Thank you to the members and supporters of PROTECT and the 16 other Adirondack environmental organizations who filled the halls of the Capitol and the Legislative Office Building on February 26, 2024!  Our loud and proud contingent showed Legislators in Albany that New Yorkers care about protecting our treasured Adirondack Park!  The coalition of more than 140 people from across the State, clad in red and black north country scarves, met with over 65 different Legislators, or their staff, from the Assembly and Senate.


Morning Program

We began the day hearing from two Assemblymembers who represent the Adirondack Park and other environmental advocates.  Assemblymember Matthew Simpson (District 114) and Assemblymember Billy Jones (District 115) helped kick off the morning program with their support for environmental initiatives happening in their districts and across the Adirondack Park.


Assemblymember Matthew Simpson speaks to the group

Assemblymember Matthew Simpson speaks to the group.


Assemblymember Billy Jones speaks to the group

Assemblymember Billy Jones speaks to the group.


The Director of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus of the State Assembly and State Senate addresses Lobby Day.

Recent alumni from the Timbuctoo Climate Science and Careers Summer Institute (Timbuctoo Institute) shared inspiring personal stories with the group about their experiences in the Timbuctoo Institute program, and their goals to achieve careers in climate and environmental science related fields.  The alumni discussion was led by Paul Hai, associate director of the Adirondack Ecological Center in Newcomb and director of the Timbuctoo Institute.  Continued funding for the Timbuctoo Institute is one of the coalitions main priorities for 2024.  The Governor’s Executive Budget proposed eliminating the $2.1 million in funding for the Timbuctoo Institute, so we need the Legislature to negotiate for that funding to be reinstated in the final budget that is adopted.


Paul Hai, Director of the Timbuctoo Institute leads the alumni in a discussion about their experiences in the Timbuctoo Institute program.


Alumni students from the Timbuctoo Institute inspired the crowd with stories of their experiences and goals for the future.


Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts

Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts getting ready to share their enthusiasm for protecting the Adirondack Park!


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The morning program was concluded by Adirondack Park Agency Board Member Benita Law-Diao (appointed to the Agency in May 2022) who encouraged advocates to fight for the protection of our precious Adirondack Park natural resources.

After the morning program, advocates separated into teams to meet with various Legislators in the Senate and Assembly. Guidance and lobbying materials were provided to team leaders and each participant.  These materials helped us to maintain concise and consistent talking points across the coalition of advocates.


2024 Funding Priorities for the State Budget

The funding that we requested includes, among other critical programs, funds for:

  • Land stewardship and acquisition in the Park (especially to meet the goals of the State’s 30 by 30 law).
  • State Land Stewardship funding for the Forest Preserve, including $1 million to fund a carrying capacity study on the Saranac Chain of Lakes.  This study has been required for decades but never completed and is needed now more than ever because of increasing development pressures.
  • Municipal water and sewer upgrade funding along with expanded funding for septic replacement grant program.
  • Funding for the Timbuctoo Summer Climate and Career Institute.
  • Vital institutions like the Adirondack Experience, Visitors Interpretive Centers at SUNY ESF Newcomb Campus and at the Paul Smith’s College VIC, Adirondack Diversity Initiative, and Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College.
  • Support for the Survey of Climate Change and Adirondack Lakes Ecosystems (SCALE) study.
  • Invasive species prevention.

Click here to read a joint letter from Protect the Adirondacks and other groups outlining Adirondack Park priorities for the new 2024-2025 state budget.

Click here for materials about Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed state budget.

Click here for a summarized breakdown of the Governor’s proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Fund.


Meetings with Legislators

The dozens of Legislators who we met with throughout the day were receptive to our requests for funding.  Below are photos of some of PROTECT’s meetings with Legislators.


Senator Dan Stec

Advocates from PROTECT and other groups meet with Senator Dan Stec who represents much of the Adirondack Park.


Advocates from PROTECT and other groups met with Senator James Tedisco.


Students and Scouts Welcomed to the State Assembly and State Senate

Boy Scouts Troop 144B, Girl Scouts Troop 144G, and Girl Scouts Troop 4704G from Queens and the graduates of the Timbuctoo Climate Science and Careers Summer Institute were welcomed to the State Assembly Chamber, the People’s House in New York State, and recognized for their participation in Adirondack Park Lobby Day.


Alumni from the Timbuctoo Institute and Girls and Boy Scouts recognized in the NYS Assembly Chamber

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Timbuctoo Institute grads in the State Assembly Chamber.