This took me by surprise and comes at a tough time, but the decision was made by Adirondack Explorer’s new publisher, Tracy Ormsbee of Albany. Since 2014 this Almanack has been owned by Getting The Word Out Inc., (dba Adirondack Explorer).
The Almanack had been a home-grown effort. Thank you so much for your contributions of essays and words and deeds of support through all these years. I may have founded it and provided its continuity, but the Almanack wouldn’t have existed without readers and writers like you.
I founded the Adirondack Almanack in 2005 to help provide a more factual basis for what the public believes about the Adirondacks – its history, natural history, and culture. Since then, I’ve edited and hit the publish button on every single one of the more than 15,000 stories the Almanack has presented.
In 2010, the Adirondack Mountain Club recognized what we have done together with their Eleanor F. Brown ADK Communication Award “in recognition of outstanding talent and journalistic achievement in building an online, independent news source about the Adirondacks.”
I’m proud that I’ve been able to provide a space for serious discussions of Adirondack issues, deeper reporting on some issues than was ever possible before, and timely, daily coverage of this increasingly important oasis in a sea of development that is the Northeast.
We have worked before the mast. We have genuinely tried to be fair without pretending to be unbiased.
The record will show that the Almanack was the first to extensively cover the effects of climate change on the whole Adirondack Park and the threat of invasive species on the Park. It was the first to push back in a serious way based with evidence against the claims that the population of the Adirondacks was fleeing because of the Adirondack Park Agency. When local newspapers were reporting the imminent death of Hamilton County, we were providing the data and analysis that wasn’t funded by anti-Forest Preserve activists.
I’ve often wrote the copy that broke big stories, from the sinking of the Ethan Allen to the sale of 161,000 acres by Finch Pruyn to the Nature Conservancy which brought the State the Boreas Ponds Tract, the Essex Chain Lakes, OK Slip Falls, and so much more. I’m confident in saying that the Almanack has covered that purchase and its ramifications more extensively than any other media operation.
The recently established Adirondack Diversity Initiative got an important boost at Adirondack Almanack, where an essay by the indomitable Pete Nelson helped lead to the first conference on the subject in the Adirondacks. The Almanack has been reporting on the rights of LGBTQ people since the beginning. We have tried to amplify the voices of the under-represented.
We stood against the gale. We didn’t just report on environmental politics and outdoor recreation. We didn’t ignore traditional sports liking fishing and hunting, once the basis for the protecting wild places. We covered snowmobiling in a serious way, from its economics and politics, to its history and future in a warming climate. As the issue of overuse has grown, we’ve often presented sometimes unpopular but always carefully considered opinions and reporting.
While others were offering editorials supporting the obvious taking of already designated wilderness by an international mining company, the Almanack was offering space to opponents of that view. Again you’ll find more stories on the Almanack about that topic that anywhere else.
Whether you’ve agreed with the perspectives of all the varied voices I’ve presented in this space, there is one thing that can’t be dened – they have been the voices of our neighbors, reflecting our unique Adirondack interpretations.
The Adirondack Almanack has grown from zero readers to 2 million page views per year. We created together a community space around our shared stories, and offered a place for reasonable discussion. Recreation and environmental conservation to be sure, but something as important but often overlooked by outsiders: our history and culture. We have published far more stories about the history of the Adirondacks in the last 15 years than any publication.
There Are Many To Thank
I’m particularly grateful to the many contributors who made it possible.
Early on Mary Thill, along with Mark Wilson, helped me understand what the Almanack should be, and then pitched in to help. Mark’s incisive cartoons (and the bear in a chair logo he created) set an early tone for the Almanack. I regularly draw from Mary’s ideas about what makes a good Adirondack story and her other editorial guidance even today.
Tony Hall, editor of the Lake George Mirror, provided early encouragement and advice. His father founded Adirondack Life as a supplement to his weekly newspaper in the 1970s. Tony knows his part of the Adirondacks in a way only a country editor can and the lessons a country editor can teach about publishing are immeasurable.
The past four years, Greg Dower has quietly worked in the background and played a critical part keeping the stories flowing. One thing this experience has taught me, when you find someone with the kind of intelligence, determination and loyalty to a mission that Greg has, treasure that opportunity.
The Almanack has truly been a community effort, so there have been many others. Those who quietly write to me with corrections, share links, and news. Our many writers, such as Lawrence Gooley, Diane Chase, Ellen Rathbone, Tom Kalinowski, Phil Brown, David Gibson, Peter Bauer, John Sheehan, Chris Morris, Tim Roland, Pete Nelson, Justin Levine, Christie Sausa, Kim and Pam Ladd, Mike Prescott, Dan Crane, Brian McKenzie, and so many more.
Thanks also to the advertisers, especially those such as North County Community College, the Wild Center and the Adirondack Council, who took a chance and supported the Almanack when it was still an untested medium.
If you’re in the Adirondacks, you’ll continue to hear me on Fridays at North Country Public Radio. You’ll find my future work, including the weekly conditions report, at the New York Almanack (NewYorkAlmanack.com).