Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Adk Park Population Trends Track Those Of Rural America

AA-EmigrationCharts-National-MapsOne persistent myth in the Adirondack Park population debate is that environmental regulations and the Forest Preserve drive young people out of the Adirondack Park. In certain quarters this is considered gospel in the debate over the future of the Adirondack Park.

The reality is that this myth is a myth.

A great tool is being offered by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who put together a fascinating interactive website with U.S. population emigration data 1950-2010. It lets one explore various population migration trends across the U.S. post World War II. The UW-Madison site helps us in the Adirondacks see how our demographic trends track closely to the rest of rural America.

Population decline in rural America has been driven by the loss of the rural manufacturing base that could not compete with cheap overseas costs. It’s been driven by the vast mechanization and contraction of the farm and logging work forces. For example, Iowa State University reports the number of hog farmers in Iowa dropped from 65,000 in 1980 to 10,000 in 2002, while the number of hogs per farm increased from 200 to 1,400. It’s been driven by the massive growth of online shopping and services (remember in the days before NetFlix when there were video stores in several Park communities). Government austerity programs don’t help rural areas either as public sector employment is always higher in rural areas as a total percentage of the work force.

As previous posts on the Adirondack Almanack have shown (see here) many Adirondack school districts graduate students at significantly higher rates than the state average. This produces an out-migration of young people who leave the Adirondacks in high numbers to go to college, or to a lesser extent the military, and then they overwhelmingly start their careers in major or minor metropolitan areas, and not back home in the Adirondacks.

This demographic reality is not unique to the Adirondacks, but has a dominant fact-of-life in rural America for decades. None of this is new. Young people leave rural areas for college. Young people go to metro areas to start their careers.

The out-migration of college-age young people and steady, slow population loss is near universal across the rural America. In the U.S. today, we have the highest percentage of Americans living in major and minor metropolitan areas than at any time before in American history. Though 72% of the American landscape is classified as “rural” it is now home to just 15% of the American population. In 2012, the US Census reported that 80% of rural counties in the U.S. lost population. In 1910, 72% of Americans lived in rural areas.

AA-EmigrationCharts-Metro-Area-ChartsToday, the greatest percent of jobs – over 88% – are located in major and minor metropolitan areas, more than ever before in American history. The jobs percentage in metro areas is even greater than the population percentage, which means that plenty of Americans commute from rural areas to metro areas for employment.  In fact, the rural-metro jobs gap is growing: over the past year rural areas lost a net of 149,000 jobs while metro areas gained a net of 175,000.

Here’s how the Brookings Institute put it in 2011:

Metropolitan areas nationwide boast disproportionate shares of the assets that will drive the next wave of U.S. economic growth. With 84 percent of the nation’s population, all 366 metropolitan areas together produce 85 percent of U.S. exports, and are home to 86 percent of its lower-carbon commuters (those not driving alone to work), 89 percent of working-age people with a post-secondary degree, and 93 percent of individuals employed in science and engineering occupations.

The UW-Madison website shows that the demographic realities of rural America are the demographic realities of the Adirondack Park. There is little unique about the Adirondack population. Like the rest of rural America we have a stagnant or declining population. Like the rest of rural America we are overwhelmingly white. Like the rest of rural America our overwhelming white population is aging rapidly (80% of Americans over 65 years old are white). Like the rest of rural America we see an out-migration of college-age young people. Like the rest of rural America we see a slow in-migration starting around 35 years old.

The Adirondacks has some slight variations to these national trends in two ways. First, the overall population declines in the Adirondacks have been minor; some Adirondack counties have even bucked the national trends altogether since WWII and showed a net positive population gain. In fact, the Park’s overall population is up 30% 1950-2010. Second, in the Adirondacks we see an uptick in migrants of retirement age moving here, starting around 55 years old.

