Almanack Contributor Willie Janeway

Willie Janeway

Willie Janeway is the Executive Director of the Adirondack Council, a privately funded, not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park.

The Council envisions a park composed of large wilderness areas, surrounded by working farms and forests and vibrant, local communities.

The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action. Council members and supporters live in all 50 United States.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

State of the Park Report: Adirondack Park Success ‘Threatened’

state of the parkThe Adirondack Park’s success is “threatened.”

The Adirondack Council’s annual State of the Park report has a gloomy and foreboding cover featuring storm clouds gathering above a mountain summit.

That’s because the Adirondack Park is a national treasure whose future success is clouded by an approaching storm of threats. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Siena Poll: NY Voters Favor Wilderness for Boreas Ponds

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.An overwhelming majority of New York voters want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to protect the newly purchased Boreas Ponds tract in the Adirondack Park by classifying it as a Wilderness Area where motorized vehicles and bicycles are prohibited, according to a poll by the Siena College Research Institute.

Those who favor a wilderness classification for Boreas Ponds outnumbered opponents of wilderness by 4.5-to-1 (67 percent to 15 percent), the poll found. Support came from all geographic areas and from across the entire political spectrum.

These are extremely positive results for wilderness advocates. They look even better when you consider that the state didn’t hold a single public hearing south of the Catskills on the classification of Boreas Ponds. Everyone in New York City, the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island had to make a special effort to learn about this issue. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Willie Janeway On The State of the Adirondack Park

Adirondack-Council-State-of-the-Park-Report-2016The globally unique Adirondack Park is ready for new wilderness, according to the Adirondack Council’s State of the Park report for 2016.

The report concludes that the Adirondacks are ready for the largest expansion of motor-free wilderness in a generation. National media have been focusing attention on the upcoming Presidential election and on the hottest summer on record. But there is another story of national importance unfolding in the Adirondacks right now. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Willie Janeway: Governor’s Budget Supports Adirondack Wilderness, Communities

NYS CapitolIt is pretty amazing how times have changed in the Adirondacks.

When the Governor announced this year’s budget proposals, environmental organizations applauded increasing investments in the park’s communities. At the same time, local government officials such as retiring Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon praised the Governor’s plan to purchase important new Forest Preserve lands.

Yes, that was George in the Governor’s pre-State of the State Address video, smiling at the camera as he thanked the Governor for buying 69,000 acres of new Forest Preserve formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co.  Even the Essex County Board of Supervisors’ Ways and Means Committee passed a resolution praising the Governor’s plan to fully fund the Environmental Protection Fund.

These apparent role reversals are not really so surprising, however, when you delve into details. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Willie Janeway: Adirondack Park Poised for Change in 2016

SOP 2015The globally unique Adirondack Park is poised for change.

That change could be very good or very bad. Much will depend on political leadership from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to the Adirondack Council’s State of the Park report for 2015. The report is being released to the public on Wednesday.

The future of the Adirondack Park depends on change that is good for clean water, wildlife, wilderness and communities. The park’s most difficult problems affect both the environment and the economy. They include the recent proposal to store derelict oil tanker cars on local railroads, the continuing battle against invasive species infestations and the long-standing need to update the rules for siting new homes on the park’s most remote private lands. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Willie Janeway On APA’s Snowmobile Trail Reversal

iron bridgeAt the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) on Thursday, the State Lands Committee approved sending to the full Board a recommendation that proposed Community Connector Trail Plan Unit Management Plan (UMP) amendments should go to public comment. The plan favored a multi-use trail plan that included a series of new connector snowmobile trail segments. This recommendation was approved 3-1 over strenuous objections raised by the Committee Chairman Richard Booth.

On Friday, in response to concerns raised by the Adirondack Council and others, the APA commissioners voted unanimously to send to public review a proposed final plan that didn’t include a controversial trail segment that crossed the Hudson River at the Polaris Bridge. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Willie Janeway: NYS Budget Adirondack Impacts

nycapitolNegotiations over the NYS budget for fiscal year 2015-16 were messy and dominated by arguments over ethics reforms and education funding, but the final plan contained much-needed investments in clean water, wilderness, wildlife and communities of the Adirondack Park.

Foremost is a three-year, $200-million capital program to repair wastewater treatment and drinking water facilities. Under the program, the state would set aside $50 million this year and $75 million in each of the next two fiscal years to pay for matching grants to communities for up to 60 percent of upgrades for local drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cuomo’s State Of State: Adirondack Priorities To Watch For

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Adirondack Park is a global treasure, with clean water, large unbroken forests, wildlife and 130 historic communities. All who care about the Park will be interested in what Governor Cuomo has to say in his first State of the State message and first budget proposal of his second term. Both are expected on January 21 in Albany.

As we pause this year to celebrate our 40th Anniversary, the Adirondack Council is hopeful that the Governor will continue to show a strong interest in the Park’s future. Through cooperation and partnership, the Governor’s team can achieve important environmental and community development goals for the Park. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Willie Janeway: Restore Environmental Protection Fund

nycapitolIt was gratifying to see the New York Times’s March 7 editorial page encouraging the Governor and Legislature to use a portion of this year’s surplus to restore environmental funding to the State Budget.

The Times urged New York’s leaders make the kind of investments in clean water, green jobs and infrastructure that are needed, to protect the environment and stimulate the local economy. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

FCC Tower Expansion Plan Threatens Scenic Beauty

Cell-Towers-on-Prospect-MountainThe Adirondack Park Agency’s policy that keeps cell towers “substantially invisible” has been good for public safety and scenic vistas for 12 years now.  A proposed federal rule change threatens that policy and the wild beauty of the landscape it protects.

People who care about scenic beauty and historic preservation are joining forces to persuade the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not to impose new rules that would allow cell phone companies to increase the height and visibility of communications towers without seeking permission from state or local regulators.

The FCC’s proposed rule would grant automatic approval for applicants seeking to increase the height and/or width of any existing communications tower, regardless of local policies and ordinances. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Adirondack Council’s Willie Janeway On His First 100 Days

Entering-Adirondack-ParkWhen I started as the Council’s executive director on May 1, friends in the Park said “welcome home.”  I had worked here for the Adirondack Mountain Club for close to 10 years after graduating from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Economics and Environmental studies back in 1985.

That led to work with The Nature Conservancy, the Hudson River Greenway Council and – for the past six years – as a Regional Director for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in the Hudson Valley/Catskills region. I continued to visit the park when time allowed and kept myself current on park issues, hoping that someday I would get a chance to return to this special place. » Continue Reading.