Monday, April 30, 2012


Executive summary by darmansjah
Coral reefs are the rain forest of the world’s oceans. Like their terrestrial counterparts, they occur in tropical and subtropical environment, support a bewildering variety of species, and are diminishing at an alarming rate. In fact, some marine scientists are predicting a catastrophic collapse of the planet’s coral ecosystem in the next 50 years. It wouldn’t be the first time-the disappearance of reefs has presaged each of the planet’s five great extinction events on record. If we are indeed entering the sixth, the cause will not be a comet or a big freeze, but for the first time, a living species-human beings.
Against this backdrop, marine biologists the world over are desperately trying to protect our remaining reefs from the impacts of global warming and destructive fishing. Others are building repositories of the known coral species (so that our grandchildren at least get to see them in aquariums or laboratories) and still others are constructing artificial reefs in areas of significant damage. Humans have been creating reefs for thousands of years to improve their fisheries; you can pretty much sink anything solid in the right marine environment and calcium carbonate, the key ingredient in coral, will accrete to it. It’s a hit=-and-miss affair, though, often yielding just a fraction of the biodiversity seen in a natural reef. Nonetheless, in the 1970s some simple science changed the game dramatically.
The Biorock method was developed by architect and marine scientist Wolf Hibertz found that by running a small electrical current through seawater, a hard shell of calcium carbonate would form over time on the cathode, in this case a submerged steel framework. You could then attach small pieces of natural coral to the structure. The corals seemed to love these substrates, achieving growth rates often five times faster than normal, according to Hilbertz and Goreau. Today, there are more than 20 Biorock projects around the globe, but by far the biggest-and arguably the most innovative-are in Indonesia.
“Right now, we have 62 Biorock structures around this island,” says Delphine Robbe. “By 2012, we should have a hundred,” she adds with enough steel in her voice to make me believe her. Since washing up on Gili Trawangan in 2005 with a vague plan to get her dive master certification, the Frenchwoman has become the driving force behind the island’s manya ecological programs. Trawangan is one of three tiny coral atolls off the west coast of Lombok and a popular side trip from Bali, thanks to its bone-white beaches, diving and snorkeling sites, and absence of both dogs and motor vehicles. Pristine reef, however, is harder to find. “Probably 70 to 80 percent of our shallow reefs were destroyed by dynamite fishing,” Robbe tells me. “It was the local fishermen who kick-started the environmental movement here when they set up patrols to try and stop the bombing.”
Meanwhile, Tom Goreau’s attention had turned to Gili cluster, which had impressed him with its biodiversity and water quality. He and Hibertz had chosen the tiny village of Pemuteran in northwest Bali as the site of what is today the largest Biorock projects in the world, and they were now looking for new areas to colonize with their artificial reef structures. Robbe met Goreau at the first Biorock conference and workshop in Trawangan in November 2005. By the end of it, she’d been enlisted. “The next year, I led the workshop and brought in the major dive operators as sponsors,” she explains. “In return, they got their very own Biorock installations in front of their dive shops.”
 Besides stimulating biodiversity, the Biorock structures also combat beach erosion, which became a serious problem with the destruction of the natural reefs. Increasingly, they are an attraction for tourists, too, especially since English artist and environmentalist Celia Gregory joined the project.
Gregory, who is a mosaic artist, sculptor, and dive master, contacted Tom Goreau after witnessing the Biorock project in Pemuteran. “I was really inspired by what they’d done and it gave me this idea of merging art with coral conservation,” she explains. “Plus I’d experienced dynamite fishing firsthand when a device went off during a dive. We saw the shattered coral and the dead fish.” Goreau suggested she attend the 2008 Biorock workshop in Trawangan, where she hooked up with Robbe, who was enthusiastic about the sculpture idea. “The art element just gave this added incentive for the dive operators and hotels to get behind the project-which, of course, they did.”
Divers and snorkelers can now encounter a manta ray, dolphin, turtle, octopus, snake,  miniature phinisi schooner and even a Komodo dragon, all between five and 20 meters. But this is just the beginning, according to Gregory, who is now partnering up with high-profile designers, artists, and photographers to create more ambitious installations. Among them are the celebrated British industrial designer Tom Dixon, who wants to create an underwater suite of furniture.
 Meanwhile, Robbe is building on the eco friendly credentials of the projects by exploring alternative sources of energy with which to power the Biorock installations. “Running cables out to sea from diesel generators is not exactly sustainable,” she says. “So we’re planning to build our first tidal energy turbines this year, and then unroll much bigger ones by November 2012, the date of our next workshop.” She’s also landed some major commercial sponsors. Oil company Total is looking to help fund the turbines, while Malaysia Airlines wants to fund an airplane sculpture.
But all of this comes with a caveat. The increasing popularity of the gilis has prompted an unprecedented surge in development that threatens to negate conservation efforts in the long term. A growing population and a rash of new construction is putting major pressure on an island whose circumstances is just 12 kilometers and which imports nearly everything, including fresh water. Behind the quaint, beach-facing facades of the hotels lies an open dump where most of the island’s rubbish goes (though Robbe recently set up a recycling system with the help of a Bali-based company). The hotels themselves often have rudimentary wastewater treatment systems, so biological waste goes straight out to sea, where it threatens to create algae blooms that are toxic to coral.
There are a few exceptions. I stayed at the Gili Eco Villas on the quiet north side of the island. A collection of antique wooden joglo houses from Jave facing a saltwater pool and restaurant pavilion, it is largely a solar-and wind-powered resort. A biodegradable waste water system feeds the startlingly lush gardens and organic waste is used for composting. They even have their own Biorock sculpture of a whale.
 “I have this vision of Gili Trawangan being a model of sustainability. It’s like a microcosm of the rest of the world, experiencing both threats and opportunities,” Gregory tells me. “It has these amazing currents, endless sunlight, and it’s small and contained enough to manage-if we were just smart about it.”
While her vision could be some time in coming, the number of local businesses getting behind Robbe’s ecological efforts is at least steadily increasing. And so it should be. The Gili Islands thrive precisely because of their offshore coral ecosystyems and the beaches they protect. As always, we’re proving mercifully adept at building the tools to fix what we broke in first place.
Lombok, Getting There
There are regular flights between Bali and the Lombok mainland by sea. Bluewater Express (62-361/841-3421; offers a direct service to Gili Trawangan, departing twice daily from Bali’s Serangan Harbor. The two-hour trip costs about US$81
Where to Eat Gili Eco Villas 62-361/847-6419;; doubles from US$95
Gili EcoTrust