The UW-Madison database drives these points home about major national trends. The first two maps (above) show emigration rates for 15-24 year olds in the U.S. at the county level in 1950 and 2000.  The sea of counties with out-migration (brownish-orange) are overwhelmingly rural. The differences between the metro areas and rural areas are stark for young people. Metro areas gain, rural areas lose. These maps have a great deal of overlap in the sheer amount of counties that experienced an out-migration of young people.  Out-migration of 15-24 year olds is not something new. It has been a steady fact in rural America for the last 50 years.

AA-EmigrationCharts-Adk-Counties-ChartsAA-EmigrationCharts-OtherUS-Counties-ChartsAA-EmigrationCharts-UpstateNY-Counties-ChartsThe next three series of charts compare migration rates by age and show long-term trends since the 1950s for population migration in the U.S. Again, these patterns are not new, but show great uniformity over the past 50 years with minor variations. Note two things. First, rural areas see a significant out-migration rate starting with the 15-19 age cohort (heavily influenced by young people who leave for college at age 18), while metro areas experience great in-migration rate of young people. Second, metro areas continue to see positive migration rates of young people after college in the 20-24 and 25-29 age cohorts. College graduates overwhelmingly move to metro areas.

For the three metro areas I selected the counties around New York, Boston and Los Angeles. But, you can go to the UW-Madison website and pick a county around almost any major metro area county and the result is the same as in New York City, Boston or Los Angeles. Most metro areas in the U.S. are growing and attractive to post-college young people. Not all these places were growing in 1950, but the vast majority of them are growing in 2010. Rural areas are not growing.

There are some notable exceptions, like Wayne County in Michigan, home of the city of Detroit, which functions much like a rural county for out-migration rates, and other places like Buffalo, which functioned much like a metro county in the 1950s and 1960s, but since looks much like a rural county.

For the rural counties I provide three sets of long-term migration rate charts: 1) three Adirondack counties – Hamilton, Essex, and Warren; 2) three Upstate New York counties – Tioga, Steuben, and Columbia; 3) three rural America counties – Holt County in Nebraska, St. Francis County in Arkansas, and Calhoun County in Iowa.

The rural counties all show negative migration for 15-25 year olds, but experience positive migration starting around 30. There are also not a lot of people moving to metro areas in their 30s, but this is a time when some people will make the move to a rural area for a lifestyle or career change. Note too that these trends are remarkably similar over the past 50 years.

Go to the UW-Madison website and pick a rural county and the results are similar to Hamilton, Essex and Warren counties in the Adirondacks or Steuben, Tioga or Columbia counties in Upstate New York or to Holt, St. Francis or Calhoun counties. That said, in the Adirondacks you’ll see variations on the theme in Franklin County, largely due to significant population growth in the last thirty years among the Native American population, and in Clinton and St. Lawrence counties due to colleges.

One thing to note that is unique to the Adirondacks is that there’s a positive migration uptick that starts around age 55. Many other rural counties don’t see retirees moving in. This is an asset and a positive for Adirondack communities.

The flip side of the demographic trends for rural America depicted in the charts at left is that the metro areas in the U.S. that are experiencing population growth are also those places with high minority population gains. Not only are they attracting white college graduates from rural areas, but they are seeing enormous populations gains from minority births and international immigration. In 2012, the US Census reported that half of American births were minorities, who are overwhelmingly located in major and minor metro areas. Contrast this trend with the fact that 80% of Americans ages 65 and older are white.

The demographic reality for rural America in 2014 is that its population will continue to shrink for some time to come. There are demographic factors that will accelerate this trend, such as the rapid aging of America’s white population, which is the population of rural America. 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day in the U.S. and that trend will continue until 2030. Rural areas like the Adirondacks, that are monolithically white populations, will see their median age continue to rise for years to come.

What this all shows is that when it comes to population and demographics the Adirondack Park is not unique. To somehow isolate environmental controls or the Forest Preserve as the causes of out-migration of young people doesn’t add up. It denies 50-year trends in rural America. The population and demographic realities of the Adirondacks are perfectly consistent with the trends for rural America.

