Chapter History

ADK-NFC ANNUAL HISTORY September 2015 – August 2016

First Meeting July 1971; Chartered October 1971

Chartering Signatories

  • Ray Markiewicz
  • Tom Dibble
  • Mary Pat Engle & sister
  • Jim Fydrych
  • John Myhre
  • Chet Rosinski
  • Pete Rusinek
  • Doty & Pete Seagle
  • Chet Spaulding & girl friend
  • Ellen Warner

Early Members (year joined)

  • Frank & Marilyn Lynch (1971)
  • Don Yearke (1971)
  • Kathy Fonte (1971)
  • Marnie & Jim Leverett (1971)
  • Marilyn Gillespie (1972)
  • Ruth Kuhfahl (1973)
  • Frank & Wilma Cipolla (1974)
  • Garry & Linda Breitbach (1975)
  • Lennie McMullen Steinmetz (1976)
  • Lew Visco (1976)

First Presidents

  • 1971-73         Ray Markiewicz
  • 1974               Ed Barone
  • 1975-76         Jerry Markzon
  • 1977-78         Ruth Kuhfahl
  • 1979-80         Frank Cipolla
  • 1980-82         Garry Breitbach
  • (changed from calendar to fiscal year)
  • 1982-84         Dave Hoover
  • 1984-86         Lennie McMullen (now Steinmetz)

Wilderness Weekends in WNY (3rd-5th editions edited by Frank & Wilma Cipolla)

  • 1st ed. 1976 (includes poem by John Myhre, reprintd in 2nd-4th ed.)
  • 2nd ed. 1978 (dedicated to Ray Markiewicz)
  • 3rd ed. 1983 (dedicated to Lew Visco, with poem by Lew reprinted in 4th & 5th ed.)
  • 4th ed. 1991
  • 5th ed. 1998 (dedicated to deceased former chairs Sue Kalafut & Jim McReynolds)


June 9, 2019 – Volunteer of the Year Award

ADK-NFC Member since 1995

Keeping in line with the spirit of Larry’s values of Conservation, instead of buying him a physical gift, or another plaque, a $100 donation in Larry’s name has been made to the ADK Conservation and Advocacy Campaign in the Adirondacks.

Tributes to Larry Beahan from ADK-NFC Members:

Larry Beahan — the Spirit and Voice of ADK and Niagara Frontier Conservation

“Larry, On behalf of the Niagara Frontier Chapter of ADK, we would like to recognize your dedicated service as Volunteer of the Year. Of course, your many years of volunteering as secretary of the Executive Committee and your service on the Conservation Committee span decades, not just this year. Your example of leadership, passionate outspoken-ness on Conservation issues and your wisdom on the Executive Committee will have an immeasurable, positive impact for generations to come. We thank you for the difference you have made in our chapter and in our community.”      – Art Klein

“As a member of the Executive Committee for the last 6 years, I have come to respect whatever Larry contributes to the many discussions. Since his is an appointed position, as secretary, he has seen many Chapter Chairs come and go. He has seen chapter leaders come and go. Larry brings a sense of stability to the Executive Committee as it steers the chapter in and out of projects. My admiration for Larry continually grows as I learn about his involvement in the WNY Environmental Alliance, Sierra Club and NREC standing committee of the Greenway Commission, Allegany State Park and I’m sure there are other groups over the years as well.

Larry, on behalf of all of us on the Executive Committee and the general membership, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for your many years of service, dedicated research, your advocacy and the stellar example you set for all of us to become more knowledgeable and to take action.

On a personal note, your advice to me to “speak my truth”, has bolstered my confidence in my ability to make a difference with conservation issues. I thank you for encouraging my involvement.” – Mary Schraven

“I don’t know anyone in the conservation community who is as dedicated to conservation issues for as long as he (Larry Beahan) has been. He is a prolific writer with a great command of the English language and using it professionally. His writings will leave a legacy of knowledge.
He has been a wonderful mentor to many. He is stalwart in his commitment to raising conservation issues, educating others and seeing them to resolution.
In addition to Larry’s work for ADK and Sierra, he has authored many books and has traveled quite a lot. Larry is also a frequent contributor to the Buffalo News editorial page.” – Jay Wopperer

