October 1, 2016
John Omohundro Passes The Torch
The picture of John Omohundro turning stewardship of the Red Sandstone Trail to Blair Madore has a special symbolism to this chapter. John initiated the Red Sandstone Trail project, enlisted the chapter and community members in its development, and has overseen numerous trail projects which have brought it into fruition. More than a hiking trail it also provides a visual lesson about Potsdam’s historic sandstone industry. It provides a trail connection between Hannawa Falls and Potsdam.
But symbolically John has had the same influence on the Laurentian chapter. He served as chapter chair in three different decades from the 70s through the 90s. He inspired others to become trip leaders, to participate in outings, and take leadership roles in the chapter. His strong interest in conservation issues which affected not only our area but the Adirondacks as a whole motivated him to develop expertise on a myriad of issues. He became involved in the relicensing of power projects on the Raquette River and other local streams. He attended hearings on unit management plans affecting not only our area but also in the high peaks. He advocated through letters through communication to DEC and Adirondack Park officials and to our local government. He shared his knowledge with other chapter members, enabling them to be stronger advocates for wilderness values. He and Susan spent substantial time doing research on important issues affecting the club.
He has served in other chapter capacities such as newsletter editor (with Susan), outings chair, and most recently as conservation chair. He has led innumerable outings, summer, spring, fall and winter.
In short, he has been the heart and soul of the Laurentian chapter for decades. In his handing over stewardship of the Red Sandstone Trail, we see a symbol of John’s future relationship with the chapter. John and Susan are hoping to relocate in the coming year to Saranac Lake to be closer to the high peaks and the lakes they love. Of course they won’t be that far away, and I am sure that they will still be involved in the important issues we care about, but the era of his chapter leadership will come to a close. John has been an inspiration to generations of Laurentian chapter members. We have been incredibly fortunate to have him in our leadership. We wish him only the best in the future. His retirement is well-deserved. Now others, and that includes you readers, must step forward to continue the path he has set.
Oct 1, 2016: John Omohundro Passes The Torch