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Ex-APA board member joins green group’s board

Chad Dawson (Photo provided)

NISKAYUNA — After quitting the state Adirondack Park Agency board in frustration, wilderness advocate Chad Dawson has joined the board of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, one of the park’s environmental groups.

Dawson, of Onondaga County, is a professor emeritus at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, teaching and researching there from 1989 to 2011, and before that for 15 years at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota. He is the former managing editor of the International Journal of Wilderness and co-wrote two textbooks with John Hendee: “Wilderness Management: Stewardship and Protection of Resources and Values” and “Introduction to Forests and Renewable Resources.”

He was an APA board member from 2016 until he resigned in December 2020, citing frustration with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. He said the DEC isn’t sufficiently studying the impact of recreational amenities in the park, yet keeps adding to them.

“Chad’s passions, skills and experiences fit our organization perfectly,” David Gibson, managing partner with Adirondack Wild, said in a press release.

“Given the pressures of more and more hikers and paddlers on our ‘forever wild’ Forest Preserve, we greatly benefit from Chad’s expertise with the tools and strategies for wilderness management,” added Rick Hoffman, an Adirondack Wild board member who sat on the APA board for 10 years as designee of New York’s secretary of state.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I join the Adirondack environmental advocacy community and its long history of state and national leadership in protecting wild places,” Dawson said.

Adirondack Wild is a nonprofit, membership organization that just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Based in Niskayuna near Schenectady, it is led by two full-time staff, a board of nine and an advisory council. Other green groups in the park include the Adirondack Council, Protect the Adirondacks, Adirondack Mountain Club and the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

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