APA at 50: The forever wild fight

“Regulators and Rebels”

This is a nine-part series that tells the story of the at-times contentious campaign to create the Adirondack Park Agency, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. Adapted from the new book “A Wild Idea: How the Environmental Movement Tamed the Adirondacks,” author Brad Edmondson interviewed more than 50 people who fought for and against the APA, some of whom have since died. 

regulators and rebels logo

Abbie Verner’s head-on collision

Tempers flared at the Adirondack Park Agency’s birth, with a clash between environmentalists and developers.

regulators and rebels logo

Clarence Petty’s three years of survey work

From squatter’s cabin to trekking 2.2 million acres, Petty’s work laid foundation for State Land Master Plan

Regulators and rebels logo

Harold Jerry takes on a Rockefeller

Adirondacks as a national park? The idea proposed in the late 1960s achieved consensus: Everyone hated it

regulators and rebels logo

George Davis’s lucky break

How the forever-wilders took charge of the Temporary Study Commission.

regulators and rebels logo

Harold Hochschild’s big score

In the showdown over passing the APA Act, Hochschild faced off with NYS Assembly speaker Perry Duryea.

regulators and rebels logo

George Davis, a big project and a tiny budget

The new APA had a little over a year to write two huge land use plans.

regulators and rebels logo

Push for the plan

As the APA worked to develop its land use plan, backlash against agency continued to grow.

regulators and rebels logo

The Rebellion

The APA rolled out its master land use plan, and developer Tony D’Elia and others led a call to abolish the agency.

regulators and rebels logo

Reimagining the APA

How should the APA position itself for the future? Former APA Board Member Chad Dawson weighs in on the topic.

About Adirondack Explorer

The Adirondack Explorer is a nonprofit magazine covering the Adirondack Park's environment, recreation and communities.

Reader Interactions


  1. Young Contrarian says

    Part 9 says it’s available but it’s not. Clicking on the link for Part 9 just opens another page for the whole series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *