Coming home to the Adirondacks

December is a great time of year for sharing conservation thoughts. After all, the sounds of the season bring to mind scenes of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, decorations of holly and ivy, and rambunctious outdoor activities like tobogganing, skating or building snowmen. My family took part in all of these winter activities last Christmas, when we gathered in one of Canada’s most popular national parks at Banff, Alberta.

Back in September, I became an ADK resident, living in Lake Placid. I have found many similarities between my new Adirondack Park home and my previous years living in Alberta, with its tradition of a successful mix of private and public land ownership within its national park boundaries. When the Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan was passed by the New York state legislature in 1973, I was a law school student with a budding interest in municipal law and land use planning. Now, many years later, I am intrigued to be getting a firsthand look at the dynamics of living in this diverse (and very high profile) mixed use Adirondack environment.

What impresses me most about life here in the Park is how the Forever Wild Adirondacks endures side-by-side with the one hundred or so “unwild” ADK communities that Park residents call home. Or, as the Director of the Adirondack Museum expresses it, “what appears to many as a wild landscape is actually a special kind of cultural landscape that human activity has shaped and continues to shape to the present day.”

Rest assured that one year later, I am looking forward to taking full advantage of both the solitude and vitality that my new ADK home has to offer in 2019.

~ John McIsaac, Lake Placid


From our family to yours, we wish you a very peaceful and joyous holiday.