Yesterday, July 13, 2017, we presented a 5 year review of the progress to date regarding the 25 year vision for the Park at the APA monthly meeting. The original vision was presented to the APA at their July meeting in 2012.
The review shows progress on most fronts. Take a look at the presentation here: July 2017 APA meeting final
The punch line is very positive. Also the strength of the alignment behind the original vision shows in the enormous scope and depth of the efforts made. Five years ago one of the questions was how to make progress without anyone in charge? Well we have lots of leaders, and each takes on what they wish to in their area of interest with few others telling them how to proceed. The evidence suggests this approach works astonishingly well. Alignment of all these people helps them see they are not alone, and brings NYS support when and where it is needed.
We do NOT mean to suggest there is no conflict here. There is conflict, but it is often on single point issues that serve as a focal point for energy and fund raising. The classification of Boreas Ponds is an example where focused conflict is real, but the future of the region doesn’t depend upon the outcome. Much of the conflict is between advocacy groups with different points of view and different donors exerting pressure via shifting funding. In the last five years new advocacy groups have popped up. One is a splinter from the ADK Council and ADK Mountain Club that takes on advocating for a wilderness classification for Boreas Ponds. Another is a spin-off from the ADK Nature Conservancy, a revival of the ADK Land Trust. This pattern, where a few people and a donor split from one group over some issue, and form a new group, is a common feature of conservation advocacy across the nation – we have our own version of this behavior pattern but it is not unique.
The big picture is a very positive widely diverse set of efforts that add up to great progress and reason to be optimistic. You can check on how we track progress by looking here: www.ADKfutures.net