Director Archive

Director's Report

Meeting of March 11, 2006

Armond Spencer

Executive Director, Neil Woodworth, reports:

He spoke for ADK at Dr. Paul Jamieson's Memorial Service in Canton. Paul passed away on November 4 at age 103. ADK lost three giants thus far this year, Dr. Jamieson, David Newhouse, and Arthur Newkirk. Their contributions to ADK and the outdoor recreation community in the Adirondacks will live on for generations.

Neil and Marisa Tedesco, Conservation and Legislative Director, recently attended the argument of the United States Supreme Court on the Duke Energy case. (See Adirondac, Nov./Dec. 2006, pg. 6.) This is the first Clean Air Act case to be heard by the high court on the issue of how much air pollution, acid deposition, mercury and smog from coal burning power plants will trigger the obligation of a utility to install pollution control equipment. Neil hopes for a decision that will enable New York to sue utilities that fail to clean up their smokestack emissions. His brief for this landmark case outlines the damage being done to the flora and fauna of the Adirondacks; it can be read on ADK's web page.

Good progress has been made with the state concerning the new Visitor Service Facility and parking lot on the Heart Lake property. Though the lease agreement and the management contract were not completed during Governor Pataki's term, he expects to see this happen early in Governor Spitzer's term.

Neil noted the "Gods of Rock" article in Backpacker magazine's December 2006 issue. The author spent a week in the mountains with ADK's professional trail crews learning first hand how their amazing trail building results are achieved. This article has brought national recognition to their superior skills and dedication.

Also of special note, Jen Kretser, Education Director, and Julia Goren, botany steward, were invited to the Altai Republic (a mountainous portion of Siberia) to teach "leave no trace" and backcountry user education concepts to land managers in the process of establishing that republic's first national park.

Other news:

Doug Arnold gave a presentation to the Board on his group's ongoing efforts to rally support for the renaming of two Adirondack High Peaks; East Dix to Grace Peak (honoring Grace Hudowalski) and South Dix to Carson Peak (honoring Russell M. L. Carson). A motion regarding ADK endorsement was tabled until 2007.

ADK's 10th annual Harvest Moon Madness in November was the most successful to date. 272 people attended, $51,000 was raised along with another $10,000 raised from the internet auction component. This was $17,000 above 2005.

The Open Space Institute (OSI), a new client, will employ ADK's professional trail crew next summer to establish a trail to the Mount Adams summit.

Membership numbers continue to decrease. A second membership mailing was not done due to the poor response and cost of the first one. Emphasis is now focused upon retention of current members and seeking potential rejoins from the dropped member list.

Action Items:

Resolution for Southern Adirondack Wilderness Reclassification - passed- to encourage the APA to create four new Adirondack Wilderness areas by reclassifying lands presently included in these Wild Forest areas: Ferris Lake , Wilcox Lake and Lake George.

Resolution for increase in membership dues passed- Effective January 1, 2007, dues will increase by $5.00 in all categories except Life memberships.

2007 Budget passed - another very conservative budget projecting a net surplus of only 25K. Currently vacant staff positions will not be replaced. It does provide money for the upgrade of Adirondac magazine. In continues the retirement of the remaining member notes; by the end of 2007 ADK will have retired over $530,000 of the 12/31/02 debt. Philosophy: "New initiatives will be carefully weighed against revenue return before commitment."

In closing, I'd like to suggest that our Laurentian Chapter members give serious thought to making an end-of-year donation to ADK. The staff has worked extremely hard to have us finish in the black, but our donations, above our modest dues, are the key to seeing that this happens. As Tom Wheeler, who has agreed to serve another year as club treasurer, reminds us, "Dues pay for less than 20% of our expenses; revenue generating activities contribute significantly as well. But we depend upon donations from our membership to maintain the quality programs for which ADK has become known." Let's all play a part in contributing to this success.