Dan Plumley

Dan Plumley serves as TOTEM Adirondack Consulting Group’s Founder - Director. Mr. Plumley has 37 years of experience in the Adirondack Park (NY) and internationally in environmental and cultural protection, land use, ecologically sound forest management, wilderness management and traditionally integrated development planning (TIDP, Plumley) within indigenous communities.

For the Adirondack Park, Clean Air and Wild Lands

Dan Plumley’s career in cultural ecology spans the gamut from his start as a NYS-DEC Park Ranger on Lake George (1982 – 1985) to front guard, leading advocacy protecting the Adirondack Park’s wild lands and communities from acid rain, detrimental management and climate change, to leading integrated, multi-disciplinary land use planning in remote, mountain protected areas and communities in several of Russia’s Siberian provinces and Mongolia.

Mr. Plumley was recognized by the US Congress and then President George Herbert Walker Bush when he was appointed to the federal EPA’s Acid Rain Advisory Committee (ARAC) and served across two years in Washington D.C. developing the regulations to implement Title IV, the Acid Rain Control provisions of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments – arguably one of the most successful, trading based, pollution control regulatory programs in conservation law history.

Dan Plumley has 34 years of service in non-profit conservation, environmental advocacy and wild land planning experience working with the leading non-profits including The Adirondack Council, the former Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, the Northern Forest Alliance and Protect the Adirondacks! Over the past 9 years Dan was co-founder and the Adirondack-based wild and advocate for the leading “Forever Wild” advocacy organization, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve.

Mr. Plumley was a leading advocate confronting the break-up of large, backcountry tracts of private, large-industrial timber lands in the late 1980’s through the creation of the Northern Forest Lands Council leading to significant land conservation funding and many successful sustainable forest land and new wild land protection initiatives. Concurrently, in the face of serious corporate threats of intensive backcountry subdivision facing designated Resource Management and Rural Use Lands, Mr. Plumley studied the then current integrity of Adirondack Park Agency (APA) implementation of its land use law and was first to urge Governor Mario M. Cuomo for critically needed, updated research studies into the policies and law enhancement needed to protect the Adirondack Park in perpetuity across many disciplines of conservation, wilderness, sustainable forestry, community conservation, social values and economic advancement.

He counts the achievement of many of the land conservation, protection goals and policy recommendations of the resultant Governor’s Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century across over 25 years of advocacy and team-work – including the addition of over 350,000 acres of new “Forever Wild” lands and much more conservation easements for forestry, wood products and recreation as significant in his career.

Mr. Plumley was also the leading advocate who went to Washington DC to gain Congressional hearings in New York on the Adirondacks and seeking the eventual international recognition for the Champlain – Adirondack Biosphere Reserve – a potentially highly valuable, scientifically-based designation under UNESCO; one of the largest in size of these globally valuable natural resource areas.

International Regional and Community Land Use Planning & Native Rights & Nomadic Sustainability

Dan Plumley practiced sustainable land use planning and created community cultural and environmentally-based land use plans with Russian and native peoples of the Altai, Lake Baikal, Kabansk (Selenga Delta), Olkhon Island and Oka-Tunka-Sayan Highland regions of Eastern Siberia, Russia as well as advocating for the rights and recognition of nomadic livestock, yak and reindeer herders in Southeastern Siberia and Northern Mongolia over two decades. A key achievement in his indigenous, team-building “Totem Project” NGO partnership was the halting of the severe decline of nomadic reindeer for the Dukha People – Mongolia’s smallest minority – using multi-variate veterinary, social and governmental strategies empowering the Dukha to significantly transform their livelihood, economy and future for the better.

Mr. Plumley counts as his most important achievement of his career-long inclusive practice of creating, often solely self-funding and empowering unique, wilderness management and conservation practice training and Adirondack internships to hundreds of young people, High School AP students, college and university men, women and minorities for the future of the Adirondack Park. Today, many of Dan’s trainees and interns are gainfully employed and making positive change supporting wild lands, environment, social values, local communities, non-profits and economic advantages across the Adirondacks, nationally and globally.

Life, Family, and Community Service

Dan Plumley has lived in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks since 1987 having been born and raised north of the Mohawk River within the Adirondack watershed in Schenectady County. He earned his Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Forestry, Wildlife and Park Management from Virginia Tech in 1982. He is a proud and loving father and God-father of two specially adopted daughters (Evella and Tuyana) from Mongolia and Siberia-Russia including a graduate of Keene Central School and a professional ballerina – both the light of his life. He has a long and diverse outdoor career in wilderness route-finding, mountaineering, rock and ice climbing, swimming, telimark-skiing and serves his community of Keene as a State certified Fire Company Officer for the Keene Fire and Rescue Department in his 5th year. Mr. Plumley had previously fought forest fire with the Grant Grove Fire Crew in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park and with the US Forest Service and state services in Virginia and West Virginia and is a current member of the DEC’s Backcountry Rescue Squad based out of Keene Valley.