Protect the Adirondacks published our 2021-2022 Annual Report. Click here to read it. This report provides an overview of the major issues facing the Adirondack Park over the past year. Click here to support our work.

Here’s the opening letter from PROTECT Board Chair Chuck Clusen:

Each year brings new challenges and new opportunities. Over the last year, our best opportunity to strengthen protections for the Adirondack Park was in the area of reform of Forest Preserve management. Our historic victory in New York’s highest court in 2021, where state environmental agencies were found to have violated Article 14, Section 1, the famed “forever wild” clause of the New York Constitution, has forced state agencies to plot a new course. The Conservation and Advocacy report details a number of reforms that are afoot that we hope will start the process of bringing meaningful change, openness, transparency, and improvements to the way that the Forest Preserve is managed.

This past year also gives us reason to hope that New York will make serious progress on combatting global climate change. Last summer, we saw the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act by Congress, which marked the first national climate change law in U.S. history. National action bolsters the importance in New York to complete a statewide climate change plan, the first in New York’s history, as required under the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Earlier this year, a “scoping plan” was released for public comment and the Climate Action Council is now working on a formal draft. We rallied public comments calling for a bold plan that will help New York meet the incredible challenges from a warming climate. In the Adirondacks, we are working to encourage the Adirondack Park Agency to include assessment of climate change impacts in its permitting process as required by the CLCPA.

We also worked across the Adirondacks with grassroots partners who are concerned about major new developments that threaten their rural quality of life and the wildness and beauty of their communities. We’re supporting work to remake the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve as places that are welcoming, inclusive, and safe for all people. Through our independent public oversight program we exposed the state’s ill-considered work to rebuild a road in a Wilderness Area and we’re opposing the state’s efforts to significantly expand the mileage of roads in the Forest Preserve. There is no shortage of issues to monitor and work to be done.

We remain tremendously grateful for the support of our members. We simply could not sustain our efforts to defend forever wild over the last ten years, build a long-term water quality monitoring program over 25 years, and monitor and intervene in all of the major issues facing the Adirondack Park without all of you standing by our side. Thank you very much!

— Chuck Clusen, Chair, Board of Directors