Anne LaBastille, Adirondack 'Woodswoman,' dies

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Anne LaBastille, the environmentalist, sometime hermit and author whose "Woodswoman" autobiographies inspired others to venture into the wilderness, has died at a nursing home in Plattsburgh. She was 75.

The city clerk's office confirmed a death certificate was filed for LaBastille but would not release other details.

Friends said she was ill the past few years but still owned a farm near Lake Champlain, as well as the cabin that she and friends built on Twitchell Lake in the western Adirondacks.

Her autobiographies began with "Woodswoman," a 1976 account of cabin life on what she euphemistically called Black Bear Lake. It has sold more than 100,000 copies.

"Probably the most important thing is, she was a role model, an inspiration for a great many other women, young women," said Dick Beamish, a friend and founder of Adirondack Explorer magazine. "She had a devoted following, both male and female. I think she inspired a generation or maybe two of young women who love nature with what they could do with their lives, how to put it to good use, be independent and not live in the shadow of husbands or others."

LaBastille wrote a dozen books, as well as articles and essays for National Geographic and other magazines. She cut a striking figure with long blonde, later white, hair and often was accompanied by her German shepherds.

Born in Montclair, N.J., in 1935, LaBastille earned a Ph.D. from Cornell in wildlife ecology. She was married for several years to Major Bowes, proprietor of Covewood Lodge on Big Moose Lake, where she worked.

LaBastille was a commissioner of New York's Adirondack Park Agency for 17 years, with an unpaid seat on its board from 1975 to 1993. The APA regulates land use in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park.

"We always knew she was going to vote for protection. No matter what the project was or the issue was, she would always come down on the side of protecting nature," said Beamish, who worked for the agency early in her tenure. "She was reviled for that by those who didn't believe in the APA or who didn't believe that the APA should be telling people what they can or can't do with their land. For them, she was seen as the worst of the APA. For a lot of people she was the best of it."

Bowes recalled that the cabin, which had no road leading to it, was built too close to the lake, a land-use violation that prompted a neighbor to complain. He slid logs underneath it and inched it back in a rainstorm, while LaBastille worked away at her typewriter inside.

APA Chairman Curtis Stiles said LaBastille's legacy included helping international organizations establish nature parks in other parts of the world. She was one of the first people to attract national media attention to acid rain deposition in the Adirondack watershed, he said.

In a 2007 interview with The Associated Press, LaBastille said the environmental and feminist movements began around 1970, but her interest in nature and science studies at Cornell began earlier. "That was the best thing in my life," she said. "I was studying biology and ornithology and all of the things that could be taken in with nature. On the back of that ... I was going to be some kind of explorer, and it came true more or less."

Her thesis research was the ecology of the giant pied-billed grebe, a flightless bird that was then found only at Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan highlands and now is extinct. It was a subject she revisited in several articles for scientific journals.

Isabella Worthen, a longtime friend and director of the Old Forge Library, where LaBastille led writing workshops and environmental seminars, said a memorial service is planned at a later date.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The Latest: Accuser's lawyers say Cosby words support claims
    The Latest: Accuser's lawyers say Cosby words support claims

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Here are the latest developments from the release of court documents indicating Bill Cosby admitted in 2005 to obtaining Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women with whom he wanted to have sex: …

  • APNewsBreak: Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex
    APNewsBreak: Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby testified in 2005 that he got Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman and "other people," according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press. …

  • Longtime Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub dies at 77
    Longtime Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub dies at 77

    NEW YORK (AP) — One of the last of the classic Hollywood showmen, Jerry Weintraub built his show business empire on a Rolodex and chutzpah. …

  • 'Can't Buy Me Love' actress Amanda Peterson dies at 43

    GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Amanda Peterson, best known for her role in the 1987 romantic comedy "Can't Buy Me Love," has died. She was 43. …

  • Michael Buble & Wife Expecting

    Michael Buble will soon be crooning for three. His wife, Luisana Lopilato, is pregnant. …

  • Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett 'cheek-to-cheek' at Montreux jazz fest
    Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett 'cheek-to-cheek' at Montreux jazz fest

    By Stephanie Nebehay MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) - Pop star Lady Gaga and crooner Tony Bennett brought a mix of Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra and even Edith Piaf to a sell-out crowd spanning generations at the Montreux Jazz Festival on Monday night. Legendary producer Quincy Jones introduced the odd American couple, praising Gaga as a singer who had "blown his mind." He also recalled working on the musical arrangement for Bennett's 1966 hit "Girl Talk." "This would be …

  • Bill Cosby said in 2005 lawsuit he gave Quaaludes to women for sex
    Bill Cosby said in 2005 lawsuit he gave Quaaludes to women for sex

    Comedian Bill Cosby testified in 2005 that he had obtained Quaaludes with the intent of giving the sedatives to young women in order to have sex with them, according to court documents unsealed on Monday. Cosby, 77, made the admission during testimony in a civil case brought by a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, who alleged that Cosby tricked her into taking drugs before he sexually assaulted her. Cosby's lawyers had argued that the documents would cause severe …

  • Disney seeks continued tax exemption from Anaheim, California
    Disney seeks continued tax exemption from Anaheim, California

    By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The "happiest place on Earth" will keep a special tax exemption in Anaheim, California, for 30 more years if the City Council approves the Walt Disney Co's plan for a $1 billion-plus expansion of its theme park complex in the city. The five-member council is expected to vote on Tuesday on the company's proposal to go ahead with its Disneyland Resort makeover in exchange for a continued waiver of any future admission tax the city might impose on …

  • Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Celebrity News - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 1:47 AM PHT
    Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Beyonce’s #Flawless image is embroiled in controversy once again. On Wednesday, a web site called The Beyonce World leaked 224 allegedly raw photos of the musician. The images showed Bey in full makeup for the 2013 L’Oreal ad campaign — but with the kinds of “imperfections” we all have — beauty marks, bumps, creases. In the wake of Cindy Crawford’s unretouched photos, the images have been praised by critics of a beauty industry that sets impossibly high standards, standards that Queen Bey …

  • Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    omg - Sat, Feb 14, 2015 12:14 AM PHT
    Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    The 25-year-old released the video for her third cut from platinum selling album 1989. …

  • My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    Write Away - Wed, Jan 28, 2015 2:29 PM PHT
    My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    For my mother-in-law Mrs. Elsa Yrastorza Yuzon, flying and soaring in the skies is part of her normal routine. But it reached new heights when Pope Francis boarded Shepherd One. …