October 20, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Designates John Lyman Ernst as Chair of the Adirondack Park Agency

Governor Hochul Designates John Lyman Ernst as Chair of the Adirondack Park Agency

Ernst Will Be Nominated for Reappointment When the Senate Returns

Ernst Has Been Involved with Adirondack Organizations for 40 Years

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the designation of John Lyman Ernst as chair of the Adirondack Park Agency. Ernst will be nominated for reappointment to the APA Board.

"Adirondack Park is a unique asset to New York and we must preserve its natural beauty for future generations to enjoy, while also boosting tourism and small businesses across the region," Governor Hochul said. "This appointment is an important first step in developing a long-term public and private land use plan for the largest protected area in the continental United States. 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."

“I am pleased and honored to serve as Chair of the Adirondack Park Agency. I thank Governor Hochul for this opportunity and for her outstanding leadership especially during this challenging period. I will do my very best to try and match Governor Hochul’s tireless energy and unwavering commitment to all New Yorkers,” said Chair John Ernst. “Certainly, these past two years of the pandemic have truly shown how very critical the Adirondack Park is to New York State. It has served as a welcoming reprieve for so many people. I am very eager to continue working with my colleagues and all stakeholders to ensure this cherished asset will endure as one of the jewels of the great State of New York and benefit all of us - especially future generations.”

John Lyman Ernst was originally appointed to the APA Board in June 2016. As a Board Member, Mr. Ernst served on the Regulatory Programs, State Land, Enforcement, and the Park Policy and Planning committees. He most recently served as the chair of the State Land, Park Ecology and Park Policy and Planning committees. Mr. Ernst is also 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, 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 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.

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.

APA Executive Director Terry Martino said, "The Adirondack Park Agency is thrilled to have John Ernst serve as Chair of the Agency Board. We thank Governor Hochul for her decisive leadership and commitment to the Park. Mr. Ernst has provided a calm and knowledgeable voice to board deliberations since his first appointment in 2016. We look forward to his continued contribution."

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640


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