Results, Achievements & Recognition


Adirondack Park, Wilderness, & Communities

“Your (Dan Plumley) tireless hard work and advocacy to protect the Adirondack Region – its wild places and communities – from the ravages of acidic deposition or acid rain has been integral to the passage of Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments that, for the first time, curb the harmful sulphur and nitrogen oxide pollutants. As such, it is fully appropriate to see that you are appointed to serve on the new Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Acid Rain Advisory Committee (ARAC).”
— Sherwood Boehlert, Member and Chairman United States House of Representatives, House Science Committee Washington, D.C. and New Hartford, New York
“Dan Plumley has been a tireless advocate for Wilderness since the days he wore a Ranger’s uniform and the pace and commitments he set then have never slackened. We owe Dan a great debt of gratitude for the founding of Adirondack Wild, for the gains we’ve made over the past 9 years and for his achievements in wild land conservation over the past 37 years.”
— David Gibson Managing Partner Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve Niskayuna, New York
“During my internship with Dan Plumley his deep knowledge aided my transition from college to the professional world. Dan is a truly passionate and inspiring mentor who educates about the significance of environmental conservation in the globally recognized Adirondack Park.”
— Ashley Gocha Water/Wastewater Asset Management Technician City of Yuma, Arizona
“Following a meeting of the principle leaders of the Adirondack environmental community and after unanimous consent upon my motion, Dan Plumley will be named the first recipient of the Howard M. Zahniser Wilderness Preservation Award for his leadership in sharing Forever Wild principles from New York’s Adirondack Park to the Peoples of the Lake Baikal Region and the Sayan Mountains of Siberia, Russia.”
— Paul Schaefer Adirondack Conservationist Niskayuna, New York
“Dan Plumley’s many achievements go to the very roots of his home in the Adirondack High Peaks. Three examples: His advocacy has substantially contributed to approval of the High Peaks Wilderness unit management plan and to increasing the size - now nearing 250,000 acres- and wildness of this largest Wilderness complex in the eastern United States.   With vision and energy, Dan helped assure that the entire Adirondack Park was designated an international biosphere reserve by UNESCO, which brought global recognition and research to the Adirondack Park. Also, through Dan’s efforts the Adirondacks became a cause motivating congressional approval of the acid rain amendment to the nation’s Clean Air Act. The subsequent reduction of air pollutants transported over the Adirondacks has significantly improved the health of hundreds of formerly acidified Adirondack lakes and streams.”
— David Gibson Managing Partner Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve Niskayuna, New York

Partnering with Native Americans
for Wilderness Conservation, Native Values

“TOTEM Adirondack Consulting Group, under Dan Plumley’s leadership, will surely mirror the diligence, hard work, loyalty to action and results that Dan demonstrated and achieved as a consultant supporting wilderness conservation partnerships with the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina, the Miccosukee and Seminole of Florida and other southeastern Indian Tribes over a 3 year period.  

This is a complicated field - involving diverse cultures, unique communication challenges, and historical disconnects.  Dan gives the work his everything — his knowledge, his energy and his heart — and as a result, he has a track record of empowering equitable solutions to the challenges faced by Native Americans and their communities.”
— George E. H. Gay, Esq. Law Office of Lauren S. Kolitch, PLLC
Stowe, Vermont

International, Siberia, Russia, and Mongolia

“You have returned pride to our people and our community that had been missing for decades! Thanks to your TOTEM Project efforts these past 8 years in veterinary care and the transformation to our antler craft economy, our young people see increasing herd numbers for their first time in their full, strong and beautiful antler racks! Soon we will reach our goal of 1,000 head of healthy reindeer due to your guidance and support!”
— Elder Samjiin, Culture Bearer Western Dukha Nomads Khovsgol Region, Mongolia
“Dan Plumley of TOTEM Adirondack is great to work with . He introduced me to Russia and Siberia as a member of an Adirondack team many years ago.  He has great contacts, is a wonderful communicator and facilitator, and is knowledgeable and passionate about the concerns and needs of the people he works with and for.  TOTEM is in good hands!”
— Celia A. Evans, PhD. Professor of Ecology, Paul Smith’s College International Programs Coordinator Fulbright Program Liaison, Fulbright Program Advisor
“Through the work of the TOTEM Project, what Dan Plumley has aspired to achieve is, in fact, more than simply conserving the remote, wild and sensitive taiga and high tundra landscapes, which is hard enough. But he’s doing even more – sustaining and helping to preserve a truly unique, nomadic culture – the Dukha Peoples of Mongolia.”
— Dr. Edwin Ketchledge Professor Emeritus of Forest Ecology SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
“The increasing numbers of healthy, domesticated reindeer in northern Mongolia is a direct result of our strategic partnership with Dan Plumley of the Totem Project. At present, the number of healthy deer have increased from 600 up to 2300 head (from 1999 to 2018). The Totem Project successfully addressed the herder’s challenges and advanced the Mongolian government’s understanding and program support for reindeer herding people. The reindeer herders have always respected Dan’s professional work integrity during my many years of working with him in the taiga. He is recognized as a special friend and true colleague for our country’s smallest numbered minority – the Dukha People.”
— Dr. Myagmar Nansalmaa Biologist and Veterinary Scientist State Veterinary Laboratory of Mongolia Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
“Dan Plumley is a leader in many dimensions. My trip to Siberia with him as our mentor was an epiphany and in my 88 years I have travelled widely and well. He works boldly with a level head dealing with sensitive issues needing both grace and a rich diversity of experience.“
— Carl J. George, Ph.D. Professor of Biology, Emeritus Union College
“In the 1990s Dan Plumley realized that cutting reindeer antlers while in the velvet for medicine was harmful to reindeer, but the Dukha reindeer herders needed the income. He started taking tools they could use for carving antlers that naturally fell off each year. The herders began to sell the carvings and along with veterinarian tech training which he supported, the herd of reindeer in northern Mongolia increased its number from 500 to this year’s herd of 2000. This are examples of the research, thoroughness, thoughtfulness and follow-through of the work of Dan Plumley.”
— Sas Carey Director Nomadicare, NGO Vermont and Mongolia.