Behind the Loon - Meet James Emmenegger!

By James Emmenegger - Clarence Petty Legislative Intern
Friday, April 14, 2023

Behind the Loon logoWhat’s your role at the Council?

As the 2023 Clarence Petty Legislative Intern with the Adirondack Council’s Government Relations team, I have several responsibilities. These include tracking bills using the legislative retrieval system, compiling the clips list of relevant articles relating to the Council’s work, editing and delivering memorandums of support or opposition to bills proposed in the legislature, and participating in lobby day events on behalf of the Council. Additionally, I assist other members of the team with a variety of tasks relating to our legislative agenda as the need arises.

Staff and elected officials with Council intern James EmmeneggerIt’s 5:00 on a Friday and you’re leaving the office. What are your plans for the weekend?

Friday nights are an opportunity for me to explore events happening in Albany and get to know the city that I now call home. I enjoy attending concerts, going out with friends, or just relaxing after a week of work. Although I joined the Adirondack Council team this past December, I look forward to exploring outdoor recreation opportunities like hiking, kayaking, white water rafting, and camping in the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

James Emmenegger at his desk in AlbanyWhat’s one thing people don’t know about the Adirondacks, but should?

Something that many people do not know about the Adirondack Park is that it contains the largest intact temperate deciduous forest in the world. The Park is actually larger than Everglades, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks put together! To have such a large park in New York is a tremendous resource for outdoor enthusiasts such as myself, and it is critical that we work diligently to protect it. 

James Emmenegger with elected officials and staff in AlbanyWhat is one issue that we are engaged in that means a lot to you?

An issue that I am engaged with and particularly passionate about is securing funding in the upcoming New York State budget for the Survey of Climate Change and Adirondack Lake Ecosystems (SCALE). The Adirondack Council is working to secure full funding for the project, which is an extensive survey of lakes in the Adirondacks examining dissolved oxygen levels, length/duration of seasonal stratification, algal blooms, fisheries, and the effects of climate change on them. This study is important to me because it will help better inform policy and ways to protect the Park in the future.

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