Breaking News – Commissioner Names Elizabeth Lowe to be Region 5 Director
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced the selection of Elizabeth Lowe as the new Director for Region 5. DEC’s Region 5 includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.
“Betsy will be a tremendous asset as we work with North Country communities to protect and enhance our natural resources, local economies, and increase recreational opportunities,” Commissioner Grannis said. “Her extensive experience in building strong partnerships, working to find common ground among multiple interests, and spearheading projects to increase public awareness and appreciation of the Adirondacks will play an integral role as we move forward.”
Ms. Lowe currently serves as Managing Director and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, also known as “The Wild Center,” in Tupper Lake. Beginning in 1998, Ms. Lowe led the creation and development of the Wild Center, and since has been involved in the oversight of the museum’s budget, design and contractors, recruitment of staff, and program planning. In 2001, Ms. Lowe received the “Adirondack Communicator of the Year” award from the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board.
Prior to starting the Wild Center, Ms. Lowe served for nearly 20 years with DEC, building an extensive background in environmental management, community development, public relations, and administrative policy. Her positions at DEC included Citizen Participation Specialist, Environmental Management Specialist, and Mined Land Reclamation Specialist. While at DEC, Ms. Lowe worked with diverse interest groups and organizations including the Adirondack Council, New York State Conservation Council, Adirondack Economic Development Corporation, and the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, among others on cooperative initiatives including the Region 5 Open Space Conservation Advisory Committee recommendations.
Ms. Lowe graduated from Skidmore College, where she received her B.A. in Biology and Music, concentrating on the study of the mechanisms of plants, and received her Masters degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. While studying at Cornell, Ms. Lowe researched the state of the region’s natural attributes and resources in the Adirondack Park. She has lived for the past 22 years in the Adirondacks, currently in Lake Placid, and has family ties to the region going back more than 100 years.
As Regional Director, Ms. Lowe will be overseeing the activities of approximately 180 employees. Historically, the Regional Director has also served as the Commissioner’s representative in the Adirondack Park Agency, Olympic Regional Development Authority, and Lake Champlain Basin Commission, among other intergovernmental bodies. She will begin in her position on May 31, 2007, and will be working closely with staff from other regions, DEC’s Central Office, and other community and government partners. For more information about DEC’s regional offices, go to the Department’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov .
DEC’s Region 5 includes three-quarters of the Adirondack Park; over two million acres of Forest Preserve land; 5,500 acres of state forests lands, 4,500 acres of wildlife management lands, more than 3,400 lakes and ponds ranging in size from high altitude ponds of an acre or less to water bodies the size of Lake Champlain; 856 miles of Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers; over 530,000 year-round residents in six cities, 36 villages and 117 towns and hosts millions of visitors to the Adirondack mountains and surrounding areas each year.