Gary Randorf had an eye for the Adirondacks.
His photos of the park’s sweeping vistas, reminiscent of Ansel Adams, inspired generations, alongside his work as a conservationist.
Randorf died on June 18, at the age of 82. He suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
“The wild rivers of the Park are weeping for the loss of this pioneer and servant of Wilderness,” said Peter Paine, author of the Adirondack Park State Master Plan, in a news release.
Randorf has a long and varied history with the Adirondacks, starting in 1972 when he was one of the first staff members of the Adirondack Park Agency. Working with naturalists Clarence Petty and Greenlead Chase, he helped create a comprehensive review of the Park’s Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System. It involved mapping about 30,000 miles of water.
He was also the first executive director of the Adirondack Council, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting the park.
On the council, Randorf was partially responsible for keeping crop-dusting planes from spraying pesticides meant to kill black flies. The toxins in the pesticides were known to be harmful to human health and other animals.
He ushered in numerous other important projects for the Adirondacks, but also became a famous photographer.
He published the book, “The Adirondacks, Wild Island of Hope” in 2002, where he wrote: “We are and will continue to set an example of how to do it — that is saving a wilderness that includes people. If we fail, we fail not only our state, our country and ourselves, but also the world.”
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
Judge’s reactions to Cedar River bridge
An addendum issued by a state Supreme Court judge explained in more detail why construction of a bridge over the Cedar River has been temporarily delayed.
Two environmental groups, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve and Protect the Adirondacks, have sued the state Department of Environmental Conservation over a bridge it plans to build. They argue the river is an area protected from such construction.
Despite the pending litigation, the DEC said it was moving forward with construction. The environmental groups then requested, and were granted, a temporary restraining order by Judge Robert Muller on June 14, to keep the DEC from building the bridge until a hearing on July 19.
LAKE GEORGE — A Supreme Court judge granted a temporary restraining order Friday to keep the state from building a bridge over the Cedar River…
On that day, Muller is expected to make a decision on whether he will grant an injunction, which would halt construction until he makes a decision on whether the bridge is legal.
In a written addendum, Muller said “there is no question that immediate and irreparable damage will result if respondents (the DEC) are permitted to proceed with site preparation for the Cedar River bridge. Trees will be cut down and vegetation removed in a scenic river corridor — precisely what petitioners (the environmental groups) sought to prevent in filing the petition.”
Muller also wrote that he did not believe the DEC had a statutory duty to build the bridge because it was listed in the Essex Chain Lakes Unit Management Plan because, “the development of these unit management plans is comprised wholly of discretionary decisions.”
Next CAG meeting
The community advisory group for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site has scheduled another meeting, sooner than usual.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in the Hathorne Room, 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs.
Information to be discussed includes sampling from the Old Champlain Canal in Schuylerville and water and fish data collected by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Land could be added to state Forest Preserve
The state Senate added 1,400 acres to the State Forest Preserve Wednesday through a “health and safety account,” meant for the Adirondacks and Catskills.
Two parcels are part of the legislation including 1,206 acres in the town of Moriah and 214 in the town of Olive.
The land account is intended to help communities should they need to correct highways — add utilities or bike paths, for example — without needing an amendment to the state Constitution.
“This has been a lengthy, thorough, multi-step process of approving the health and safety account to help our Adirondack communities address important infrastructure needs, facilitate broadband and create new recreational opportunities,” said state Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, in a news release.
The legislation has been passed by the senate and assembly, and now needs Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature.