I put together a map visualization that shows the relative proportion of public land, trails and lean-to’s around the interior hamlets of the park. The land classification figures are probably very accurate, as they are derived from the Adirondack Park Agency’s Land Classification and Land Use map. If you notice some strange numbers for biking and horse trails its because these trail types have not been as diligently classified in the DEC trails database as hiking and snowmobile trails.
Posts Tagged ‘Demographics’
When I started as the Council’s executive director on May 1, friends in the Park said “welcome home.” I had worked here for the Adirondack Mountain Club for close to 10 years after graduating from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Economics and Environmental studies back in 1985.
That led to work with The Nature Conservancy, the Hudson River Greenway Council and – for the past six years – as a Regional Director for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in the Hudson Valley/Catskills region. I continued to visit the park when time allowed and kept myself current on park issues, hoping that someday I would get a chance to return to this special place. » Continue Reading.
Dave Mason and Jim Herman have received a lot of commendations for their Adirondack Futures project. It’s high time, the Adirondack Futures project tells us, for a grassroots, bottom-up, inclusive planning process that is professionally facilitated to shape a plan for a new and positive direction for the Adirondack Park.
Mason and Herman have met with several hundred people about the future of the Adirondacks and created a handful of scenarios for what the future may hold 25 years down the road in 2038. They have presented these plans to government at all levels and many groups throughout the Adirondacks. They are now actively implementing this work through a half dozen work teams. » Continue Reading.
Regular Dispatch readers know that I have been short on patience with the usual reflexive side-taking that seems to be a permanent feature of any discussion over the Adirondacks. On one side you get cartoonish renditions of radical environmentalists and/or government regulators. On the other side you get caricatures of rapacious developers and selfish residents. In the middle? A militarized zone of nasty vitriol, propaganda, lawsuits and a dismaying lack of reason.
Based on some recent posts and associated comments over the last few weeks this automatic side-taking is alive and well even at the Almanack. For a good example read this recent column on demographics by Peter Bauer, then read the comments and you’ll get a pretty good idea. » Continue Reading.
In the Adirondack Park we face many persistent myths and shibboleths about the impacts of environmental protections, land use controls and the Forest Preserve. One that has received recent play goes something like this:
In the Adirondack Park our population is aging at a rate that will soon make us the 2nd oldest region is the U.S. That we are aging rapidly is the result of the out-migration of families resulting from a poor economy, which, in turn, results from excessive public ownership of land and a restrictive regulatory environment.
The reality is more complicated, but it goes something like this: » Continue Reading.
When I wrote my last article on the dangers of over promoting the Adirondack Park, I knew I was sticking my head out for a possible sound thrashing. Many of the Adirondack Almanack commenters did not disappoint me in this regard.
Unfortunately, the point of my article seemed to get lost in all the anger and angst, so I thought I would give it another go-around and try to explain my original idea a little better. This gives those who missed out at taking a whack at me last time another chance.
Along the way, I will attempt to address some of the many comments from the article. Inevitably, this will probably get me in even more trouble. If this proves to be the case, I can always create an alias or wear a disguise the next time I visit the Adirondacks.
» Continue Reading.
Tourism in the Adirondack Park is all the rage today. From the approval of the Adirondack Club & Resort in Tupper Lake to the governor’s proposed Adirondack Challenge, there is no shortage of ideas to promote the Adirondacks. The ultimate hope presumably being that people will flock to the area to experience the unique opportunities the Adirondacks provides.
They had just better bring their wallets.
In the race for the almighty dollar, it appears few are stopping to ponder whether increased tourism is a good idea for the Adirondacks. How will increased tourism change the nature of the Park? Will more people turn off those who already loyally visit the Park and favor its plentiful opportunities for solitude? Are hikers prepared for crowded trailheads and busy trails, muddied by the increased traffic and littered with rubbish from uncaring or careless hikers?
» Continue Reading.
So, I opened up a can of comments after my last post, “The Sustainable Tourism Equation.”
In that post, I attempted to convey the indisputable fact that in order for Adirondack communities to benefit economically from any increased tourism activity (resulting from increased marketing), those communities have to have cash registers in place to collect the money. If there’s no place to buy anything in a town (retail, restaurant, attraction, lodging), the visitors can’t contribute to the economy there. In other words, marketing is just part of the overall equation.
» Continue Reading.
Having previously shared a vision for Adirondack telecommuting, my plan this week is to describe the current state of broadband and telecommuting in the park in some detail and then point towards the future, laying out a handful of important issues related to its long-term viability.
That plan has gotten a big boost from the readers of the Almanack. A number of you wrote in to illustrate the current state of telecommuting far better than I could have, in comments written in response to last to last week’s Dispatch. They were wonderful, revealing that while telecommuting in the Adirondacks is not commonplace, there is no question that its future is already here, thanks to these pioneer Wild Workers (this label, after the suggestion of a reader, is perfect for the situation, plus it is kind of charming). Choosing to live in the Adirondacks while working elsewhere is something that is happening right now. That fact should give a big shot of optimism to those who worry about the economy of the park. » Continue Reading.
I have been in the middle of a series of arguments for building the Adirondack economy by promoting the region as a premier wilderness destination, something it is not widely known as now. A wild Adirondack Image will resonate in a much different way than current conceptions of the region bring to mind. It will become more unique, more valuable and more appropriate for answering the large and growing national demand for wild places.
The first two strategies of my five point economic proposal argued that a wild Adirondack Image can be a powerful tool in promoting wilderness tourism and recreation. Now I will move onto three additional strategies for leveraging a wild Adirondacks
I have been following the debate on the Adirondack Almanack, NCPR’s web site and various commenters on both sites over the question of whether political reporters do their job these days and specifically whether the media should cover the Green Party and their presidential candidate Jill Stein.
