When the proposal for the Adirondack Northway, a north-south superhighway from Albany to the Canadian border, was announced in 1957, New York conservation activists deployed a multi-pronged strategy designed to prevent the project from doing irreparable environmental damage to the state Forest Preserve and the greater Adirondack region. Through influencing the state government, unleashing a concerted media campaign, and reaching out directly to the state electorate, a statewide opposition movement emerged that attempted to stop the highway from being built through the central Adirondacks and instead suggested an alternate route on the periphery of New York’s vast northern wilderness. As the proposal progressed through multiple stages of the state policy process, including a public referendum, conservationists were repeatedly unsuccessful at preventing the highway’s construction. Although the Northway opposition movement failed to alter the decision of the Governor, was not endorsed by the state Legislature, and was insufficient to sway a majority of New York’s voters, the debate during this period raised many concerns about the long term impact of industrial and economic development on both state and private lands in the Adirondack Park. While the Northway was eventually authorized and its construction from 1959 to 1967 destroyed protected acres of Forest Preserve, the influence of conservationists in the policy process improved the project from a conservation standpoint and lessened its impact on wild acreage. Moreover, the Northway debate was the first widespread discussion of Adirondack development pressures and was a major reason that unwanted modification of nature, particularly on private land, became a focal point of New York conservation. The Northway controversy began discussions about state policy toward damaging wilderness development. These concerns would grow throughout the 1960s and eventually cause the state to enact comprehensive policy changes to protect not just the Forest Preserve, but the wild character of the entire Adirondack Park.