The dominant rhetoric of ADK Works, the APRAP report, or the Adirondack Futures project is that the Forest Preserve and environmental controls have constrained and harmed the Adirondack Park’s population and demographics. This narrative is politically charged and backed by no data, cherry picking data, or analyzing the Adirondack Park in a vacuum with no comparisons to other rural areas in the U.S.

The Adirondack Park needs an accurate assessment of its demographic reality. Adirondack Park communities are not well served by misdiagnosing our demographic challenges.

Based on national trends for rural America, the Adirondack Park’s population will continue to stagnate or mildly drop as our predominantly white population continues to age over the next 20-30 years. That the Park’s future may mean a stagnant or smaller population, doesn’t make it a worse future.

It’s refreshing to get a tool like the UW-Madison website to try and bring some reality to the debate over Adirondack Park population trends.

 

Related Stories


Peter Bauer is the Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks.

He has been working in various capacities on Adirondack Park environmental issues since the mid-1980s, including stints as the Executive Director of the Residents' Committee to Protect the Adirondacks and FUND for Lake George as well as on the staff of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century. He also worked at Adirondack Life Magazine. He served as Chair of the Town of Lake George Zoning Board of Appeals and has served on numerous advisory boards for management of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve.

Peter lives in Blue Mountain Lake with his wife and two children, enjoys a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout the Adirondacks, and is a member of the Blue Mountain Lake volunteer fire department.

Follow Protect the Adirondacks on Facebook and Twitter.




42 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Sounds like the answer is some ” minor metropolitan” areas in the Adirondacks?

  2. bill says:

    Good data. But faulty description of ADK Futures. It’s result views the Park as the reason it fares better than other rural areas, and why it will do better than most in the future. The Park makes the region unique, says ADK Futures. To characterize it otherwise means you just don’t understand the project. Stop spinning myths about it.

    • Peter Bauer says:

      Bill,

      “Meanwhile, the situation was clearly deteriorating. Population in Hamilton County declined 10 percent in the last census.” This is from Adirondack Futures as a set up for its work.

      (4th paragraph: http://www.adirondacklifemag.com/blogs/2013/04/15/pick-a-park/)

      Clearly deteriorating? Note that in the 2010 Census, Hamilton County was the only Adirondack County that lost population. The other 11 Adirondack Park counties gained. Overall, the Park saw minor population losses, but put in context, as I tried to do here by looking at other rural areas across the U.S. – something that is not done very often – the Park is more than holding its own on the population front.

      2010 Census data/Adk Park population data: http://www.protectadks.org/2013/03/what-the-2012-us-census-estimates-tell-us-about-the-adirondack-parks-population-and-the-state-of-rural-america/

      There’s a lot to admire about the Adirondack Futures project and the fresh and creative thinking it brings to the Park debate, but it doesn’t help its cause when it simply mouths the dominant conventional wisdom that is not supported by the evidence.

      As I tried to state here, we’re not helping Adirondack communities when there’s a deliberate misdiagnosis of the Park’s population/demographic issues.

      • Bill says:

        That was the settup, and the dominate thing at the time, but it was not the outcome of the work. You take one sentence out of context. It does not make your point.

        The project result supports the opposite point……that the park is indeed the key asset.

  3. D says:

    It’s all well and good that the problem the park is experiencing is happening to rural areas all over the country, but that does not mean that it isn’t an issue.

    No matter what is happening anywhere else in the US, by your own admission “Adirondack Park’s population will continue to stagnate or mildly drop as our predominantly white population continues to age over the next 20-30 years”. Does this become less of an issue because it is happening in Iowa as well?

    You should read the other series on how the growing population of metro NY areas does not care about the park at all (these are voters that control your destiny).

    So actions by your group, and others, that are detrimental to job growth, exacerbate this issue.

