Almanack Contributor John Sheehan

John Sheehan

Before John Sheehan joined the Adirondack Council's staff in 1990, he was the managing editor of the Malone Evening Telegram, and previously worked as a journalist for the Troy Record, (Schenectady) Daily Gazette, Watertown Daily Times and Newsday. For the past 20 years, John has been the voice of the Adirondack Council on radio and television, and on the pages of local, regional and national media.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Adirondack Earth Day at 50 

NY invests in environment, public health infrastructure, bond act;

Trump’s Federal Government tearing down 50 years of progress

loonAs we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in the Adirondacks today, we see a state and a nation going in opposite directions in terms of environmental and public health protections. 

In New York, we are seeing unprecedented support for environmental progress from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s team, lawmakers and citizens.  Not only does New York have the most aggressive climate change law in the nation – the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act – but it is backing up its greenhouse gas reduction commitment with funding from a $300-million Environmental Protection Fund and a proposed $3-billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act. 

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

NYS Budget Capital Projects Good for Adirondacks

The Adirondack Council thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Legislative leaders April 1 for much-needed environmental capital projects that were slated to be approved in the NYS Budget agreement.

They included a $3-billion “Restore Mother Nature” bond act and a $300-million Environmental Protection Fund that includes money to address overuse and preserve the most popular wilderness areas, trails and destinations in the Adirondack Park.

Given the challenges the Governor and Legislature are facing with the coronavirus outbreak, this is a very good budget for the Adirondacks.  We understand that there may still be some need to economize as state revenues may be affected by the current public health crisis.  This budget recognizes that clean water, open space, wildlife and a healthy environment remain priorities no matter what other challenges we are facing.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Woodward Lake Proposal Tests Park Agency

Woodward Lake courtesy Adirondack AtlasThe developers who want to turn the small, private Woodward Lake in the Town of Northampton into a housing subdivision have agreed to move a handful of lots away from the water and change some boundary lines. However, the overall plan still doesn’t conserve open space or protect wildlife habitat and should be rejected. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Adirondack Council Reviews Gov’s Budget Plans

NYS capital buildingThe Adirondack Council applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for proposing State Budget funding that will combat climate change, protect clean water and preserve Wilderness, build more resilient trails and make the park more welcoming place for all state residents.

On top of the newly announced $3-billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act proposal, the Governor’s plan adds another $500 million investment in clean water project funding, in addition to the $500 million previously announced for this year’s budget. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Invasives Viewpoint: Make Boat Inspections Mandatory

boat inspection station provided by adk explorerYes, everyone should be educated and make sure their boat is clean, drained and dry, inspected and decontaminated, to stop the spread of invasive species and preserve Adirondack Park lakes, ponds and rivers. The park is a national treasure we must protect for future generations, as our ancestors did for us. That means taking seriously our obligations to protect clean water, native wildlife, aquatic life, allowing people to live in harmony with the wilderness.

Some suggest that this could be done with education and voluntary programs alone, without a law, regulations or enforcement. We can all wish that were true, but it isn’t. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

2019 State of the Adirondack Park

2019 state of the parkThe Adirondack Council’s 2019-20 State of the Park report is subtitled “Challenged by Success,” noting that the success of state tourism campaigns is straining the park’s lands and waters, as record numbers of hikers climb the state’s tallest mountains and as recreational boating and off-road vehicles gain popularity.

The challenge is especially noticeable in the High Peaks Wilderness Area, but can be seen in popular locations throughout the park, the report notes. State of the Park is the organization’s annual comprehensive assessment of the actions of local, state and federal government officials. This 38th edition rates 106 separate government actions. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Call For Mandatory Boat Washing

The Adirondack Council is urging the NYS Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to protect the park’s priceless rivers and lakes from harmful invasive species by renewing the law that forbids the spread of non-native plants and animals from one lake or river to another.

