Conservation Archive


January 1, 2020

Tom van de Water

The recent talk by Neil Woodworth at the potluck in Canton gives me a chance to reflect on “conservation” and its role in our Laurentian Chapter.

Neil emphasized the importance of New York State efforts toward sustainable energy to counter climate change. Our chapter, club, state, nation and world must be part of this effort to reduce our carbon footprint and enable ecological areas like the Adirondacks to survive in the coming years. Yes, we’ll still support good trail work to prevent erosion and try to keep invasives from our woods and waters, but controlling climate chaos is linked to every effort we make in the Adirondacks.

Conservation discussions with a “conservative” root need to be a way to engage with our neighbors and governments. Common ground often exists in saving what we have, regardless of politics. Encouraging non-motorized uses may, sometimes, be more of a challenge. But showing others that we love our local recreational opportunities and support our local economies, is a step. I hope talk of conservation can open doors and give us a chance to celebrate the Adirondacks with our neighbors.

I challenge us to lead in conservation, reducing our own burning of fuel in particular. Maybe we can even develop an “Adirondack Green Card” to encourage a limit to our own carbon use, with each person voluntarily setting a limit to carbon use for recreation. We could use our “carbon units” conservatively and consider carefully before setting off on our next adventure by car or plane. We’d save up for big trips and look at local “offsets” in our forests and soils. We need to celebrate the conservation of carbon left in the ground, soil and trees.

If you haven’t yet, let your voice be heard on issues like “The St. Lawrence River Watershed Revitalization Plan” which has a site to fill out a survey:

And make comments on the amendment and Environmental Impact Statement for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor by December 20:

(I’m not sure what our official position is as a Club, but I hope we favor non-motorized recreation in this corridor. “Wilderness Railroad” seems an oxymoron, though I understand the argument for the Remsen- Tupper Lake section as public transportation to reduce carbon impact. It’s just that a tourist railroad doesn’t seem likely to do that and a long distance bike corridor would draw more people to appreciate that wild corridor.)