Ex-IP official to head DEC Region 5

A former International Paper official has been named director of the Region 5 office of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

In his new post, Robert Stegemann will oversee an office that, among other things, manages the eastern two-thirds of the Adirondack Park. He begins on Monday, replacing Betsy Lowe, who  resigned last month.

“Bob’s impressive record in working to create a sustainable society and to preserve New York’s resources make him a natural fit for DEC,” said state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens. “In both professional and volunteer capacities, Bob has proven to be an exceptional environmental steward. Bob will be a valuable asset to DEC and the eastern Adirondacks community.”

For the past two years Stegemann served as a natural-resources and public affairs adviser for nonprofit groups, according to a DEC news release. He had worked at International Paper for eighteen years, holding a variety of roles, including spokesman and manager of sustainability. He also served as spokesman for the Empire State Forest Products Association.

Adirondack Council spokesman John Sheehan applauded the appointment.

“He was the most outspoken of environmentalists among the timber-industry representatives in the Park,” Sheehan said. “And he has a good relationship with the commissioner.”

DEC says Stegemann also has been a senior policy analyst for the Tug Hill Commission and has held volunteer positions with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, the Adirondack Research Consortium, the Adirondack Nature Conservancy and Land Trust, and the Northern Forest Lands Council.

Stegemann earned a master’s degree from State College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a bachelor’s degree from Union College.

About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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