A succinct illustrated history of the creation of New York State’s Forest Preserves, the Adirondack Park and the Catskill Park.
America’s First Wilderness: New York State’s Forest Preserves
About the Book
Each year, countless of us are drawn to New York State’s great wildernesses in the Adirondacks and Catskills. How did these wildernesses, in their present form, come to be? How did extensive lands in these mountain ranges narrowly escape exploitation and, instead, come to be protected for the enjoyment of us and our children?
Today’s New Yorkers may not realize the debt they owe to a few people of vision of an earlier time. Without their efforts water taps might run dry; the mountains of the Adirondacks and the Catskills might not be covered with forests; the woods and fields of the hillsides might be empty of wildlife and woodland plants and flowers. Who were these men and why did they speak out?
America’s First Wilderness tells of the creation of the Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserves and Parks during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It tells of the individuals behind the effort and the how they first conceived and then accomplished their great work.
“A thin blue line was drawn on a map of the Adirondacks inserted at the back of the report [Verplank Colvin’s 1872 report of a survey he conducted of wilderness lands as a member of New York’s Commission of State Parks]. . . this blue line . . . may be of value in the determination of the area of forest which it is necessary to preserve in order to protect . . . the source of the Hudson.” — from America’s First Wilderness
About the Author
Norman Van Valkenburgh was a licensed surveyor for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for over thirty years. His many books include Old Stone Walls: Catskill Land and Lore and the mystery series Murder in the Catskills, Mischief in the Catskills and Mayhem in the Catskills, published by Purple Mountain Press.
6 x 9 inches