When Men and Mountains Meet

Stories of Hope and Despair in the Adirondack Wilderness after the American Revolution

The Adirondack Region of New York State is a special place.

It is a land of massive boreal forests, majestic mountains and innumerable lakes and streams protected by a Forever Wild clause in the New York State Constitution. Its waters run pure and the stars shine at night.

But it is also a place where people live; people who require housing, stores, medical care, schools and churches and most important, good jobs with benefits. Balancing the needs of those year round human communities with a desire to preserve the wildness that is here presents special challenges and special opportunities. What we are attempting here is important to a planet seemingly overwhelmed with expanding populations devouring limited natural resources.

The story of the Adirondacks has national and international ramifications and needs to be told. That story is more than the history of great camps, guide boats and environmental protectionism.

It is, ultimately, the story of a people and their relationship to the land. The earliest carried a tomahawk or musket, but after the American Revolution a new kind of people, settlers and businessmen, came here. All sought what this place might have to offer and, like today, worked hard to insure that life would be better and easier for their children and others that might follow.

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