Brian Houseal, Executive Director of the Adirondack Council from 2002 to 2012, has been named Director of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Adirondack Ecological Center in Newcomb.
The appointment was announced Friday in an e-mail by Bruce C. Bongarten, SUNY-ESF’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Houseal’s appointment is expected to begin on January 2, 2014.
Houseal, along with Lani Ulrich (then director of CAP-21, now chair of the APA) and J.R. Risley (then supervisor of the Town of Inlet), co-founded the Common Ground Alliance. Houseal oversaw the Council’s approach to the 700-unit Adirondack Club and Resort, the region’s largest development to date, by seeking to lessen its environmental impact rather than oppose the project outright.
Houseal attended Colgate University, and completed graduate degrees in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at Syracuse University and SUNY-ESF. Earlier in his career he gained international experience in Latin America and the Caribbean. Before joining the Adirondack Council in 2002, he spent 15 years as a Vice President of The Nature Conservancy’s International Program.
Houseal will take over from and Doug Allen, who followed Stacy McNulty as Interim Director after the 2010 departure of Bill Porter. Houseal and his wife Katherine have been seasonal visitors to the Adirondacks for over 30 years, and now live full-time in Westport.
The AEC, established in 1971, is located at the Huntington Wildlife Forest, a 15,000 acre field station in Newcomb that attracts researchers from throughout the world, and provides a base of operation for research on the natural and cultural systems of the Northern Forest. AEC’s Adirondack Long-term Ecological Monitoring Program (ALTEMP) currently monitors over 100 physical, chemical, and biological attributes.
When I testified at this summer’s (2013) hearings in Minerva and Newcomb regarding the state land classification proposals for the Finch Pruyn – TNC lands including the Hudson Gorge, the Upper Hudson, the Essex Chain Lakes and surrounding lands, I made the statement that Newcomb and the 5 township area – with these newly accessible wilderness lands – would be establishing a new and true, exciting “opportunity center” for the Adirondack Park. This surprising news of Brian’s appointment to lead the AEC is proof positive of that, to be sure. Congratulations to Brian Houseal, AEC and best wishes for the many good works, programming, research, knowledge gained and shared, and experiences to come. Adirondack Wild looks forward to building on our longstanding collaboration with AEC in many exciting ways.
I congratulate Brian. I know who loves this place and wants to continue to work and live here.
Much thanks are due to him, JR and Lani to start the common ground ball rolling.
What wonderful news on Brian Houseal’s appointment to lead the AED – good news for the AED and the Town of Newcomb. I do, however, take exception to the implication of the statement “by seeking to lessen its environmental impact rather than oppose the project outright” that the ADK Council was the only environmental group to take this stance. Protect the ADKs, and its predecessor organizations, the Residents’ Committee to Protect the ADKs and the Association for the Protection of the ADKs, worked in-good-faith for years with the developers to modify their approach to lessen the environmental impacts, not to stop the project. With the developers refusing to do such, legal action was the only recourse.
Congratulations Brian! Good to see you at the helm.
I also want to wish Brian well. Sitting next to him on numerous occasions during the ACR adjudicatory hearings I gained some understanding and respect for his position at the time. I believe the feeling was mutual. Lorraine Duval could you please provide some more details on the “worked in-good-faith” comment you mention above.