GROUPS WE SUPPORT: Adirondack Mountain Club
We take a large amount of pride in our history of outspoken advocacy for conservation and access causes (locally, regionally and globally), as well as in our efforts to support conservation, education and recreation groups that are on the front-lines of protecting and preserving the wild lands we love and depend on, and this ongoing series will serve to highlight and promote these all-important groups.
For a full list of the groups we support, click here.
The Adirondack Mountains in New York have long been a national treasure and the birthplace of of a passion for the outdoors that has inspired many notable climbers, mountaineers and environmentalists. With the dense population in the Northeast, it was clear early on that preservation and smart management was need to protect this special place. Thus, in 1922, the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) was born and has served as a steward for the Adirondack Mountains ever since. We caught up with Paul Ertelt, communications director for the ADK, to find out more about the organization.
Can you describe when, how and why the ADK came to be?
The ADK was founded in New York City in 1922 for the purpose of developing and maintaining a system of hiking trails in the Adirondacks.
What are the goals of the ADK and how have they changed over time?
The ADK's goal is to protect the Adirondack Forest Preserve and other wild lands and waters in New York through conservation, advocacy, responsible recreation, outdoor education and stewardship. Our core goal has not changed much in the past 90 years, but the scope of that goal has expanded to meet new challenges. For example, in the club's early days, protecting natural resources focused on things like teaching campers to be careful with fires. In recent years, those efforts have also included going to federal court to protect the Adirondacks from acid rain and mercury contamination. Also, our original area of concern was the Adirondack Mountains, but our efforts now encompass wild lands and waters throughout the state.
What are some key successes the ADK has had over the years?
- ADK's summit stewards have educated more than 300,000 hikers about the fragile alpine ecosystems atop New York's highest peaks.
- ADK's professional and volunteer trail crews have built and maintained thousands of miles of hiking trails in the Adirondacks, Catskills and other natural areas of New York.
- ADK's education programs have instilled a love of nature in thousands of adults and children.
- ADK's lodges have been the base camps for countless adventures in the Adirondack High Peaks.
- ADK's comprehensive guidebooks to Adirondack and Catskill trails are considered the definitive guides to these regions.
- ADK is recognized as one the most effective environmental advocacy organizations in New York State, and our expertise and experience are often sought by other groups and by state officials.
What projects are currently a high-priority for the ADK?
- Repairing trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills damaged in 2011 by Tropical Storm Irene.
- Improving the experience of visitors to ADK's lodging facilities through an expanded offering of environmental education programs and outdoor workshops.
- Launching an updated and revised series of guidebooks covering the entire Adirondack and Catskill forest preserves.
- Ensuring that New York's State Forests and other publicly owned wild lands and waters are adequately protected from the potential impacts of gas exploration using high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
- Protecting the Adirondacks from invasive species, particularly water-borne species.
- Lobbying for increased state funding for land acquisition and stewardship.
How does Black Diamond support the ADK and how important is support from companies like Black Diamond to the ADK?
Black Diamond's support helps ADK keep summit stewards on Adirondack peaks, where they educate the public and protect vulnerable alpine ecosystems. Support from sponsors such as Black Diamond is vital to ADK's mission.
For more information on the Adirondack Mountain Club, or to make a donation, click here.