Adirondack Council Endorses Lake George Mandatory Boat Inspections
New Executive Director Says It May Not Be the Best Approach for Every Lake in the Park
The Adirondack Council, the largest environmental advocacy organization in the Park, has announced that it has endorsed a proposal to mandate the decontamination of every boat trailered to Lake George.
“Invasive species are a rapidly intensifying problem with the potential to cause significant, ongoing damage to the Lake George environment and the vital recreation and tourism industry it supports,” Rocci Aguirre, the Adirondack Council’s Conservation Director, wrote to the Lake George Park Commission on June 25.
“The Adirondack Council believes the mandatory program provides the strongest opportunity to prevent further Aquatic Invasive Species introduction,” Aguire wrote in the letter, which served as the Council’s formal public comment on the proposal.
The organization recommended that canoes, kayaks and rowboats also be inspected and washed, but on a voluntary basis.
“While non-motorized watercraft pose a significantly lower risk for the transference of invasives, we recommend that a voluntary program be implemented, when an inspector is on site and the resources are available,” the letter stated.
According to the Adirondack Council, boat washings will not only help protect Lake George but, by limiting the chances of invasives reaching this lake and spreading northward, will help protect “surrounding water bodies in the Adirondack Park.”
Nevertheless, Adirondack Council executive director Willie Janeway said, the organization is not prepared to endorse mandatory inspections for every lake in the Adirondack Park.
“Every lake in the park is different,” said Janeway, a lifelong summer resident of Keene Valley. “A mandatory inspection program might be the right thing for Lake George, but the unique conditions of every water body have to be taken into account.”
Since becoming the Adirondack Council’s executive director in May, Janeway said that he has spent much of his time re-acquainting himself with the issues and the communities throughout the Park.
Janeway graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Environmental Studies. That year, he became trails coordinator and director of North Country operations for the Adirondack Mountain Club, a position in which he served for nearly ten years before becoming the executive director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission and later, Governor Pataki’s executive director of the Hudson River Greenway. Prior to being selected to replace Brian Houseal as executive director of the Adirondack Council, Janeway was DEC’s Regional Director for a seven county area in the Hudson Valley. He was also director of government relations for The Nature Conservancy and co-founded and co-chaired the Friends of New York’s Environment, a coalition of more than 200 environmental, conservation, parks, environmental justice, farming and other community organizations that led a successful effort to increase the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
“Wherever I go, I find myself impressed by how connected people are to their particular part of the Adirondack Park. Everyone is convinced that their place is the most beautiful, the most fragile and the most in need of protection,” Janeway said. “But as the executive director of the Adirondack Council, I have the opportunity to see how the Adirondack Council can be helpful to every community.”
Among the issues that affect every community within the Park are “clean air and clean water, which includes invasives and climate change,” said Janeway.
Janeway said the mission of the Adirondack Council was to advance progress on those issues throughout the Park and New York State while supporting local efforts in the individual communities.
“Lake George, for example, has organizations that are already doing an incredible job of preserving and protecting the lake. We don’t want to detract from their efforts. Rather, we want to see where and how we can be helpful to them,” said Janeway.