Property Rights Foundation of America®

12. Adirondack Nature Conservancy/Adirondack Land Trust
(Latest update 2001)

P. O. Box 65
Keene Valley, NY 12943
(518) 576-2082

Key Personnel

Timothy I, Barnett, Vice President*
Michael G. Clarke, Executive Director
Melissa Mack Eisinger, Acting Director
Todd W. Dunham, Director of Land Protection
Michael T. Carr, Director, Lake George Basin Land Conservancy

*Mr. Barnett has suffered a serious accident, leaving him incapacitated. His present role at ANC/ALT is unknown.

Additional Staff

Chris Maron, Visiting Director of Science and Stewardship, 1998-99
Bill Brown, Director of Science and Stewardship (on sabbatical)
Anne Trachtenberg, Director of Development
Nancy B. Pierce, Director of Administration
Kathleen D. Regan, Conservation Specialist
Mary Thill, Assistant Director of Development
Rich MacDonald, Conservation Assistant
Julie M. Ball, Annual Fund Coordinator
Colleen Davis, LGBLG Administrative Assistant
Debra Feeley, Administrative Assistant
Cathy Beaton, Data Entry Specialist
Doug Munro, Stewardship Assistant
Nine Schoch, Coordinator, Invasive Species Project

Membership (1992)


Coalition Involvements

(1) Relationship to The Nature Conservancy

I have been unable to ascertain the exact relationship of the Adirondack Land Trust to The Nature Conservancy. The two organizations, with TNC referred to for Adirondack purposes as the "Adirondack Nature Conservancy," share the same letterhead and the same office and employees in Keene Valley.

When the Adirondack Land Trust acquired the Morgan Property on Lake George and sold it to the State of New York for $2 million in 1994, The Nature Conservancy was the organ that provided the funding to acquire and hold the property.

(2) Relationship to the Adirondack Park Agency

Until the Pataki Administration, for over twenty years since the founding of the APA, Peter Paine, the chairperson of ANC/ALT, was an APA commissioner. In addition, the wife of the ANC/ALT director of conservation programs, Thomas Duffus, has been an APA official, for many years. There were inexplicable telephone calls to applicants by Thomas Duffus after the APA was contacted by applicants for projects in such areas as the Clintonville Pine Barrens and the Hudson River valley.

Organization Goals

The ANC/ALT mission statement (1999) is:

"ANC/ALT takes an expanded view of land protection. We look at more than just the parts of nature. If we are to live wisely and well in this environment, we must place an emphasis on preserving large areas where nature is allowed to do its own thing in its own way in its own time."


Edward W. McNeil, Chairman
J. Dennis Delafield, Vice Chairman
Mrs. Meridith M. Prime, Treasurer
Mrs. Francisca P. Irwin, Recording Secretary

Board of Trustees

David H. Ackerman*
Dr. Kenneth Adams
Lawrence B. Arno
Mrs. Suzanne F. Bales
Lionel A. Barthold
Robert A. Boice
Dr. Charles D. Canham
Raymond P. Curran (APA Supervisor, Natural Resource Analysis)
Dr. James C. Dawson (SUNY Plattsburgh, DEC Region 6 Open Space Committee)
John L. Ernst
J. Edward Fowler**
Robert E. Friedman
William D. Hutchens (Adirondack Landowners Association)
See also APA application for K. McHugh, Lens Lake: link
Mark C. Johnson
Mrs. Sara Jane Kasperzak**
George W. Lee, Jr.
Mrs. Caroline D. Lussi
Peter S. Paine, Jr. (Adirondack Park Agency Commission for many years since the Temporary Study Commission, until the Pataki Administration)
Clarence A. Petty (Member of Temporary Study Commission on the Adirondacks, 1970)
Robert O. Preyer
Robert R. Quinn (Pres., Adirondack North Country Assn.)
Robert S. Stegemann (Lobbyist for International Paper Co.)
Peter B. Walker
Mrs. Constance K. Weatherup
Sanford I. Weill (CEO of Citigroup, the world's largest financial institution)
Dr. Ross S. Whaley (SUNY Syracuse College of Environment and Forestry)
Mrs. Judy Fearing Zierick**

Trustee Emeritus: Dr. Edwin Ketchledge**

*Retired as of 8-15-98 ** Elected as of 8-15-98


(1) ANC/ALT works closely with DEC to acquire additional land for government in the Adirondacks. There is no scrutiny of the land acquisition arrangements by either the public or the Legislature. Financial guidelines are so vague as to be worthless. ANC/ALT has a monopoly on the State's Adirondack land acquisition arrangements, sometimes bringing in other major land trusts as well, such as the involvement of the Conservation Fund in the acquisitions of large parts of the Niagara Mohawk flood plain of the Hudson River in Warren County. Regulations required under the 1983 conservation easement law have never been promulgated.

(2) The Nature Conservancy's largest Adirondack land acquisition arrangement thus far involves the 139,000-acre Champion International lands, a combination of fee simple and conservation easements negotiated during 1998 and completed in 1999. The Nature Conservancy was involved in the acquisition of the 15,000 acre part of the Whitney Estate acquired during 1998 and in attempting (unsuccessfully) to acquire a restrictive conservation easement on the remaining 2/3 portion of the Whitney Estate.


(3) ANC/ALT refers to the "11 million acre" Adirondack region, an area reference which can only be explained in terms of the 11-million acreage of the UNESCO Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve, which includes the entire 6-million acre Adirondack Park, plus Tug Hill to the west, and the Champlain Valley and part of Vermont to the east. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the important international proponents of Biosphere Reserves.

(4) According to the ANC/ALT official description of the Adirondack Region, "The same forces that are permanently altering the landscape elsewhere are just as threatening to the Adirondack Park and its outlying region. Rare and endangered species still struggle to find the habitat they need to increase their numbers. On top of the historic problems of pollution and second-home development, roads being built into once-remote areas bring with them disruptive exotic species that can wipe out native communities."

(5) Areas of special focus, according to the official statement of ALT/TNC, are:

(a) "Headwaters of Lake Champlain," "Champlain Valley"
(b) "The Great Woods" (1.5 million acres of the "unbroken" "Northwest Flow")
(c) "Pine Barrens" (Clintonville Pine Barrens, home of the rare moth, Lithophane lepida lepida
(d) Gadway Sandstone Pavement Barrens Preserve near the Canadian border), and "Discoveries" (new findings resulting from their "ecologists' sometimes inch-by-inch combing of native plants, animals and terrain"

These announced focuses are distractions, as ANC/ALT is involved in acquiring any lands of substantial acreage in the Adirondacks.

(6) Although ANC/ALT, as well as the parent organization, TNC, are considered to be non-political, they are actually powerful political lobbying machines, working more often on the inside rather than engaging in public lobbying efforts. This is expressed by Robert L. Bendick, Jr., who is now an official with TNC, but was at the time of this statement the Deputy Commissioner of DEC in charge of lands and natural resources:

"Personal relationships are critical to the success of partnerships…The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land have systematized their relationships with state government."

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