New to the game, but not the subject

Sitting at my new desk this morning, I have to admit I am slightly overwhelmed.

I have never written for a daily newspaper before, although I have had a few articles published in the Enterprise. I have never been a reporter, but I have written extensively about my own life and outdoor experiences.

I have, however, spent the majority of my life working, living and playing in the outdoors.

Some of you may be familiar with my writing about living off the grid, or my stories about the chickens we share our yard with. Even though I now enjoy running water and regular electricity, my interest as an outdoors enthusiast has been constant ever since I was a little kid.

Like many of you, one of the main reasons I chose to live in the Tri-Lakes area is so that I can enjoy the outdoors. The breadth of outdoor activities available to us is second to none, and I look forward to sharing my passion for the Adirondacks with you.

There is so much to the outdoors that goes beyond hiking, skiing, paddling, fishing or hunting. The opportunities provided to us make this area what it is, and I see it as my job to share those possibilities with you. From sporting events to solo adventures, homesteading and farming to state-policy decisions, the Adirondack outdoors is home to myriad escapades and interests.

In exchange for having all of these wonderful opportunities, though, we are uniquely situated in that we get to live inside the park that we love and use.

Most people around the world do not have this chance, and with that luck comes the duty to know, understand and appreciate the possibilities and responsibilities that are unique to those of us who live, work and play in the park.

My personal Adirondack experience has taken me all over the forest preserve, but also away from the park for enough time to make me realize that there is no place that I would rather call home.

Having grown up in Gloversville, I moved to the northern part of the park to attend Paul Smith’s College. I received my bachelor’s degree in natural resources, and then went on to work for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

After a couple of years, I decided to try my hand in warmer climes, and moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where I was an environmental scientist for the city’s water quality division. I did everything from conducting water quality sampling to making off-shore artificial reefs, all while working with local, state and federal authorities.

It was a great job, but I realized after a few years that Florida was just not the place for me. I missed the seasons and the mountains, and decided to come back to the place that I love.

I am looking forward to providing you with unbiased, informative reporting on the decisions and agencies that affect all of our lives. The Adirondack Park Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation can have both immediate and long-term effects on the way we live, and it is important as a resident of this area that you know what is happening. You need quality information to understand the impacts of agency decisions, and I will provide you with articles that furnish that substance.

I have a great passion for all things outdoors, and like to think that my personal experiences will help me be a good reporter for you. I look forward to sharing the stories of your friends and neighbors, and hope that you will be inspired to try something new, or something old but in a new place.

Our lives, intentional or not, revolve around the outdoors. It is a great big world out there in our little corner of the park, and the people, places and politics of the region make for an unending source of stories. My job is to share those stories with you, and I am looking forward to serving all of you well.

If you have a story about anything outdoors, please feel free to contact me at jlevine@adirondackdailyenterprise.com, or give me a call at 518-891-2600, extension 25.