    Like it or not, right or wrong, PROTECT and others that fight to delay or eliminate projects in and around the park that would provide job opportunities for the young that are migrating away, is worsening this issue. Whether this is a necessary consequence to achieve your ends is up to the individual to decide I guess.

    And funny Peter, I didn’t see on the PROTECT website where your group fighting the two development projects in Lake George that were shown on this site the last few days.. Have you just not gotten around to them yet? Or do you just take action against development in the poorest rural areas around the park, and not in your own back yard?

    • Peter Bauer says:

      D,

      A lot to respond to.

      The point is that there are national demographic forces that are shaping things in the Adirondacks and not the APA or the Forest Preserve. Yet, in contrast to the vast majority of rural areas in the U.S. the Park’s population has more than held it’s own, growing steadily from 1950 – 2000, with a slight downtick in 2010 (perhaps the Great Recession had something to do with that?). None of this is found in the dominant political narrative about the Park, oft repeated.

      The Park’s population challenges are certainly a long-term issue for things like improved health/elder care, possible school consolidation, new programs to bring in school-age kids, such as is being done in Newcomb, but the conventional wisdom, as referenced by you, that environmentalists are driving people from the Park, is a misdiagnosis. The real growth area of the last 50 years — retirees — is driven by the Park’s protected landscape. People who move here in their 30s are driven by quality of life choices, again supported by a protected landscape. Out-migration of young people is about young people going to college, not because they can’t find jobs. Note the thousands of foreign workers on temp work permits, many of whom work year-round entry level jobs, not just seasonal.

      The jobs base in the Park is tourism, small business, government jobs, or self employment, a financial base that environmental advocacy has helped to build through protecting core natural assets. There have been over 10,000 new buildings since 2000, perfectly consistent with long-term development trends, so we advocates have hardly made a dent there. Other economic indicators are better than most other rural areas.

      Last, if you’re arguing that the 6,000-acre ACR project in Tupper Lake, heavily involving Resource Management lands, is of the same magnitude as the zip line project on French Mountain, I respectfully disagree,

      The zip line project in Lake George is mired in a gazillion deed and Queensbury code issues. I’m surprised that the APA approved it given all the very real problems. They should have requested that the applicant get its local approvals first. The issue was tabled by the Qbury Planning Board recently, needs a variance by the Zoning Board, and probably even needs code changes in the Qbury law, and may have deed restrictions that prohibit it altogether. Hence, there is very little reason for PROTECT to get involved as all these things get sorted out.

      As to the brewery, we rarely get involved in projects in Hamlet areas, though we are researching the proposed new hotels in Lake George and Saranac Lake.

      • D says:

        “The jobs base in the Park is tourism, small business, government jobs, or self employment, a financial base that environmental advocacy has helped to build through protecting core natural assets.”

        Do you really beleive this? You beleive that the actions that PROTECT has taken, and continues to take has helped build tourism, small buisness, and self employment jobs? Really?

  4. ethan says:

    excellent piece marred by a very unfortunate mischaracterization of ADK Futures. I hardly agree with everything the project put forth. But I distinctly remember at multiple points a serious conversation about how the Park is what makes the Adirondacks special and how that’s what will give the Adirondacks an edge over competitive rural regions.

    Otherwise a very interesting look at the data.

  5. Paul says:

    When ever you look at any issue you can always back up until you have the perspective that fits your argument.

    If the population is dropping in one town then lets look at it state wide. If it is still a state wide issue then lets looks nationally etc.

    Sure the population of the earth is growing that doesn’t mean that the actions of a group trying to prevent a development project in the Adirondacks isn’t trying to prevent the project. That doesn’t mean that advocating for less development doesn’t lead to less development. It is what it is.

    I would have to guess than many people who support Protect! are doing it because they expect them to protect the place from development? You do that by trying to stop development. Sure you do it by trying to cluster development here or there or this way or that way also. But in the end if the developer isn’t interested in developing “here or there” or “this way or that way” then trying to make them do it that way is the same thing as preventing it.

