Buffett Pulls Used Train Cars Out of the Adirondacks - Threats and opportunities exist in 2018

January 2, 2018
By: Willie Janeway – Adirondack Council Executive Director

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/images/OilTrains_BrendanWIlks_small.jpgPhoto by Brendan Wiltes

Victory #1: After more than 1,000 Adirondack Council citizen advocates, Governor Cuomo and local communities asked, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway companies are pulling all their used oil trains out of the Adirondacks and making a commitment to never store used train cars in the Park again. This is a victory for the preservation of the wild character and wilderness of the Adirondacks, and efforts to foster more sustainable vibrant communities. 

The Adirondack Council thanks Warren Buffett, Governor Cuomo, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and all who spoke up or donated to support this campaign.

Continuing threat. Unfortunately, railroad company Iowa-Pacific Holdings is threatening to store other used rail cars in the Adirondacks.  Governor Cuomo, the Adirondack Council and others are appealing to Iowa-Pacific to do the right thing and forever stop the storing of derelict oil tank train cars in the Adirondacks.

Legal intervention. The Adirondack Council also thanks Governor Cuomo, his attorneys and his Department of Environmental Conservation for working with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office and special counsel for the Adirondack Council to initiate legal intervention to permanently stop the parking of derelict oil tankers in the Adirondacks by any company. This Park is a national treasure, an inherited legacy we hold in trust for future generations. It should not host a used railcar junkyard.

Opportunity for the future. There is now an opportunity for a coalition of stakeholders to press for a new vision for this travel corridor up into the heart of the Adirondack Park and the High Peaks Wilderness area. This corridor could be a great asset for the Park and communities like Newcomb, Minerva and North Creek that host access points to the popular Forest Preserve and state waters. The corridor might host a multi-use recreational trail, or another option, that would complement and support the preservation and expansion of Adirondack wilderness, the protection of clean waters and the establishment of a sustainable economic engine for communities.

We can build on the success of Warren Buffett’s decision and improve protection and stewardship of the Adirondack Park.

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/staff-headshots/Willie.jpgWilliam C. (Willie) Janeway returned to the Adirondacks to become the Executive Director and leader of the Adirondack Council in May 2013 after close to six years as the Regional Director for the State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson Valley/Catskill Region. He brings to the Adirondack Council team a life-long passion and interest in the Adirondacks and nearly 30 years of experience as a professional conservationist, fundraiser, administrator, coalition builder, and advocate for the environment.

After graduating from St. Lawrence University where he majored in economics and environmental studies, Willie lived in the Adirondacks for nine years while working for the Adirondack Mountain Club as the first Trails Coordinator, and North Country Director.  Willie also served as the first Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Greenway, and State Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy.

When not working Willie can be found outdoors. He is an Adirondack 46er, a year-round hiker and skier, a runner and a fisherman.  He and his family share a camp in the Park.  Willie and his wife Mary live in Keene.


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