Adirondack Atlas

June 16, 2004

A unique new atlas of the Adirondack Park--the largest protected area in the lower 48 states--features everything from the area's geology and wildlife to the history of human settlements and activities, showing the landscape in its full scope for the first time in such a format. The Adirondack Atlas: A Geographic Portrait of the Adirondack Park--produced by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)--captures and conveys the many layers of this vast and storied landscape in a manner combining accessibility and solid research.

"Our intention was to produce more than a reference book," said Jerry Jenkins, author of The Adirondack Atlas and researcher for WCS's Adirondack Communities and Conservation Program. "We wanted to capture the dynamic nature of this magnificent landscape, both in terms of the park's past, present and future."

Published by Syracuse University and the Adirondack Museum, the atlas is the culmination of six years of effort by WCS's Adirondack Communities and Conservation Program. Some 300 pages in length, the atlas contains 750 maps and graphics, along with supporting text, and represents the most comprehensive collection of regional data brought together in an atlas format. The park's geology, flora and fauna are featured, as well as the history and implications of the park's uncommon mosaic of public and private land use structures. The atlas also considers the dynamic nature of the park's human communities, including rich information on culture and education, current businesses and industries, and forms of recreation usage across the landscape.

Issues of regional significance are treated, such as acid rain, the effects of global warming, and the future of farms and commercial forests within the park. This departure from the format of a reference atlas encourages readers to think about questions influencing the park and its future. "Through the creation of this book, we hoped to create a mirror for this park and its people, both for the benefit of those who live in and enjoy the Adirondacks and for those elsewhere who are struggling with common questions and have something to learn from these experiences," said Bill Weber, director of both WCS's North America Program and the atlas project.

"It is a great gift," said Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature--which shed light on the issue of global warming in 1989--and Hope, Human and Wild. "The Adirondacks and its residents have reached a point where this depth of calm is possible--only a region that in some ways has reached a certain maturity could produce, and make use of, such a volume."
The Adirondack Atlas, by Jerry Jenkins, with Andy Keal, can be reserved and ordered by calling 800-365-8929, or online at

Wildlife Conservation Society

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