The Adirondack Council is a key advocate before the New York state legislature and state agencies to ensure the protection of the wilderness and communities of the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park. Among the current issues of current concern is a plan by the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct joint public meetings regarding the Unit Management Plans for the High Peaks Wilderness and the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest areas. Council Spokesman John Sheehan says while his organization had encouraged joint meetings for non-controversial items, this is not what they intended.
“There has been great debate over what should happen around these areas that they’re proposing the management plans for and a lot of people got involved in making comments about what the future of these places ought to be. So we’re concerned that they seem to be fast tracking this to get something done by summertime. The Park Agency and DEC have separate duties to perform in this case. We’re concerned that by combining the two comment periods the Park Agency is acting like there is nothing the public can say during this comment period that will change the DEC’s proposal. Or that they don’t intend to do anything to alter the DEC’s plan in any way. So it looks like a rubber stamp. I don’t think that’s good for public confidence and I think it puts the agencies in the position of having to explain why they’re not listening to the public.”
The Adirondack Council recently received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, placing it in the top 13 percent of charities in the U.S. It is the fourth consecutive year the council has been awarded the top ranking by the watchdog group.