards reducing upwind air pollution currently causing acid rain and smog damage. The Adirondack Council staff testified before EPA on the importance these changes will have on reducing rates of asthma and premature deaths from lung and heart disease in the Northeast.
  • Watershed Communication: A $50,000 Great Lakes Basin Small Grant was secured in partnership with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail to hire a “headwaters coordinator” to work with lake associations in the Raquette Lake Watershed. 
  • Clean Water Infrastructure: Over the last seven years, the NYS Clean Water Fund has awarded $95M to Park communities to keep pollution out of Adirondack waters. Over $15M of these grant awards were made in 2022-23 with support and advocacy from the Council.
  • Survey of Climate and Adirondack Lake Ecosystems (SCALE): Council staff helped secure $2 million dollars in funding to assist this multi-institutional partnership focused on assessing climate change impacts on waterbodies across the Adirondacks. This analysis will augment data from the historic 1984-1987 Adirondack Lakes Survey effort. 
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Control Districts: The Council supported the passage of legislation that will expand the authority for Adirondack communities to raise revenues to control aquatic invasive species like the zebra mussel. This bill awaits the Governor’s signature.

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Farms and Forests: Preserving open space and supporting working forests and farms

  • Adirondack Council Essex Farm Institute: The Council awarded 12 micro-grants, totaling $26,000, to farmers and value-added food producers to support climate-friendly farming practices and energy-efficient infrastructure projects. 
  • Northeast Wolf Recovery Alliance: The Council joined partners from across the Northeast to assist in policy, education, and scientific efforts that will encourage the natural recovery of wolves in the greater Adirondack region. 
  • Birds and Bees Protection Act: The Council joined partners in securing significant legislative approval to prohibit the use of a class of pesticides in corn, wheat, and soy seeds, which are harmful to pollinators. Bill awaits Governor’s approval.

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Leadership and Government: Leading, expanding, and diversifying the Park’s constituency.

  • The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian State Legislative Caucus: Held their annual Caucus retreat in the Adirondacks for the second year in a row. Council staff worked with the Caucus to share more stories about the Park, including the abolition and suffrage movements. The Caucus has been a powerful ally on Park related climate and environmental justice issues. 
  • Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act: Approved in November 2022, the $4.2 Billion Act will benefit the Park’s ecology, economy, and public health through capital projects that curb greenhouse gases and combat climate change. 
  • Adirondack Park Leadership: The Council championed and strongly supported the appointment of Benita Law-Diao, the first person of color, to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) board. 
  • Protecting the Public’s Right to Comment: Council membership responded in large numbers to help reverse the APA’s attempt to reduce the ability of the public to provide public comment on critical issues before the agency.

19-20 Accomplishments

22-23 Accomplishments

Achieved with partners, grassroots advocacy,
and YOUR support! 

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