A Wild Idea: The Birth of the APA

A Wild Idea: The Birth of the APA

Mon, 04/18/2022 - 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Little Cherry Patch Fall

This film chronicles the history of the Adirondack Park and the founding of the Adirondack Park Agency 50 years ago.

New York's Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Great Smokies National Parks combined. It is one of the largest unbroken deciduous forests on Earth, with a thousand miles of streams and rivers, hundreds of lakes, and lofty peaks. Even more amazing, most of the land within the park is privately owned, and 85 million people live within a day’s drive. Yet the Adirondacks remain largely undeveloped. A Wild Idea: The Birth of the APA airs Monday, April 18 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

The APA was the first agency of its kind, transferring the rights of over a hundred cities and towns in the park to set their own zoning rules, to a state agency. Many residents of the park oppose these new restrictions imposed by the state, insisting that privately owned land is just that, private.

The film is produced by filmmaker Paul Frederick, with a script based largely on the book, “A Wild Idea: How the Environmental Movement Tamed the Adirondacks” by author Brad Edmondson. Many interviews included in the documentary were conducted by Edmondson in the 2000s while collecting oral histories with the APA’s creators.  Funding was provided in part by a grant from Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, NY.

Brad Edmondson was a guest on Connection with Evan Dawson in November 2021 to talk about his book. Click here to listen to his interview.