Press Releases

Adirondack Council Takes Adirondack Message Global

Council Staff at COP27 Climate Conference in Egypt, Somos Gathering in Puerto Rico 

SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt – Adirondack Council Forever Adirondacks Campaign Director Aaron Mair traveled to a city near Cairo, Egypt last week to participate in COP27, the most recent world climate Conference of Parties meeting to discuss and urge progress on curbing global climate change.        

At the conference, Mair urged world leaders to preserve wilderness as a means of reducing atmospheric carbon most efficiently -- especially because it brings so many additional benefits such as clean water, recreational space, healthy wildlife, and healthy communities -- while creating rewarding, new jobs.  Mair was representing both the Adirondack Council and the Sierra Club Foundation of Canada. 

“The Adirondack Council is growing rapidly as an organization, just as interest in the Adirondack Park and the ‘forever wild’ Forest Preserve continue to grow around the world,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “Permanently protected forests are a key element of protecting civilization from the wild and destructive weather created by an overheated atmosphere. Forests calm the climate by removing and storing the most common greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, and by shading the soils and waters beneath them from direct sunlight.  The Adirondacks are a global treasure and include the largest intact temperate deciduous forest in the world.  People want to know how New York preserves forests and how they can do it back home.” 

Janeway said the Adirondack Council also wants to show the world that careers in environmental advocacy and activism are not reserved only to white men.  As a citizen-activist and pioneer in the environmental justice movement in New York, Mair was elected President of the Sierra Club.  He was the first Black person to serve in that role.  Mair joined the staff of the Adirondack Council to direct its Forever Adirondacks Campaign after he retired from the NYS Dept. of Health, where he had served as a spatial epidemiologist and cartographer. 

While Mair was in Egypt, Adirondack Council Director of Government Relations Kevin Chlad, Parkside consultant Saima Anjam and Deputy Executive Director Raul “Rocci” Aguirre traveled to Puerto Rico for the annual Somos (“All of Us,” in Spanish) gathering of Latino government and community leaders from New York and the Caribbean.   

At Somos, they thanked members of the NYS Legislature for the successes of 2022, including $2.1 million in new funding for the Timbuctoo Summer Climate and Careers Institute, $500,000 to start a comprehensive Survey of Climate and Adirondack Lake Ecosystems and $8,600,000 for state wilderness land stewardship and visitor and overuse management.  They also discussed the need to move quickly to begin using voter approved Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond dollars to fund capital projects including new open space and park lands, clean water projects and air pollution prevention statewide.  They said they looked forward to working with lawmakers to carry out the requirements of the state’s Climate Action Plan. 

In October, the Council held a reception in Lake Placid to thank the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus for holding its annual retreat in the Adirondacks for the second consecutive year.  Once again, Mair and Janeway were featured speakers at the caucus meetings that week. 

Back in September, Aguirre was also a featured panelist at a national forum discussing diversity, equity and inclusion in the land conservation movement, held as part of the Land Trust Alliance’s annual conference in New Orleans.  More than 1,500 attendees from around North America participated in the three-day retreat, including Adirondack Council Conservation Director Jackie Bowen. Aguirre also serves as a regional commissioner for New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (Saratoga-Capital District).  

Established 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. It is the largest environmental organization whose sole focus is the Adirondacks.  

The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action. It envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, core wilderness areas, farms and working forests, and vibrant, diverse, welcoming, safe communities.  Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States. 

For more information: John Sheehan, Director of Communications, 518-441-1340 

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