LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Adirondack Council today thanked the members of the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus for again holding its fall retreat inside the Adirondack Park and for the amazing list of accomplishments achieved in partnership with the Adirondack Council and other conservation organizations over the past year.
The caucus held its fall retreat in Lake Placid in 2021, which was the first time it held its annual retreat outside of Albany. The Council held a reception this year at Smoke Signals restaurant to honor caucus achievements with friends and supporters on the eve of their return to the Adirondacks.
“This was truly a remarkable year of progress for the Adirondack Park, both in terms of conservation and in terms of expanding the circle of friends and supporters who care about the park and want to protect it,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway. “It was also a good year for environmental justice and progress on urban environmental issues, with a new set of mobile air quality monitoring devices approved for urban areas suffering from smog, new standards for diesel truck emissions and a new law requiring the state to lift the burden of industrial pollution from low-income neighborhoods.
“In the Adirondacks, we are celebrating the creation of a new Timbuctoo Summer Climate and Careers Institute that will bring New York City college students into the park to explore careers in fighting climate change,” he said. “The caucus helped the Adirondacks to secure $500,000 to design a new Survey of Climate in Adirondack Lake Ecosystems, $8.6 million for a new visitor management system for overused areas of the park, and the appointment of Benita Law-Diao as the first Black member of the Adirondack Park Agency board.”
Success in the Adirondacks and success in fighting urban pollution came as a result of activists from both camps being willing to recognize common problems and work cooperatively to find solutions, Janeway said.
Janeway and Adirondack Council board chair Sarah Hatfield thanked caucus chair Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, D-Elmont, and all the caucus members, for making the year such a victorious one for the Adirondacks and for environmental justice.
Janeway and Adirondack Council Forever Adirondacks Campaign Director Aaron Mair are slated to deliver keynote addresses to the caucus on Wednesday.
The Council on Wednesday is also expecting to host a visit from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Director Lisa F. Garcia on Wednesday, who will tour air quality monitoring and testing facilities in the region. Garcia’s region covers New York, New Jersey, the Virgin Island, Puerto Rico and seven Native American nations. The EPA shut down several air monitoring sites in the Adirondack Park and on the Akwesasne (St. Regis) Mohawk Reservation due to budget constraints, prior to the passage of the federal Inflation Reduction Act.
Those sites were expected to reopen this fall.
“We have a great deal to celebrate this year as a result of our cooperative efforts,” Janeway said. “We thank our friends in the caucus and hope to build a stronger relationship as we continue to get to know one another better in the years ahead. Together, we have already accomplished some great things. We can’t wait to see what else is possible.”
Established in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. It is the largest environmental organization whose sole focus is the Adirondacks.
The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action. It envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, core wilderness areas, farms and working forests, and vibrant, diverse, welcoming, safe communities. Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States.