“I like the idea of honoring Larry and just thought I would give you my thoughts. I have known him for many years, but probably not as well as some of the rest of you. I think you can say that he is a true lover of the Adirondacks and its history and has spent his life hiking and enjoying the woods and natural environment. I remember finding his books about the Adirondacks in Stewarts Shops on the routes up to the peaks, reading his many articles in the Adirondac Magazine and the News, and seeing the plaque dedicated to his son that is mounted in a leanto on the Klondike trail near the Loj. He always has worked on supporting the club and conservation issues and used his writing and speaking talents to interest others in learning about the causes he supports. He also has a great sense of humor. He is very involved with his family and is fortunate enough to have been married to Lynn for many years. I find Larry is very down to earth and easy to talk to, which makes it easy for him to connect to so many people. I think he told me he was a geriatric psychiatrist before he retired many many years ago. That’s a tough job! It seems to me that he has created another whole successful career in his long life.” -Kate Hacker

“Larry is a great all around person. I agree Larry deserves it (this award). He does so much for our club and volunteers at many others. He loves the Adirondacks and writes a lot of good books. Also does a great job at the minutes as secretary. A job that many would not do.” -Kathy Clerkin

“In addition to Larry’s love for the Adirondacks please be sure to mention Larry’s great love and commitment for Allegany State Park. He advocated against the state park master plans in the 1980’s and the 1990’s that would have permitted extensive logging to be done at Allegany State Park. Finally in 2010 a Master Plan was signed that provided protection to the old growth areas and allow for natural forest succession. He is also a member of the Allegany State Park Historical Society.

He was active in preserving the Great Baehre Wildlife Management Area in the Town of Amherst : 1987-1989
He was our chapter representative for the state-wide ADK Conservation Committee for many years. I believe he might have also been a chapter governor (before it was re-named director).
He was presented the NFC-ADK Conservationist of the Year Award in 2007 for his life-long passionate commitment to preserve and protect urban green space, wild forest and waterways.” -Lynn Kenney

“In all the years I was on the Executive Committee, first as Outings Chair then as Chair, I grew to value and appreciate objections Larry would bring up to innumerable items. At first I thought his objections were unfounded but time and time again it would turn out that he was correct!!!! He researched issues, attended many meetings, was highly aware of the pros and cons all of which made him a watchdog on behalf of the environment, ADK-NFC, WNY, the Adirondacks and, in the end, for all of us!

I have three examples out of many.
1. When Erie County allowed a forester to cut down trees in the forest on Genesee Rd Larry was very adamant that this was wrong and a money making scheme for the forester. I thought he was very distrusting of their motives. Afterall several other organizations were A-OK with it. A professor at UB’s School of Environmental Science unexpectedly talked to me about this flap Larry was raising. He thought that Larry just did not understand how it was going to work. That it was going to be alright. Couldn’t I see that? In the end it proved to be the other way around. Larry was not duped. The forester made money by taking the best of the trees for lumber. Erie County lost money by not getting the true value of the trees.

2. Larry also watched the purse strings of our chapter’s budget carefully. When members of the Executive Committee had a pet project they wanted to use chapter funds for, just because we had the funds, Larry would call it out, bring us back to consider what our members wanted their contributions used for. Our members did not contribute to ADK so we could take their funds and donate them to, say, Boy Scouts of America, or Earth Spirit. Not that there is anything wrong with these organizations, but the funds were meant for the Adirondack Mountain Club. I have since been on another organizational board that was and still is careless with the donations they receive. I kept thinking that they needed a “Larry” on their board!

3. On a more personal note, Larry was the first person to really question the wisdom of hikes I led in Chestnut Ridge that were over-attended. I, of course, thought he was over-reacting. Everyone seemed to love the hikes. It wasn’t my fault that 50 people showed up. But he was right. Trails are not meant for 50 people at a time tramping through them nor was it prudent to do so nor was it the way to enjoy the woods.” – Cheryl Peluso

“Larry has recruited inspired, and educated ADK members and interested community groups for over three decades of the extreme importance of Conservation. Larry ensures the logical stream of true conservation is part of our approach to challenges we encounter most often from ill-considered government decisions. No quiet voice of protest, he carries the battle directly to the source and gathers allies to meet with the various administrators and Commissioners to explore the root of the problem and investigates personally the areas of concern.

Personally his presence has been strong and he has been instrumental in the 1980’s to protect his beloved Allegheny State Park, to help assemble innumerable allies to educate state and park officials that Forest Management did not have to include cutting trees that just happened to have high market value.

