In March 1884, Leon Thomson, a lumberman declared, “Those that seek to create an Adirondack Park are Office seekers, aesthetics and dudes. "
However, in New York at that time, political forces were working to put an end to the lumberman’s exploitation of forest resources. Arguments included social, economic and health factors.
From an 1882 report to the NYS Legislature: “There were other scientific reasons for the creation of a park. The fetid quarters of the urban poor threatened not only physical health, but the mental health of the young as well. For their sake, it was important to retain the forests in order to replace the vicious debasing pleasures of the cities.”
Other climatological reasons advanced the call for the preservation of forests included “the requirements of the higher civilization of the Caucasian race … that shade must be provided to avoid the action of the mid-day sun on the brain and the nervous system.”
Samuel Hammond, an Albany lawyer who enjoyed camping in the Adirondacks as early as 1840, was one of the first to call for the creation of a park.
He claimed the state should “mark out a circle of a hundred miles in diameter, and throw around it the protecting aegis of the constitution" to protect the land as "a forest forever."
Harry Radford, editor of Field and Stream magazine, considered the savior of beaver and black bear in the Adirondacks declared in 1904, “The Forest Preserve Board has recently purchased several large tracts of forest lands within the boundaries of the proposed Adirondack State Park.
Adirondackers should always rejoice at every acre of land thus acquired by the state as it lessens the chances of the land barons to ruin the beautiful wilderness and hastens the day when the Adirondack Park will become a glorious reality.”
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman living in Ray Brook. Contact him at email@example.com.