By Gwendolyn Craig
Katie Petronis, former northern program director for the Open Space Institute, has been appointed the deputy commissioner of natural resources for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Commissioner Basil Seggos announced.
Petronis also revealed the news earlier this month in a resignation letter to the Adirondack Explorer‘s board of directors. Petronis had been a board member of the nonprofit news organization. A spokesperson for the DEC said Petronis officially started in her new role on June 11.
“While I’m excited about this new adventure, it does mean that I will have to resign from the board of directors,” Petronis wrote to Adirondack Explorer board colleagues. “I have so enjoyed working with all of you over the years. The Explorer truly does give a voice to the Adirondack Park, (its) communities, people, and natural resources. In the face of a global pandemic, and climate and social justice crises, this voice and work is needed now more than ever.”
Petronis has worked at the Open Space Institute, an organization focused on land conservation, for more than 14 years. She started as a land projects manager and assistant counsel, before becoming the northern program director in 2011. Her work focused on the Adirondacks, the northern Hudson Valley and the Capital District.
Petronis had also served as president of the board for Pitney Meadows Community Farm and the Saratoga Preserving Land and Nature organizations, according to a spokesperson from the DEC. She continues to serve on the Forest Preserve Advisory Council and the Region 4 Open Space Plan Advisory Committee.
As a deputy commissioner, Petronis will oversee programming related to fish, wildlife and marine resources, lands and forests, according to a directory description of executive staff positions on the DEC’s website.
“She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in conservation and strategic land management,” a DEC spokesperson said in an email.