    There is nothing wrong with that but it is what it is. These arguments seem unnecessary.

  6. Paul says:

    If you have a serious problem the first thing you have to do to get on the road to recovery is ADMIT that you have a problem.

    It looks like this Futures project recognizes that there is one type of problem.

    For others the problem is that there is too much development in the Adirondacks.

  7. Paul says:

    It looks like a lot of rural areas have also managed to buck the trend?

  8. Pete Klein says:

    After they have seen Paris, New York, Atlanta, LA and so forth and so on.
    There is one thing that would be a game changer for Hamilton County and Indian Lake – a state college. The Central Adirondacks needs on. Governor Mario Cuomo’s Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st. Century recommended one be built.

  9. And an earlier Almanack piece showed how the Park’s population is growing FASTER than that of the rest of New York, rural and urban.

    http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/08/adirondack-park-population-growing-faster-than-nys.html

    • Paul says:

      This all depends on what rural county you choose.

      I charted Summit County Colorado with New York County New york.

      That rural county is doing even better than NYC in that it is attracting not only tons of young people but old as well.

      What has happened over that period of time? The mountains in Colorado have been developed like crazy. It is almost all based on tourism alone the type of things that are supposedly supported by environmental groups in the Adirondacks.

      That type of progress has a cost and most environmental groups don’t support it. In fact they are opposed to it. They should be they are environmental groups! That is the point.

      Alan sums it up well in his comment above.

      • Paul says:

        His comment is below. Sorry.

      • “This all depends on what rural county you choose.”

        Indeed one can cherry pick to make whatever point one wants. The above analysis compares Adirondack Park counties to other counties in New York state. It seemed like the most “apples to apples” comparison.

        • Paul says:

          The one I gave is just a good example that shows that being rural is no excuse for not doing well.

          But I would agree that NYS on a whole has problems. The Adirondacks have the same issues.

          • Paul says:

            And I would add that the Adirondacks has natural resources like Summit county Colorado. We have just decided to rope them off in the forest preserve rather than use them more extensively for economic gains.

            • Peter Bauer says:

              Paul,

              Good check on Summit County. There are other high amenity beautiful rural counties that are growing in the US.

              A quick look shows that a number of other counties around it all show typical rural county patterns.

              Nevertheless, it’s a rural county that in 50 years has seen it’s population explode from a few thousand to 28,000 and is projected to double in the next few decades. Note that it’s 90 miles from Denver, a place with 3 million people. No small fact. It’s also 15% Hispanic too and that population is projected to grow to 25% in the decades ahead.

              For every rural county that is growing there are dozens that are not. The trick is to get info from the rural places that are growing.

              So, what are the lessons, if any, from Summit County that applicable to the Adirondacks?

              • Paul says:

                Peter, I think it is even a little closer. But with the traffic on weekends (I lived in Denver for 8 years) it is an insane trip. Throw in a snowstorm and you better grab your chains. It isn’t too much closer than the Adirondacks are to Montreal. But it isn’t the eastern plains in the other direction so Canadians have more options.

                Part of the trick as I said is they have developed the heck out of the mountains. The question is wether this is something we want to do. actually we can’t build ski areas in the high peaks even if some wanted to.

              • Paul says:

                There is an excellent article in this past falls Ski magazine about the man from the 10th mountain division that decided to develop vail mt back in the 50s. that is what started Summit counties “rise”.

  10. Alan Senbaugh says:

    If more people are leaving the Adirondacks hopefully this will mean more additions to the Forest Preserve.

    • scott says:

      Yeah, let’s make the place a real Park and just take all the private land by eminent domain. We can remove all the homes and schools and seasonal camps. Buyout the residents and you solve the employment problem. Let’s just declare the idea of wilderness with communities a failure. We can prioritize takings of the largest landowners first since they are mostly seasonal and then go hamlet by hamlet.

