Thursday, January 3, 2008

RCPA Names Michael Washburn New Executive Director

Forwarded for your information, a press release from the Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks. They have just named a new Executive Director to replace Peter Bauer.

Michael Washburn to head leading regional advocacy group

North Creek –The board of directors of Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks announced today that it has named Dr. Michael P. Washburn of Clifton Park, NY to be executive director beginning January 2008. Washburn is known nationally as a leading figure in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sustainable forestry certification movement. He most recently has been engaged in private consulting to help progressive forest companies implement sustainability programs. He previously served as Vice president of Brand Management at the Forest Stewardship Council US in Washington, DC, and is a former research scientist at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He brings 15 years of experience in conservation, including roles with the US Forest Service, and Penn State University..

John Collins, RCPA board chair, stated “The Board is delighted to have as its leader someone of Michael’s stature and he is an Adirondacker to boot, with roots in the Town of Benson in Hamilton County. His family has been in the Adirondacks for over 100 years. I think he’s glad to be coming home.”

Washburn plans to increase the membership of the RCPA and extend its impact. “The threats to the Adirondack Park’s ecosystems and rural heritage are increasing. Climate change, water shortages, and the growing desire among many to live in quiet places will all present even greater challenges in the future.” Washburn said. “We need to be vigilant in our defense of the Forest Preserve, protect the working landscapes, and bring a balanced approach to development. The Adirondacks are a global treasure, and it’s up to those of us who live here to be good stewards” he added.

“We think Michael’s experience as part of a national organization and his training as a professional forester will be real assets” John Collins said. Washburn received a BS and MS from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. His master’s research focused on management of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. He earned a Ph.D. in forest resources at Penn State where he studied private forest owners and how they organize to engage policy issues affecting forestry. “RCPA has developed programs to improve forest management on private forests in the Adirondack Park, as well as programs that address impacts of development on the Park’s rural communities. Protection of water quality, careful use of wilderness and other Forest Preserve lands, protection of wildlife and greenhouse gas reductions will remain core areas of interest for RCPA.

About the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks

The Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the stewardship and protection of the natural environment and human communities of the Adirondack Park for current and future generations. The RCPA pursues this mission through advocacy, education, legal action, sustainable forestry certification, research, water quality monitoring and grassroots organizing. The RCPA has 3,800 household members and maintains an office in North Creek.

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