The Council is also urging lawmakers to add a provision requiring that all boats be decontaminated before they are launched in Adirondack waters. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

John Sheehan: Adirondacks and the NYS Budget

NYS CapitolConservationists had much to applaud after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature passed a State Budget that will protect clean water, buy new park land, resist invasive species, build more resilient trails and make the park more welcoming place for all state residents.

Conservationist also had a right to wonder why the budget included no additional staff at key agencies, and why the state didn’t pass comprehensive legislation requiring the state to meet new carbon emissions goals. The budget did include funding for some climate initiatives. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

John Sheehan: Oppose Changes to Federal Mercury Rule

adirondack council new logoLast month, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed an amendment to the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and the Clean Air Act “risk and review” process that should worry everyone who cares about the Adirondacks and public health.

On the surface, the change looks like a routine adjustment of technical language about the way EPA calculates “side benefits” from proposed air pollution rules. That’s how EPA is describing it. As a result, few people have paid attention to the proposal. But if approved, it would have far-reaching effects that strike at the heart of some of the most important public health and environmental protections. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

John Sheehan On The Adirondack Council’s Budget Priorities

adirondack council new logoWhile applauding the state’s efforts to boost tourism, protect clean water and fight climate change, on Wednesday the Adirondack Council called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to protect the Adirondack Forest Preserve against overuse, all-terrain vehicle trespass and other threats. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Acid Rain Controls Near Finish Line, Obstacles Remain

Dead Red Spruce GothicsAs the nation mourns the passing of George H. W. Bush, the President who signed the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 creating America’s first acid rain program – a conference of scientists and advocates has concluded that the fight to stop acid rain is nearly won. Sadly, victory is now in doubt due to the Trump administration’s proposed pollution rule changes.

It feels like we are a marathon runner who has been tripped with the finish line in sight. In 1990, President Bush understood that the United States was supposed to set an example for the rest of the world when it comes to protecting the environment. The current Environmental Protection Agency is pushing hard in the other direction, imposing reductions to environmental protections that took a generation to enact. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sheehan: Kavanaugh Nomination Bad News for Park

West face of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington DCAt the conclusion of his visit to Bear Pond in the St. Regis Canoe Area on August 10, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer answered questions from press and local residents who were worried about Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Senator Schumer confirmed that Kavanaugh would be bad news for clean air, clean water and public health in the Adirondack Park.

The Senator had come to celebrate Bear Pond’s recovery from acid rain and to warn federal officials not to backslide on clean air rules. The Senate Minority Leader said he was opposed to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

John Sheehan: EPA’s Budget, Acid Rain Research

dead spruce trees

The Adirondack Council on Wednesday praised New York’s Congressional delegation for its efforts to secure approval of a $1.3-trillion federal appropriations agreement that eliminated significant cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Congress has approved and President Donald Trump has signed a resolution continuing the current funding plan for the federal government through the end of FY2018. The plan increases EPA’s budget, while providing funds for other important environmental and public health priorities. » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Lonesome No: Chad Dawson And His Boreas Ponds Vote

On February 2nd, as the Adirondack Park Agency’s board was listening to its staff’s proposal for a final agency recommendation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the classification of Boreas Ponds and the 20,500-acre parcel surrounding the ponds, board member Chad Dawson asked some tough questions of his fellow board members.

Dawson is a professor at the State University of NY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and an internationally recognized expert on recreation, natural resources and wilderness management. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Testimony on Proposed Repeal of Clean Power Plan

Navajo Generating Station emitting flue gas emissions near Page, Arizona, United StatesOn January 9, Adirondack Council Chairman Robert Kafin called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to drop its proposal to repeal the federal Clean Power Plan, calling the notion “illegal and unreasonable.” He urged the EPA to instead begin enforcing the plan.

His comments were part of his testimony on the impacts that the proposed repeal would have on the Adirondack Park’s environment and communities. He presented his testimony during a hearing held in Manhattan by NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Schneiderman and DeBlasio. » Continue Reading.