Happy Holidays from the Adirondack Council: Reflecting on 2016

December 22, 2016

By: The staff of the Adirondack Council

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/images/Happy Holidays!.jpgThe Adirondacks are covered in a beautiful blanket of fresh snow. The weather outside is cold and blustery. As you walk though the woods, you may notice the distinct scent of balsam, or hear a bird quietly flutter by. The Adirondacks sure are a beautiful place this time of year. It's peaceful and quiet outdoors, yet communities are bustling with holiday shoppers and skiers. As many of us do this time of year, we are curled up by the fire with friends and family, reflecting on the past 12 months.

The year 2016 has been one for the books for Adirondack conservation because of your help writing letters, signing petitions, attending public hearings and supporting programs to help the Park. Thank you so much for your generous contributions to ensure the Adirondack Park is the beautiful place it is now for future generations.

Some highlights in Adirondack conservation this year...

  • The state purchased the Boreas Ponds tract from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy and is now in the process of determining the best way to protect and manage the 20,500 acres of land.
  • Enthusiastic crowds of Wilderness advocates turned out for public hearings and wrote letters to the Adirondack Park Agency in support of motor-free Wilderness protection for the Boreas Ponds.
  • Over $10 million in grants for clean water infrastructure were awarded to Adirondack communities.
  • A record-breaking $300 million was dedicated to the Environmental Protection Fund, the largest amount that has ever been allocated.
  • The state doubled its budget to combat invasive species this year from $5.8 million to $12 million, expanding boat inspection programs.
  • A bill was signed into law that would increase revenues for the Lake George Park Commission and allow it to fight invasive species, educate the public, promote tourism, and help keep our Adirondack waters clean.
  • This summer at our Forever Wild Day in Northville, we honored Joe Martens, former Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner as the "Conservationist of the Year" for his lifetime of hard work and advocacy for wild lands.
  • With our Cool Farms/Healthy Park Grant Initiative, we worked with 12 local farms to help them grow with environmentally friendly solutions. The grants are designed to help farmers remain an important part of a sustainable Adirondack economy.
  • Helped Raquette Lake landowners by securing legislation to implement a constitutional amendment that cleared titles to disputed properties and added land on the Marion River and elsewhere to the Forest Preserve.

Nelson Mandela once said "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." This especially rings true for environmental work as we move into the New Year.  Advancements this year have been exciting, but we sure have our work cut out for us for 2017 and beyond. We are confident that 2017 will be another outstanding year for conservation and Adirondack communities. We couldn't do it without your help, passion and vision for a healthy, vibrant Adirondack Park.

From the Adirondack Council family to yours, Happy Holidays!

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