Adirondack Park Agency

Adirondack Park Agency Board Members and Designees

The Agency Board consists of eight members appointed by the Governor; the other three members are the Secretary of State, Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, and Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development. The Agency Board acts on Park policy issues and permit applications during Agency meetings, which are held monthly and open to the public.

Current Board Members are:

Board Member Seat County Term Expires
Mr. Chad Dawson Out of Park Onondaga 6/30/20
Mr. John Ernst Out of Park New York 6/30/21
Mr. Arthur Lussi In Park Essex 6/30/21
Mr. Daniel Wilt In Park Hamilton 6/30/23
Ms. Zoë Smith In Park Franklin 6/30/24
Ms. Andrea Hogan In Park Warren 6/30/23
Mr. Mark Hall In Park St. Lawrence 6/30/22
Mr. Kenneth Lynch Out of Park Onondaga 6/30/22
Department of State Designee: Lynne Mahoney
Department of Environmental Conservation Designee: Joe Zalewski
Department. of Economic Development Designee: Bradley Austin

 

Agency Board Member Bios

 

Chad DawsonDr. Chad P. Dawson was appointed to the APA Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo in July 2016. Dr. Dawson is a Professor Emeritus of Recreation Resources Management and former Chair of the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forest in Syracuse, NY.  His primary focus for the last 25 years has been on visitor experiences and visitor use management on Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondack Park as well as on federal lands managed for wilderness.  Dr. Dawson has collaborated extensively with the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation to conduct research in support of the unit management planning process. Dr. Dawson is editor of the International Journal of Wilderness, co-author of wilderness management and resource management textbooks and publications on ecotourism.  He is a board member for the Wilderness Stewardship Certificate Program and The WILD Foundation.

He earned a Ph.D in Resource Management and Policy from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York in 1983.  He received a M.P.S in Resource Policy and Planning in 1973 from Cornell University and a B.S for Conservation and Resource Planning from the University of Michigan in 1970.

Chad Dawson resides in Lafayette, NY with his wife Carol. 

John ErnstJohn Lyman Ernst was reappointed to the APA Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020. Mr. Ernst is chairman 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, Mr. Ernst has been involved with Adirondack organizations for 40 years. He is past chair of the Adirondack Council and the Adirondack Foundation as well aa 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.

An interest in Native Americans led to board service on the National Museum of the American Indian and a co-chair role at the National Museum of the American Indian-NY, Smithsonian Institution.  He has also served on the Board of Managers of the School for Advanced Research on the Human Experience in Santa Fe, New Mexico. John Ernst resides in New York City and the Town of North Hudson with his wife Margot.

Arthur LussiArthur Lussi was reappointed to the APA Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020. Mr. Lussi hails from Lake Placid where he received a well-rounded education at the Northwood School. He attended Dartmouth College graduating with a degree in English. While at Dartmouth, Mr. Lussi was very active on the Tennis and Ski teams. Highlights include All-East, Captain and Dartmouth Carnival Championship honors. Mr. Lussi went onto Syracuse University to study Law. While at Syracuse, he participated in the World University Games in Jasna, Czechoslovakia and was named Alpine Captain in 1987. Lussi joined the New York State Bar in 1989 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1990.

Mr. Lussi spent time coaching ski racing in Vail, Colorado returning in 1991 to help his family manage and operate the then Holiday Inn now Crowne Plaza Hotel. He encouraged his family to purchase the Lake Placid Club in 1996 and managed the restoration of 15 historic cottages. Lussi worked on the Village of Lake Placid's Comprehensive Plan in the mid 1990’s. He has coached ski racing for the New York Ski Education Foundation since 1991 serving as Chairman for the past 5 years. Art loves the Adirondacks, is a 46er, and appreciates the balance between economic development and conservation. His grandfather, Art Draper, demonstrated thoughtful balance by building ski areas in economically depressed areas in the 1950's and 60's while serving as a New York State Conservation Officer/Forest Ranger.

