By Gwendolyn Craig
The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5 has a new acting director.
Joseph Zalewski is serving in the role, after long-time Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann retired in March. The position serves the eastern Adirondacks including Franklin, Clinton, Hamilton, Essex, Fulton, Warren, Saratoga and Washington counties.
Zalewski has been with the DEC for more than two decades, starting as an environmental engineer out of the agency’s Albany office, according to a DEC spokesperson.
“Zalewski has a long history of outstanding service to DEC and New York, most recently serving as DEC’s Region 5 Regional Engineer,” a spokesperson for the DEC wrote in an email to Adirondack Explorer. “In that role, Joe successfully managed all of DEC’s environmental quality programs in an eight-county area, leading a team of more than 30 staff located in two different offices.”
Additionally, Zalewski will represent the DEC on the Adirondack Park Agency board, according to an updated list of members and designees on the APA’s website. Zalewski was also listed as a DEC representative on the latest meeting summary for the High Peaks Strategic Advisory Group, state-appointed stakeholders who are providing recommendations to address visitor use in the High Peaks region.
The DEC declined to provide more information on when a full-time director would be chosen.