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Humming wind Mamiri

Largest port city on the island of Sulawesi, Makassar has become one of the central eastern part of Indonesia's economy. Maritime tradition of coherent, satisfying a series of culinary flavor, natural beauty around the city until the historical society bugis interesting to note, all entities combined to form the city formerly known as Ujung Pandan. Edo saputra tells of his visit for three days exploring the country Mamiri Wind. Executive summary by darmansjah
After repeatedly to Makassar, finally I can actually stop in this town for a couple. During this Makassar city only serves as a transit to other destinations. It was not until earlier this year, and dreams can come true with a friend I was traveling around the city of Makassar for 3 days.

On arrival at the Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, I went straight to the hotel which has been ordered in the way of the Students' Army near the port. The hotel is located in a strategic area, only about 50-10 minutes using public transportation to downtown. The air turned out to compete day in Makassar to Jakarta heat did not dampen my intention to explore this city. After a stopover at the hotel to put luggage and refreshing the body, I rushed to the street in front of the archipelago Port of Makassar to eat foods that should not be missed, Coto Makassar. By driving a rental car, I arrived at the Coto Nusantara, near the Tower of Makassar. No wonder if this very famous coto Makassar, evident from the moment I entered until the end of the meal, incessant visitors to arrive and are willing to queue up even a small place and quite hot. A small bowl containing coto tender cuts of meat and a sprinkling of fried onions and garlic for modern diamond comes accompanied his meal as friends. Coto fragrant aroma that is cooked with firewood making saliva flowing. With the addition of a little lime juice and chili distinctive, herb gravy Coto Nusantara became more delicious. Enough with the 1.2 dollars for a bowl of coto, and a 1 dollars for aketupat’, we can eat full and satisfied.

