Swan, who lives in Westport, heads an organization called "John Brown Lives." ...
The head of the Adirondack Park's biggest and most influential environmental group is stepping down. Brian Houseal has served as executive director of the Adirondack Council for the last decade, and he says he'll leave the post in October.
"This was entirely my decision. After ten years, my wife and I have stepped back and taken a look at what we want to do. I have some options about what happens next," said Houseal. After October, his position will be filled temporarily by Lake Placid resident Diane Fish, who currently serves as the green group's deputy director. The organization plans to conduct a national search for a new permanent executive director.
Houseal said one of his major accomplishments was helping to found the Common Ground Alliance, a group in the Adirondacks that has worked to ease political tensions. He said, "The Adirondack Council I'm sure will embrace that vision going forward. So I don't see a change in the trajectory of the Council."
Houseal was also one of the few environmental leaders to signal approval for the Adirondack Club and Resort project in Tupper Lake, which was given the green light by the Adirondack Park Agency earlier this year. Other environment leaders opposed the project and have since filed suit to block it.
Adirondack Park Agency chair Lani Ulrich issued a statement yesterday praising Houseal for his efforts to protect the Park's "magnificent wild spaces" and to "build consensus." Houseal says he plans to continue living in Westport in the Champlain Valley.