March 21, 2011
We at Protect the Adirondacks! are extremely concerned about Fred LeBrun’s commentary in the March/April 2011 issue of the Explorer. We are concerned that the article contains misleading statements that misrepresent the status of Protect.Â Despite LeBrun’s pessimism, Protect remains very active in protecting the Adirondack Park.
First, Protect is a major player in the Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) hearing, as evidenced by the press coverage of John Caffry, our legal counsel, and letters to editors by Board members published in local papers. In the adjudicatory hearing, only Protect is presenting expert witnesses on the financial and fiscal risks of the project, as well as other witnesses.Â The applicant certainly takes Protect’s role in the hearing seriously, as Protect is one of the three organizations whose leadership was targeted for personal attacks by Michael Foxman’s allies in Tupper Lake.
Second, two of RCPA’s premium programs are continuing under Protect’s umbrella – the sustainable forestry and lake monitoring programs. LeBrun neglected to report that they are ongoing efforts. This information is readily available on our website Â www.protectadks.org under “programs”.
We also have an active Conservation Advocacy Committee that is laying the groundwork for new Park advocacy efforts.Â Last year, utilizing volunteer researchers, Protect produced a white paper that found that there is little evidence in the Association of Adirondack Towns and Villages’ APRAP study to support any Blame-the-Park interpretation for the state of the Adirondack economy. See the report on our website: Â https://www.protectadks.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/aprap_appraisal.pdf .Â Protect is a partner with the Adirondack Mountain Club in the Low’s Lake classification lawsuit against APA and DEC.
These are just a few of the things that Protect is working on to preserve the Park.
It’s true that we’ve had to work hard to merge two struggling organizations, knowing that neither would have survived as a separate entity. LeBrun states that “the match proved unsuccessful.” However, we are still here, not as originally envisioned, but moving forward, after having made difficult but financially sound business decisions. We are governed by a member-elected Board that includes significant numbers of former members of each of Protect’s predecessors’ boards.Â The Board is dedicated to providing a voice for the Adirondacks that is driven by grass-roots principles, with support from our members and donors.Â We would have hoped that LeBrun would have interviewed current Protect Board Members to receive information on our status.
We fear that the repercussions for Protect from the slanted views set forth in LeBrun’s column will be far-reaching. We have an ongoing fundraising campaign for our legal defense fund, to provide monetary resources for supporting, primarily, our ACR efforts. We continue to solicit participation in our other advocacy efforts, and in our forestry and lake assessment programs. We trust that our members and donors will continue their support of these efforts in protecting the Adirondacks.
Co-Chair, Protect the Adirondacks!