May 1, 2011

Union College Plans  an Adirondack Program through the purchase of

PROTECT’s Center for the Forest Preserve  and the use of the

Adirondack Research Library

The Board of Protect the Adirondacks is pleased to announce that PROTECT has entered into an agreement for the sale of its Niskayuna headquarters and loan of the Adirondack Research Library to Union College in Schenectady for use in conjunction with a new studies program on the Adirondacks. Peter Borrelli, who negotiated the agreements on behalf of the PROTECT Board in his capacity as senior advisor, said “The goals of the Board of Directors were to retire debt associated with the construction and operation of the building, find a new use for the building compatible with the purposes intended by Schaefer and the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, and maintain the library in the Capital District.  This transaction will fulfill all three.”  He added that once the transaction is completed, the Board anticipates establishing PROTECT’s headquarters within the Adirondack Park.  No location has yet been agreed upon.

Union College’s decision to acquire the two-acre property reaffirms and builds upon the College’s long connection to the Adirondacks.  “This is an exceptional opportunity to provide a home for and advance the College’s curricular and co-curricular offerings related to mountains, wilderness and waterways in general and to the Adirondacks in particular,” said Union College President Stephen C. Ainlay, in an announcement issued on April 25.

The property is located on a two-acre parcel of land three miles from the Union College campus and is adjacent to the 111-acre H. G. Reist Wildlife Sanctuary owned by the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club.  The complex includes a 2,400 square-foot Dutch replica home built by famed Adirondack conservationist Paul Schaefer (1908-1996) in 1934 used for offices and meetings by PROTECT and the former Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, and a 3,900 square-foot addition completed in 2005 that houses additional offices, conference rooms, and the Adirondack Research Library.  The library collection, which was first begun by Schaefer, contains more than 15,000 volumes, as well as extensive collections of maps, photographs, documents, and the personal papers of some of the region’s foremost conservationists.

Under the terms of the agreements, which are still subject to approval by the membership of PROTECT and the New York State Attorney General, the college will purchase the building and has agreed to manage the library for the benefit of its students and faculty and the general public.  PROTECT will continue to own the collection and be able to enhance it over time.