Important Notice: Annual Meeting Location Has Been Changed.

The location for the 2023 annual membership meeting of Protect the Adirondacks has been moved from the Visitor Interpretive Center in Newcomb to the Exit 29 (Adirondack Northway) Gateway to the Adirondacks A Frame. The Newcomb VIC was damaged from recent storms. The Annual Meeting will still be held on Saturday, July 22, 2023, beginning at 10:00 AM. The day will feature a business meeting on the state of the organization, election of the Board of Directors, a Conservation and Advocacy Report, and a special presentation “An Exploration of Forever Wild” that provides an in-depth overview of PROTECT’s successful legal challenge to uphold and defend the Forever Wild clause in the State Constitution. Refreshments and lunch will be served. The annual membership meeting is a great way to catch up on the work of Protect the Adirondacks and meet the Board and staff.


Annual Meeting Agenda

9:30 Welcome and Refreshments

10:00 Business Meeting

1) The Chair’s Welcome by Chuck Clusen

2) Financial Report by Treasurer David Quinn

3) 2023 Board of Director’s Election

4) Conservation and Advocacy Report by PROTECT’s staff

11:00 An Exploration of Forever Wild

12:30 Lunch


An Exploration of Forever Wild

Protect the Adirondacks is pleased to present “An Exploration of Forever Wild” that details the meaning of the Forever Wild clause in the New York State Constitution and our successful legal challenge against state agencies. This presentation will feature historian Dr. Philip Terrie, attorneys John Caffry and Claudia Braymer, and attorney Christopher Amato. This is a unique opportunity to hear firsthand about the 2021 landmark legal decision that will shape management of the Forever Wild Forest Preserve for decades to come.

Dr. Philip Terrie will talk about the creation of the Forest Preserve in 1885, origins of the wording “forever wild,” and go over the highlights of the 1894 and 1915 New York State Constitutional Conventions. 

John Caffry, the lead attorney on PROTECT’s successful defense of Article 14, the Forever Wild clause in the State constitution, will talk about two Article 14 court decisions from 1930 and 1990 that shaped PROTECT’s legal challenge. 

Claudia Braymer, PROTECT’s Deputy Director, and co-counsel on PROTECT’s successful defense of Article 14, will talk about the substance of the 2021 decision by New York’s highest court. 

Christopher Amato, PROTECT’s Conservation Director and Counsel, will talk about the long-term impacts of this decision on Forest Preserve management.


2023 Board of Directors Election Slate

Nancy Bernstein: Ms. Bernstein lives with her son in Vermontville in an energy efficient, solar powered home that she built. Nancy formerly worked as a builder of timberframe houses and barns, and continues work as a noted freelance illustrator and mapmaker. She has served on the Saranac Lake School Board. She currently works as an Energy Circuit Rider for the Adirondack North Country Association. Nancy was a founding director of Protect the Adirondacks.

John Caffry: John Caffry has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2010. He is Co-chair of PROTECT’s Conservation Advocacy Committee. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section. John is a partner in the law firm of Caffry & Flower, concentrating in environmental law. He is a native of Glens Falls and resides there with his family. He was the lead attorney in PROTECT’s successful lawsuit to defend and protect the forever wild clause in the State constitution. He makes the Palinesque claim that he can see the Adirondack Park from his house (during leaf-off conditions). In his spare time, he hikes, camps, and paddles in the Adirondacks, bicycles, and goes alpine, telemark, and cross-country skiing.

Chuck Clusen: Currently the chair of Protect the Adirondacks, Chuck was a founding member in 2009. Chuck worked previously as the Director of the National Parks and Alaska Projects for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. He has worked as an environmental advocate for forty years specializing in federal public lands, Wilderness, national parks and Alaska. In the 1970’s Chuck organized and led the Alaska Coalition pushing the Congress to pass the Alaska National Interest Lands Act of 1980 which created over a 100 million acres of national parks and wildlife refuges and an additional 56 million acres of Wilderness in the state. In addition, he was a leader in getting Congress to pass over 14 million acres of Wilderness in the Lower 48 and worked as the Executive Director of the Adirondack Council in the 1980s.

Dean Cook: Dean Cook was a founding member of Protect the Adirondacks in 2009. He is an Adirondack native with a private dental practice in Ticonderoga. Dean holds a BA from the University of Buffalo and a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a past board member of the Adirondack Council, the Lake Champlain Committee, the Lake George Land Conservancy, Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks and a past President of High Peaks Audubon. He currently serves on the Lake George Park Commission. Dean lives in a solar powered, energy efficient house that he built on a family farm that has been in his family since the 1800s.

James McMartin Long: A resident of Canada Lake, James Long is deeply familiar with the southern Adirondacks from bushwhacking and cross-country skiing since his youth. Co-author of the second edition of 50 Hikes in the Hudson Valley, Mr. Long monitors Canada Lake for PROTECT’s Adirondack Lake Assessment Program, and is a co-author of The Adirondack Park and Rural America: Population and Economic Trends 1970-2010.

Mark Lawton: Mark attended the College of Forestry at Syracuse University, and is a resident of Saratoga Springs. His career has included helping to establish the Federal Appalachia Program; NYS Assembly Ways and Means budget and policy analyst; NYS Constitutional Convention staff; and current service on the Urban Forest Committee of Saratoga Springs. From his base in a yurt in Essex, Mr. Lawton hikes and skis the wooded shores, and sails the waters of Lake Champlain.

Philip Terrie, Ph.D.: Phil lives in Ithaca and Long Lake, and is emeritus professor of American Culture and Environmental Studies at Bowling Green State University. An eminent regional historian, Dr. Terrie is the author of Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks, and Forever Wild: A Cultural History of Wilderness in the Adirondacks, as well as numerous articles, chapters, and reviews on regional history and culture. A former Assistant Curator at the Adirondack Museum, he is a regular contributor to the Adirondack Explorer, and is a 46-er who enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, and birding.

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