He saved many valuable trees from the careless approaches of Erie County, then under the leadership of Joel Giambra. Larry was able to reveal the sinister aspect of the forest management that had the tree companies select the trees, cut the most valuable and paid the county what they themselves deemed the value. The county neglected to have any experts weigh in on the value of the cuts so Larry brought in a regional expert who revealed chicanery that could not be prosecuted.

Larry Beahan was the Chapters Lead person on the development of outlets for millions of dollars that resulted from the Niagara Power Authority Relicensing. He also made sure that the chapter had ample representation on the Niagara Renewal Ecological Committee (NREC) that helps develop policies on the various projects to ensure more good than harm results from the many projects the Committee has studied.

His real strength is his fervent belief in factual record keeping. Often as groups grope with an issue Larry can pull out a thick folder of memos and meeting notes to remind all of where we began and the goals we set. He is a true trail guide always aware of where we were, where we are and where we should be heading. I am sorry I am not able to attend today’s Annual Picnic to honor my dear friend, Larry. “ -Art Klein

2018 Conservationist of the Year Award

The Adirondack Mountain Club Niagara Frontier Chapter, Conservation Committee presented their 2018 Conservationist of the Year award at the club’s annual June picnic at the Chestnut Ridge Park Commissioner’s cabin. This award recognized the members from various groups who have spent decades working towards a proper and complete clean-up of nuclear waste at the West Valley Demonstration Project in West Valley, NY. The recipients gratefully accepted the award in honor of all of the past and present coalition members for their dedicated advocacy and community activism.

In particular they recognized Carol Mongerson, who was the founder and leading member of the Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes until she passed, Maria Maybee from the Seneca Nation of Indians and Kathy McGoldrick.

The recipients are as follows:
Ray Vaughan: West Valley Citizen Task Force member and past steering committee member of the Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes
Joanne Hameister: West Valley Action Network and Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes steering committee
Agnes Williams:  West Valley Action Network and Indigenous Women’s Initiatives
Diane D’Arrigo: West Valley Action Network & Nuclear Information & Resource Service
Barbara Warren: West Valley Action Network and Citizens’ Environmental Coalition

2018 Volunteer of the Year Award
This year, the ADK-NFC Volunteer of the Year Awards have been given to Janet and David Kowalski. Our Chapter would like to recognize their many contributions that have enabled our monthly meetings to run more smoothly and helped create a sense of community among our chapter members. Janet, a past Chapter Chair and Programs Chair, is a frequent hike participant and leader. Janet often contributes engaging trip reports for the newsletter, which has the effect of everyone wishing they had gone on the outing. Janet is a gracious hostess and has made sure the Executive Committee was well-fed. We have come to count on her healthy and delicious pot-luck dishes! Janet is there to lend a hand to any of us, helping us to meet newsletter deadlines, edit our writings, and offer to help whenever needed. Janet’s enthusiasm and love for ADK is evident in every conversation one has with her. David co-leads outings with Janet. He has assisted with regular postings of trip reports, managing the home page of the website and setting up the AV equipment during monthly meetings. David writes a Conservation Blog that often features ADK sponsored conservation initiatives. Janet and David, we thank you for being who you are and for all the ways you uplift, problem solve and help make our chapter a strong community!

Gerry Rising Pens New Essay for ADK Chapter Visit
At a monthly meeting in 2017, Gerry Rising, ADK member and former Buffalo News ‘Nature Watch’ Columnist, honored us with an evening to remember, as we listened attentively to Gerry read personal essays from his new book titled “Birds and Birdwatchers”. Inspired by this special occasion with ADK friends, 46-er Gerry shared a newly-composed essay with the group describing unforgettable personal tales of some of his High Peaks adventures. He graciously agreed to share his new essay with our chapter. Click here to view Gerry’s essay, “Two Climbs.”

2017 Conservationist Of The Year

At the Annual Meeting, the Conservation Committee presented the Conservationist of the Year Award to Diana Strablow of the Sierra Club Niagara Group. Diana organized opposition of landowners, environmental advocates and the public against National Fuel’s proposed 97-mile Northern Access Pipeline. The 24-inch diameter pipeline would have crossed private properties in Western New York as well as numerous wetlands and waterways in order to export Pennsylvania shale gas to Canada.

After an in-depth review of the proposed Northern Access Pipeline project, and following three public hearings and the consideration of over 5,700 comments, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation denied the permit due to the project’s failure to avoid adverse impacts to wetlands, streams, and fish and other wildlife habitat.