      In the summer, we can have two or three areas with accomodations like National Parks. Whiteface can have a base lodge and we can tear down Lake Placid totally. That will last till the skiing ends due to climate change and then we can burn the lodge, remove the lifts, efc. But we will keep the summit road for daytrippers in summer.

      It’ll be great..

      • Alan Senbaugh says:

        You have some really good insight but some of your thoughts are a little extreme. “we can tear down Lake Placid totally.”

        Lake Placid is the most economically viable community in the park. It provides the jobs and infrastructure for the tourists enjoying the Forest preserve. While having abundant Forest Preserve is important we need venues to provide the tourists with other amenities.

        • D says:

          wow.. .i think you may have missed his point.

          • Scott says:

            ok, so Tupper Lake, Keene….it is in a flood plain…..bulldozers needed

            Yes, D, he missed my point.

            • Stephen says:

              Part of the town if Keeene, mostly in Keene Valley and St. Huberts is in a flood plain but the vast majority of the town is not. Very little of the Village or town of Tupper Lake is in a flood plain. I tend to agree though it would be nice to take a bull dozer to the village of Tupper Lake.

          • Alan Senbaugh says:

            What point? I am in favor of more Forest Preserve and more wilderness but I think using eminent domain is extreme. Targeting small parcels within certain communities like Brewster peninsula in Lake Placid is fine but I don’t think wholesale removal of a thriving community is wise just for the sake of preservation. Purchasing outright, a small hamlet like Standish might make some sense perhaps.

  11. joe says:

    i would note tha the populations of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Detriot have fallen too because of business failures. But I am not sure what that proves. I can pick another list of cities that are growing.

    Picking data sets to prove your point is a long standing approach to political issues. It provides fodder for columns like this but no answers to the question of how do we do better than the avg rural area?

    I would rather see the energy put into solutions, many proposed by ADK Futures, that address the health of the region in a holistic manner. The Park is actually more prosperous than most rural areas and many NY cities. Great place to start from as we make it better. The whole idea that the Park is a problem is dead issue that Protect! Keeps beating on. Most people are past that – it is moot. The Park exists and it has proven to be a blessing. Next question?

  12. Pete Nelson says:

    Peter Bauer’s larger point about similar rural demographics is mostly right, although school data, which is highly indicative of trends, actually looks worse for the Adirondacks than for most rural areas. But the reasons for that are as he states, as well as the fact that we have a park in the first place. The reasons are not the result of environmental policy. To make that connection would be an entertaining piece of logic.

    However Peter’s pot shot at Adk Futures is simply wrong. His excerpt above, from an Adirondack Life article, is not in any way the basis of their work. It is, however, the same kind of cherry picking that Bauer condemns elsewhere. The Adirondack Life article clearly bothered Bauer and a few other environmental advocates. I get that, but let’s give it a rest.

    The Futures project has not in any of its work either claimed or developed evidence that the environmental protection in the park and advocacy of the same is anything other than an asset. Bauer and others may not like the approach of the project or what they may see as a strategy of “consensus” or “balance” subverting the greater mission to defend the environment. But to accuse them of having an anti-environment agenda or a scheme to leverage demographics politically instead of scientifically, is disingenuous and quite frankly dead wrong.

  13. Paul says:

    The whole “park” concept was a bad idea in the first place.

    This is just an area that has a lot of publicly owned land.

    No different than living in Aspen Colorado.

    The blue line is just a line on a special type of zoning map.

    • Stephen says:

      How different would the park look with out the APA act? Hard to say. I don’t think much different.

  14. AdkBuddy says:

    In spite of the data quoted, it is obvious that Peter Bauer and his group are intent on crushing what remains of the Adirondack economy. People are trying to reverse the trend and every action taken by Bauer is to block any successful reversal. I realize this forum is more pro-Bauer than anti-Bauer, but we will persevere.

