The awards recognize individuals from the area who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and stewardship of wild lands, to ecotourism based upon the area’s wilderness, and to educating others about the importance of safeguarding wild nature in the Adirondack Park. The annual meeting begins at 10 AM. The awards program begins at 11 AM. The public is welcome to attend. Those being recognized are:
John Nemjo is founder of Paddle Fest, the largest annual canoe and kayak festival in the Adirondacks, and is founder/owner of Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge where many have purchased canoes or kayaks since the 1st store opened in Inlet in 1993.
Through his efforts and successful businesses, John has modeled what ecotourism is all about in the Adirondack Park, generated important local economic activity and employment tied directly to the Park’s wild lands and waterways, and stimulated a passionate appreciation of the Park’s wild lakes and rivers.
Gary Lee of Inlet was NYS DEC Forest Ranger in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest and West Canada Lake Wilderness for over 30 years, and has volunteered as a citizen-steward of the Moose River Plains after his retirement. Through his efforts, projects in our Forest Preserve were accomplished, campers and visitors contacted and educated, wildlife and habitats closely observed and safeguarded for future generations to enjoy. Gary is also a noted birdwatcher, photographer, writer and ecotourism guide who has informed countless people, while contributing substantially to our knowledge of birds and their habitats in the Adirondacks.
For decades, Shirley has fought to conserve the scenic beauty and wildlife of her sector of the Adirondacks at White Lake. Shirley helped organize Save White Lake Trees, a citizen coalition which placed pressure on New York State DOT, APA, DEC and utilities to stop the intended cutting of hundreds of trees during a road and utility reconstruction project. Through Shirley’s efforts, the Route 28 gateway to the Park remains a scenic corridor which accommodates travelers without compromising the very qualities which attract them in the first place.
Sheila and Ron Cuccaro
From their homes in Utica and Woodgate, Ron and Sheila organized Save White Lake Trees, a citizen coalition which placed pressure on New York State DOT, APA, DEC and utilities to stop the intended cutting of hundreds of trees during a road and utility reconstruction project. Through their efforts, the Route 28 gateway to the Park remains a scenic corridor which accommodates travelers without compromising the very qualities which attract them in the first place.
Following the awards ceremonies, Steve Hall of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center located in Wilmington, NY (www.adirondackwildlife.org) will discuss the mission of the refuge, and introduce an ambassador for wildlife – a live bird of prey located at the refuge – as a catalyst for discussion about the bird, and the intimate connections between Adirondack wildlife and the health of wildlife habitats. A question and answer session will follow Steve’s presentation, which will conclude the annual meeting at 12:30 pm. Participants are asked to bring their own box or bag lunch. Morning refreshments will be provided. The meeting is free of charge, but reservations are requested. To reserve, please contact Ken Rimany by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 518-928-4501.
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve organized in the summer of 2010 as a not-for-profit, member-supported organization devoted to wilderness and wild nature. Adirondack Wild advances New York’s Forever Wild legacy and promotes policies and land stewardship consistent with wild land values through education, advocacy and research. For more information visit their website at www.adirondackwild.org.