Press Releases

Adirondack Council Celebrates Life of U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert

Champion of Adirondack Clean Air, Pure Waters, Wilderness, Working Forests

Thursday, September 23, 2021

UTICA, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council today celebrated the life and career of retired U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-Utica, a staunch conservationist whose work benefitted the forests, waters, wildlife, and communities of the Adirondack Park, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 84.   

“The Adirondack Council has had the honor of working with Sherry Boehlert many times to seek approval for funding and policies that helped to preserve and protect the Adirondack Park,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway. “Sherry was an environmental leader in Congress whose appeals brought support from members of both major parties. He understood that the Adirondack Park’s environment and economy were linked together. Both needed support for each to succeed. From 1983 to 2007, he achieved great progress and motivated his Congressional colleagues to join him.” 

Janeway cited Boehlert’s support for the Clean Air Act Amendments (CCC) of 1990, his support for permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and his role in the approval of the Forest Legacy Act to be among Boehlert’s greatest acts on behalf of the Adirondacks.   

The Clean Air Act amendments created the nation’s first acid rain reduction program, which has reduced the acidity of rain and snow falling on the Adirondacks more than tenfold in 30 years.  The LWCF, which provides money for open space protection, watershed preservation and wildlife habitat across the United States, has now received permanent funding from Congress (2020). The Forest Legacy Act (1990 Farm Bill) helps to conserve private forests in the Northeast via conservation easements and other partnerships that keep forests intact and improve public access to recreational trails and waters.   

Boehlert also worked to protect funding for acid rain research from repeated federal budget cuts.  He worked with our entire Congressional delegation to ensure that New York had the data it needed to compel federal regulators to protect us from acid rain and smog caused by coal-fired power plants in the Midwest. 

“Perhaps Sherry’s greatest gift to us was his ability to bridge political differences to create conservation wins,” said John Sheehan, the Council’s Director of Communications and Washington, DC lobbyist. “Whether he was working with Tip O’Neill and Pat Moynihan or Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott, Sherry could find common ground on which to build. We’d hate to think that he might be the last of his kind. We need people like Sherry in Congress today, and in all levels of government.” 

Established in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. It is the largest environmental organization whose sole focus is the Adirondacks.

The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy, and legal action. It envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, core wilderness areas, farms and working forests, and vibrant, diverse, welcoming, safe communities. Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States.

For more information: John Sheehan, Director of Communications, 518-441-1340

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