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Adirondack Council Commends NYS Senator Betty Little Who Announced Retirement After Decades of Service

Little Found Ways to Work with Conservationists, Even When Not in Agreement

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. -- The Adirondack Council today thanked Sen. Elizabeth “Betty” Little, R-Queensbury, for her 24 years of service and dedication to the North Country as an Assemblywoman and then Senator.

“We worked together on major initiatives to protect clean water and the natural environment while fostering more vibrant communities,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “Successes included invasive species controls and funding, clean water funding, the Community Health and Safety Land Bank Constitutional Amendment and the recent establishment of an Adirondack Diversity Initiative.” 

“The Senator was always willing to explain her position and seek opportunities to work together, even when we didn’t always agree,” said Janeway.

Little was elected to the Senate in 2002 following the retirement of Sen. Ronald Stafford, R-Plattsburgh.  She represents the 45th Senate District, which includes all of Warren, Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties and parts of St. Lawrence and Washington counties. Before her election to the Senate, Little served in the Assembly, starting in 1995, when she won a special election to replace James King, who had resigned to become a judge.

Invasive species have been a serious concern around the Adirondack Park, and especially in the Lake George area where local governments have been struggling to get aggressive, non-native aquatic species under control. Little supported establishment of the State’s Invasive Species Council, a permanent line for invasive species funding in the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, and additional funding for Lake George and other areas of the Park.

The Community Health and Safety Land Bank was an amendment to the “Forever Wild” clause of the NYS Constitution that created flexibility for local public works projects on town roads that cross the Forest Preserve. It authorized a 250-acre land bank for use by local governments that needed to install water, sewer and telecommunications lines on roadside, so those lands could be removed from the preserve – under specific conditions -- without additional approvals from the voters.

This year, Senator Little added her endorsement to the effort to create an Adirondack Diversity Initiative through a state-funded coordinator who will work out of the Adirondack North Country Association office in Saranac Lake.  The position was funded through a $250,000 appropriation from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.

Over $50 million in grants have been awarded to Adirondack communities to keep sewage and other pollutants out of the Park’s precious waters.

Just this Fall Senator Little stood with Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay, and Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, and others including the Adirondack Council to announce introduction of bi-partisan legislation (S6824/A8767) to help keep winter roads safe while addressing contamination of clean drinking water from overapplication or road salt.

“The Adirondack Council thanks Senator Little for her dedication and commitment to the citizens of the Adirondack North Country, and looks forward to working with her through the end of her last term in 2020 to accomplish still more, for the people and for preservation of the environment” said Janeway.

The Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. The Council envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by farms and working forests, and vibrant communities. 

The Adirondack Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action to ensure the legacy of the Adirondack Park is safeguarded for future generations. Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States, and the District of Columbia.

For more information:

John Sheehan, Director of Communications, 518-441-1340

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 5, 2019

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