  15. dave mason says:

    With respect to the ADK Futures project here is a link to an essay we published here on the outcome of the work.

    http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2012/08/adirondack-futures-the-parks-next-25-years.html

    I will leave it to the readers to see if it describes the park as a problem as Peter suggests. At the time it was published here it did not draw a single comment.

  16. Charlie S says:

    D says, “Like it or not, right or wrong, PROTECT and others that fight to delay or eliminate projects in and around the park that would provide job opportunities for the young that are migrating away, is worsening this issue.”

    So what do we do D? Develop and urbanize the Adirondacks just so the younger generation will stay,or so more people will populate it? I know it’s a touchy subject but there has to be another answer besides the same old same old.

    • Paul says:

      There are millions and millions of acres of land in the Adirondacks that will not and cannot ever be developed. It is not an all or nothing question. It may be where there are not huge amounts of protected land but that isn’t the case here. You can’t, but even if you could, densely develop all the private land in the Adirondacks it would still be a pretty wild place.

    • Scott says:

      Charlie,

      I think for the region to do well in all dimensions you should try to find balance by working with others to find common ground. Extremism by both sides will bring the Park to disaster, at some point. But finding the moderate middle ground, working with others, give and take, avoiding absolutes……this is how to get past the same old same old, to use your words.

      But that is not Protects styple these days. They still have the old style fight everyone at every turn. It is, and it will be damaging to the overall health and long future of the Park.

  17. Henry says:

    It’s an unfortunate fact that comments often have nothing to do with the article as written and instead focus on the personal agenda of the commenter or an argument about something not mentioned in the article.

    “The Adirondack Park needs an accurate assessment of its demographic reality. Adirondack Park communities are not well served by misdiagnosing our demographic challenges.”

    I think that is a good starting point for a discussion that might be worthwhile.

  18. Charlie S says:

    Working with others is one thing Scott but finding common ground!I don’t thinking putting energy into protecting what’s left of this planet’s eco-systems is extremism neither.Extremism to me is the endless destruction we do on a daily basis with no end in sight…just so a dollar can be had.I understand Adirondack residents need a source of income but thirty years from now it’s going to be the same thing.It’s always about a source of income.That’s why I keep going back to what McKibben said “We’re going to have to change our economic way of thinking real soon.” This is so true Scott.What do we do?Keep tearing down more woods to build amusement centers, or malls,or whatever… just so locals can shop or entertain themselves? Or earn a wage? Eventually they’ll be nothing left,no clean water,no pristine havens.Then what? They’ll still be the unemployed.
    I know I sound like a broken record but I know I’m on the money and I’m thinking really long term here,which is something most of us just don’t do,especially those in charge.I’m open Scott but we’re going to need a little creativity in our thinking on this.The old way of thinking is not working.

    You say, “But that is not Protects style these days. They still have the old style fight everyone at every turn.”

    I take that to mean that ‘Protect’ are hardcore antagonists and wont give anyone an inch. I’m all for that style of resistance Scott as I know from experience that desperation leads people to want a mile when you offer them an inch.

    What will be damaging to the overall future of the Adirondack Park will most likely be our old way of thinking more than it will be any thing else. That and invasives and weed killers and capitalists politicians and possibly even nuclear fallout.

  19. Charlie S says:

    Henry.It’s all relative!

  20. Hank Kinosian says:

    This is an excellent study done by the University of Wisconsin, Michigan Technological University and the University of New Hampshire, that has amassed a tremendous amount of data for the entire country, county by county. A take-home message from this data is that twenty somethings had been leaving the Adirondack region in the decades before the APA was formed. Thus, these data support the idea that such emigration from the Adirondack region is an independent trend unrelated to increased environmental regulation in the latter part of the twentieth century. There has been a long-term, nation-wide trend of emigration from the countryside to the big city. In fact, beyond the scope of this present population study, there is a world-wide trend of people moving to urban areas.