Press Releases

Adirondack Council Hires Goren to Modernize 2020 Park Blueprint

Adirondack Summit Steward and Education Programs Director to Lead Team Updating Landmark 2020 Vision Plan for 2050; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation among funders 

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. – With the year 2020 fast approaching the Adirondack Council is moving to remake its pioneering 30 year old plan for completion of New York’s 126-year-old Adirondack Park titled 2020 VISION. Julia Goren, director of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Education Programs and the multi-agency Summit Steward program for the last fifteen years will start work for the Adirondack Council in November as director of a new multi-year Vision Project. The initiative is partially funded by an anonymous donor and multi-year leadership grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Fowler Merle-Smith Family Charitable Lead Trust.

“Julia Goren will be the director of a new multi-year project developing an updated vision for an Adirondack Park that realizes its full potential,” said William C. Janeway, Adirondack Council Executive Director. “Julia’s experience leading the award winning Summit Steward program, supervising the Adirondack Mountain Club’s education efforts, using science to inform policy, and collaborating with a wide range of Adirondack Park stakeholders and wildland managers from beyond New York has prepared her well to lead this strategic planning initiative. We are thrilled that Julia is joining the Adirondack Council team in this leadership position, and we are very grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Fowler Merle-Smith Family and others for their support.”

“I am proud of all the Adirondack Mountain Club and I have accomplished over the last 15 years, working with so many partners, staff and volunteers,” Goren said. “Looking forward, I’m thrilled by this chance to work in a new and exciting way on behalf of the Adirondack Park. I’ve devoted my career to introducing people to the natural wonders of the Park and helping them understand how to protect these ecologically fragile areas. I will bring the same values to leading this initiative to develop a long-range vision for the Adirondacks. I look forward to working with experts and stakeholders as we realize a vision for the Adirondack Park that fully fulfills its potential for nature and people.”

“We will use the best available science and technology to guide the work,” Janeway said. “And we will build on the foundation of the Council’s 2020 Vision series of publications and the Common Ground Alliance Adirondack Futures project.”

The Council’s 2020 VISION Plan is an illustrated, four-volume series of studies on how to preserve the park’s rich biological diversity; protect and expand its motor-free wilderness areas; realize the recreational potential of non-wilderness public forests; and, better manage its commercial timberlands and other private properties.

The first three volumes were published beginning in 1988 and focused on the most important land acquisitions needed for completion of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, which comprises about half of the entire park.  It would become the basis for the creation of the NYS Open Space Conservation Plan, which is the state’s landscape preservation blueprint.

Volume 4 was published in 2007.  It explained and encouraged the use of conservation easements and other private conservation tools to protect the ecological health and wild character of the park’s private lands.

All four volumes were produced with considerable assistance from state agency staff, private research consultants, university faculty and other advisors. Many of the central recommendations of that series have been accomplished over the years, while the Park has also changed and faces new challenges.

The Adirondack Futures project worked to find a consensus among a wide range of Adirondack interests on the type of Park they would like to see.

“2020 VISION recognized that the Adirondack Park should remain roughly half public and half private land,” said Janeway.  “It also recognized that the public Forest Preserve was not yet completed, so it recommended which lands should be acquired.  It also advised the state to avoid purchasing lands better suited to private use, such as well-managed commercial timberlands, resorts, estates and private sanctuaries.”

Janeway said Goren’s job would be to help examine how much of the 2020 VISION Plan has been accomplished to date, examine the original goals and outcomes and help the organization work with partners to set new 21st century appropriate goals for the year 2050. 

Rather than simply produce a new set of printed publications, the Council will use digital technology to make the plans easy to read, understand and share.  Adirondack Vision will go beyond land protection to look at concerns that were not well understood in 1988, such as climate change, invasive species, management of the Park and overuse of certain popular recreational areas.  

The Adirondack Vision project will set a course for strengthening the preservation and management of wild lands and natural resources while respecting the needs of diverse human communities in environmentally responsible ways.

“By looking 30 years ahead, we hope to avoid getting distracted by current events and instead envision what this great park can become when our children and grandchildren are in charge,” Janeway said.  “What will the Adirondacks look like by then? How healthy will the park be?  How much will it be affected by air pollution, climate change or other outside influences?

“The Adirondack Park is a national treasure - a legacy we inherited over 100 years ago - that we protect for all time. The Adirondacks can be a model for the world, showing how people and nature thrive together, in a climate-smart Park managed to sustain the success of world class conservation at scale, in a globally unique ecosystem” said Janeway.

Following an initial lead planning gift from an anonymous long-time supporter, the Adirondack Council received multi-year grants of $75,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and $100,000 from the Fowler Merle-Smith Family Charitable Lead Trust for the first phase of the Adirondack Vision project.

  This project aligns with the mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke properties. DDCF’s Environmental Program focuses its support on enabling communities to protect and manage wildlife habitat and create efficient built environments.

“The six million acre Adirondack Park is an iconic American landscape, rich in biodiversity and human history,” said Sacha Spector, director for the environment at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “We are pleased to support the Adirondack Council as it creates a vision for the Park that ensures its uniquely intact, resilient habitats can thrive for years to come. We are also excited for how this work will serve as a model for landscape-level conservation throughout the country.”

Founded in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park.  The Council envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by farms and working forests, as well as vibrant communities.

The Adirondack Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action to ensure the legacy of the Adirondack Park is safeguarded for future generations.  Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.


For more information:
John Sheehan
518-441-1340 cell
518-432-1770 office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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