The Section held its annual meetings at the Hilton Hotel in New York City. The Section Business Meeting held on January 24th began with the EPA Update CLE, presented by Chris Saporita, Marla Wieder, and Joseph Siegel.
The Section presented awards and honors to the Wild Center, Drayton Grant, Arthur Savage, J. Cullen Howe, and Janice Dean.
Stephanie Ratcliffe received the Section Award on behalf of The Wild Center. As Executive Director, she leads programs teaching how the Adirondack Park, the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, can set an example of how humans and nature can thrive together. Ms. Ratcliffe focuses on hosting conversations in her programs as opposed to advocating positions and targets the "gate keepers" of climate information, as she did with the Build a Greener Adirondacks Expo Build a Greener Adirondacks Expo for builders, municipal leaders, business owners, and home owners.
A Certificate of Remembrance honoring Drayton Grant , a recognized expert in environmental and land use law, was also presented by the Section. Her death on October 31, 2012 marked the end of a life-long advocacy for the environment and dedication to community service.
The Section also presented a Certificate of Remembrance in honor of Arthur Savage, the first Section Chair and an outstanding advocate for the Adirondacks who died December 26, 2012. Mr. Savage led the Adirondack Mountain Reserve/Ausable Club in its sale of 9,000 acres to New York State, helped found the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and was a leader of Environmental Advocates and the New York State Parks & Trails organization. Mr. Savage was instrumental in shaping environmental law and policy in New York and he will be missed by the Section.
J. Cullen Howe received an award for his achievements in developing and administrating this blog and earning a spot for the blog on the
LexisNexis Environmental Law & Climate Change Community Top 50 Blogs for 2011.
The Section presented Janice A. Dean with an award recognizing her tireless efforts and dedicated diligence as Co-Chair of the Section's Membership Committee in attracting new, young, and diverse members to the Section.
The Nominating Committee welcomed Laurie Silberfeld as the Section's Secretary for 2013-14 as well as Keith Hirokawa and Sam Capasso as new Members-at-Large.
Zaheer Tajani, a first-year law student at Pace Law School, received the Minority Fellowship Award.
The Executive Committee Meeting was held the following day with reports on finances and announcements from several committees.
In light of extensive discussion of funding, program costs, and existing obligations following the Financial Report, the Executive Committee may consider strategic planning for the Section on topics such as membership retention, new members and communications.
The Legislative Committee will host the Annual Legislative Forum at the NYSBA offices in Albany on May 13th, 2013, where the legislative impact of Hurricane Sandy is a likely topic.
The Oil Spill Committee continues to host conference calls every two months on news and updates and will host an Oil Spill Symposium on April, 17th, 2013 in Albany, which will include a case law and legislative update, technical issues, discussion and lunch.
The Municipal Section is co-sponsoring the Fall 2013 Section meeting at Jiminy Peak on October 25-27th, 2013 on the topic of maritime issues.
Minutes for the Business Meeting and Executive Committee Meeting are available here.