Armed with a map of the city that was purchased before the trip, my friend and start the adventure along the corners of Makassar. The first destination is Fort Rotterdam which is not so far away from the place of purchase coto. Fort Rotterdam or also known as Ujung Pandang fortress is one historic attraction that should not be missed. No need to spend because there is no special fee for admission to this historic fort. After reporting to the post near the entrance gate and sign the guest book, I was exploring this castle. Form of timber frame and solid entrance typical Dutch colonial buildings still neat and groomed at the fort which is built in the first King of Gowa-Tallo to-9 this. The weather is sunny featuring a blue sky contrasting with the color yellow and red brick roofs of buildings looks very beautiful to preserve. In the area of ​​the fort I La Galigo also visited the Museum which displays an important reference on the history of the Kingdom of Gowa-Tallo and other areas in Sulawesi. In one corner of the fort there is a room where the Prince Diponegoro was arrested in 1834 until his death a year later.
 The day is late afternoon when we stepped out of Fort Rotterdam. Before sunset, I immediately drove to Port Paotere located in the north of Makassa, Ports are also often referred to as the People Paotere Port is a port that has a long history of value, even until the time of the kingdom of Gowa-Tallo., even until the time of the kingdom of Gowa-Tallo. Since the 14th century many boats depart from here to Phinisi trade missions to various ports in Southeast Asia. Until now, Paotere still used as a harbor where boat people lie at anchor various types of ships owned by fishermen and inter-island traders. If you ever travel to the Port of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta, you definitely will not be foreign to the scene here. Large vessels containing heavy payloads neatly lined on one side of the harbor and afternoon the activity of loading and unloading of ships bound for old trucks still clearly visible. Just opposite seen some young men were busy running to and dribble plastic ball in front of a small goal. In another corner of the harbor seen many people fishing on the pier that juts far enough out to sea. Feet do not want to stop stepping on people's lives for hunting portraits of Makassar in the Port Paotere. Children playing in the water at the edge of the pier, shouting, "Om ... .. Om take  photos , take photos accompanied ..!!" Makassar distinctive accent that makes me laugh. The sun began to disappear on the western horizon. Ship silhouettes began to look into the object that is not less interesting for me to capture.

As the day began to darken we continued the journey back to the center of town looking for dinner. I tried covering up the Chinatown area of ​​Jalan Sulawesi, Irian Road, Serui Road, East Road and Road Sangir. The atmosphere of this region is very interesting especially for me who enjoy the culinary adventure. How not, along the road I were treated to views of a variety of typical food of Makassar with colors, shapes and scents are so tempting. But the dinner options today falls on the 'soup brother' who was in Jalan Irian. Soup which looks almost similar to the Coto Makassar has an interesting flavor. Presented in a small bowl, we are free to choose the content of the soup that we will eat. In addition to beef, we can add a piece of liver, lung, or other cattle offal potato cakes with tiny round-shaped. Hmm ... dinner ... fun and exciting!
Tired of exploring the city of Makassar on the first day pictures relieved with the results I get. The next day I plan to explore Chinatown in Jalan Sulawesi and surrounding areas. Starting from Jampea Road, where there is a gate with a typical Chinese ornament, I started down a path that has many old buildings are unique. One thing that is interesting in this way is an old coffee shop is quite legendary in the city of Makassar is Phoenam Café. Phoenam distinctive aroma of coffee beans are blended from the original Toraja, which combines bean arabica and robusta coffee species, gives a different feel than other coffee shop. Inherent viscosity of strong coffee on the tongue combined with a toast with a smear of rich (srikaya) which delicious an unforgettable breakfast. Shop near the Hotel Yasmin comes with a simple interior is quite impressive even oldies but provide comfort for the visitors. One thing that makes this coffee shop is quite unique, is the owner of a mother who is quite old but still full preen. Apparently, this woman who became one of the main reasons why my friends want to visit the city of Makassar!
One hour coffee and toast in Phoenam rich, I continued exploration around Chinatown Makassar. Penetrate small alleys, I am looking for a market which is located at the intersection between the road and the road Lembeh Bacan that reportedly has its own uniqueness. This market is only open in the mornings only. And it's true, on the morning of this street into a crowded market, while in the afternoon in an instant the streets and became a total net public street without a single seller! Wide range of products available in this market from major vegetables, spices, various fish, fresh meats, snacks and even traditional Makassar. The uniqueness of human interest around this market are the main attraction for immortalized. For lovers of photography don’t  miss to stop by for a moment in this market and explores the unique life in the middle of town.

