New leader named for Adirondack Park Agency

ALBANY, New York (WWNY) – A man with deep ties to the Adirondacks has been named to chair the Adirondack Park Agency.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that she is designating John Lyman Ernst to chair the agency. In a statement, Hochul said Ernst will be nominated for reappointment to the board, which he has served on for the last five years.

“John has demonstrated a strong dedication to the North Country and I am certain he will excel as the next Chair of the Adirondack Park Agency, helping build a better and brighter future for this natural gem,” Hochul said in her statement.

Ernst is chair and president of a private investment firm in New York City. He and his wife, Margot, are owners of Elk Lake Lodge in North Hudson, Essex County. His family has spent vacations in North Hudson since his grandfather camped at Clear Pond in 1905.

In 1963, Elk Lake Lodge donated the first conservation easement in New York State. The easement protected the shoreline of Elk Lake. Easements donated to the State in 2012 protected the remainder of the property and included public access to the Dix Mountain and Marcy Mountain state trails.

A graduate of Harvard College, Ernst has been involved with Adirondack organizations for 40 years. He is past chair of the Adirondack Council and the Adirondack Foundation as well as a past president of the Adirondack Landowners Association.

He has served on the boards of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, the Adirondack Land Trust, the Adirondack Center for Writing, the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation, and the New York State Tourism Advisory Council. He was a past member of the Executive Council of North Country Public Radio and has served on the boards of the New York League of Conservation Voters and the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. He currently serves on the board of the Open Space Institute.

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