Mr. Lussi serves on the Adirondack Park Agency Board as the Essex County representative and believes that continued investment in the Park is the best way for the Agency to achieve its mandate. Arthur Lussi resides in Lake Placid with his wife Martina, daughters Danielle, Nina, and son Miles.

Daniel WiltDaniel Wilt was reappointed to the APA Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020. Mr. Wilt is Secretary of the Lake Pleasant-Sacandaga Association, an organization formed in 1953 to protect water quality. Since 1978, Mr. Wilt has served as President of Wilt Industries, Inc. which is located in the Town of Lake Pleasant, Hamilton County. Wilt Industries manufactures state of the art equipment for the semiconductor, glass, fiber optics, scientific glassblowing, chemistry, environmental and ceramic industries.

Mr. Wilt served as Supervisor of the Town of Lake Pleasant and on the Town of Arietta’s Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a past member and President of the Piseco Common School District, served as an Emergency Medical Technician for the Piseco Ambulance Squad and is a current member of the Speculator area Lions Club. Mr. Wilt served as Director of the Northeast Section of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society and was Symposium Chairman for the 2004 American Scientific Glassblowers Society Symposium. He also served as National Secretary of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society from as 2006 – 2009.

Mr. Wilt is a North Country Economic Development Council member. He firmly believes that with proper planning and implementation the APA can preserve the unique natural resources of the Adirondacks and promote sustainable economic development for Park communities. Among his various hobbies, including fishing, hunting, boating, and golf. Mr. Wilt is also a pilot. Daniel Wilt resides in Lake Pleasant, NY with his wife Kendal.

Zoe SmithZoë Smith was appointed to the APA Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020. Ms. Smith is an experienced conservation professional with expertise in managing community-based research initiatives and building partnerships to advance conservation in the Adirondack Park. Presently, Ms. Smith is the Deputy Director at the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute. Her responsibilities include increasing the Institute’s capacity to protect natural resources and expanding programs to benefit the public, students and partner organizations.

Ms. Smith has worked in the Adirondacks for more than 20 years starting with the Student Conservation Association’s Americorps Program in Long Lake as well as the Adirondack Mountain Club. She was the Adirondack Program Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society from 2005 - 2018. She coordinated WCS’s scientific and community programs to advance conservation in the Adirondack region and the Northeastern United States. Ms. Smith was an early contributor to numerous regional initiatives including the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, the Staying Connected Initiative, and several regional and community smart growth projects. She developed and managed Cycle Adirondacks and is a founding member and part of the Adirondack Common Ground Alliance Core Team. Zoë Smith has been instrumental in convening stakeholder groups to address shared goals such as human and wildlife coexistence, recreation management, private land policy, and sustainable economic growth.

Ms. Smith is an appointed member to the New York State Open Space Committee and currently serves as a co-director for the Adirondack Lakes Alliance. She was recognized as part of the WCS Program Team as the Adirondack Council’s Conservationist of the Year in 2007, received the Eleanor R. Brown ADK Communication Award in 2008 for her efforts on the Adirondack High Peaks black bear conservation efforts, and recently received the Howard Zahniser Adirondack Award for her contributions to WCS’s leadership in science, education and community outreach.

Zoë Smith resides in the Village of Saranac Lake with her family. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Fredonia in Natural Resource Economics.

Andrea HoganAndrea Hogan was appointed to the APA Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020. Ms. Hogan is a dedicated public servant who has served as Supervisor for the Town of Johnsburg since her election in 2018. She has worked on broadening the Town’s economic base through business recruitment plans and an emphasis on increasing broadband infrastructure.

As Supervisor, Ms. Hogan represents the Town of Johnsburg on the Warren County Board of Supervisors. She sits on the economic development, environmental concerns and real property, tourism, human services, public works committees, and is chair of the support services committee.

