2013 Alpine Steward Award Winner: Kathleen Regan
Kathleen Regan was awarded the 2013 Guy Waterman Alpine Steward Award for her work founding the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship program. The Waterman Fund awards this prize each year to a person or organization that has demonstrated a long-term commitment to protecting the physical and spiritual qualities of the Northeast’s mountain wilderness.
Regan’s stewardship work began with The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania. Upon transferring to the Adirondack Chapter in 1989, she became responsible for managing TNC’s system of preserves, biological monitoring of rare species, legal compliance of conservation easements, and writing conservation plans for ecologically significant areas.
In this role, Regan became part of a group interested in educating the hiking public about the fragility of rare alpine species. Out of this group, the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Steward program was created as a partnership of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy (ANC), and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Kathy oversaw this program for 14 years, training, overseeing, and guiding stewards and insuring the program’s success.
Former Summit Stewards Leslie Karasin, Ariel Lynch, Jeff Lougee, and Sean Robinson nominated Kathy for the award. An additional letter of support was written by Tim Barnett, Vice President of the ANC. In her nominating letter, Karasin wrote, “… it is likely that the program never would have gained the mixture of vision, funding, institutional support, and ongoing management necessary for it to thrive, had it not been for Kathy’s dogged devotion to the program and its success.” Regan’s legacy of stewardship is felt not only in the summits themselves and in the ongoing success of the program, but in the lives of the stewards she supported.
Kathy Regan has continued her stewardship of the Adirondacks since leaving The Nature Conservancy in 2003. She joined the staff of the Adirondack Park Agency in 2008 in their Planning Division as a Natural Resource Planner where she works with the State Lands Team on Forest Preserve projects, including Unit Management Plans, State Land permits, and State land Classification packages.
The award was presented at the 8th Northeastern Alpine Stewardship Gathering, which was held in Hancock, NH on November 1st–3rd.
~by Julia Goren