5 Things You Need to Know | February 2024 ADK Conservation News

By Justin A. Levine - Communications Associate
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

screenshot of Kevin Chlad testifying before a joint session of the transportation committeeAdirondack Council’s Testimony Regarding Transportation Portion of Executive Budget

The Adirondack Council’s Director of Government Relations, Kevin Chlad, recently testified to a joint legislative hearing on transportation in Albany about the importance of following up last year’s road salt taskforce report with concrete action. Chlad spoke to state senators and assembly members about the ecological and human health hazards posed by excessive road salt application in the Adirondacks and urged the legislature to ensure a reduction in road salt use and create accountability while following the pathways outlined in the task force report.

a full solar eclipseAdirondack Council Warns of Backcountry Conditions During April Eclipse

A total solar eclipse will pass over parts of the Adirondacks on April 8 this year, and while the backcountry lakes and mountains may be tempting as a viewing location, there are serious concerns to consider before hiking. April is often when sensitive trails, vegetation and soils are at their most vulnerable, so The Adirondack Mountain Club, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, and the Adirondack Council ask hikers to avoid the backcountry and advise that folks view the eclipse from one of the many Adirondack towns hosting viewing parties. Additionally, weather and conditions can vary greatly in the spring, requiring special gear and experience to navigate trails safely.

Basil SeggosMixed Reaction from the Adirondack Region to News that State DEC Commissioner is Leaving

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that he is leaving the DEC after this year’s budget process is complete. Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Seggos, and he has served as the DEC head for eight years. Seggos helped the DEC and New York lead in the climate arena and oversaw pivotal land acquisitions for the Forest Preserve.

the saranac river in the morning lightWhere Does the State Stand on 30x30 Goals

New York State showed its climate leadership by passing 30x30 legislation in 2022, but there are concerns that not enough land and water is being set aside to reach the goal. By 2030, New York is supposed to have 30% of its lands and waters protected to help mitigate the multitudinous effects of climate change. The state currently has a backlog of land it could add to the Forest Preserve or protect in other ways, though there are proposals to add about 28,000 acres this year.

Basil Seggos at Marcy FieldDEC Commissioner to Step Down

Basil Seggos, who has led the state Department of Environmental Conservation for more than eight years, has announced he will be stepping down after this year’s state budget process. Seggos oversaw numerous major additions to the state Forest Preserve while working for both the Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul administrations. Seggos had a hand in the state’s 30x30 goals and the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) while at DEC’s helm.

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Justin Levine

Justin Levine joined the Council staff in 2021 as the Communications and Outreach Assistant. He previously worked as a regional marketing manager for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and was an award-winning journalist and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Lake Placid News. Since graduating from Paul Smith’s College in 2004, Justin has worked in the environmental field in various roles in both the Adirondacks and Florida. When not working, Justin loves spending time with his family, running, and doing all the outdoor things the Park has to offer.

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