Pardon me for saying so, but this debate exhibits two characteristics that all too often define our contemporary political discourse. One is an appalling lack of understanding of the American political system. The other is the dull, lowbrow, American celebration of winners and size: “Bigger is better…” …”Winning is the only thing…”, etc. Heaven help us. » Continue Reading.
Last week’s Dispatch provoked a healthy discussion in the comments section. The readers of the Almanack proved once again to be light years ahead of your average blog trollers by being thoughtful and respectful. My arguments about economic reality in the park and elitism in the question of land use were not met with a single angry or accusatory response, but rather thoughtful commentary. So thanks to all.
In fact, I was a little surprised to see that my economic argument was left virtually unchallenged. Instead the discussion followed the common theme over whether there is enough wilderness in the Adirondacks, but along two lines so as to apparently dismiss the claim that a local perspective is elitist. The first line was to question the value of wilderness in the first place (as I strictly defined it for the purposes of this argument). Is an area of untrammeled Adirondack wilderness really that valuable to anyone, much less someone leagues away living in Cleveland? The second line was to argue over usage, both locally and from a national perspective: who uses Adirondack wilderness and how much? » Continue Reading.
In last week’s Dispatch I claimed that we do not have nearly enough protected wilderness in America. I promised to address counterarguments and objections this week. I would like to thank all commenters for what were on the balance quite thoughtful observations.
After reading the comments and thinking about what issues a reasonable person might raise I came up with three possible objections to my parade of numbers: » Continue Reading.
It’s Harvest Time in the Adirondacks and events are planned across the region that feature locally-grown foods and local farms. The local food and farm economy is a growing part of Adirondack economic life as more residents and businesses choose local food first.
Over the past several years new farmers markets have sprung up in communities across the region. In Chestertown, a new weekly farmers market is bringing 500 people a week into the village. Local business people are praising the effort, the Grand Union has added staff for the Wednesday market, and local restaurants are seeing increased lunch business. “This is the biggest thing to hit Chestertown in 20 years,” one long-time businessman said at a recent town meeting. » Continue Reading.
The state acquisition of 69,000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn lands in the Adirondack Park has spurred much discussion. I thought I’d chime in from a tourism perspective.
In general, the purchase will ultimately mean public access to incredible natural resources for recreational activity. Or, according to a press release from Governor Cuomo’s office on August 5th, “Opening these lands to public use and enjoyment for the first time in 150 years will provide extraordinary new outdoor recreational opportunities, increase the number of visitors to the North Country and generate additional tourism revenue.”
I applaud the Governor’s office and their efforts, and appreciate that there is opportunity for the adjacent communities to realize a positive economic impact from the resulting increased visitation. » Continue Reading.
What follows is a guest essay by Dave Mason and Jim Herman of Keene, leaders of the ADK Futures Project. Over the past year they have been conducting workshops, interviews, and discussion sessions with a variety of Adirondackers about what the future of the Adirondack Park should be. Dave and Jim are retired management consultants who ran a small consulting firm during the 80′s and 90′s that helped very large organizations create strategies for growth and success.
The ADK Futures Project was kicked off at the July 2011, Common Ground Alliance (CGA) annual event in Long Lake. A year later, after 120 interviews and 14 workshops involving 500+ people all over the Park and in NY City, the results were presented at the 2012 CGA event. It is a pro bono project, using scenario planning, a methodology from our consulting careers. We are not members of any of the usual ADK organizations but Keene, NY is our home. The initial goal of the effort was to broaden the conversation about the Park, involving more people and weaving together the full breath of issues facing the Park. But along the way surprising alignment emerged around a particular future vision for the area. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting at its Headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, August 16, 2012. The meeting is one day only and will be webcast live, and will largely focus on economic development and planning.
The meeting with include a presentation from Local Government Review Board Executive Director Fred Monroe and Bradford Gentry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies on their participation in a workshop on how conservation organizations can help rural communities in the areas of forestry, agriculture, tourism, energy, and environmental markets.
Additionally, Kate Fish and Bill Farber will provide a follow-up report on the Common Ground Alliance forum held July 18th in Long Lake and Dave Mason and Jim Herman, co-founders of the ADK Futures project, will provide an overview of the strategic visioning work they have completed in partnership with the Common Ground Alliance. The full schedule follows: » Continue Reading.
Few mothers as a group have seen more Mother’s Day celebrations than my own mother and her immediate ancestors. My mom turned 90 last September 5, an amazing milestone. Her mom, Mary Franklin Lagree, of hardy Churubusco farm stock (as they all were), lived to 96. Mary’s mom, Julia Toohey Franklin, was 93. And Mom’s paternal grandmother, Matilda Lagree, was 92.
Those four women collectively saw close to 300 Mothers Day celebrations. For good measure, I could include my mom’s Aunt Alice Silver (her father’s sister), who died in 2007 at 103, and was still active. » Continue Reading.
If you live in Hamilton County you better pack your bags. At least that’s the message from the Glens Falls Post-Star. “Hamilton County might not survive the next century,” reporter Jon Alexander opined recently is a story labeled “analysis” that seriously argued that by 2040, only 28 men and 24 women between the ages of 25 and 29 will live in Hamilton County – an 85 percent decline for that age group between 1990 and 2040.
According to Alexander’s unnamed “local officials,” “If things don’t change in Hamilton County, in about 25 years, there won’t be anyone left to respond to fires, drive ambulances or plow the roads.” “It’s scary,” Fred Monroe, executive director of the Adirondack Local Government Review Board, told Alexander. » Continue Reading.