Press Releases

Headwaters Coordinator Brings Experience to Unique Role

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

RAQUETTE LAKE, NY – The Adirondack Council and Northern Forest Canoe Trail  (NFCT) are happy to announce that Paul Smith’s College professor Rebecca Sutter has been hired as the Headwaters Coordinator in the Raquette River Watershed.

Sutter will be working with both NFCT and the Council to build capacity among local stakeholders such as lake associations, government officials, business owners and environmental groups to best address pressures to watershed health that span across many jurisdictions. She will be reporting to Council and NFCT staff in a position funded through a New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program grant.

Raquette River is one of the major watersheds originating in the Adirondack Park and connecting Adirondack communities like Blue Mountain Lake, Raquette Lake and Long Lake on its way to the international St. Lawrence River and Seaway. Water quality issues in the headwaters can have adverse impacts on communities, people and nature hundreds of miles away, and the Headwaters Coordinator is meant to bring a sense of camaraderie and mutual support to invested people across the region.

Sutter will maintain her position at Paul Smith’s College and work part-time as the Headwaters Coordinator.

“The waterways of the Adirondacks form the nexus of our ecology, economies and culture. Likewise, recreation occupies a very similar space,” said Karrie Thomas, Executive Director of NFCT. “Becky's background, connections and passion for paddling will help us find commonalities and positive outcomes in this effort to build the capacity of the lake associations at the headwaters of the Raquette River watershed.”

“Becky’s knowledge of hydrology and Adirondack history means she deeply understands the value of water to Adirondack communities and ecology,” said Jackie Bowen, the Adirondack Council’s Director of Conservation. “We are thrilled she will bring this expertise and passion to the Campaign to facilitate increased support and management of the Raquette River Headwaters alongside dedicated Lake Associations and partners.”

“The thousands of lakes, ponds, and miles of streams found in the Adirondacks are the lifeblood of the many human (and non-human) communities here,” Adirondack Council Clean Water Advocate Blake Neumann said. “The Headwaters Campaign is focused on creating new partnerships in these communities to enhance collaboration and ensure that the groups working to steward these critical resources have the support they need. We are thrilled to welcome Becky as our Headwaters Coordinator and are confident that her lifetime of experiences living, working, and recreating in the Park will be of immense benefit to the region in this exciting new role.”

"I believe we all have a role in protecting our waters,” Sutter said. “As stewards, we find the power to affect change in our own lives and in our communities. The Raquette River has given me so much. So I have a responsibility to give back to these communities. It’s very important that we understand our history of resilience will be tested with changing climate patterns and more directly, that it will affect our fragile watershed economies and ecosystems. In fact, we are being tested already. For our children, there is so much at stake. We must act quickly to teach them their role as stewards so it is a great opportunity to bring together the Lake Associations to face these challenges as a collective force for positive change."

About the Adirondack Council
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.

About the Northern Forest Canoe Trail
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a nonprofit organization that maintains and promotes the 740-mile water trail that runs from Old Forge, NY, to Fort Kent, Maine, and connects New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, and Maine. The trail showcases the mix of landscapes and communities currently lining the traditional routes used by indigenous peoples, settlers, and guides. It is the longest in-land water trail in the nation and consists of 23 rivers and streams, 56 lakes and ponds, 45 communities, and 75 portages. To learn more, visit

For more information:
Adirondack Council: Justin Levine, 518-605-1591,
Northern Forest Canoe Trail: Chris Morris, 802-496-2285, ext. 4,

« Back to Press Releases

19-20 Accomplishments

22-23 Accomplishments

Achieved with partners, grassroots advocacy,
and YOUR support! 

Sustain Your Support

Become a Monthly Giver

Sustain our daily advocacy work
for the Adirondacks!

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/module---homepage/RM_7.30.20.jpg

Sign up for Email Updates

Receive the latest news, blog posts, event
invites, and action alerts in your inbox!

Your donation goes directly to help fund initiatives within the Adirondack Park.   DONATE NOW