After a few hours I went back down the Chinatown area of ​​the car driving around town looking for lunch. Not far from Chinatown, I pass a Field Karebosi to find food that is typical of other Makassar Sop Konro and Iga Bakar (konro) Karebosi. Konro soup on the mountain road is indeed appear Lompobattang special: tender meat that is still attached to the ribs are great, very tempting to eat along with konro soup sauce is thick and brown. Secret spice blend that typically make the soup taste Konro Karebosi be hard to forget.
After dining I drove south toward the town to Jalan Somba Opu to buy souvernir typical Makassar. Rows of shops along this road provides a variety of typical products such as peanut disco Makassar, wasps oil, handicrafts, to drink the typical Makassar (passion fruit syrup). Satisfied shopping for souvenirs, I was heading west toward the town of Losari. The beach is a landmark of Makassar is never quiet. Towards dusk, when the sun began to decrease heat and cool sea breezes blowing, people began to arrive and gather on this beach. The atmosphere was quite pleasant sunset while enjoying afternoon snacks like bananas epe is being sold around the beach. Along the Road Comforter parallel to Losari. You can find the lodging of the homestead class to star hotels and a variety of cafes and other entertainment venues are all facing towards the sea.
At night, we stopped at Tans Studio World to see the Trans Studio Theme Park and the Trans Studio Walk a distance not too jaruh of Losari. Newer playground that became the pride of the citizens of Makassar is an indoor theme park that magnitude is not inferior to the malls in Jakarta. Trans Studio Theme Park contains 20 exciting rides and fun games while Trans Studio Walk is a five-story mall with a variety of boutiques of leading brands.
No lingering in Stuido Trans World, I still want to pursue a culinary very pity to miss, Banana Ice Ijo, Pallubuntung, and Jalangkonte. Legitnya banana wrapped in a green colored dough, mixed with a tasty white pulp and red syrup and shaved ice. No less delicious, I also ordered a typical hawker Makassar patty that resembles Jalangkonte. Everything I enjoy in Restaurant Muda-Mudi deer that are on the road.
Last day in Makassar I end by visiting two small islands near the harbor. Ad two options to reach these islands, that is by motorcycle taxi boat for 15-20 dollar one way or by renting a boat for $ 300-400. On the recommendation of a friend I managed to negotiate with the owner of a ship named Daeng Empo to drive me to the island of Lae-lae and Samalona Island. Departing from the port of Rotterdam in front of Fort Popsa 7:30 am to Lae-Lae Island. Maybe for some of the layman, this island is very unusual as it consists of ordinary fishing village. The distance was not far from where I go, only about 20 minutes. But from here I get an interesting view of the city of Makassar I got here. From a distance looks Losari and port even on the other side of the island I can see clearly Trans Studio World. Accompanied by one of his fellow Empo Daeng is also a local resident Lae-Lae Island, I tried to walk around the island. Local island life is exciting to immortalized as a portrait of Makassar marine life of the community. With my camera trying to record the activity of par fisherman who was cleaning the catch. On the other hand, there are the children of the island is cool to play marbles in the yard and some housewives who are busy knitting nets to catch fish used par husband. They all smile and greet a lot of activity and allowed me to photograph them up close. One unique thing I found, if all this time I see a lot of people sunbathing on the beach, on this island I found many goats are sunbathing on the beach!

