Monthly Archives: August 2014

AJES Article Appears

The Adirondack Journal of Environmental Science recently published our article in their 2012 edition (which was released in May 2014).  The article contains the details of the methodology behind the ADK Futures Project.  You can find the article here.

Written in 2012, it recounts the approach and the data set.  For some readers, this will be a dry academic snore of a read; no worries.  But for others, this is where you can read about what we actually did.  Our current plan is to use the same methodology to develop a set of scenarios about different responses to climate change over the next 25 years.

The ADK Futures work is the first time we have used the methodology for a public process.  The innovation is that we leave behind a database evidence tracking tool for the public to view progress on the events and scenarios, or lack of it, as the case may be.  It will be dynamic, accumulating actual developments over time, comparing the news to the workshop events and scenarios.  This blog, and all the associated files for workshop and materials, constitute our ‘report’ of record.

Our hope is the tracking database becomes more useful over time, as the future unfolds and uncertainties are resolved. In just 18-24 months, the Sustainable Life vision developed from this work is accumulating plenty of evidence showing progress. But it is just the beginning and lots of uncertainty remains.

We didn’t actually create a new direction for the region, but we uncovered something already here,  gave a voice to it, and built shared intentions around it.  The long-running conflicts all still exist, but our shared intentions have become the center of attention and drawn considerable positive government attention as well.


August 16 Symposium “Toward a More Diverse Adirondack Park’

The Park’s first diversity symposium is on Saturday August 16 at the SUNY ESF Newcomb Campus from 8am-5pm.

The web site with registration information, the agenda and details can be found here.  For additional information please call John Sheehan at the Adk Council, 518-432-1770

Participating organizations include:  Adirondack Almanack, Adirondack Council, Adirondack Foundation, Adirondack Futures, John Brown Lives, SUNY ESF, the Common Ground Alliance  and The Wild Center.

Here is a link to a post abut the event on the Adk Life blog.

For background, see this current report analyzing diversity in enviro groups and this article about the same issue.  It is a bigger issue than the Adirondacks, for sure, but go look at the Boards and staff of the enviro groups related to our Park for some insight about us.  It isn’t conscious, I don’t believe, but the situation speaks for itself.

The Park’s demographics are strikingly at variance with the rest of NY State, and particularly the cities, in most every dimension from age to race, to language, to sexual orientation and on down the list.  This widening gap is one possible route to failure in the Park’s future. Today we get the full attention of Albany, but there is nothing the suggest it will stay this way.  A big election, with high city voter turnout, could change a lot of things pretty quickly.

A few decades back, the issue was ‘home rule’ being trumped by excessive outside attention. But now the risk suggested by demographic trends is the actually opposite.  It is the possibility that the Park will become a largely neglected, abandoned, and increasingly irrelevant backwater of the State.  We need to find ways to make the people who visit and live here a better reflection of the state’s population.

The Park and the Forest Preserve exist at the pleasure of NY State voters.   The lofty notion that it is ‘forever’ is only actually true until an amendment on the ballot changes it.  It is not nearly the bedrock certainty that the tone of the Forever Wild language implies.

Please come join us at this symposium to share,  to think, and to learn about this challenge to our region.  Think of this as a starting point.  See you on August 16th?

Thanks to Pete Nelson for actually getting attention focused on this issue.