"Here is the first lesson about the Adirondacks, captured in Gary Randorf's magnificent photos. It is not only alpine granite--in fact, of the park's six million acres, only about eighty-five, scattered on top of the tallest mountains, are that gorgeous pseudo-Arctic. Aside from the touristed High Peaks, the Adirondacks comprise millions upon millions of acres of Low Peaks, of beavery draws and bearish woods, of hills and hills and hills, countless drainages and muddy ponds... The second point about the Adirondacks, a glory carefully revealed in the words and pictures of this book, is that it represents a second-chance wilderness and, as such, a hope that the damage caused by human beings is not irreversible. It is metaphor as much as place."--from the foreword by Bill McKibben
In The Adirondacks: Wild Island of Hope, Gary A. Randorf offers 100 photographs to illustrate this unique, comprehensive history and natural history of the Adirondack Park, the first private-public partnership in the United States dedicated to the protection of a wilderness area. Situated in northeast New York, this regional park of six million acres represents a unique blend of public wildlands intermixed with commercial forests, farms, mines, private parks, prisons, scattered homes, dozens of villages, and a year-round population of 130,000. The ongoing attempts over the last century to make the Adirondacks a park have made this region a "striving ground" for living with the land, rather than outside or above it. Much of the strife is over finding a right relationship to the land, treating it not as a commodity to be exploited but as a community to which all living things belong and upon which all depend.
Today, the Adirondacks regional park with its six million acres "represents a second-chance wilderness"--as Bill McKibben writes in his foreword to this book. The concerns of this park are the same concerns that apply to all of America's parks, recreational areas, and wildernesses with the addition of how to maintain the fragile peace between human and natural communities. How that "second-chance" can be realized is the focus of Gary Randorf's text and stunning color photographs.