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The story in nine bites

This week I started a nine-part series on the website of Adirondack Explorer magazine that tells the story in 3,000 words. It will run every other weekday until April 16. Here’s the lede from post #1:

On June 5, 1971, two days before the New York State Assembly passed the Adirondack Park Agency Act, a group of environmental activists ran into a group of developers in a hall outside the Assembly chamber.

“We all came together in a head-on collision,” remembered Abbie Verner. “Everyone started bellowing, and at one point I almost hit Red Plumadore over the head with my purse.” Keep reading.

From Ch. 7 of A Wild Idea: How the Environmental Movement Tamed The Adirondacks (published May 2021)

The project is based on 50 oral history interviews I did over the last 18 years. The book is based on those interviews, and I will also release highlights from the audio and video as we prepare a one-hour PBS documentary for the fall. Here’s the first video clip:

Watch this space for news and notices about events we’re planning in 2021. You can also sign up here for automatic email notifications:

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About This Site

New York’s Adirondack Park is bigger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Great Smokies National Parks combined. It also might be the world’s best protected wilderness, even though 85 million people live within a day’s drive. How did that happen?

I wanted to know, so I spent years talking to the people who fought for and against the Park’s 50-year-old land-use plan. What they told me was so dramatic and surprising that I had to write A Wild Idea.

The book is an 18-year labor of love. I collected dozens of interviews and hundreds of photographs and documents. The material is so good that it was impossible to stop. When I finished the book, I had a lot of fascinating stuff left over, and that is the reason for this website. Share your email to get updates and find out about events that will commemorate the APA’s 50th anniversary.

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