I’m sorry to report that Gary Lovett, a forest ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, died last month while cross country skiing in the Catskills. Lovett was a source I could often turn to about Adirondack forestry issues, and was most recently featured in our January/February issue for a story about hemlock woolly adelgid. I learned of his death this weekend from Mark Whitmore, of the New York State Hemlock Institute at Cornell University. Whitmore and Lovett had recently presented at an Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program summit on invasive species in October. Whitmore said Lovett’s “passing leaves a huge gap in New York’s scientific awareness of issues impacting our forests.”
Lovett was also the leader of a program called Tree-SMART Trade, which promotes policy ideas for nipping the spread of invasive species in the bud. Here is what the “SMART” acronym stands for, as quoted from the Cary Institute’s website:
“Switch to pest-free packaging materials for international shipments to the US.
Minimize new pest outbreaks by expanding early and rapid response programs.
Augment international pest prevention programs with key trade partners.
Restrict the importation of live plants in the same genera as native woody plants in the US.
Tighten enforcement of penalties for non-compliant shipments.”
Lovett spoke with us about this program in a 2020 article on forest pests: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/fighting-for-forests. He was an avid outdoorsman in the Adirondack Park, too, sharing some beautiful photos of his hikes on social media. Lovett’s obituary can be read here: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/timesunion-albany/name/gary-lovett-obituary?id=38610048. The Cary Institute also posted a tribute here: https://www.caryinstitute.org/news-insights/feature/gary-m-lovett-scientist-mentor-advocate-friend.
In case you missed it, we posted a story about new backcountry ski trails open to the public at Paul Smith’s College’s Visitor Interpretive Center. The trails are also intended as a policy example for how some organizations hope the state will use a visitor use management framework and how some backcountry ski trail enthusiasts hope similar trails could be created and maintained on forest preserve. We’ll have more on this in our upcoming March/April issue of the magazine.
In case you missed our State of the State coverage last week, we rounded up some of the climate and environment initiatives on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s agenda for the year. You can read about that here: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/governor-boldfaces-climate-and-housing-in-2023-blueprint-for-new-york. Now we’ll have to see more details when Hochul releases her proposed state budget. It was great to be back in the Capitol building, but also great to drive up to Saranac Lake the next day for a meeting with my colleagues. Sharing with you a glimpse of my different work environments on back-to-back days last week.
Photo at top: Gary Lovett, a forest ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, presents at an invasive species meeting in October 2022 in Blue Mountain Lake. Lovett died in December. Photo by Gwendolyn Craig
This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.
Leave a Reply