Press Releases

Adirondack Council Thanks Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Caucus for Holding Annual Retreat in Adirondack Park

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council today thanked the New York Legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus for holding its annual meeting in the Adirondack Park for the first time.

The Caucus held its event at the Golden Arrow Hotel, an environmentally conscious resort on the shore of Mirror Lake. Participants and their families toured the High Peaks, visited John Brown’s Farm State Historic Site, and discussed both the Park’s history and the Caucus’ agenda for the upcoming Legislative Session.

The Adirondack Council held a reception in honor of the Caucus’ visit, at the nearby restaurant Smoke Signals (barbeque) that was attended by more than 100 visitors on Sunday evening, Oct. 24.

“The Adirondack Council appreciates the Caucus’ decision to hold its retreat in the Adirondacks,” said Adirondack Council Government Relations Director Kevin Chlad. “It was a pleasure to see so many members of the Legislature and their families enjoying a roaring campfire and sitting by the lake as the sun goes down, making memories that will last a lifetime.”

“Members of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus had the opportunity to experience parts of the Adirondack Park and learn more about how its rich history intersects with the abolitionist and suffrage movements,” said Assemb. Michaelle C. Solages, Chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus. “With this experience, members were able to gather together to work collaboratively on a bold agenda for BIPOC communities that is rooted in equity, empowerment, and environmental justice. The Caucus extends its deep gratitude to the Adirondack Council and their partners for the invitation and consideration of our connection to this national treasure.”

Chlad said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway and Forever Adirondacks Campaign Director Aaron Mair were honored to be invited to address the Caucus on Monday.

“Aaron told the amazing and largely forgotten story of the Park's suffrage settlements in the 1840s, where free Black New Yorkers established at least eight settlements, including Timbucto -- where abolitionist John Brown also settled -- as the first-ever means to secure their rights to vote,” Chlad explained. “He described the histories of communities such as Blacksville, Bloomingdale (Vermontville), Ray Brook, Freeman’s Home, Township 9, St. Armand, and Negrow Brook/Negro Hill.”

“In many ways, what we know as the official history of the Adirondacks has underrepresented the ties of communities of color to this incredible landscape,” Chlad said. The organization circulated a poster entitled Our Shared Adirondack Legacy to illustrate some of that history.

Janeway explained the Forever Adirondacks campaign to the Caucus on Monday, underscoring its quest to protect clean water, create new jobs and preserve wilderness -- and make the Park a more welcoming place for all New Yorkers. 

“We hope everyone had a great time and we hope to see them here again soon,” Chlad said.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer also visited on Monday. It was the first time the Caucus has met outside of Albany, the organizers said.

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) welcomed the visitors on Sunday during the Adirondack Council’s opening reception.

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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