The Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization held its annual Forever Wild Day celebration on July 10 at Hohmeyer’s Lake Clear Lodge, with just over 250 guests in attendance. The Council presented the group Adirondack Harvest with its “Conservationist of the Year” award for 2010, for promoting sustainable local farming.
Part of the celebration was a 100-mile-lunch, in which all ingredients for the meal came from 100 or fewer miles from Lake Clear and the Adirondack Council’s 35th annual members’ meeting.
The featured speaker was Aaron Woolf, director and producer of the award-winning film “King Corn.” Woolf is an advocate for sustainable agriculture and rural infrastructure.
Adirondack Harvest maintains a database and map of all local farms that sell produce, which can be viewed online at www.adirondackharvest.com. There are more than 600 active farms in the Adirondack Park.
Sustainable local farming was highlighted by the Adirondack Council as a vital component of the Adirondack Park’s future, in the Council’s 2020 VISION Volume IV: Private Land Stewardship (2007).
The Council sees farms as a key ingredient in the Park’s remarkable biological diversity. They serve as a transition zone between more urban, developed areas and the “forever wild” Forest Preserve that surrounds them.
Previous Conservationists of the Year include Governors George Pataki and Mario M. Cuomo; New York Times editor John Oakes; NYS Attorney General Dennis Vacco, NYS DEC Commissioner John P. Cahill; Senate EnCon Chairman Carl Marcellino, Assembly EnCon Chairman Richard Brodsky; Assembly En Con Chair Maurice Hinchey; Adirondack Park Agency Executive Director Robert Glennon; Adirondack activists including Peter Borrelli, the late Clarence Petty, the late Paul Schaefer and the late State Senator and Public Service Commission Chairman Harold Jerry.
Photo: Front Row Center, Laurie Davis, Adirondack Harvest Coordinator, and Tom Both, Adirondack Harvest Board Chair and co-founder, showing the museum-quality, hand-carved common loon created by master carver Dr. Robert Poe of Inlet for this year’s winner. They are flanked in the front row by, left, Aaron Woolf of Elizabethtown, the keynote speaker and producer of the documentary film “King Corn,” and at right by David Soffer, Regional Representative, Division of Intergovernmental & Community Affairs, Office of the State Comptroller. In the back row, left, is Brian Houseal, Executive Director of the Adirondack Council and John Stouffer Environmental Policy Analyst, Office of the State Comptroller.