Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve conveyed its annual awards to five Adirondack residents on Friday, September 24, 2021, at Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek.
The Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award was conveyed to recently retired Adirondack Park Agency natural resource planners and supervisors Walter (Walt) Linck and Richard (Rick) Weber. Both men are residents of Saranac Lake. For the past 20 years, Linck and Weber steered the APA in Ray Brook toward the protection and preservation of the natural resources of the Adirondack Park’s state lands, the Forest Preserve. Their high standards employed to enhance management plans, private land permits and wild land policies across the Park admirably reflected the legacy left by the 20th century’s foremost Adirondack wilderness coalition leader Paul Schaefer (1908-1996), Adirondack Wild’s award states.
Prior to his career at the APA, Linck led wilderness canoe trips from his family’s camp on Raquette Lake, earned his master’s in environmental science at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and led the Audubon Expedition Institute and Adirondack AmeriCorps program in Long Lake.
Rick Weber also graduated from SUNY ESF and earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources. Prior to coming to the APA, he worked at the LA Group for over 13 years in a variety of positions and was a National Park Planning Advisor to the Republic of Panama where he prepared a management plan for the largest biosphere reserve in Central America.
Adirondack Wild’s Wild Stewardship Award was presented to Westport resident Martha Swan, founder and executive director of John Brown Lives! Since 1999, Martha and JBL! have addressed civil rights, climate justice, human trafficking, immigrant rights, mass incarceration and voting rights. JBL! has successfully placed the Adirondacks on the map as a moral as well as protected landscape. Under Martha’s leadership, JBL! became the Friends group of John Brown Farm State Historic Site in North Elba. Thanks to Martha and her board of directors, JBL’s caring for moral landscape exemplifies the highest standards of Park stewardship. While not directing JBL! Martha teaches at the Newcomb Central School.
Keeseville resident Terry Jandreau was presented with Adirondack Wild’s 25 Year Service award for his 25 years of devoted friendship and board leadership for the nonprofits the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks and, since 2010, Adirondack Wild. Terry has served as treasurer and currently serves as chair of the board of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve.
Finally, North Creek resident Evelyn Greene was named 2021 Champion of the Forest Preserve for her work over many years to study the problems created by public motorized uses on the “forever wild” New York Forest Preserve. Her field investigations showed the state’s pursuit of snowmobile connector trails to be, in many cases, senseless because key connections lacked snow and uncooperative private landownerships intervened along the route. This year, the Court of Appeals ruled for plaintiff Protect the Adirondacks! that the state lacks the authority to alter the Forest Preserve by construction of wider, straighter, flatter snowmobile connectors. “In this ruling,” stated Adirondack Wild, “can be found the footprints and influence of Evelyn Greene.”