As the largest group of protected wild lands and waters in the contiguous United States, the Adirondack Park is a vital resource. It’s also a place many call home. Covering all or part of 92 towns and 12 counties, the six million acres inside the Blue Line (the park’s borders) and the multitude of issues affecting these lands are managed by no single entity. The governance of this most precious realm is a collective responsibility.

The Adirondack Common Ground Alliance was created to give voice to diverse interests and forge a common plan – an annual Blueprint for the Blue Line – to guide communities, institutions, and individuals charged with decisions affecting the Park. Each summer, hundreds of people come together as equals to identify and resolve issues of common concern.

Governor Kathy Hochul in a live remote appearance at the Common Ground Forum at Gore Mountain
New York Governor Kathy Hochul with a recorded message at the Common Ground Forum.

That’s the Common Ground Forum, and this year the meeting took place at Gore Mountain.

ORDA and Gore are both leaders in environmental conservation and dedicated to the Alliance’s twin goals of environmental quality and economic vitality. Gore Mountain, the largest ski area in New York and nationally recognized for ongoing sustainability work, including the largest solar array dedicated to a ski area in the United States, is the perfect partner for the Common Ground Alliance.

The event is focused on results. Common Ground Forum participants work together to identify and resolve issues, and Forum discussions will form the basis of the Blueprint for the Blue Line plan, a set of recommendations used by State Legislators and agencies to improve park management and the quality of life for residents and visitors. Organizations, local leaders, and individuals then also use the blueprint to guide interactions with State decision makers.

ORDA President and CEO Mike Pratt welcomes a diverse audience to the Common Ground Forum.
ORDA President and CEO Mike Pratt welcomes participants of the Common Ground Forum.

The Common Ground Forum represents the single best opportunity to be part of a vibrant and healthy future for the Adirondacks. Because the Blueprint represents the collective voices of hundreds of Adirondack Park residents, businesses, and other stakeholders, its credibility is high and its influence on decisions affecting the park is significant.

This public event featured presentations, guided discussions, and breakout sessions on topics of housing, climate change, recreation, and community vibrancy. The Alliance strives to ensure the Forum fosters, inclusiveness, mutual respect, transparency, candor, and trust.

ORDA and Gore Mountain support the Common Ground Alliance and are pleased to have been the meeting’s host. Thank you to all who joined in helping bring thoughts, strategies, and input to the important topics affecting the Adirondack Park.

“…the Adirondack wilderness must ever be what it is today, the most unique, picturesque, charming, and healthful section of the continent; the one place for all to visit, and which not to have seen is to remain untraveled.” – William H.H. Murray