Top 28 Threats Listed in Adirondack Council’s VISION

Top 28 Threats Listed in Adirondack Council’s VISION 2050

  1. Climate change will alter the ecosystems on a large scale and test the resiliency of human communities.
  2. Invasive species could wreak havoc on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
  3. Pollution, degrading our lakes, rivers, stream, and drinking water resources, could come from inadequate wastewater treatment plants, sewer lines, failing septic systems and excess application of road salt.
  4. A resurgence of acid rain and other airborne pollutants could devastate waters, wildlife, fisheries, and forests.
  5. Compromised shoreline protections and continuing development pressure could severely harm water quality, aquatic ecosystems and the natural character of key areas within the Park.
  6. A lack of visionary leadership from state government leaders with regard to the Adirondack Park and failure to manage the Park as a Park could halt the preservation it requires.
  7. A lack of dedicated funding and a strong constituency for Adirondack research, monitoring, management, education, stewardship, and protection will weaken the Park.
  8. An era of more dynamic change, including increased polarity in political leadership, will accelerate the pace of change and political threats. Political and cultural polarization is increasing.
  9. Challenges and proposals to weaken Article XIV could be successful.
  10. Communities that are successful economic centers may see growth pressure from an influx of year-round and seasonal residents that strains the character of a community and the infrastructure that preserves environmental integrity. Open space could continue to face the threat of poorly conceived subdivision and development.
  11. At the same time, rural areas and some hamlets may see population decline and possible abandonment.
  12. Habitat fragmentation due to human development will endanger species and constrain the connectivity wildlife will rely on as climate change alters ranges. This could contribute to a loss of biodiversity.
  13. There will likely be a continued increase in tourist visitation with greater impact on wildlands and other natural areas through intensive backcountry use and water-based recreation. Overuse (or under management) on public lands could continue. This will probably coincide with a shift in tourist expectations toward more comfort and amenities in campgrounds and elsewhere.
  14. There will be a growing popularity of less-traditional recreational activities including mountain biking, electric-assisted bicycling and back-country glade skiing, which could open up changes to the SLMP.
  15. Winter recreation centers, including state-owned Whiteface Mountain, will try to diversify into more warm-season attractions such as zip lines, downhill mountain biking, coaster rides, and other recreation yet to be conceived. This could open up constitutional questions on state land.
  16. Climate change could reduce or in some areas eliminate the snowmobile season. This could severely impact local economies now relying on snowmobiling and could create pressure for more ATVs or other motorized use of snowmobile trails.
  17. If the Adirondack Park is not more welcoming to diverse people and individuals with cultural and other differences, it will undermine growth of a more robust and diverse constituency for protection of the Park.
  18. Changing Forest Markets. Large conservation easement tracts now managed by Timberland Investment Organizations will come back on the market. They may have been overharvested and be unattractive to potential responsible buyers.
  19. A growing market for carbon credits may become an important factor in forest management and the Adirondack economy.
  20. Growing demand for water, both by New York City and downstate communities and by commercial retailers could create pressure to weaken Adirondack protections.
  21. Continued increases in the cost of housing in some communities, especially due to the growth of the second-home market, could cause an exodus of lower-income residents and impact schools, the workforce and volunteer services.
  22. Development of renewable energy sources, including wind, solar and biomass will create both opportunities for a more-sustainable economy and threats to the wild character of the Park.
  23. Opposition to state land acquisition may hamper future conservation efforts.
  24. Unanticipated technological changes, including to transportation systems, may have unanticipated or unintended consequences.
  25. Boom and bust economic cycles can both threaten Adirondack Park.
  26. There may be challenges growing and sustaining local farming.
  27. Light pollution may threaten the Park’s dark skies.
  28. Scenic vistas may be lost.

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20-21 Accomplishments

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