Less than one hour around the island, I returnedto the dock to continue the journey to the island Samalona. Take about 30 minutes, I arrived at a beautiful small island, with white sand and clear water. This island is a destination you must visit! Blue sky in the morning coupled with the greensea and white sand make yourself as if to lingerhere. Shop around for a moment to the other sideof the island, I also saw some houses on stilts to rent for tourists who want to stay here. On theother hand seems be some foreign touristssunbathing and snorkeling to enjoy the beauty ofunderwater life. Small fish and several other marine life I can seeclearly because they water clarity on the beach. Besides snorkeling, you can also do diving on the island is by contacting your existing provider. When taking a break on the island pier I saw some fishermen anchoredand brought their catch. A variety of fish are still alive in the nets clearly visible in a small boat tiedalongside. Ifinterested you can bid directly and immediately ate the fish.
Can not linger in Samalona because we had to go back to town and catch a plane to return to Jakarta. Back at the hotel after a hurried packing and cleaning ourselves we immediately went to the Sultan Hasanuddin Airport. It was the last day of the grueling, but fatigue is not felt because I was very happy to enjoy the days during the Makassar. Beautiful Island Samalona, unique portrait of life on the island of Lae-Lae, Port Paotere and Chinatown, as well as culinary tourism.
How to Get There
Almost all the national airline has flights to Makassar route. Although the status of international airport, new airline AirAsia which has direct flights from Kuala lumpur, Malaysia. Makassar also be achieved through the sea by ferry from Surabaya, New York, Balikapapan, Tarakan and Labuan Bajo.

How to Explore
The sun feels quite oppressive in this city and you should wear comfortable clothing that absorbs sweat. For a short distance you can walk or use a pedicab is the means of transportation in this city. To be more comfortable you can rent a car to reach destinations further afield.

Where to Stay
Budget: Lodging can be an alternative budget accommodation located right in the middle of Makassar. Located 15 minutes from International Airport and 5 minutes from Hasanudin Losari, from Wisma Jampea you can visit many interesting destinations wisat Makassar easily. JL. Jampea No.2 Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia 9000 tel. +62. 411 317895 e.mail: or enjoy browsing in

Mid: Starred 3 with a touch of traditional and international-standard oriental décor, Dynasty Hotel centrally located Makassar Makassar can be your choice. There are several options for free internet and rooms with facilities such as spa and laundry services. Dynasty Hotel, 30th Street Lombok Makassar 90 112 South Sulawesi, Indonesia Tel.: +62411 325 657 e.mail:, or and log on to:

Lux: you had certainly know one famous hotel chain is native to Indonesia. As one of the best hotels in town. You can enjoy a comfortable five-star facilities, ranging from sports facilities like swimming pools, tennis courts and fitness center, business center varied up to a special restaurant. Hotel Sahid Jaya Makassar, Jl. Dr.Sam Ratulangi Makassar 90 132 33 tel.: (62-411) 875 757, e.mail: or can log on at
Useful Website: or

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Adirondack Park

Forever Wild

New York State’s sprawling preserve strikes an extraordinary balance between modern interest and the forest primeval.

sunlight dapples the shoulders of Algonquin and Wright, two of the more than 40 so-called High Peaks that rise above 4,000 feet. Once blighted by logging and industry, the region has undergone a renaissance of woods and waters.

Original text by Verlyn Klinkenbor, executive summary by darmansjah

From where I live a couple of hours north of New York City, I can feed the peculiar gravity of the Adirondacks, which lie another two hours to the north and west. It’s a gravity as strong as Manhattan’s but the opposite kind-the beckoning of few roads and few people, the pull of a wild region large enough to have an “interior.” Here, the outside world seems to vanish behind enfolding mountains, quarantined away by river, still water, and wetland. Crest one of the High Peaks, and all you see is Adirondacks.
 meanwhile, vegetation along the shores of Lower St.Regis Lake bends to the will of the wind

Visitors have been coming steadily to these mountains since the mid-19th century. In the early days they came by horse-drawn wagon, Lake George steamer, and train. Today you can get to the Adirondacks by making a left off the highway from Albany to Montreal. And yet some approaches still let you feel you’re being devoured by remoteness.

The soil changes mile by mile on a drive up from the south. Soon a dark wall of trees-red spruce, balsam fir, beech, hemlock-surrounds you, and there’s a sudden stony persistence. You’re climbing onto the Adirondacks dome, an exposure of ancient rock thrusting upward, risking faster than anything around it. Then comes water, some of it visible, much of it secret: ponds, lakes, creeks, rivers, and bogs too saturated to bear the weight of anything much heavier than a beaver. Here is a place, as the philosopher Willam James wrote more than a century ago, to “aspire downwards,”
 leaves of maple and birch make an art of dying on the dark surface of lake Placid. with thousands of Lekas and ponds, the park is a favorite of paddlers and the center of a century-old and still thriving boatbuilding tradition.

