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Collection Adirondack Museum Library
Title Richard A. Persico Collection
Catalog Number 2017.010
Other number MS 17-002
Object Name Manuscript
Creator Persico, Richard A.
Scope & Content The collection spans from 1973, when Persico began serving as executive director of the APA, through 2017, when he recorded an oral history interview with Phil Terrie, Jerry Pepper, and Christine Campeau. The bulk of the materials are from the early 1990s, when Governor Mario Cuomo's Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century proposed increased restrictions on development of forestlands and shorelines in the Adirondack Park. Persico drafted a minority report refuting the Commission's recommendations, which was later submitted by Robert Flacke, a member of the Commission. Drafts of that minority report and some correspondence with Flacke are included here, along with the governor's ensuing proposal and proposed (but not enacted) amendments to the Adirondack Park Agency Act. The collection also includes Persico's notes on the history of the APA, an oral history with Persico, and a framed copy of Assembly Bill #7577-A.
Physical characteristics 2 folders, one framed certificate, and one digital .wav audio file [.3 cubic feet]
Admin/Biographical History Richard Persico served as executive director of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) from 1973 - 1978. Born in Gloversville, NY in 1933 (VERIFY), he graduated from Albany State Teachers' College in 1955. Persico then served in the Army for 2 years, in Japan and Korea. Upon his return to New York, he went to Albany Law School, graduating in 1961. He worked as a counsel in the New York State and Regional Planning Office in the mid- and late-1960s, under the governorship of Nelson Rockefeller. In that role, he drafted the interim law for the development of the Adirondack Park Agency. He went on to become executive director of the APA in 1973, shortly after it was enacted.

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was established by legislation in 1971 to ensure the preservation of the Adirondack wilderness area that had been designated as part of a New York State forest preserve in 1885, and then as the Adirondack Park in 1892. During Persico's tenure - the very first years of the APA's implementation - the agency faced opposition, some of it hostile, throughout the Adirondack region, with several individuals and groups advocating for concessions from the agency if not its abolition altogether. Persico left the APA in the late 1970s when he was appointed by then-governor Hugh Carey to be general counsel for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Persico became involved directly in the Adirondacks again during Mario Cuomo's governorship. In 1989 the governor created the Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century in response to a perceived threat of land speculation in the Adirondack park region. The commission's report recommended imposing tighter constrictions on development than those already in place through the APA. Persico wrote the minority report contesting the findings of the commission and arguing that the powers of the APA were already adequate to preserve the balance of nature and industry in the Adirondacks. His drafts are included in this collection.
System of arrangement The collection is arranged chronologically.
Copyrights Copyright restrictions may apply.
People Cuomo, Mario M., 1932-2015.
Davis, George D.
Flacke, Robert.
Persico, Richard A.
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Search Terms Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.)--History.;
Adirondack Park (N.Y.);
Adirondack Park Agency (N.Y.);
Cuomo, Mario M., 1932-2015.;
Environmental conservation--History.;
Nature conservation--New York (State)--Adirondack Mountains Region.;
New York (State). Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century.;