Ms. Hogan previously served as Director of the Adirondack Community Outreach Center. She effectively coordinated a board of 16 members and 100 dedicated volunteers in support of multiple community enhancement service programs. She was primarily responsible for all aspects of administration. This included grant writing, public relations, capital campaigns and program implementation. In 2008, Ms. Hogan was the Office Manager for the non-profit environmental advocacy organization - The Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks.

Ms. Hogan is on the Warren County Youth Bureau, Warren Hamilton Counties Action Committee for Economic Opportunity, was Vice President of Johnsburg Library Board of Trustees from 2015-2017, served on the Johnsburg Youth Committee from 2007-2011, and was a board member for the Towns of Chester/Horicon Youth Commission.

Andrea Hogan resides in the Town of Johnsburg with her family. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges.

Kenneth LynchKenneth Lynch was appointed to the APA Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020. Kenneth Lynch is Director of Strategic Growth Initiatives for Ramboll (formerly O’Brien & Gere). He is responsible for developing and executing strategy for some of the nation’s most complex environmental and natural resource programs. This includes climate change and resiliency, brownfield redevelopment, water quality improvements, and renewable energy project development.

Previously, Mr. Lynch served as Executive Deputy Commissioner for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He oversaw all departmental operations on behalf of the Commissioner including policy, budget, and regional oversight. Mr. Lynch supervised major statewide environmental and natural resource projects including state land management, water quality issues including emerging contaminants, and major environmental remediation projects. He was also involved in climate change projects including renewable energy. He managed flood and resiliency projects, public access and public campground development, and the Department’s response to major statewide emergencies including storm events, fires and significant spills.

Prior to becoming Executive Deputy Commissioner, he served as NYSDEC’s Region 7 Director for over 20 years and oversaw the remediation and restoration of Onondaga Lake.

Preceeding his state service, Mr. Lynch gained valuable environmental law experience managing a general practice which focused on land use, environmental, real estate, and business law. He has extensive work on SEQR procedures and preparation of environmental impact statements.

Kenneth Lynch resides in the Town of Elbridge in Onondaga County. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and a Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law. Mr. Lynch was admitted to the New York Bar in 1989. Mr. Lynch and his family enjoy spending time at their family camp in the Western Adirondacks, built in 1950 by his father and grandfather.

Mark HallMark Hall was appointed to the APA Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020. Mark Hall is a long-serving public servant who has demonstrated a sincere and genuine interest to improve the quality of life for Adirondack Park residents, businesses and visitors while maintaining strong protection for the environment. Mr. Hall is presently the Water Superintendent for the Town of Fine in St. Lawrence County. He is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the potable water filtration and distribution system for the Star Lake Water District. The American Water Works Association awarded “2019 Project of the Year” to an 8.4-million-dollar water system infrastructure improvement project which Mr. Hall managed for the Town.

Mr. Hall was elected to the Town of Fine Town Board in 2002 and served as Town Supervisor from 2007 - 2015. During his tenure he spearheaded efforts with the St Lawrence County IDA and the Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corporation to remove hazardous waste and industrial blight at the former J&L Iron Ore facility. He participated on the St. Lawrence County IDA effort to rehabilitate rail infrastructure from Carthage to industrial properties including J&L and the former Newton Falls paper mill. In addition, he helped to improve telecommunication and broadband coverage, secure Waterfront Revitalization and Smart Growth grants, as well as upgrade the Town’s GIS capabilities.

Mark Hall was also a successful business owner. He operated Adirondack Tank Services from 1993 – 2007. His focus was on removal of fuel storage tanks and oil spill remediation.

Mr. Hall has served on the St. Lawrence County IDA Board since 2010, was an Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board member, served as Executive Director for the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages in 2018, and on its Executive Committee from 2007 – 2015. He was a Clifton-Fine Hospital Board Member from 2007-2015.

Mark Hall resides in Star Lake. He graduated from the Clifton-Fine Central School.