The Adirondacks and Biodiversity
The Adirondacks - An internationally recognized Biosphere Reserve
Ninety percent of the wildlife species in the northeastern United States are found here. Residents of New York and elsewhere, some 90 million within a day's drive, can recreate, explore, and marvel at the vast areas of northern hardwoods and boreal forests, peatlands, the 11,000 lakes and ponds, and 12,000 miles of streams and rivers.
A Natural Heritage - Why biological diversity is important to our social fabric
Humans innately feel an ethical responsibility to all life: we have strong aesthetic connections to natural environments, we derive direct economic benefits from biological diversity, and we benefit from the services provided by healthy and biologically diverse ecosystems. For these reasons, conservation of biological diversity in the Adirondacks is becoming increasingly important as issues related to air and water quality, climate change, land use and development, and invasive species continue to be threats. An ATBI is essential to the long-term conservation and management of the Adirondacks, and citizens are critical to that outcome. Through an ATBI an increased connectedness of people to the environment can occur through citizen science efforts, inspiration from understanding the beauty of nature, increased public support for protected areas, and the potential for economically beneficial discoveries.
The Adirondack ATBI is:
- All Adirondacks (public and private lands within and around the Blue Line)
- All species (taxonomic groups of species)
- Spatially referenced
- Public and private
- Strong citizen involvement/science/education
- All stakeholders (including but not limited to):
- Consumptive recreationists hunt/fish/trap)
- Nonconsumptive recreationists
The Adirondack ATBI is not focused on threatened and endangered species, is not limited to an academic base of support, and is not government controlled.
Project Themes and Goals
Theme 1: Biodiversity Survey
Goal 1.1: Biodiversity Inventory within an Ecosystem and Conservation Framework
Goal 1.2: Coordination among Taxonomic Working Groups (TWIGs) and the Biodiversity Inventory Process
Goal 1.3: Development and Maintenance of a Temporally and Spatially-referenced Database
Goal 1.4: Coordination with other ATBIs
Theme 2: Citizen Participation
Goal 2.1: Community Involvement and Active Citizen Participation
Goal 2.2: Appreciation of Place-Based Biodiversity through Art, Culture and Community
Project Plan and Partners
The complete Adirondack ATBI Project Plan can be found here. Feedback during the development of the plan came from many organizations, listed below. These organizations are considered partners in the ATBI.
Adirondack Ecological Center SUNY-ESF, Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Sustainable Communities, Adirondack Watershed Institute, Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, Audubon – New York State Chapter, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, New York State Museum – Biodiversity Research Initiative, New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, North Country Girl Scouts, Paul Smith's College, Resident’s Committee for the Protection of the Adirondacks, Roosevelt Wild Life Station at SUNY-ESF, SUNY-Plattsburgh, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.