A veteran environmental lobbyist reveals the behind-the-scenes struggles to address threats to the future of New York's Adirondack Park.
Finalist in the 2023 National Indie Excellence® Awards in the Political Category
Inside the Green Lobby recounts the behind-the-scenes efforts, both at the State Capitol in Albany and the halls of Congress, of a lobbyist for a major environmental advocacy group. Bernard C. Melewski worked to save the six-million acre Adirondack Park from twin threats to its future: the devastating damage from acid rain and the sudden breakup of massive private land holdings that had been intact for almost one hundred years. Starting with the political uproar ignited by the recommendations of New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s 1990 Adirondack Park Commission, and the rejection by the public of a new environmental bond act, Inside the Green Lobby documents the events that led to the sudden acquisition by New York State of tens of thousands of acres within the park that the public now enjoys. From strategy sessions with lobbyists to private meetings with legislators, governors, members of Congress, and even the President of the United States, Melewski recounts engaging and entertaining stories that introduce how environmental advocates successfully pursue legislative and policy change.
Bernard Melewski is an environmental attorney, organic farmer, and farm winery owner in Altamont, New York.
"Melewski's memoir is a useful primary source for researchers interested in understanding how the public interest advocates went about their daily work, strategized to pursue policy goals, and adjusted to current events and unforeseen opportunities and setbacks … The memoir is also a valuable tool to gain insight into the complexities, intricacies, and patience involved with generating legislative and regulatory actions at the state and federal levels." — H-Net Reviews (H-Environment)
"The book is both interesting and important. For more than 125 years New Yorkers have debated wide-ranging political issues regarding the protection of the Adirondack Park. In various roles and over quite a few years, Melewski participated in the political debates that have focused on the Adirondacks. His book recounts his experiences while working for the Adirondack Council, one of the most important advocacy groups in the Park. The stories he relates and the observations he makes provide significant information about pieces of a long and complicated political history." — Richard S. Booth, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University; former staff attorney for the Adirondack Park Agency (1972–1975); and former member of the Adirondack Park Agency (2007–2016)