Aspiring downwards for  James, like so many visitors then and now, meant climbing upward, as he did in the summer of 1898, hiking up Mount Marcy and Gothics and Basin Mountains all on one memorable day. Other aspire downwards deep in the St. Regis Canoe Area, floating in a seam of light, a silent wake trailing behind their canoe. At such moments it’s possible to pretend you’re looking straight back into history, well past 1898, if not quite so far as 1609, when Samuel de Champlain came within eyeshot of these mountains.

It’s  easy to believe, even now, that almost nothing has changed in what James called the “primitive forest.” But with few exceptions, almost everything has changed in the Adirondacks. The unbroken green of the summer landscape rolling out from the High Peaks may be the most complicated park on the planet.
 on the trail to Goodnow Mountain, a yellow birch appears to be ingesting a boulder left behind by a glacier. with its tenacious trees and rebounding wildlife, Adirondack Park is a miracle of regeneration. Committed advocates and legal protections written into New York's state constitution offer hope that it will remain foreverwild.

The best way to grasp its complexity is by considering a simple question: How do you make a park? In Yellowstone – the first national park in the world – the land was set aside in a single, nearly virginal lump. But by the time Congress protected Yellowstone in 1872, portions of the Adirondacks had been industrial zones for more than half a century, especially along the tributaries of the Hudson River and Lake Champlain. The forest was being cut for charcoal to heat forges working iron from Adirondacks mines, for hemlock bark used in local tanneries, and for sawlogs milled downstream. This was the logging of legend, before mechanization: breast high stumps left by men swinging axes or wielding crosscut saws, horses skidding logs, rivers regulated as “public highways” for log driving.

By 1890, according to the New York Times, there was widespread fear that it was “too late to preserve the Adirondacks forest.” The intrusion of railroads brought tourists but also extended the reach of loggers. There were “few live trees in sight” along the rail lines, and visitors passed through a country “still blackened from the fires that have passed over it.”
leaves float past a fallen birch

Part of the miracle of the Adirondacks is how quickly these abused lands healed. Just decades earlier, in the 1870s, the state had begun taking over parcels of cutover land forfeited for nonpayment of taxes/ by 1892 it was ready to make a park of them. The original boundary embraced 2.8 million acres, only half of which actually belonged to the state. (Private land today makes up roughly half of the park.) New York enshrined its sprawling forest preserve in the state constitution, which protects the state-owned park as “forever wild.

Since then the park has grown to almost sic million acres-the largest park on any kind in the lower 48 states. It encompasses nearly every type of land classification imaginable: wilderness, wild forest, primitive area, land owned by investment groups and private clubs, industrial land, land held in trust by environmental organizations, private land under state easement, and private land without easement, not to mention 103 municipalities within the park, including towns and villages like Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, and Keene. The result is an intricate mosaic of lands and an equally intricate mosaic of humans, all of whom influence the governance and direction of the park itself.

an adirondack mosaic, since its original was drawn 119 years ago, the park has grown to nearly six million acres, less than half of which are state owned. in recent years more and more private land has been placed under conservation easements-legal agreements that restrict developement while allowing for recreation, farming, timber management, and other tradtional uses. At 5.8 million acres Adirondack Park is 3.6 million acres largen than Yellowstone National Park.
and serves as the head waters for the st regis river. this secluded lake is home to many Adirondack. great camp which are notable for their unique rustic archictecture. most of these camps date back to the turn of the century and they continue to erve generations of family members. this lake is a haven for authentic wooden boats of all types. upper st regis lake is also home to fleet of idem wooden sailboats. these beautiful sai boats have been racing the lake twice a week during Agust for over 100 year with the original boats., the boat house on this lake front estate was built in 1986 to serve and power boats. this one of a kind creation has been featured on home and garden television net work and in magazined and book features.
A warm August weekend. At the early morning trailheads, casual hikers are setting off on long and short loops. Climbers ready their gear impatiently, eager to get to the rock faces. Cyclist thread pas them, heads down. On the grounds of the Adirondack  Museum and along the highway leading to Blue Mountain Lake, crafts and antiques are being set out. Breakfast smoke rises from campfire villages deep in the woods. Canoes and kayaks work their way long the perch-colored shallows of Lower St Regis Lake. Hikers are waking in lean-tos down the trails, and someone is surely drinking coffee over a laptop in a modern lodge modeled after one of the great Adirondack “camps”-vast log mansions that were once th pinnacle of rustic luxury.
 an underwater camera offers a fish's-eye view of lily pads on eagle lake, sulfur dioxide from power platns made manya Adirondack lakes so acidic they became fishless. thanks to clean air act and other measures, some now show signs of recovery

