Property Rights Foundation of America®

11. Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK)
(Latest update 2001)

814 Goggins Road
Lake George, NY 12845-4117
(518) 668-4447

Public Affairs Office
30l Hamilton Street
Albany, NY 12210-1738
(5l8) 449-3870

Adirondack Loj
P. O. Box 867
Adirondack Loj Road
Lake Placid, NY 12946-0867
(5l8) 523-3441

Key Personnel

Jo Benton, Executive Director
Neil Woodworth, Deputy Executive Director for Public and Legal Affairs, and Counsel


26,650 (26 chapters plus increased members-at-large)


Assets: $2,351,593 (1997); income: $2,330,74l (1997). Public charity.

Coalition Involvements

Appalachian Mountain Club
Association for Protection of the Adirondacks
Adirondack Council
Adirondack Nature Conservancy/Adirondack Land Trust
Association for Protection of the Adirondacks
Environmental Advocates
National Audubon Society

Organization Goals

The Adirondack Mountain Club has the following current mission statement:

"The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) is dedicated to the protection and responsible use of the New York Forest Preserve, parks and other wild lands and waters. The Club, founded in 1922, is a member-directed organization committed to public service and stewardship. ADK employs a balanced approach to outdoor recreation, advocacy environmental education and natural resource conservation."

The 1991 mission statement on conservation policy was:

"We, the Adirondack Mountain Club, believe that the lands of the State constituting the Forest Preserve should be forever kept as wild forest lands in accordance with Article XIV, section l, of the New York State Constitution. We favor a program under the sole administrative jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Conservation that will provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation in a manner consistent with the wild forest character of the Preserve. We favor acquisition of additional wild lands for watershed and wildlife protection and for recreational needs. We support measures that are consistent with this policy, and we oppose measures that are contrary thereto."


Charles S. Lawrence, III, President
Terry Sexton, 1st Vice President
Alberto Caballero, 2nd Vice President
Carolyn Kaczka, 3rd Vice President
Jeffrey Hemmings, Secretary
Curt Miller, Treasurer
Jo Benton, Executive Director
Neil Woodworth, Counsel


(1) Although ADK claims to be balanced between "use" and "preservation," the first eight pages in a recent Adirondak magazine after a short update were devoted to advocacy for more land acquisition with state and federal funds, including a model letter to the U.S. Congress.

(2) ADK is a large and diverse group. Philosophically, its members range from conservationists to preservationists. Because of their diversity, the group seldom reaches internal consensus on issues, according to the first edition of this directory. But as more "members-at-large" dominate the ADK, the group is becoming more dominated by the leadership and uniform.

(3) ADK strongly supports land acquisition for general preservation and for trails. In the past, DEC has emphasized purchase of conservation easements for trails access. ADK currently gives the appearance of a campaign, at least on its answering recording, for funds to for State purchase of trailheads in the Adirondacks and Catskills, but its statements in this respect may be merely nominal. In contrast to the eloquent efforts of author Barbara McMartin to improve public access to the beautiful areas of the Adirondack wildernesses where there are few trails, ADK has failed to make any real effort to enlarge the trail system.

(4) While the group itself claims to represent a moderate environmental view, the spokesman and lobbyist for the Club, Neil Woodworth, almost always aligns himself with the strict preservationist goals of the Adirondack Council.

(5) ADK strongly supports public rights to navigation on previously non-navigable rivers in the Adirondacks. At the same time, they have a campaign with the slogan, "more than acid rain," to focus on water quality issues in the Adirondacks.

(6) In the past, ADK has been criticized by the Adirondack Council for hypocrisy. ADK operates a system of lodges and parking area in the middle of the High Peaks Wilderness.

(7) The uniqueness of ADK is its dual involvement in wilderness use and preservation. A recent Adirondak magazine contained articles on wildflowers, astronomy in the North Country, and backcountry trip hygiene. On the predictable preservation side, on the other hand, were articles about the "peacemaker" APA chairman and the scenic danger of cell towers.


(1) Adirondak magazine (six times yearly), edited by Neal Burdick "to encourage people to become both involved in ADK and supportive of ADK's mission of promoting responsible enjoyment and protection of the New York Forest Preserve."

(2) Trail guides, canoe guides, maps, books and calendars

(3) Web site with services from "shopping online" to "lodging and camping" to "legislative alert!"

Facilities and activities

(1) Contracts with DEC to maintains trails for the public on State Forest Preserve lands

(2) Adirondack Loj in the heart of the high peaks, on ADK's private land within the Forest Preserve

(3) Lean-tos and camping

(4) Workshops and programs such as conservation programs, member outings, mountain climbing, hiking and skiing

Back to:
Adirondack Organizations PRFA Home Page

© 2003 Property Rights Foundation of America ®
All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.