It 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.
Adirondack region nonprofits are finding success on Adirondack Foundation’s new crowdfunding website, Adirondack Gives. As of Feb. 13, four organizations-the Adirondack Council, the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, Dewey Mountain Friends and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts-have reached their respective goals. Several other campaigns have surpassed the minimum of $250 to receive funding with time to spare. To date, 15 campaigns have collectively raised more than $4,300 on Adirondack Gives.
The Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society successfully raised $1,000 in 60 days to help pay for the preservation of its glass plate negative collection. The historical society took ownership of the 10,000-piece collection in 2011, and has been working to preserve the negatives to museum standards since. The glass plates depict life in Lake Placid from the early 1800s to the mids-1900s. The historical society will use the $1,000 it raised to bolster a campaign to raise $5,000 to match a challenge grant it received last fall specifically for preservation of the glass plate collection. » Continue Reading.
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. » Continue Reading.
What follows is an open letter issued today to Adirondack Almanack readers.
Dear Adirondack Almanack Readers:
Voters reaffirmed that the Adirondack Park belongs to all New Yorkers. Proposition 4 (Township 40) was approved by a wide margin. Voters also approved Proposition 5 that expands the Jay Mountain Wilderness as part of a land swap with the NYCO mineral company. The approval of this constitutional amendment expands access to all sides of the Jay Mountain Wilderness and adds important new resources to the Forest Preserve.
Election results show that New Yorkers care deeply about the Adirondack Park. Clearly the Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, and the New York League of Conservation Voters’ collaboration with local governments, unions, and property owners can produce victories and results that benefit the Forest Preserve and communities. » Continue Reading.
Many of the Adirondack Park’s environmental organizations and local governments stopped fighting one another and worked together in this year on issues of common concern, advancing agreements that better protect the park’s environment while also encouraging community development, according to the Adirondack Council’s 2013 State of the Park Report.
State of the Park is a 20-page, illustrated review of more than 100 actions taken by local, state and federal government officials, briefly explaining from the perspective of the Adirondack Council what they did to help or hurt the ecology and economy of the Adirondack Park over the past 12 months. State of the Park has been published each October since 1986 as a report card intended to hold government officials accountable. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve will host its Annual Meeting of members and supporters at The Grange in Whallonsburg, Essex County, on Saturday, October 5, with registration beginning at 9:30 AM. The public is invited to attend. There is no charge. The historic Grange Hall is located at the corner of Route 22 and Whallons Bay Road, approximately five miles from the Village of Essex.
Participants are asked to bring their own box or bag lunch. Morning refreshments will be provided. The meeting is free of charge, but reservations are requested. To reserve and for driving directions to The Grange, visit www.adirondackwild.org, or contact Dave Gibson by email at [email protected]» Continue Reading.
Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the Adirondack Park on Thursday September 26th and devoted a full day to discussions with various parties about the looming decision by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) on the Forest Preserve classification of 21,000-acres of former Finch Paper lands along the Hudson River and around the Essex Chain Lakes.
I give the Governor high marks for making the trip and holding these meetings. (In the interest of full disclosure no one from Protect the Adirondacks was invited to these meetings. We are, after all, suing the Cuomo Administration with two pretty big lawsuits.) With Joe Martens, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in tow, the Governor met at Follensby Pond (his second trip there) with the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Adirondack Council and ADK. Those most closely aligned with the Cuomo Administration, who supported for the Adirondack Club & Resort project and/or the NYCO land swap, get to go fishing with the Governor.
The Governor then went to Gore Mountain and met with seven local government officials as well as Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec. At Gore, the Governor held a press conference. » Continue Reading.
When 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.
On his first day on the new job, Willie Janeway said he has no big changes in mind at the Adirondack Council—at least, not right away.
Janeway, who is forty-nine, resigned this year as a regional director for the state Department of Environmental Conservation to become executive director of the council.
