Booth Receives Howard Zahniser Adirondack Award

September 22, 2017

The citizen advocacy group Protect the Adirondacks, Inc. (PROTECT) has honored Professor Richard Booth, CRP, with the Howard Zahniser Adirondack Award. The award recognizes Booth's service on the New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA) board and his defense of the "forever wild" forest preserve and classified wilderness lands in the Adirondack Park.

Booth served on the APA from November 2007 through June 2016, pursuant to appointment by New York state governors Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson, and Andrew Cuomo.

"During his time on the APA board, Booth worked to uphold a decision-making process based on compliance with existing laws and regulations, scientific review and analysis, and public input," according to a press release from PROTECT. The APA board manages a complex private and public land use regulatory program for the six-million-acre Adirondack Park in northern New York state. As an APA board member, Booth's special focus was the 1.1 million acres of forest preserve classified as wilderness. He worked to maintain attention on the importance of Adirondack wilderness to New York state and the eastern U.S.

"Dick Booth was a towering figure during his time on the APA board where he defended wilderness and worked to ensure that the APA upheld New York's environmental laws," PROTECT's executive director Peter Bauer said in the press release. "Booth believed in the Forest Preserve as a sanctuary for biological diversity and wildlife, but also as a resource to provide an array of outdoor recreational experiences that underwrite the tourism economy of the Adirondack Park."

The award is named for renowned environmental activist and wilderness advocate Howard Zahniser, who wrote the National Wilderness Act of 1964 and investigated the forever wild protections in the New York State Constitution for the forest preserve. PROTECT is a privately funded nonprofit dedicated to the protection of the Adirondack Park.

In 2016, the advocacy group Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve awarded Booth with the Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award.

By Patti Witten

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