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Defending the Wilderness



“Called the ‘Champion of the Park,’ Schaefer is universally credited as one of the individuals most responsible for the preservation and protection of the Adirondack Park.”—Forest and Conservation History

“Paul Schaefer has spent most of his life in the Adirondack region—exploring, studying, enjoying, writing, and fighting its battles. This anthology of Schaefer’s writings over the years is the essence of his wilderness philosophy. It is a great testament. It inspires us to do our very best to keep the Adirondacks ‘forever wild.’”—Paul H. Oehser, former editor of scientific publications, National Geographic Society

“There is no individual more responsible for, or dedicated to, the protection of New York State’s renowned Forest Preserve than Paul Schaefer, a giant of a man who writes from the heart and with unsurpassed knowledge.”—George D. Davis, former executive director, Adirondack Land Trust

“Here is history, but more than history, here is the personal testimony of a man’s love for a wild land and his unflagging determination to preserve it.”—Charles Callison, founder, Public Lands Institute


Paul Schaefer was a visionary leader of the New York State conservation movement since his early twenties. During his long career he served on countless advisory committees for state and private agencies. His numerous awards and honors include the 1966 Governor’s Award from the New York State Conservation Council and National Wildlife Federation, the 1985 Governor Mario Cuomo Conservation Award, and the 1986 Chevron USA Conservation Award. In 1979, Union College recognized his outstanding contributions to conservation by awarding him an honorary doctor of science degree.

Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.