at the Kelly Adirondack Center
August 13, 2019
Each summer, the Kelly Adirondack Center funds two summer fellowships. The goal of the program is to support students doing scholarly work on the Adirondacks under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. The range of inquiry supported is broad and ideally interdisciplinary. This summer Carlos Piedad and Claire Hadelman have worked with faculty to explore the Adirondack Research Library’s collections and connections and to build a deeper understanding of social, political, environmental, and economic connections in the Adirondacks.
Until relatively recently, the timber industry was dominated by big, vertically integrated forest product firms. Beginning in the 1990s, there was a major shift towards timber investment management organizations and institutional investors. The goal of my project is to explore the evolution of ownership structures of industrial private forest land and how that has affected communities and conservation goals in the Adirondacks.
Through exploring the archives of the Kelly Adirondack Research Library, interviewing local experts, and reading books and articles on the political history of the Adirondacks and the environment, I have been researching the formation, implementation, and subsequent recommendations of the 1968 Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondacks. The policies that have followed this commission have been of great significance to the Adirondacks and all of its residents. I have been looking at this historical research through a wilderness lens and paying special attention to how important this emerging ideology has influenced legislative action. For my senior thesis, my goal is to eventually create a comprehensive collection of case studies surrounding landmark acquisition and classification events since the early seventies.