Few Adirondack residents and members of the New York State Legislature know that the Adirondack Council, a group which paints itself as the "underdog" in the continuing conflicts over Adirondack land, actually has an annual budget exceeding $1,100,000 in addition to a financial cushion of over $900,000.
The combined annual budgets of the six largest groups concerned significantly with home-rule and property rights in the Adirondacks, plus the annual budget of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, are less than half the Adirondack Council's budget.
The Adirondack Council spent $207,711 on fund-raising in fiscal 1993-94, according to its IRS report. No group concerned with landowner rights in the Adirondacks spent this for its entire budget.
Few people realize that the seemingly local Adirondack Council is a coalition of three of the nation's largest environmental groups, the Wilderness Society, the National Resources Defense Council, and the National Parks and Conservation Association, as well as other groups.
The work of the Adirondack Council to strengthen the APA and to reduce private land ownership also functions in concert with the separate full-time efforts of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks. Furthermore, far wealthier national groups direct significant parts of their budgets toward the Adirondacks. In addition to the groups who comprise the formal coalition of the Adirondack Council, these national groups include the National Audubon Society (1994 revenue $36,654,749), the Defenders of Wildlife (1994 revenue $6,649,478), and The Nature Conservancy (1994 revenue $307,757,000).
For all of this awesome lobbying on behalf of increased government control and more government-owned land, you'd think that the puny efforts on behalf of the local economy, local home-rule and private property ownership in the Adirondacks wouldn't pose a great threat.
According to the Adirondack Council's Fall 1996 fund-raising letter, however, the Adirondacks are "Up for Grabs," "You and I may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the Northeast's last great wild place," the Adirondacks could become "The Northeast's Trash Can," and there are "no shortage of threats to the 'Forever Wild' clause."
But, "When you join the Council, you will be working to preserve the pristine lakes, rivers, forests, fields, mountains, and wetland of this great Park for future generations of human beings and animals alike."
A new report by the Property Rights Foundation of America, "Adirondacks Up for Grabs," points out the skillful distortions, oversimplifications, double-talk and outright fabrications which the Adirondack Council weaves together to lead the reader to "join the Adirondack Council today."
Adirondacks Up for Grabs 15pp. plus 14pp. attachments (1997) $5.00 p&h. (See Publication Order Form)
Adirondack Park Agency
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