The current administration and congressional leaderships is in the process of dismantling safeguards which protect our environment and public health. Not the least of which disturbing are proposals to privatized and open to resource and commercial development many of our federally owned public lands, mostly in the west. This includes many of our national parks, such as Grand Teton, where oil and gas development has been proposed.

Please speak out in support of our public lands. As the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Schumer, needs to hear from us. Please write to Senator Schumer, using the sample letter below as guidance. Please also contact Senator Gillibrand and your Congressman (woman).

If you have ever visited any of our national parks or national forest or other federal lands, especially out west, you can appreciate what is at stake.



RE: Federal Lands
The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Schumer,

I am a member of the Albany Chapter of Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). ADK is a state -wide organization which is dedicated to passive outdoor recreation and advocacy of New York's public lands. We travel as individuals and conducted organized outings to the many national parks and federal public lands.

I have concerns regarding the direction of the new administration and majority leadership in Congress regarding our magnificent federal lands. In January, Representative Jason Chaffetz, of Utah, introduced legislation (HR 621) that called for the sale of 3.3 million acres of public land in Arizona, Colorado, Montana and other Western states. He later withdrew that bill, under pressure from hunting and fishing groups, but another he introduced would eliminate hundreds of law enforcement personnel in the federal land agencies.

If you've ever stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon and marveled at the awesome view of the gorge--unmarred by mines or machines--you have the Antiquities Act to thank. If you've ever walked the banks of Wyoming's Snake River and taken in the sight of the stone towers at Grand Teton National Park, you also owe a debt of gratitude to the Antiquities Act. The same is true of California's Death Valley and Mt. Lassen National Parks, as well as Katmai and Glacier Bay National Parks in Alaska, Washington State's Olympic National Park, and Arches and Zion National Parks in Utah. In all of these cases, the first step toward establishing a national park was for a president to designate a national monument under the Antiquities Act.

But this landmark conservation law is now in jeopardy. Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump's interior secretary, has suggested that the new president might attempt to repeal or downsize some of the national monuments (such as Bear's Ear) that President Obama established toward the end of his term. Such a move would be unprecedented: No president has ever sought to reverse a predecessor's monument designations. And the noises about somehow revoking a national monument are likely just prelude to an eventual attempt by the congressional majority to rewrite the law in its entirety to prevent future presidential monuments. 

Equally alarming is the proposed roll back of environmental safeguards by the new administration in regard to opening our public lands to resource and commercial development. The coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is the calving ground for the 180,000 animal caribou heard is a case in point. Some National Parks are also earmarked. Our public lands are a priceless resources, to be treasured for their ecological, recreational and cultural values. They must not be exploited by private interests for commercial or resource development.

The roughly 600 million acres of national forests, grasslands, wildlife refuges and more make up this country's conservation heritage. Senator Schumer, please oppose these measures and work to safeguard these priceless treasures.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.





Help Monitor Illegal ATV Use of the Taconic Crest Trail (TCT)

The Albany Chapter and Taconic Hiking Club have been monitoring the issue of ATV trespass on the TCT. A local forest ranger has been vigorously enforcing state regulations, and has apprehended several riders. DEC has repaired ATV damage on sections of the trail and posted positive signage at several trailhead locations. It's important that we hike the trail and monitor any illegal ATV activity. Please help us monitor ATV activity on the TCT.

Report any incidences to:

DEC Ranger : Hannah O'Connor,
c: (518) 414-4605
o: (518) 357-1261
Dispatch: (518)408-5850

Please also copy ADK at:
David Pisaneschi,
Albany ADK, ESP,
PO Box 2116, Albany, NY 12220

or at dapadk@gmail.com

Please include descriptions of individuals and vehicles, license numbers, along with date, time and location on trail. PLEASE DO NOT CHALLENGE OR CONFRONT ATV USERS. Any photos of ATVs and damage along the trail would also be useful.

If you have questions or want to know more about these issues, please contact David Pisaneschi at: dapadk@gmail.com or 459-5969.

Back to top
Return to Homepage