Susan Allen is the sole writer-reporter-editor of the "Adirondack Park Agency Reporter," which she has published every month continuously since December 1991 - with no late issues and no boring repeats! She began producing the newsletter because of frustration over the shallow coverage of the Adirondack Park Agency provided by most local media outlets, despite the extraordinary power that this regional zoning and regulatory agency holds over residents' lives and livelihoods. The newsletter is based almost entirely upon the actual words of the APA Commissioners and staff and on their publicly distributed material. "What they actually say is better than any interpretation I can put on their words," she explains.
Since 1990, Ms. Allen has also been the Executive Director of the Adirondack Fairness Coalition, a non-profit organization formed to counter the extreme legislation proposed by the Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century. She has closely followed the intertwined designation programs such as the federally funded four-state Northern Forest Lands Council, the federally funded Lake Champlain Management Conference, the UNESCO Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Open Space Conservation Plan, and the assorted Heritage Corridor and Scenic Byways/All-American Roads Proposals.
She writes, "I've always perceived these issues as those of abuse of power by government and abuse of privilege by wealthy seasonal residents. Together with elitist environmental organizations, they have continued to dominate the debate over rural land use to the detriment of local residents and their needs."
Ms. Allen is from New York City, where she attended New York University and Cooper Union Art School. She and her husband, Bernard Miller, purchased their Keene Valley house in the late 1970's and moved upstate full-time shortly thereafter. In 1985 they started their business, "Adirondack Maps," a publisher of regional recreational maps. Susan has been the "traveling saleslady" for the company, so she sees firsthand the state of the Adirondack economy and the slow decline of many of the area's towns.