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.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Adirondack conservation groups bring priorities to Albany

loonFour Adirondack conservation organizations this week called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to boost both public health and the Upstate economy with new investments in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and clean water.  They also urged him to fix lingering problems at the Adirondack Park Agency.  

“The Adirondack Park is a national treasure and the birthplace of the wilderness movement in our country,” noted the letter sent to the Governor by the groups.  “We urge you to uphold the 125-year, multi-generational, bipartisan tradition of protecting the Adirondack Park. At six million acres, the Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States. It is also the largest intact temperate deciduous forest in the world, making it a primary source of our state’s clean water, a refuge for wildlife and biodiversity, and a sponge for greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.”

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Adirondack Council’s Top 10 list of 2020 progress

Progress on reducing road salt, managing visitors to the overused High Peaks Wilderness Area and making the Adirondacks more welcoming to all New York residents led the Adirondack Council’s list of 10 reasons to be thankful as 2020 draws to a close.

 The Council’s 2020 highlights included:

State Budget is Good for the Adirondack Park – April 1, 2020 

The Adirondack Council and partners secured crucial funding for pristine Adirondack waters and wildlands in the state budget. New York State approved a $300 million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). There was a total of $1 billion for new clean water infrastructure. Both are cornerstone sources of funding that go to keep Adirondack waters free of invasive species, sewage and pollution. Additionally, the budget included dedicated funding to combat overuse in the Adirondacks.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Siena Poll shows support for limits on High Peaks use

A Siena College Research Institute poll of New York voters in September showed that by 68% to 22% they overwhelmingly want New York State officials to protect heavily used public lands in the Adirondack Forest Preserve by enforcing resource capacity limits. The poll results were released by the Adirondack Council.

The Governor and the State have acknowledged the overuse problem, expanded education and public information efforts, and appointed a Wilderness Overuse Task Force. The Center for National Center for Leave No Trace recommendations have been endorsed by the task force, and include testing hiker permits to improve visitor access and help communities.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Groups urge Gov. to sign road salt reduction bill

A coalition of Adirondack conservationists is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign into law a bi-partisan bill that would help reduce road salt pollution and protect drinking water in the Adirondack Park.

The legislation creates an Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force and Pilot Program. If approved by the Governor, the new law would establish a salt-reduction pilot program from October 2021 through 2024 to test alternative measures already shown to work better and cost less than current winter road maintenance practices.  Highway safety would remain the top priority.

New York State has applied millions of tons of road salt to the park’s highways since it began using salt in 1980.

The Adirondack Park contains more than 11,000 lakes and ponds, and more than 30,000 miles of rivers, brook and streams.  It is the source of most of the state’s major rivers.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, July 31, 2020

Adk Council reacts to loss of bond act; urges state to acquire Whitney estate

adirondack council new logoThe Adirondack Council expressed disappointment over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to withdraw the $3-billion environmental bond act from the 2020 ballot, saying the measure could have helped get New York residents back to work and would have provided significant tax relief to rural communities, while protecting clean water and wildlife.

“We are very disappointed that the bond act has been withdrawn,” said Adirondack Council Deputy Director Rocci Aguirre.  “We believe it would have helped to spur economic growth while it benefited the environment.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Adirondack groups cheer passing of road salt reduction bill

road salt The NYS Senate granted final approval Thursday to a bi-partisan bill that would help reduce road salt pollution and protect drinking water in the Adirondack Park.

The legislation creates an Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force and Pilot Program. If approved by the Governor, the new law would establish a salt-reduction pilot program from October 2021 through 2024 to test alternative measures already shown to work better and cost less than current winter road maintenance practices.  Highway safety would remain the top priority.

» Continue Reading.


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.



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