While these capillaries of civilization reach far into the park, there’s an inescapable sense wherever you go in the Adirondacks that just a short distance away a wilderness begins-many wilderness, in fact. What’s arresting about the Adirondacks isn’t the tantalizing promise of another view lying out of sight, though the park is an endless beaded chain of new perspectives. What’s arresting is the absence of a view, the dense enclosure of the eastern forest, the depth of the biotic floor you step across as you move deeper and deeper into a kind of Leatherstocking shade. It seems irrational to feel the trees closing behind you, as if the forest is cutting you off from you over rock and moss, through small streams where the light opens overhead, across deadfalls, and into pure dim stands of hemlock-is the returning wildness of the place.
Ash and maple leaves float on Cascade Lake, mere particles in the biomass the park sheds every autumn in the form of fallen leaves.

“The Adirondacks are the Eden of restoration,” says Bill McKibben, writer, environmentalist, and longtime Adirondacks resident. “This is probably the place on Earth that went brown to green most resoundingly over the 20th century. Many places in the park you need to be a silviculturist to know you’re not in virgin forest. Almost all the original species are back.”
A common loon swims on Little Clear Pond. The loon's echoing wail is the plaintive voice of the Adirondacks. 

When the Adirondack Park was established in 1892, it was intended to be a preserve, not an experiment. And yet the park has become an inadvertent laboratory exploring the coexistence of nature preserve with a resident population of some 130,000 humans and millions of summer visitors. The biological experiment has been an unqualified success-biodiversity is rebounding-but the social and economic experiment is ongoing.
Morning fog shrouds the surface of Bear Pond and the valleys below St. Regis Mountain.

That experiment I overseen by the Adirondack Park Agency, established by the New York legislature in 1971. Its commission is planning and policy for a park that embraces one-fifth of the state and a maddening puzzle of land types and uses, putting the agency at the center of tension between development and preservation.
Conifers green the crevices of Catamount Mountain while the forest below is in its last incandescence before winter.

“There’s almost nothing that’s strictly prohibited in the park,” says Curt Stiles, the agency’s chairman. “It just a matter of finding the park there is provision, through land classification and environmental impact assessment, for nearly every kind of human activity, from industry to wilderness solitude. Judging by the political temperature in the park at the moment, there seems to be at tolerable, perhaps even sustainable, balance between protection and use. But the scales require constant adjustment in response to shifting conditions-not least of which is the threat posed by climate change.
the palette of the Adirondack forest shifts with the seasons. in the delicate tracery of a viburnum leaf, summers's green gives way to autum's red as chlorophyll fades and underlying pigments emerge. teh same seasonal chemistry brings a blush to a stand of fern

There’s good evidence that climate change is manifesting itself in the park: Average summer temperatures have increased by about two degrees over the past hundred years, winter temperatures by about five. Lakes are freezing up later in the year, and spring is arriving earlier. The park is the southern limit for some plants, and rare alpine species that once thrived atop the High Peaks are now at risk of vanishing.
Winter whitens Mount Van Hoevenberg, its 2,940-foot summit clad in balsam fir and spruce. Taller peaks that reach into the alpine zone are crowned with stunted evergreens called krummholz, from the German, "crooked wood."

I find myself imagining a time-lapse photo of future changes, imagining, as well, a time-lapse of the past century and a half in these timeless mountains: the logging and mining and burning, the movement to protect the last fragments of untouched forest, the regreening of this resilient landscape. The remembering is reassuring. For decades now, the stewards of this cherished park have been searching for balance. More often than not, it seems, they’ve found it.