Peter Bauer, a longtime environmental activist, has been named executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, an organization formed in 2010 with the merger of two green groups, one of which Bauer ran.
In an interview with the Explorer, Bauer said he was drawn to Protect by the strength of its board of directors. “It was the right job at the right time with the right group of people,” he remarked.
Bauer will start his new job in early September. He is currently executive director of the Fund for Lake George, where he delved deeply into water-quality issues. Bauer went to work for the Lake George group in 2007 after resigning from the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks. Three years later, the Residents’ Committee merged with the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks to form Protect the Adirondacks.
Chuck Clusen, co-chairman of Protect, said he was “totally exhilarated” by the appointment of Bauer. “No one is more knowledgeable of the Adirondacks,” said Clusen, an official with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Bauer said he enjoyed his time at Fund for Lake George, but he is looking forward to working on Park-wide issues. He believes the biggest threat facing the Adirondack Park is the fragmentation of open-space lands—that is, privately owned timberlands and farmlands.
He said the Adirondack Park Agency has failed to craft a coherent policy to guide development in the open-space lands. “So what they do is react to the bad ideas of developers,” he said.
Protect is suing the APA over its decision to approve a massive development near the Big Tupper Ski Area. One of the main objections to the project is that it will fragment timberlands.
Protect plans to open an office in Lake George. Bauer will continue to live in the Lake George region with his family.