We at Protect the Adirondacks! believe Fred LeBrun’s commentary, “Park loses green voices” (March/April 2011) contains misleading statements that misrepresent the status of Protect. Despite LeBrun’s pessimism, Protect remains very active in protecting the Adirondack Park.
First, Protect is a major player in the Adirondack Park Agency hearings on whether to approve the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort development in Tupper Lake as evidenced by the press coverage of John Caffry, our legal counsel, and letters to editors by Protect board members published in local papers. In the adjudicatory hearing, only Protect is presenting expert witnesses on the financial risks of the project, as well as other witnesses.
Second, two of the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks’ premium programs are continuing under Protect’s umbrella—the sustainable-forestry and lake-monitoring programs. [RCPA merged with the Association to Protect the Adirondacks to form Protect]. LeBrun neglected to report that they are ongoing efforts, though this information is readily available on our website www.protectadks.org.
We also have an active Conservation Advocacy Committee that is laying the groundwork for new Park advocacy efforts. Last year, Protect produced a white paper that found there is little evidence to support any blame-the-park interpretation for the state of the Adirondack economy (also available on our website).
Protect is a partner with the Adirondack Mountain Club in the Lows Lake-classification lawsuit against APA and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
These are just a few of the things that Protect is working on to preserve the Park.
It’s true that we’ve had to work hard to merge two struggling organizations, knowing that neither would have survived as a separate entity. LeBrun states that “the match proved unsuccessful.” However, we are still here, not as originally envisioned, but moving forward, after having made difficult but financially sound business decisions. We are governed by a member-elected board that is dedicated to providing a voice for the Adirondacks that is driven by grass-roots principles. We would have hoped that LeBrun would have interviewed current Protect board members to receive information on our status.
We fear that the repercussions for Protect from LeBrun’s slanted views will be far-reaching. We have an ongoing fund-raising campaign for our legal defense fund, to provide monetary resources for supporting, primarily, our Adirondack Club and Resort efforts. We continue to solicit participation in our other advocacy efforts and in our forestry and lake-assessment programs. We trust that our members and donors will continue their support of these efforts in protecting the Adirondacks.
Lorraine Duvall, Keene
Duvall is co-chair of Protect the Adirondacks