Canton, NY, Dec 01, 2009 — Clarence Petty, a tireless and iconic advocate for the Adirondack wilderness, died last evening in the family home he built outside Canton. He was 104. Ed Petty said his father died of old age after about a month of declining health.
Clarence Petty grew up at Corey's, near Upper Saranac Lake, and had returned there to live in his later years. He was a state forest ranger, and was part of the team that did seminal surveys leading to the protection of large wilderness areas in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, as well as its wild and scenic rivers.
He was also a Navy pilot in World War II, and was well known as a flight instructor in St. Lawrence County, teaching until he was 94.
Phil Brown is the editor of Adirondack Explorer magazine. Readers, and Brown himself, got to know Clarence Petty through a regular column in the magazine, "Questions for Clarence." He spoke with Martha Foley during the 8 O'clock Hour this morning.