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Adirondacks needs Mike Derrick

August 25, 2016
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

I love the Adirondacks. I cherish my vacation time here - from childhood with siblings, parents, grandparents and friends, through school years, then including my wife and children. This year our three grandchildren are coming to appreciate the Adirondacks as well.

There are many threats to the Adirondacks. I help confront one of these by leading efforts to control Japanese knotweed with the Regional Inlet Invasive Plant Program, Knotweed is an invasive plant that chokes rivers and streams, harms native plant and wildlife habitat, impairs recreational access and damages infrastructure. Since 2008, RIIPP has treated knotweed on hundreds of sites throughout the Adirondacks, with many volunteers helping identify sites and obtain property owner permissions. We have received a few grants but primarily rely on private donations to pay certified applicators.

Climate change is a greater threat to the Adirondacks, and to the world. What can I, what can we do for this seemingly unstoppable threat? We need a Congress and president who will actually promote clean energy and dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

We need to elect candidates like Mike Derrick to Congress, who place a high priority on confronting climate change, saving and improving the environment, and investing in infrastructure. Mike knows the Adirondacks, including having canoed near our cabin on Seventh Lake on a trip from Old Forge to Tupper Lake.

The incumbent Congresswoman Elise Stefanik provides lip service to the environment, having signed a resolution acknowledging climate change and introduced legislation for a semi-postal stamp with proceeds directed to combatting invasive species. She must hope this will distract people from her near-perfect anti-environmental voting record. She has an abysmal 9 percent score by the League of Conservation Voters, reflecting her votes against measures that would improve the environment or address climate change. This is no surprise, given her coziness with the fossil fuel industry, which is among her biggest donors.

The Adirondacks is a great place for family - from my 1-year-old grandson to my 93-year-old mother - to enjoy each other in a wonderful setting. I want the unique nature of the Adirondacks to be here for my grandchildren when they grow up, and for their children and grandchildren as well. For this to have a chance, we need to elect Democrats like Mike Derrick to Congress.

Douglas Johnson

Inlet and Springfield, Massachusetts



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