Under the 14th Article of the New York State Constitution, the land encompassed in the Adirondacks, “shall be forever kept as wild forest lands” (Article XIV, NYS Constitution).  The true meaning of “forever wild” is a heavily debated topic for all who visit, live, study, and otherwise benefit from the Adirondack Park.   If you were to ask a biologist, ecologist, or an environmental advocate, they may interpret the “forever wild” clause to indicate vast wild preserves and conservational landscapes.  However, from a tourist’s perspective, “forever wild” might be viewed as a place that will remain open for natural recreational purposes “forever.”  The Adirondack Park’s legal guidelines would indicate that both the tourist and the scientist’s interpretation of the law are valid, and, because the clause is exceptionally vague, both groups of Adirondack goers ought to have their own personal meaning of the law.

That being said, tourism is not necessarily indicative of promoting the ideas and practices of being “forever wild.”  In theory, tourism is a positive addition to the Adirondacks, as the associated industries can be beneficial to local communities and economies.  However, tourism can also lead to deforestation, as a result of the needed infrastructure when promoting access to the parks.  It is irrefutable that tourism and towns of people living in the park is preventing the land from remaining completely virgin forest, if that is how one defines “forever wild.”  However, considering the damage and deforestation that the virgin forests of the Adirondacks have endured from logging and mining, the aforementioned interpretation is an unattainable goal for the park.  Therefore, the goal must be reinterpreted, taking into account the park’s current situation, to identify to what degree ecotourism should be encouraged.

Works Cited:
1. "Article XIV of the New York State Constitution." New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. .