Strengthening the APA
Ideas for a better Adirondack Park
A special publication of the Adirondack Explorer
The Adirondack Explorer would like to thank the following
underwriters of our “Strengthening the APA” project, including the magazine series and the conference:
Prospect Hill Foundation
Butler Conservation Fund
master family fund
Furthermore: A program of the
J.M. Kaplan Fund
Mr. and Mrs. John C. Bogle
Norcross Wildlife Foundation
The Boquet Foundation
Mrs. John L. Burgher
Phil Brown has been the editor of the Adirondack Explorer since 1999.
He is the author of Adirondack Paddling and editor of Bob Marshall in
Brian Mann is the Adirondack Bureau chief for North Country Public
Radio and a frequent contributor to the Adirondack Explorer. He lives
in Saranac Lake.
Kim Martineau is a science writer at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
at Columbia University in New York City.
Mal Provost was a longtime editor at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.
He is now a free-lance writer.
Philip Terrie is the author of Contested Terrain: A New History of
Nature and People in the Adirondacks and two other books about
Nancie Battaglia • Susan Bibeau • Phil Brown • George Earl • Carl Heilman II
Pat Hendrick • Kary Johnson • Seth Lang • Barry Lobdell • Jeff Nadler
Beginning in July 2012, the Adirondack Explorer published a yearlong series of articles examining how well the Adirondack Park Agency is fulfilling its mission of protecting the Adirondacks. The series focused on the APA’s regulation of the private lands that make up 55 percent of the Park.
Subjects included the future of open space; threats to water quality and shorelines; upland development; and sprawl. The series found that safeguards that once set the standard for progressive land-use planning must now be updated to ensure that the natural character and viable human communities of the Park survive for future generations.
Following the series, the Explorer hosted a daylong conference featuring presentations by regional, state, and national authorities. The conference sought to generate ideas about how to keep the Park a special place for generations to come.
This booklet reprints the series as well as the Explorer’s coverage of the conference and our editorial urging action on key findings of that symposium, particularly the use of conservation-development principles; regulations to control storm-water runoff and other threats to water quality; and the need for the state to give the APA the staff and budget it needs to do its work.
We hope that this publication will give policy-makers and the general public the information they need to turn this investigation into action.
—Tom Woodman, Publisher, Adirondack Explorer
A nonprofit magazine supported by donors, subscribers, and advertisers and devoted to exploring, protecting, and celebrating the Adirondack Park.
(888) 888-4970 AdirondackExplorer.org
36 Church Street,
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
COVER PHOTO: The High Peaks from
Adirondak Loj Road by Carl Heilman II
BOOKLET DESIGN: Susan Bibeau