By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
In the past 12 months, the Lake George Land Conservancy protected 605 acres — 100 of wetlands, the rest shoreline, executive director Jamie Brown told the group’s annual meeting on July 22 at the Bolton Conservation Club.
“That’s the equivalent to the building of 60 houses, 60 garages, 60 driveways, all things that could impact the health of the lake,” Mr. Brown said.
“Protecting land is one of the most effective ways to protect the lake. But we can’t do it alone.”
He then introduced FUND for Lake George board chairman Jeff Killeen; Lake George Association executive director Walt Lender, and Lake George Park Commission executive director Dave Wick, and said the West Brook project at the Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George Village was an example of the four entities joining forces to protect the lake.
“It makes sense to work together,” Mr. Brown said. “We each have different strengths, but we have one thing in common, and that is we all want to protect the lake. The collective momentum is really exciting.”
Assemblyman Dan Stec said he has “seen the evolution of lake issues” through his time as Queensbury Town Supervisor to his current job in the Assembly.
He said the West Brook project “was the first opportunity for government and environmental groups to turn the page” and collaborate.
“Everyone saw the value in doing the right thing for the lake,” he said.
And local efforts to curb invasive species “were so far ahead of the State of New York, it almost cost us our beloved Dave Wick his job…It was truly a witch hunt, or as some of us called it, a ‘Wick hunt,’ but Dave survived, and that’s good for the lake.”
Mr. Stec, an avid hiker and an Adirondack 46er, congratulated the Land Conservancy on its annual Hike-a-Thon, which he said “got my wife hiking with me.”
Hike-a-Thon: 539 hikers, 33.5 miles
Conservancy development associate Jordyn Conway said the fourth annual Hike-a-Thon drew 539 hikers and 64 volunteers. He said 33.5 miles were hiked and 2.5 miles paddled, and 14 properties in six towns and three counties were visited.
“It just keeps growing and growing,” she said.
Adirondack Council chairman Robert Kafin, in his keynote address, argued that environmental conservation and economic development are not in conflict, despite what some might think or assume.
“There’s no such thing as favoring nature over humanity,” Mr. Kafin said. “Every environmental issue involves a reconciliation of human forces.”
Mr. Kafin argued that “we have to manage our natural resources without compromising quality and while preserving natural beauty. The Adirondack economy is dependent upon the wild nature of our lakes, streams, mountains and forests.”
“We’re very lucky here,” he said. “Here, there is not so much conflict. Not every place is so fortunate.”
Special awards presented
Gigi and Chris Tsu received the Apperson Award for their donation of land known as Eagle’s Mare in the Washington County Town of Putnam. It has 250 feet of shoreline contiguous to the Land Conservancy’s Last Great Shoreline preserve.
Tim Noble of Lake George received the Stewardship Volunteer of the Year award for his work maintaining the Land Conservancy’s trail systems.
Debbie Hoffman was named Administrative Volunteer of the Year “for the countless hours she contributes to LGLC events and development initiatives.”
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