Thursday, September 28, 2017

Adirondack Wild’s 2017 Wilderness and Wild Stewardship Awards

Pete Nelson of AWA, at right with microphone, answers a question during a Forum about Boreas Ponds in Schroon LakeAdirondack Wilderness Advocates will receive Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve’s highest honor – the Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award. The wilderness award will be conveyed on Saturday afternoon, September 30th at Adirondack Wild’s annual meeting at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek. The meeting includes a Community Forum about Practical Steps to Better Land Use Decisions in the Adirondack Park beginning at 1 pm.

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates is an informal advocacy organization which was among the first to recommend a full Wilderness classification for the 21,000-acre Boreas Ponds tract, including the closure of the Gulf Brook Road which cuts through the tract. AWA’s founders, Bill Ingersoll, Pete Nelson and Brendan Wiltse, documented the area’s wilderness attributes, and its potential for wilderness restoration in the future through the closure of the Gulf Brook Road and other management actions that could happen if the tract was classified Wilderness.

Receiving the Wild Stewardship Award, Dr. Michael W. Klemens is a conservation biologist who earned an achievement award from the American Planning Association recognizing his accomplishment in integrating complex ecological data into land use planning decisions in the Hudson Valley and Connecticut. Dr. Klemens seeks to transport these strategies and practical steps for better land use planning to the Adirondack Park. These strategies are contained in the guidebook he authored and which Adirondack Wild published this year, Pathways to a Connected Adirondack Park. Community forums to discuss these strategies at the grassroots level, such as this meeting at Tannery Pond, are underway. Over the course of 30 years, Dr. Klemens has made a personal journey from a museum-based research scientist into the realm of ecology and applied science and public policy  In addition to his consultancy with Adirondack Wild, Dr. Klemens is a Research Associate in Herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History and serves as gubernatorial appointee to the Connecticut Siting Council which determines the placement of telecommunications and energy generation facilities in that State. He is the Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission in his home town of Salisbury, CT and has worked for many years with the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, among many other not-for-profit organizations.

Adirondack Wild will also pause during its award presentations to remember John Collins of Blue Mountain Lake who devoted his life to the wilderness and people of the Adirondacks.

Adirondack Wild’s meeting at Tannery Pond Community Center is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. To reserve, contact Ken Rimany by email at For more information about Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, visit their website.

Photo: Pete Nelson of AWA, at right with microphone, answers a question during a Forum about Boreas Ponds in Schroon Lake, provided.

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