Thursday, November 1, 2012

Adirondack Stewardship Programs Meeting Saturday

The president and chief executive officer of the Student Conservation Association and Dr. Curt Stager of Paul Smith’s College will be among the speakers featured at a November 3 workshop seeking to connect the Park’s various natural resource stewardship programs together to improve communication and collaboration. The workshop is underwritten by a grant from International Paper and organized by Adirondack Wild.

“Stewardship programs for the Adirondack Park’s wild summits, lakes, backcountry and biota have proliferated as natural resource challenges have grown, yet there are few opportunities for all these programs to communicate among each other. Adirondack Wild wants to start that process,” Dan Plumley of Adirondack Wild said in a statement to the press. “Through this workshop, which has never been attempted before, we will connect a variety of programs which train and sponsor field stewards, educators and researchers.”

“We want to establish linkages, share lessons learned and challenges, envision new or enhanced opportunities for collaboration, recruitment and training of all our stewards, and seek to expand funding opportunities,” added David Gibson.

“As the North Country changes under the pressures of backcountry development, invasive species, climate change and other factors, it is increasingly important for diverse practitioners and organizations to work together in developing new and effective visions for stewardship. And that sort of collaborative effort is the main aim of this workshop,” Curt Stager said.  Stager, author of Deep Future: The next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth, and co-host of North Country Public Radio’s “Natural Selections” series, will be the featured afternoon speaker.

The morning agenda includes a keynote presentation by Dale Penny, President of the Student Conservation Association. The Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of our environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land. In the Adirondacks, SCA partners with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and other organizations to accomplish work on trails and facilities in the publicly-owned Forest Preserve, and to serve as backcountry stewards.  Dale Penny has served as President and CEO of SCA since 1997. He has spent his professional life devoted to advancing the causes of youth development, experiential and outdoor education and intercultural understanding.

Workshop panelists are expected to share success stories and lessons learned among the Park’s various stewardship programs which focus on stewardship through public education, management of natural resources and facilities, and employing ecological research and monitoring. Representatives from various organizations plan to participate, including the SCA, DEC, the Adirondack Park Agency, Paul Smith’s College, Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, The Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, Wildlife Conservation Society, Adirondack Council, Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center, Adirondack Fire Tower Association, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Adirondack Interpretive Center, St. Lawrence University, Queens University and the Town of Inlet.

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, a not for profit, membership-supported organization, is hosting the workshop at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) on Saturday, November 3, beginning at 9 am. Registration information is available online. Costs are $30.00 per person to include lunch and facilities at the VIC.

Photo: Lake George Association Lake Steward Monika LaPlante holds samples of three invasive species removed from a boat at Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing during her first day on the job for 2010. (Courtesy Lake George Association)

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