“I get to be an ambassador for the Adirondack Park. What a great thing to sell—the Adirondacks,” Janeway said Wednesday in an interview with the Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Daily Enterprise. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Council has hired William “Willie” Janeway as its new executive director, starting in May. He is now the head of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 3, which encompasses the lower Hudson Valley and the southern Catskill Park.
Janeway will succeed Brian Houseal, who resigned in October. Diane Fish has been serving as the acting executive director since Houseal left. She will return to her post as deputy director.
Janeway graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental studies. Before hired by DEC, he worked for the Adirondack Mountain Club, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, the Hudson River Greenway, and the Nature Conservancy. He co-founded the Friends of New York’s Environment, a coalition of more than two hundred environmental, farming, and other community organizations.
The Adirondack Council urged state lawmakers to increase funding for environmental priorities in the FY2013-14 NYS Budget in testimony today at the legislature’s budget hearing. The Council cited the recent loss of a $2.5 million grant secured to aid the purchase of the Follensby Tract as a sign that New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) needs an expedited increase in funding.
Adirondack Council Legislative Director Scott Lorey called for an additional $11 million to be added in the EPF and also urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to rebuild the staffing at key regulatory agencies whose budgets have been cut in recent years, including the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Council is proposing a huge expansion of the High Peaks Wilderness Area once the state acquires lands formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn & Company.
Under the council’s plan, the state would combine the High Peaks and Dix Mountain Wilderness Areas as well as twenty-three thousand acres of former Finch lands. If this were done, the High Peaks Wilderness—already the largest Wilderness Area in the Adirondack Park—would grow to 272,000 acres from 204,000 acres.
Council spokesman John Sheehan said enlarging the High Peaks Wilderness would simplify the state’s management and planning for the popular region.
The proposal also would require the state to close a long dirt road that leads to Boreas Ponds, which are among the former Finch holdings that the state intends purchase over the next five years. » Continue Reading.
The state has yet to purchase the Essex Chain of Lakes, but two environmental organizations already have proposals to establish Wilderness Areas in the region.
This month, Protect the Adirondacks urged the state to create an Upper Hudson Wilderness Area, combining twenty thousand acres of existing Forest Preserve and nineteen thousand acres once owned by Finch, Pruyn & Company—a total of thirty-nine thousand acres.
The Adirondack Council beat Protect to the punch by two decades. In 1990, the council recommended establishing a 72,480-acre Wild Rivers Wilderness if the land became available. Spokesman John Sheehan says the council still stands behind that proposal. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Council, an independent advocate for the Adirondack Park founded in 1975, has issued it’s 2012 State of the Park report. “The Adirondack Park was subjected to a barrage of extreme outside influences over the past 12 months, some of which devastated small communities and public natural resources, while others brought unprecedented good news to park residents and visitors,” a Council issued press release said.
The annual State of the Park Report reviews of the actions of local, state and federal government officials that the Council believes have helped or harmed the Adirondack Park over the past year. The illustrated, 18-page review is the Council’s 27th annual State of the Park report. A copy of the report is available online. » Continue Reading.
Brian L. Houseal will be leaving his post as Executive Director of the Adirondack Council, after a decade leading the largest Adirondack-centered environmental conservation advocacy organization. Houseal is expected to be replaced at the end of October by Deputy Director Diane Fish of Lake Placid who will serve as Acting Executive Director while a new Executive Director is sought.
Reflecting on his tenure in a statement prepared for the press Houseal said, “I have had the honor of moving forward with a legacy endowed to us by some of the greatest conservationists in our country. Louis and Bob Marshall, Clarence Petty, the Council’s founders, and many other directors, staff and members over the years have all fought to uphold Article XIV – the Forever Wild Clause – of New York State’s Constitution, unique in the world as a people’s commitment to wilderness preservation. That vision and constellation of stars provides the compass bearing that guides our team every day.” » Continue Reading.
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