Property Rights Foundation of America®

20. Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks
(Latest update 2001)

Headquarters: 30 Roland Place, Schenectady, NY 12304
Mailing address: P. O. Box 951, Schenectady, NY 12301

Phone/Fax: (5l8) 377-1452
Web page:

Key Personnel

David Gibson, Executive Director

Adirondack Research Library (A subsidiary)

Patricia Prindle, Chairman

Membership (1992)


Finances (1998)

Income: $257,680
Assets: $202,680
Files IRS 990 Form

Coalition Involvements

Often has common stance on issues with:

Adirondack Council
Citizens Campaign for the Environment
Environmental Advocates
National Audubon Society
Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks
Sierra Club

Organizational Goals

Organized in 1901 and incorporated in 1902, the Association is dedicated to the protection of the Adirondack Park and the forest preserve in the Adirondacks and Catskill Mountains.

"Provided newsletters and publications on the Adirondack Park to promote a larger awareness, sponsored conferences and celebrations to discuss history, future sand promote awareness of facts concerning the Adirondacks currently. Other program services aimed at preserving the Adirondacks through defending Article XIV, Section 1, 'Forever Wild' clause of the NYS Constitution." -IRS Statement 1998


Thomas L. Cobb, President
Claire L. Barnett, Vice President
Paul M. Bray, Vice President (an attorney, on Assembly environmental bill drafting staff with Maurice Hinchey, active in environmental organizations such as Sierra Club for many years on Adirondack issues. See also notes below.)
Harvey M. Kelsey, Jr., Vice President
David L. Newhouse, Treasurer
Maryde King, Secretary
Lydia M. Serrell, Assistant Treasurer

Honorary Trustees (a few key affiliations noted)

Peter A. A. Berle (As Assemblyman, one of key individuals who saw to the passage of APA Law in 1973, headed the Twenty-first Century Commission report released 1990, at the time president of the National Audubon Society)

Arthur M. Crocker
George D. Davis (Wrote Twenty-first Century Commission report)
William P. Dunham
Richard W. Lawrence (original APA Chairman)

Clarence Petty (the influential Forest Preserve Specialist on the Rockefeller Temporary Study Commission on the Adirondacks, which presaged the APA Law, and mentor of George Davis)

Richard H. Pough (Chairman Emeritus of the Open Space Institute)
Edith G. Read
William H. Savage (former APA Commissioner)

Trustees (a few key affiliations noted)

Claire L. Barnett
Donna Beal
Sara R. Bogdanovitch

Paul M. Bray (founding director of the N.Y. Parks and Conservation Association, the Albany lobbying arm of the National Parks and Conservation Association. He is recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship of the American Academy in Rome. From Italy, in 1997 he announced the "twinning" of Abruzzo Park, where wolves have been introduced, with the Adirondack Park. See also notes above.)

Sherret S. Chase (this dignitary also trustee of Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, and the person who publicly advocated their proposal to designate the UNESCO Catskill Mountains Biosphere Reserves)

Thomas L. Cobb
Herman F. Cole, Jr. (former Chairman APA)

James C. Dawson (Professor at SUNY Plattsburgh, a preservationist on the DEC Region 5 Open Space Advisory Committee, wrote a key Twenty-first Century Commission technical report, many more influential preservationist posts)

John W. Douglas, Jr.
Oscar A. Gottscho, Jr.
Herbert B. Hudnut, Jr.

Harold A. Jerry, Jr. (Executive Director of the Rockefeller Temporary Study Commission on the Adirondacks)

Harvey M. Kelsey, Jr.
Maryde King
Alfred H. Lowe
Joseph Martens
Michael Moody

L. Newhouse (Advisor to Temporary Study Commission on the Adirondacks, Chairman of Constitutional Council for the Forest Preserve)

Daniel R. Plumley (Director of Park Protection - Adirondack Council, 1990)
Patricia Prindle
David M. Quinn
Peter Roemer
Arthur Savage (former APA commissioner)
Susan L. Senecah
Elizabeth Thorndike (former APA commissioner)
Edward T. Whitcraft
Benjamin T. Whitman


(1) Influence

The Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks is the oldest and most well-connected of the Adirondack preservationist groups. A cursory study of the present and past trustees and honorary trustees names makes it hard to understand how some opponents of excessive regulation and land acquisition have stated that the executive director, David Gibson, tries to be reasonable but "unwittingly" carries water for more "radical" environmental groups. These individuals represent many of the important leadership in the late 60's through the early 70's and again in the early 90's who succeeded in the Legislature in 1973, and then, when failing to get their additional proposals through the Legislature in the early 1990's, effectuated some of the important clauses directly through extra-legal APA impositions.

In the sense of making policy, there is no more radical grouping of individuals than that on the Association trustees and honorary trustees, past and present. The board of trustees and honorary trustees has been and is made up of high-class visionaries, intellectuals, and bureaucrats and a key elected individual who have changed the course of environmental regulation of private land in this state, and thereby provided some of the most important direction of the national and worldwide preservation movement.

It has been stated that the Association is the "least politically involved" of the Adirondack preservation groups. This statement represents exactly the viewpoint that the Association would likely want the public, industry and the Legislature to have about it, but it is true only on the surface. The Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks does not have to do "action alerts" and the like. The other perceivedly "radical" organizations unwittingly or willingly "carry water" for the Association and their mutual ideal of preserving land by transferring it to government ownership and control.

(2) Wolf Reintroduction-a moderate stance

In 1997, David Gibson reproved the Defenders of Wildlife for its failure to its failure to introduce itself to the region, to have openness and true consultation with the Adirondackers. Gibson criticized Defenders because "their literature has rarely strayed from describing the Adirondack Park as unroaded and unpopulated."

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