Press Releases

Christoper J. "Kim" Elliman Is Adirondack Conservationist of the Year

Elliman & Adirondack Artist Sheri Amsel to be Honored on Forever Wild Day in July

WILLSBORO, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council will present its Conservationist of the Year Award to Christopher J. “Kim” Elliman during the organization’s Forever Wild Day celebration on July 13 at Cornell’s Willsboro Research Farm on Lake Champlain.

Elliman’s work as President and CEO of the Open Space Institute and as a co-founder of the Adirondack Land Trust will be celebrated by friends of the Adirondacks, Adirondack Council members, staff and board members.  He will receive a museum-quality, life-sized hand-carved loon – a symbol of the Adirondack wilderness – at the celebration, prior to the organization’s annual meeting. The loon was created by master carver Robert Padden.

Also on July 13, the Council will honor the work of renowned Adirondack artist and author Sheri Amsel of Westport. The Forever Wild Day celebration will include a luncheon, outdoor activities, a visit from Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, and as host, town of Willsboro Supervisor (and Chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors) Shaun Gillilland.

Sheri’s books and paintings are well known around the Adirondacks and beyond. A portion of her career has been dedicated to helping the Adirondack Council tell the story of the Adirondack Park to a worldwide audience through her maps, illustrations and drawings.

“As President and CEO of the Open Space Institute, Kim Elliman has acquired and protected thousands of acres of Adirondack forests, preserving clean water and wildlife, while also fostering more vibrant communities” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway. “Privately, Kim and his family have helped preserve thousands of additional acres. His conservation work has also made an impact far beyond the Adirondacks, but this is the place he most loves and calls home.

“These acquisitions help the local communities by providing new pathways between hamlets and popular Forest Preserve destinations,” Janeway said. “Elliman and the OSI team were a lead partner with the state in the establishment of the new Northway Exit 29 Adirondack Gateway at the former Frontier Town in North Hudson. OSI projects help the environment by expanding the motor-free wilderness and by diminishing overcrowding on the most popular routes.”

Elliman has been with OSI since 1992. OSI has conserved more than 2.3 million acres in the eastern U.S. and has created more than 50 new parks and preserves.  OSI “acquires, finances, and promotes the conservation of lands for human use and resilient natural systems.”

Kim also serves on non-profit and foundation boards, including: The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation (former Chair); Overhills Foundation (Chair); Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust; The Wilderness Society (former Chair); Wildlife Conservation Society; Jamaica Bay Rockaway Parks Conservancy; Black Rock Forest Preserve; Storm King Art Center; Center for Humans and Nature; Grow NYC (former Chair); and, Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters.

Elliman has a long history in the Adirondacks, having come to the High Peaks every year of his life. He served on the Board of the Adirondack Council form 1982-1994, when he worked with fellow board members and other partners to create the Adirondack Land Trust, and served as Chair from 1987-1992, during which time the Conservationist of the Year award was initiated.

He expanded OSI’s scope into the Adirondacks, where it has purchased and preserved a number of key tracts including lands important to local culture and tourism in the iron-mining ghost town of Tahawus, in Essex County, and the important canoe path known as Marion Carry near Blue Mountain Lake, in Hamilton County.

Elliman said he counts himself “lucky to have served on the Council board with extraordinary conservation leaders such as Frances Beinecke, Harold Jerry, Peter Berle, Jim Marshall, John Ernst and Barbara Glaser, and at OSI with John Adams, Joe Martens, John Cahill, and others.”

Sheri Amsel has written and illustrated more than 30 non-fiction children’s books and developed interpretive signs for museums, schools and nature centers. Sheri’s work went online in 2005 with, a science education website used by schools and homeschool families around the world.  In 2009, Sheri was awarded the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Environmental Education of Youths, by the Garden Club of America.

Sheri’s work continues with the ongoing development of educational resources that help children understand the value of science and the natural world.

Other Conservationist of the Year Award winners include: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson; NY Governors Mario M. Cuomo and George E. Pataki; New York Times editor John Oakes; NYS Attorney General Dennis Vacco; NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Commissioners John P. Cahill, Erin Crotty and Joseph Martens; Senator Carl Marcellino; Assemblymen Richard Brodsky and Maurice Hinchey; Adirondack Park Agency Executive Director Robert Glennon; Adirondack environmental activists Timothy Barnett, Frances Beinecke, Peter Borrelli, Michael Carr, George Davis, John and Margot Ernst, Barbara L. Glaser, Harold Jerry, Bill McKibben, Chris Navitsky, David L. Newhouse, Peter Paine, Clarence Petty and Paul Schaefer.

Created in 1892, the Adirondack Park is one of the oldest and largest protected landscapes in the United States. It is a six-million-acre (9,300-square-mile) blend of public and private lands protecting the largest temperate deciduous forest in the world.  Within this single mountain park are 11,000 lakes and ponds, and roughly 30,000 miles of rivers, brooks and streams that provide water to most of New York State. 

New York’s Constitution requires that the Park’s 2.7 million acres of public Forest Preserve be kept wild forever. Private lands consist of commercial timberlands, large estates, resorts, outdoor recreation venues, private homes and 130 small communities, only nine of which are large enough to be incorporated as villages. Its year-round population is 130,000 but nearly twice as many live here during the summer. More than 12.4 million people visit annually.

               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. 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:

Debbie Pastore, Adirondack Council, 860-712-5620 cell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 3, 2019


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